Hong Kong 1967: Summer of discontent

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  • Published 20071204
  • ISBN: 9780733321276
  • Extent: 280 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

PERHAPS I SHOULD have seen a portent in the entrails, but I could divine only horror from the scene. We’d come home from a pleasant Chinese New Year lunch to find our backyard had become a charnel house. The chickens which had arrived that morning had been slaughtered; their decapitated, plucked bodies now lay in a small fleshy pile on the concrete.

At the Chinese New Year open house at our home in Kowloon Tong that day in early 1967 – the dawning of the Year of the Ram – my father had doled out, in customary red packets, bonuses to the top men in his construction company. In response they showered him with gifts; no gold, frankincense or myrrh, but plenty of cigars, brandy, dried beef and other food of doubtful provenance and the chickens, in several clucking bags.

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