Tag Archives : Time Out Column


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #22

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Gweilo Gripes
“Why do you care?” I must’ve been asked it hundreds of times at various protests over the last few years, and in particular during last month’s Rail Link rallies. Much to my embarrassment, fellow activists seem bewildered, impressed and even flattered that some gweilo is rocking up to a local demo – and it’s often a Kodak moment. My response is that we aliens are also tax-payers and stakeholders in HK society. Our voice deserves to be heard, especially after living here for a few years – ex-pats needn’t feel they have to leave their political conscience at home. However, not all causes I choose are so positively received.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #21

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Hunt for a scapegoat

Mao Zedong’s adage ‘to kill the chicken to scare the monkey’ sums up nicely the plight of HK super activist Christina Chan, whose bail expires later this month. Chan, however, is no chicken – the HKU student rose to (in)famy as the face of the local Tibetan justice movement and ‘Post-80s’ generation dissenters. Her politics, which would be considered mild and mainstream in many other territories, have earned ‘feisty’ Christina notoriety amongst the pro-establishment camp.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #20

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Digital Distractions
If your response to today’s news was “when is this coming out for Playstation 3?”, then it’s probably a sign that the industry is in trouble. When Next Media’s CGI animation of what may have happened to Tiger Woods went global, it prompted much journalistic head-scratching and ethical beard-stroking over what it all means and how we’re all doomed. Many rightly believe the online videos to be a lowest-common-denominator attempt for the traditional press to make money in a time of poor sales, free alternatives and crisis point ad revenues.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #19

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Toxic Town – Green Gone Wrong
My five-year-old Nokia is already an archaic laughing stock amongst my colleagues and in a few years, it’ll no doubt become a prehistoric curiosity. Friends of the Earth revealed that young Hong Kongers change their phone every 600 days, with 65% admitting they upgraded annually. The reasons include rapid technology change, low initial cost, planned manufacturer obsolescence and good old peer pressure. However, my self-righteous custom of differentiating between what I ‘want’ and what I ‘need’ (a trait my friends often mistake for ‘being tight’) means that I’ll probably only replace mine when it packs in beyond repair. And being a well-meaning tree-hugger of sorts, I’ll probably try and get it recycled.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #18

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Pet Abandonment
For two years I lived in the heart of the pet district on the cusp of affluent Ho Man Tin. Here I saw how, for many locals and expats alike, pets have unfortunately become semi-disposable fashion accessories and status symbols (big dog = big flat = big money!) Whether it’s the latest trend in exotic reptiles or dressed up designer puppies in pimped up prams, the pet market is booming in a city hardly suited to domestic animals.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #17

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Taxing Times
Einstein claimed that the hardest thing to understand in the world is tax, yet even our most air-headed pseudo-model would grasp HK’s straightforward tax system. We’ve no sales, estate or currency tax, capital gains or VAT, and individuals pay 2%, 8% and 12% income tax progressively. Only the filthiest of the filthy rich (just 1.7%) pay the highest band of 17%. HK’s rates are relatively super low – it may just feel a lot because our demands arrive in one annual beating, such is the simplicity of our tax law. In fact, the entire ordinance stretches to just 200 pages and has barely changed in 60 years.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #16

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Electric Avenue
What with our splendid public transport system and the high costs of parking, fuel, maintenance, licensing, insurance, registration and tolls, you’d think opting to drive would be the reserve of planet-loathing egomaniacs. And you’d not be wrong, as only 5.3% of Hong Kongers own a vehicle in this, a city built around the automobile.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #15

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Stopping the traffic
Since the 1922 seamen strike, Hong Kongers have long expressed their grievances and achieved results through protest. Our lack of a voice at the ballot box means over 3,800 public rallies and protest meetings are held annually in the territory. This can make it difficult to catch the attention of the guilty parties being targeted, let alone the fickle mass media.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #14

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Petty politics
The pro-Beijing DAB may dominate LEGCO seats but their recent behaviour suggests they might be a couple of roast ducks short of a buffet. This summer, they called a press conference to reveal local up-skirt exposure black spots. This highly comprehensive list, which pinpointed public places whereby Peeping Toms can spy on women, happened to double splendidly as a list of public places for Peeping Toms to spy on women. Perhaps we should also expect a handy list of dodgy websites we definitely shouldn’t visit?


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #13

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Maid in the Mainland
Was I right to feel like some idle, neo-colonial taskmaster in hiring a domestic helper for a day, or was I just being a wet hippy? Despite being wrought with guilt after asking a friend’s maid to tackle my grimy kitchen, the penny dropped when she repeatedly thanked me for the extra work. Somehow, I only then realised that migrant domestic workers wanted to be employed, and employers wanted to employ them – something I was blinded to amidst the politics.