Minding the Gap in Hong Kong

We were in Hong Kong for just a few days earlier this year. One of those days was July 1, the anniversary of the Handover of Hong Kong. We knew that there would be demonstrations, and stayed away from them.

We did our tourist things. We ate excellent dim sum, bought notably inexpensive goods in markets, and so on. We got around by boat, on foot, by taxi, and on the excellent MTR.

On the MTR, I had to photograph the Mind the Gap signs. They are on the sliding doors, in Chinese on one door and in English on the other. The announcement is made in Cantonese, in English, and in Mandarin.

Since we were there, the gap between Hong Kong and mainland China has become more dangerous. Violence has increased, from both sides, and verbal threats have escalated.

I wish I could see a way to peaceful resolution of matters between Hong Kong and mainland China. The principle of “one country, two systems” seems to mean different things on different sides of the gap. The same principle officially applies to Macao (which we also visited) and China, but may be difficult to implement there as well.

I’d love to hear any ideas as to how this gap can be managed.

New Year Continues

bandes_chinatown494The Chinese/lunar new year, that is. It’s a 15-day festival that finishes on Mon Feb 9, so we’re about halfway through it. There were festivities in Boston’s Chinatown today. We didn’t go, but our way back from the Childrens Museum took us near, so we caught a little from the car.

Charles Bandes was among those who went and took photos. His blog post does a great job of establishing the Chinatown context with photos such as this one (thanks to Charles for permission to post this copyrighted image). The post also reminds me of some of the reasons we decided not to take the kids to Chinatown today: “I had forgotten just how loud and smoky the fireworks are – got a little too close to some and got sprayed with bits of paper.”

I found Charles via Universal Adam, who also linked today to an interesting account of eating a pig’s head.

In the Year of the Ox

So here we are in the Year of the Ox. Here in Boston, we are 20some minutes into that year (assuming it started at midnight). We followed the new year’s eve traditions, getting the house cleaner than it’s been in a long time, eating noodles, fish, and other traditional new year things.

On Saturday, we went to Kam Man in Quincy to stock up, as did rather a lot of other people. I was surprised to find that one can buy Kung Fu noodles there. We’ve been enticing our kids to eat noodles by relating them to Kung Fu Panda (a movie that the whole family likes). We didn’t try the KFN, though, since we haven’t resorted to instant noodles yet.