HK Time Out Magazine – Column #14

timeout

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Petty politics
The pro-Beijing DAB may dominate LEGCO seats but their recent behaviour suggests they might be a couple of roast ducks short of a buffet. This summer, they called a press conference to reveal local up-skirt exposure black spots. This highly comprehensive list, which pinpointed public places whereby Peeping Toms can spy on women, happened to double splendidly as a list of public places for Peeping Toms to spy on women. Perhaps we should also expect a handy list of dodgy websites we definitely shouldn’t visit?

Weeks later, they presented an urgent warning for HongKongers to avoid squirting their McDonald’s ketchup onto the paper tray cover for fear of ink poisoning. Doctors agreed that there are more pressing dangers associated with fast ‘food’, but the irony was obviously lost on the DAB who felt it warranted another press conference. Health worries over lethal paper-ketchup proximity in McDonald’s is the equivalent of suggesting a diet coke to go with that Double Big Mac meal. Incidentally, this was preceded by a survey of ‘hygiene blackspots’, cementing their reputation as the official OCD political party.

Blog – Tour of my Workplace

blog

The photos and video below are from the government school I work at here in Hong Kong… but it’s far from typical…

My office is set out like a rainforest, with blue neon lights in the ceiling ‘representing’ sunlight, photographic grass on the floor, a Scandinavian countryside scene on the opposite wall, a wooden mock-up of a windmill and a desk fashioned from a log. Most other rooms in the school are decorated like spaceships – the computer room is set out like the Enterprise with monitors embedded in the desks and the school hall comes complete with twinkling UFOs and rivets on the doors. There’s a full-on TV blue-screen studio on the top floor which broadcasts live to every classroom twice daily, and all the teacher’s desks are pimped with UV lights underneath, microphones and desk video cameras. The multicoloured ‘bad-trip’ which is the library features little green men implanted in the centre of each table.

Fittingly, the school mascot is none other than an oversized flying green horse– a 6-foot version of which dominates the playground. Indeed, the building is not a place you’d want to get lost in whilst on acid.

HK Time Out Magazine – Column #13

timeout

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Maid in the Mainland
Was I right to feel like some idle, neo-colonial taskmaster in hiring a domestic helper for a day, or was I just being a wet hippy? Despite being wrought with guilt after asking a friend’s maid to tackle my grimy kitchen, the penny dropped when she repeatedly thanked me for the extra work. Somehow, I only then realised that migrant domestic workers wanted to be employed, and employers wanted to employ them – something I was blinded to amidst the politics.

Recent visits to Jakarta and Manila gave me an insight into where these workers were coming from, and where their remittances were ending up. These women have, in fact, carved a route out of hardship and are the saviours of HK’s middle classes, who often rely on them to help juggle the city’s insane working culture with raising a family.