Monday, 6 October 2014

Trying to Move Forward

The Umbrella Revolution's new mascot, "Umbrella Man" in Admiralty
Hong Kong tried to get back to work and school today with residents warned to leave home earlier to make it on time.

When I read this at 7am I leaped out of bed and was out the door by 8.20 and caught the bus. Since it was completely full by the next stop, the bus driver got us to Sheung Wan by 8.45am. I had plenty of time to make a pit stop in the MTR station. From there I arrived in North Point by 9.16am, 14 minutes to spare before the company shuttle bus took us to Taipo, though it was slow going after the Eastern Tunnel...

A friend who lives in North Point and depends on a green minibus to take to Cyberport, on the south side of Hong Kong Island, photographed the long line of people in front of her, and said she was very late for work.

Last night students were hunkering down
On the evening news, there was a report about students being late for school because of buses being slow, though others decided to walk and actually got there faster. One slightly chubby elementary school student was asked what he thought of his new route and admitted it would be a good way for him to lose weight! Too cute.

The government did not clear out the streets as they had warned they would on Sunday. If the authorities continue to threaten, protesters will think they are dealing with someone/something that keeps crying wolf. Again -- is that how to build trust with your own people?

Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mongkok were sparsely occupied throughout the day, though more people came back after school and work. In Central people are still getting used to the idea they can walk along the streets and still use the crosswalk areas.

Mongkok still had a few odd confrontations, but on the whole it was peaceful. The diehards believe it's important to stay where they are and not give an inch until the talks have resolved the matter.

Speaking of which the student leaders have had to negotiate conditions for speaking with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor through undersecretary for constitutional affairs Lau Kong-wah.

Checking out the thousands of messages posted at Tamar
He has spoken to the students twice in as many days and it seems like Lam is dragging her feet on the issue. Again -- does the government want to resolve this issue or not? It doesn't seem to be making much of an effort. Does it have some kind of condescending attitude towards the students? These are the next generation's leaders and they already know what they're doing so don't mess with them.

There have been some winners and some losers during the Umbrella Revolution. There are some shopkeepers doing a roaring trade selling bottled water and snacks, and McDonald's has practically been fueling the protest food-wise.

Then there are others who claim business is down 90 percent, perhaps because their shop is located within the area where roads are shut down. Some cater more to mainland tourists and there are fewer of them here at the moment.

Big winners for sure is Hong Kong Electric with everyone constantly charging their mobile phones, and the telecom companies because everyone's been using up their data fast posting pictures and messages online.

Oh yes and the MTR! The entire city would be paralyzed if it wasn't working and kudos to its staff for keeping it running as smoothly as possible despite the large number of commuters.

But as talks are supposed to happen this week, the Occupy sites won't be vacated anytime soon. Perhaps by this weekend.

We are heartened to hear more than 50 mainland lawyers, scholars and citizens have signed a letter supporting Hong Kong people's fight for democracy, and said Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was responsible for misleading the National People's Congress Standing Committee on how Hong Kong people feel about the issue of electoral reform.

Last night, long after YTSL and I left Admiralty, a statue featuring a person holding a yellow umbrella stands tall in Admiralty and is nicknamed Umbrella Man. It was made by a guy named Milk who created the sculpture out of cardboard. A new mascot that represents the people!

In the meantime despite the minor inconveniences, we're loving the fresh air in Admiralty and Central! How refreshing!

2 comments:

  1. On the shuttle bus to work, I noticed many private cars with just one person in them on the roads today. If some of these private car users car-pooled, they'd help free up space on the roads. Heck, how about if fewer people had private cars in Hong Kong? It's not like there are THAT many places in the urban sections of this territory that are not accessible via public transportation and a few meters' walk!

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    1. Hi YTSL -- Apparently the government is going to look into why there are so many private cars on the roads... does the transport department not have these statistics on hand?! And it has only raised concerns now?!

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