Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The PLAN and the albatross

Ever since Mrs. Blog and I arrived in our apartment, our view of the harbor has included one constant (besides the harbor and Kowloon on the other side): a giant catamaran cruise ship anchored right outside our window.

At first it was cool, in a "I've never seen a catamaran that big in person" kind of way. Then it just got annoying, in a "this stupid ship is ruining the view" kind of way.

Last night, as the Typhoon Signal 3 was raised--indicating "strong wind"--I saw something amazing: the catamaran, lit up like a Bun Festival tree, motoring away under its own power. This was more notable to me than it probably should have been, but the boat had begun to feel like a giant, white, in-no-way-like-a-bird albatross, hovering near our building for no discernible reason.

This morning it had been replaced by:

 PLAN party cove?

Although in Chinese culture just about everything has significance in terms of luck, good fortune, wealth, I'm not sure what to make of these two ships, which appear to be assault landing craft. They're at anchor, and definitely not landing or assaulting anything, so that's good. But there is speculation that the Chinese military is putting on a show ahead of Establishment Day on July 1--that's the day Hong Kong was handed back to the Chinese. Every year, apparently, there are huge pro-democracy marches here on that date, as masses of Hong Kongers take to the streets to make it as obvious as possible that they are very happy with the "two systems" aspect of China's official One Country, Two Systems policy toward its special administrative regions.

Mrs. Blog and I will be in the United States of Awesome, unfortunately, and won't get to witness the marches--a form of organized protest we most certainly did not witness in the UAE, where life is perfect and everyone loves the sheikhs. But at least we can say we had a good view as the People's Liberation Army set up its front-row seats for the big day.

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