At the moment I am in Hong Kong and everything I see is a world of incredible organization. Public toilets are cleaned every hour. Staff seem very well trained. A typhoon is expected. In the early afternoon it was a level 3. It is interesting to see the reactions and behaviours of people around me. When asked at the hotel lobby about the typhoon, I was told not to worry and that sometimes people like to go to the harbour and put their arms wide and sing like Michael Jackson. The staff and people I talk to appear very calm about matters, and so, myself am calm too.
The hotel has advisories not to go out and by 8pm I receive a message from the hotel ‘kindly be informed that the Hong Kong Observatory has hoisted a Typhoon Signal No.8’ In order to protect yourself from any personal injury, please do not leave the hotel under these severe weather conditions’. What do I do? I go outside off course at 8.30 pm and walk outside the hotel and life seems to go on as normal.
Outside, the shops were busy with people stocking water and food. I bought a few bananas, water, some snacks, breakfast cereal. It seems banal, irrelevant but at another level something I must do, just in case the hotel is affected. There are far fewer cars. People are still going about their business. Even now, a few different people approach me to sell authentic ‘genuine copies’ of Rolexes, some others asked if I wanted a tailor. It is ironic, I can still buy watches and have a suit made in the midst of a level 8 typhoon warning. The hotel is not far from the harbour. The leaves of the trees are moving a little. It is raining a little too. It seems the quiet before the storm. Sometimes, is life a little like this? There is the madness of the outside world. The reality of what each of us is experiencing and then the reality that does or does not happen? When I return to the entrance of the hotel they seem to want me to wrap my umbrella in plastic so that it does not drain onto the floor of the hotel. It seems odd, worrying about water and the rain messing up the floor when a typhoon is due, but life goes on doesn’t it?