Chasing the Dragon..Chapter 1

in blog •  4 months ago 

This is a work of fiction (honest), inspired by my crazy times while living on Hong Kong Island, just before the changeover from British to Chinese, rule.

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Chasing the Dragon..Chapter 1

Howard had not chosen a good moment. There was no good moment, and he knew it.

Over a million people or more, were expected to cross the border.

The Autumn Festival was an important holiday in the Chinese calendar, only seconded to their New Year celebrations.

With just under eight hundred thousand on the road within a 48 hour period, all headed into - and out of - Hong Kong, Howard was a European traveler lost in the Chinese human tsunami.
....while it seemed that all of Hong Kong was heading for Shenzhen, a Chinese Special Administrative Region, dense crowds of mainlanders flowed the other way, in the exact opposite direction towards Hong Kong.

With his passport and newly stamped visa, alond with faithful rucksack, Howard made his way to the MTR.
It was the lighting fast, efficient underground system, rivaled virtually no where else in the world.

When Looking at it in comparison to the antiquated and crumbling underground system that he frequently used while staying in London, and New York, the pure modernity of Hong Kong, always struck him.
The vitality of ambition, young energy, young people, and new money.

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Public transport networks in Hong Kong were used by pretty much everyone. Apart from the economic advantages it offered, sometimes it was the only way to get FROM anywhere, TO anywhere else.
Twenty four hour traffic congestion on a sliver of land populated by over seven million people, made public transport the most logical choice of travel, much of the time.

As the train left the New Territories down towards Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, more and more passengers piled on, seemingly carrying everything, -including the kitchen sink.
He knew the trains would be crowded of course, and He'd waited a few hours from the rush hour in the hope that the bedlam would have subsided a little, before leaving.
It turned out that his efforts to avoid the tumult had been in vain, everything was crammed full.

Arriving at the Kowloon station he was pushed, shoved, elbowed, and generally abused,as only the Chinese on public transport know how, they all piled off the train and rushed along the platform towards the exit.

Howard for headed for the Star Ferry Terminal.
By far his most enjoyable type of public transport in Hong Kong.

Star ferries was a boat service that connected the mainland to the island, and was in operation decades before technology had allowed for Terra firma connections under the narrow sea's in the bay area.
The old ferries would go back and forth, seemingly 24 hours a day, and seemingly ever few minutes.
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Costing almost nothing, while at the same time giving views of the breathtaking skyline that was Hong kongs financial district - it never failed to instill a sense of awe as the ferry slowly approached the island.

He always opted to leave the tunnels of swarming bodies on high speed rails, in favor of taking a walk down Nathan Road, to the battered, and now aging, ferry ports.

Life in Hong Kong was extremely good for Howard. And he knew it.

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