A story about the difference between being Chinese and Ethnic Chinese.
At the China Tang restaurant in Hong Kong’s central business district, Tong Hwee Peng and Stephanie Kuok sat at an elegantly set table inside one of the private dining rooms. Hwee Peng had flown in from Singapore yesterday afternoon. She was the first to arrive, and had ordered a bottle of Moët & Chandon Brut Rosé, their favourite. Stephie had landed on a flight from Kuala Lumpur a few hours ago. With her suitcase in tow, she showed up 15 minutes after Hwee Peng. She hugged her friend, proclaimed she was “starving,” and with her chopsticks, started picking away at the steamed peanuts in the condiment dish near the edge of the marble Lazy Susan.
It was time for Kenny’s lunch break. His bony buttocks, which had been parked in a cheap IKEA swivel chair since 8:35am, felt numb. His eyes ached, and when he closed them, he could still see the bright light of his computer screen emanating from the back of his eyelids. The photo of his wife and two young children, thumbtacked to a corkboard in front of him, was lopsided, so he straightened it. He dislodged himself from his cubicle and made his way out of the building.
Jane likes Thomas better when he’s away. She’ll pout and tell him not to go, but once he’s gone, she breathes easier. There is pleasure in the solitude. Sometimes she drinks half a bottle of wine, and smokes cigarettes in their tiny studio apartment while listening to Björk. She might lip synch in front of the mirror, imagining she’s been abandoned by her lover, though she has not; she just enjoys the melodrama in her head.
Riding on a ferry in Hong Kong of the future, a once promiscuous expatriate has to decide between the old way of freedom with consequences, or the new way of obedience, peace and prosperity.
The ferry engine rumbled to life just as Lori Blanchard was about to start perusing a new client case file. She saw a middle-aged man walking from the bar up the aisle towards her. He had dark blonde hair, and looked like he might have been handsome when he was younger.
An encounter between an out of work Greek and a Jordanian academic presents different perspectives on the European migrant crisis.
The drivers in Athens were on strike, so there were no taxis at Eleftherios Venizelos airport that afternoon. Tariq would have to take the Metro to Syntagma Square. Because he had never been to Athens before, he didn’t know which platform he ought to wait at for the train.