Mainlanders

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.

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Lunch Break

A summer afternoon in the life of a Hongkonger.

Photo by David Clarke on Unsplash

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.

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