Old people often say that time passes by like the blink of an eye. I must have somehow turned into an old person, because twenty years just… flew by. I don’t remember where I was twenty years ago today. I do remember watching the ceremony on TV. The one where Chris Patten and his family left Hong Kong in the pouring rain. I remember the uncertainty in my heart – I wasn’t a full-fledged HKer yet (and it turns out I missed the boat on that one – should’ve gotten a Hong Kong passport, or at least that damned return home card before ’97) – the uncertainty that would highlight our future.
It’s strange that now looking back, I don’t think much of the change actually happened until about 3 or 4 years ago (although by 2003, I already couldn’t get that damned return home card) – that could well be my own ignorance though. I don’t know. There are pros and cons to living in every single city in the world, so I chose to see the pros. I am still trying to choose to see the pros – Hong Kong is still a fucking awesome city. But in addition to the inability to ever purchase your own flat or house, the ever-increasing wealth gap, the ridiculous stagnation of income despite inflation year after year, it’s also the fear of Tiananmen, the fear of a non-transparent justice system, the fear of eroding freedoms, the fear of an all out communist dictatorship that’s boiling over into this political turmoil that is Hong Kong right now.
It’s so weird to look at this place that I call home and wonder about the future. It’s not the first time there has been civil unrest in Hong Kong. It happened in the 60s when people rioted against British colonial rule…. Hong Kong people seem to have forgotten that colonial rule wasn’t always great. But I suppose that’s because we had some really good governors right before the end… Sigh. I don’t know. What will the next twenty years bring?