Just occasionally, ever since I was a small boy with a vivid imagination – and rather in the style of mountaineer George Mallory who is said to have replied “Because it’s there” when asked why he wished to climb Mount Everest – I have actively considered making a pilgrimage to Hong Kong. It wouldn’t even matter if this was in the form of a short stop-over on the way elsewhere.
During its years as a British colony, right up to the ceremonial hand-over on 1st July 1997, I was intrigued by its image as a barnacle of incongruous free-market capitalism on the hull of the vast socialist state that was China under Chairman Mao. All I read in the media, saw on film and heard from friends who had visited, or worked, there was romantic, fascinating and compelling.
As it is, now in my seventh decade and finding myself with a little bit of time upon my hands to go with my residual wanderlust, I have decided to take the plunge.
Later this morning I shall be travelling to Heathrow in order to board the British Airways midday flight to Hong Kong, thus fulfilling an ambition that I have had for five decades or more.
Who knows, maybe I shall have the opportunity to make a little money whilst I am there – see here, on the website of THE INDEPENDENT