Monday, Oct 03, 2022
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Hong Kong Diary

Hong Kong is one of the most lucrative destinations for Nepali youth though it is not easy to get a work permit.

Banana Shades

I first went to Hong Kong in 1984 while it was still British. It was laid out in three parts: the island and Kowloon and New Territories on the mainland. Ensconced on the hill was the English governor, the brigade of Gurkhas in the New Territories patrolling the electric fence to keep mainland Chinese from Shenzen at bay; and shops, streets and alleyways all with pucca British names like Queensway, Harcourt, Macdonnell. Emily Lau, now legislator, then a journalist with Far Eastern Economic Review, told me that Hong Kong was like a banana: yellow outside but white from the inside. Overnight, Indian tailors kitted me out with 10 Chinese silk shirts at Hong Kong £10 each. Per capita Sindhis owned more Mercedes cars than any other community. When I returned to my hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, after an indulgent night at the Governor’s Mansion and sought my room keys, the receptionist asked: “loom lumber?”

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