So we’re back in HK and it’s a warm Sunday morning. We know Monday is going to be a long day – exploring Stanley, Repulse Bay and Victoria Peak – so today we decide to meet Jane’s parents at the Best of British Food Festival. We woke up a little late and missed the complimentary breakfast (that runs to 10:30am) so snacked on the free fruit provided to the room!
It was around lunchtime when we left the hotel and knew that the Food Festival wasn’t too far away. We’d planned to meet Sandy and Percy there at some point in the afternoon.
Alas, it wasn’t that simple. On arriving at Admiralty Station we noticed an unusually large amount of people milling around. We somewhat thought nothing of it and continued towards Tamar Park. People, people, everywhere, and not a space to walk!
This afternoon was so bizarre, so frustrating. We reluctantly walked amongst a large anti-Hong Kong independence protest crowd as we headed from our hotel through Admiralty MTR Station to the Best of British Festival at Tamar Park. The group rallied right next door outside the Legislative Council Complex. This was a professionally-organized demonstration, with a large stage and jumbletrons, attended by pro-Beijing city councilors. I realized now I had heard the soundcheck when I first woke in our hotel room. In the crowd were middle-aged men and women, some elderlies, even kids were brought along. I'm not for either side, but I simply don't understand what any of them have to gain by being pro-China. What do they believe the Chinese government is doing/will do to protect their interests? Is it that they are an older generation afraid of change? They have zero care for democracy? Do they realize they're voicing their support against having a voice? It was ironic attending a festival celebrating Britain next to a protest in support of China in a city caught in political turmoil as a result of the two. As with much of the world, this city isn't going to heal anytime soon. . . . . . . . #hongkong #hk #hk🇭🇰 #🇭🇰 #hkg #hongkonger #protest #hkprotest #hongkongprotest #hongkongprotests #admiralty #tamarpark #hkcentral #hongkongcentral #travel #travels #traveler #travelers #traveller #travellers #travelpic #travelpics #travellove #travellover #travellust #wanderlust #travelgram #travelphotography #cbgtoyyz #djasia2016
At the station we caught a break and actually found Jane’s parents within the masses. We later realised that the crowds were on their way to a demonstration – right next to the Food Festival we were targeting!
I’ll let Jane explain the motive for the protests:
A week ago (the Sunday we had spent at Disneyland), there was a large pro-democracy protest in Central in support of two 20-something year olds who became the center of a massive political controversy in Hong Kong. They were invited to become lawmakers, but had included anti-China insults in their oaths to join the legislature, to which Beijing decided to intervene and deny the legitimacy of their swearing-in. This time, the protest was a pro-China, anti-independence one. The crowd consisted of mostly middle-aged or elderly men and women, some of whom brought their kids or grandkids. There are rumours they were paid to be there, since the event was attended by government officials and appeared to be backed by Beijing. It certainly appeared far too organized and large-scaled (read: expensive!) to be an independently-run protest.
We fought our way along the streets and through the bodies until we reached Tamar Park. Jane had wanted to visit this area one day and take some pictures of the interesting architecture. Today was not that day – all sculptures were covered in people, banners… and just stuff.
We reached the Food Festival (eventually) and picked up some food tickets – the 20s had the Queen on them, and the 10s had an attempt at Harry Potter.
Jane’s first pick was a traditional English sausage in a bun (essentially a premium hotdog) so she quickly joined the queue of 15 people. A long queue is a good sign, right?
While she waited I scoured the other vendors and grabbed a Jamie Oliver scotch egg, and a chicken tikka dish.
I came back to Jane (now a little closer to the front of her line) and we polished off the first two dishes. I have to say, the curry was fantastic!
Spoiler: The hotdog wasn’t worth the wait unfortunately, but it rounded off a fairly substantial lunch.
The area was decorated with an attempt at being British, and we had some fun in front of the step-and-repeat boards.
In search of a drink, we were told they’d run out of most things (it’s only 5pm by now, and this thing is supposed to run to 11pm) so we settled on gin and sprite.
Later in the evening we walked along the harbour and then met Jane’s aunt for dinner.
Today had been fairly relaxed – Busy day tomorrow, time to rest.