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Finding happiness again in Hong Kong

by Hans Ebert

It’s been said here before, but as some still don’t get it as they’re most likely busy doing nothing or fixing to call it quits, if a city isn’t working, nothing in it does. It’s lifeline to everything has been cut.

It’s not that different to watching a headless chicken in its final death throes.

It really doesn’t take an i-stein app to see that despite the “peaceful” protests of 2019 that suddenly saw Hong Kong become the stomping grounds for its own version of the Droogs, and now trying to make living in the Lockdown Years bearable, this city that was always described as “living on borrowed time”, has a future that might be described as being hazy at best.

With various quarantine rules, travel bans and constantly changing social distancing rules and regulations, Hong Kong is hardly the magnet for tourism it once was.

It’s certainly not the city where I grew up, met the right girl, got married, got lost and found myself though not always where I wanted to be. But, no regrets.

At a time when travel has become a one way trip to get back with Jo Jo to where some once belonged, there really is nothing at the moment to attract anyone to Hong Kong.

There still are the stayers, but despite knowing them for decades, there’s a reason why they’re kept at an arm’s distance and how ne’er the twain shall meet. There’s nothing of any relevance happening for both sides. We’re travelling in different directions.

The city always having lived “on borrowed time” is right now on an intravenous drip with no one sure what’s going in and what’s going out.

Those entrepreneurs who saw what a barren rock could be have come and gone. They led the most exciting lives by being in the centre of it all and making something out of nothing by creating a Hong Kong that was not previously here.

Cutting out the superficial fat cats in the middle and an equally superficial lifestyle that may or may not have happened, Hong Kong is back to being an empty canvas with the 12 member Canto Pop boyband Mirror playing in the background.

Sure, there are those making their Last Gasp Facebook Tours full of memorabilia, and if this makes them happy, live and let live, baby.

None of this, however, is going to cure whatever is ailing Hong Kong and, very possibly, the rest of the world.

If one is to really zero in on what’s lacking in our lives, most would say that it is happiness.

It’s not money as what’s clear by now is that money cannot buy love nor happiness.

Having money might ease some of the pain, but it’s not going to make the root of the problem go away. Neither is sitting around being a ditherer offering no solutions. Once a ditherer, always a ditherer.

This is where one sees an emptiness: There is, too often, no one, or very few, with the mental dexterity to see beyond the obvious or tell you what you don’t already know. There are just some Yes People in Noddyland.

What one often faces is another group of ditherers, some young, some old, most pretty much vapid. Come hither ‘looks’ have been replaced by come dither vacant stares and very possibly THE worst edition of The Peter Principle.

Why? Because many of us have been gawdawful mentors thinking nothing will change and too involved looking out for numero uno and singing, “I, Me, Mine”.

Keeping things positive, and drinking from that half-full glass, whether living in isolation or in Lockdown mode, there’s always the breathing space to create.

There’s always time to connect by creating and turning these connections into something much more than shaky LinkedIns that lead nowhere.

These connections can help join the dots, which become collaborations that didn’t exist before, and lead somewhere- like finding that elusive butterfly of Happiness.

Happiness. It’s coming home. To Hong Kong!

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