Don’t talk crap!

Today of course, probably in common with the rest of the world, Hong Kong was celebrating World Toilet Day. To do so it had a two page spread in its newspaper documenting the different toilets around the world. As well as the inevitable fun seeing a Mick Jagger lips inspired urinal in France and a cubicle floating down the river in Nigeria, there were other less savoury examples. The article pointed out that 2.4 billion people do not have access to decent sanitation and more than 1 billion are forced to defecate in the open. So in many ways a very serious topic and I hope wherever you are you will find a space in your day to think about toilets. Interestingly as toilets have been a topic close to my heart recently with my stomach problems I can now reliably report that Hong Kong has an excellent amount of toilets available to the general public, often in very good condition as there are more than 5000 public conveniences in Hong Kong. I would contrast this to the experience in the UK when many public toilets have been closed down through misuse, abuse or lack of funding. This can be very difficult if you are suffering from problems that might need urgent resolution. So please enjoy World Toilet Day.
One of the hot political topics here is the denial of places in the legislative council for two new councillors who refused to support an oath swearing allegiance to the `Basic Law’, which was interpreted by Mainland China as implying independence and the newspapers have been full of this debate. As I passed through the university tonight there was a student gathering discussing this issue though it was in Cantonese so I could not listen to the arguments. This is the perennial tension here in Hong Kong in its relationship with the Mainland with the ‘one country, two systems’ philosophy being interpreted differently. I cannot see this ending well for Hong Kong. 
Today I completed gatherings with all the 24 people that I had intended to meet whilst out here. I had a lovely lunch with a former member of the management team at the University who I have stayed in contact with since she left for a better job elsewhere. She is doing really well and clearly enjoying her work and her life. I hope she will visit the UK one day and bring her professional photographer boyfriend so I can learn from him. Selfie below.
And I’ve just got back from having a lovely Chinese meal with my third professor of criminology newly back from a trip to Singapore. He had also been instrumental in arranging my sabbatical here. Yet again I experienced new tastes in a restaurant that was so full and buzzing with energy. We certainly enjoyed lots of good food and had conversations about politics, criminology and many other topics. Reflecting on all my contacts I feel that the trip has been really worthwhile for me. Under no work pressure I have been able to relax, chill with friends and see some familiar and not so familiar parts of Hong Kong. 
Tomorrow I go in search of some bird pictures and hope that I am more successful than last time. We shall end the day tomorrow with a Chinese meal at the hotel where I am staying at which is a famous restaurant so more good food guaranteed. Then on my final day on Monday I hope to go to Stanley Market, a common trip on my last day as I can book my bags in at a town centre venue, get my boarding pass then spend the rest of the day out before going up to the airport for an 11.45 pm flight. I will do this trip as long as I don’t feel too tired. I am getting to the point where my aches and pains from sitting in a variety of chairs and walking more than normal is beginning to be uncomfortable and I long for my comfy chair at home. It’s a shorter blog tonight as I have an early start tomorrow. 

2 thoughts on “Don’t talk crap!

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