Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Little respite from the political whirlwind that's beset Hong Kong

Scenic view from the same Hong Kong high point in daylight
A friend invited me to dinner up on Victoria Peak last night.  Even on the drive up there in another friend's car, I was thinking how it all felt a world apart from the more troubled as well as mundane one down below -- particularly over in Yuen Long, where tensions remain high after the attack at its MTR station late Sunday night.
After dinner (which involved far more political discussion than is usually the case when I'm with that particular group of friends), my companions and I went for a short stroll to enjoy the cooler air to be found on Hong Kong Island's highest peak (but only the territory's joint 31st highest) and also the night views to be had from atop it.  When doing so, I got to thinking that it's less than two months ago since I last was up on The Peak -- on a hike just three days before a protest march against the extradition bill whose mega participant numbers surely would have counted for much more than it did if Hong Kong were a (genuine and full) democracy.
With so many impactful events having taken place since my last afternoon up on the Peak though, that hike can feel like it took place in another lifetime.  Heck, even the last 48 hours or so alone have been so full of news, and twists and turns, that Sunday night seems at times like it took place so long ago; though it also is all too true that some of the visuals recorded that night, and disseminated online and by various news outlets, feel like they have been seared forever into my memory.
Other symbolic attacks that have taken place in the past 48 hours or so include ones by a Mainland Chinese man on the Lennon Wall and replica of the Goddess of Democracy at Hong Kong's City University.  It's a measure of how troubled the city currently is that these acts do not appear to have been allocated coverage by any of the English language media outlets.  But, then, a sign of how troubled the world in general is can be seen by Boris Johnson having become Prime Minister of Britain today; with not even the death two days ago of Li Peng (announced yesterday) feeling like it matters all that much in the grand scheme of things. :(

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