二十九. Hong Kong Handover

London

I’m hurrying down Gerrard Street, hunched shoulders, first stop, the Loon Fung supermarket. It’s to pick up The South China Morning Post, like I do on a weekly basis. The sounds and smells are the same as Hong Kong, the scent of street market, five spice and cinnamon. Only the air is cooler, not humid, nor is the air thick with sidewalk steam, nor is it 30 degrees, nor real feel 40.

It’s raining, a random London rain that comes out suddenly from the heavens, from nowhere; the wind channels along the street and sways the red lanterns strung side to side above my head.

Then I head over to Lisle Street for fluffy pork buns; and I steal upstairs, where there is the smack of mahjong tiles and the back-at-you glares at the intruding gwai-lou.

I look in the back pages for one-inch opportunities, six thousand miles away, but it feels further. It aches, a visceral ache in my bones, like I’m displaced, on the wrong side of the world and need to get back to the mama-san.

I clip out job postings in Wanchai and Mong Kok, and picture them clearly from six years back. I took a detour and now I need to get back on track. I mail cover letters and CVs and imagine them getting there but in truth they’re not, and why would anyone entertain an application from a million miles anyway?

Hai mươi tám. The Blind Rickshaw Driver Epilogue
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