What I wanted to write about this time is, how ongoing protests affected my life in Hong Kong, as well as my way of thinking. Although I am not directly involved, there is something happening around town everyday and no matter what, every single person in Hong Kong got affected by it in one way or another. Be it getting stuck in the middle of the “activities”, getting delayed on way to work or getting a sniff of tear gas – even the smallest things remind people in Hong Kong of their new reality.
Below are just some ways in which my life got affected by present situation.
1- Love for my home country.
Being from Poland – country which fought for democracy in quite recent history, Hong Kong situation makes me rethink how those times looked like. Although I was born after Poland got their freedom, my mother remember those times leading to Solidarity Movement. This makes me want to read and learn more about my own country and appreciate more what we have. This is also the reason why I participated in Parliament elections even when I’m in Hong Kong (not that it helped in the end but…).
2- Going out.
Nowadays there is no going out before checking so-called “Hong Kongers’ schedule” for coming week. Previously that was enough, but now it needs to be complemented with some additional research on possible locations of “flash mob” style protests. Protest information are also sometimes published last moment, so as to have a bigger impact for the movement.
P. and I live in a location between two police stations that are spots for frequent protests so if I see a group of people gathering around on my way home from work, I would choose to stay in.
Ever since the protests started, I became a frequent viewer of TV. And I even watch it on two screens. On the actual TV, I would play the main channels showing protests and on my phone I would watch live stream of independent media.
I used to do other stuff, watch more Netflix but never TV (you can see my previous posts where I complain about HK TV being quite tedious). Now I feel like I spend a lot of time keeping track on the situation and seems like it will not change anytime soon.
4- Choice of restaurants.
Lately, Hong Kong’s division on Yellow and Blue has been more official. People mark every restaurant based on their political affiliation and it’s easy to see or check if the place is in line with your beliefs.
Although not keeping very faithful to the rule, lately I tend to think more about places I choose to eat in and I try to minimise my spendings in places which not necessarily fit with my stand. You may say it’s nothing, but I do believe that if everyone becomes more conscious about thing like these, it can make a difference as well.
This is for now more of a way of thinking matter, but I think I get more aware and maybe I get more knowledge about where does the money go to after I spend it. The money that we spend might be going to the totally different place that we think.
Like those big companies that use cheap labour and don’t care about environment – they own so many brands, normally people wouldn’t even know that they actually fund them with their own money.
This is what is happening in Hong Kong now and so, although not actively yet, I am becoming more aware of the phenomena and maybe I will act on it soon too.
Travel to China now, if not necessary for work, is rather out of question. The additional checks are rather annoying, so I suppose a lot of people are a bit discouraged.
But that’s only part of the influence. We went for a weekend to Taiwan and when booking flight tickets, for the first time in my life, I realised I care which airlines we choose. As I live in Hong Kong, I care about the situation it’s in, I save photos and articles and share them with my family and friends and that only might become an issue if checked on immigration apparently – or so they say. I don’t want to check if that’s true, so I’d rather avoid unnecessary trouble.