10 ways in which we can make room for all those children now the one-child policy is lifted
Potentially, there will be 56 million mini-mainlanders to be phased in over the course of the next year
Ah, it has long been said that the world is but a small place and one getting smaller by the minute. That’s a particularly alarming notion given that the mainland Mandarins have now decreed that ever larger proportions of it will be taken up by diminutive Chinese folk. Children that is, not those born vertically-challenged thanks to something toxic wafting in from Guangdong way.
Assuming there’s now 1.4 billion Chinese, give or take a little hukou fast and loosery, let’s say just 4% opt to install bunkbeds over the next 12 months. That’s 56 million mini-mainlanders to be phased in the course of the next year. That’s roughly two North Koreas. And the one we already have seems a little superfluous.
The truth is something has to go. If we’re going to make way for the enhanced progeny of the Middle Kingdom’s middle classes, we’re going to have to dispense with many of those already blocking the ginnels and byways of the workaday world. Fortunately, there’s many that are clearly only far too surplus for requirements, current or future. Handily, I have a little list, which I always keep about my person, which highlights just where we could find the extra acreage required for the imminent arrival of all these bouncing baby Beijingers and little Dalian darlings.
Even before they were so last year, they were so 1950’s Amish. “Look at me I can grow facial hair, while failing to manifest any trace of individuality or wit.” Get them on the van. They won’t be missed.
2) Anyone with a dog smaller than six inches in length
Real dogs bark, chase stuff and intimidate those with reprehensible intentions toward your valuables or person. The GM dogs favoured by high-rise Hong Kongers would only deter a home invader if they accidentally swallowed one. These furry fashion accessories are an insult to canine kind. And so are their owners. Room at the back there. Next to the hipsters.
Like Guinness and China-Posted cut glass, the American doesn’t travel well. Perfectly affable in their home country, arrival in Asia or Europe sees them fret about the plugs being the wrong shape and suddenly take on a mission to teach the world’s pensioners and kids to high-five. It’s not much of a cultural legacy, frankly, but best not to mention that I find. You with the crap dogs. Move over a bit.
4) PR people
Once upon a time, no-one knew how to PR. It was automatically assumed that “new and improved” marked progress. Not marketing. Now even a back street da pai dong brands its broth with bravado, while its congee is deemed incomparable. As we are all masters of homespun spin, the professionals – and I use the term as loosely as the most louche of dictionaries would possible allow – can squeeze in among the high-fivers with the baseball caps.
5) Rich kids
For every westerner who comes to Hong Kong to make their fortune, there’s half a dozen more that come to spend daddy’s. The novel they are writing, the app they are refining or the East-West relations they are seeking to improve, well, they will all remain mythical. Pretty much like their ability to buy a round or share an anecdote not related to a recent personal triumph. God bless them – supporting themselves across Asia with only a saxophone and a trust fund to their name. Mind the mini-mongrels and keep the self-aggrandisement down to 11 if possible.
6) Anyone who has ever shared a cat picture on Facebook
Deserving of even less regard than a bowdlerised bow-wow is a memed moggie. Whether a sanguine Siamese or a belligerent Burmese, sharing needles is preferable to sharing a photoshopped feline. Get in there, behind the hirsute chin brigade.
7) Single issue folk
Anything taken to an extreme enough extreme is indistinguishable from insanity. Anyone who can, in two apparently logical steps, turn any conversation to climate change or cod fishing is to be avoided with the utmost prejudice. You can sit next to the PR wallahs. You deserve one another.
8) Toss-of-the-coin journos
In Asia, native English speakers can reinvent themselves as whatever they want to be. How come, then, it’s always either a TEFL teacher or a journo? Just because you were born eight time zones away, it doesn’t make you an expert on communicating the intricacies of the irregular verb. Nor does it entitle you to share your views on Hong Kong cinema in 110-word sentences. And what’s the difference between a blogger and a journo? That’ll be not getting daddy to pay your rent.
9) Anyone who has ever persuaded you to go to Lan Kwai Fong. Ever.
Going to LKF of an evening is a Rite of Passage, one best illustrated by reference to sweetcorn and the alimentary canal, although you are unlikely to endure in such a notably robust fashion. Resist any such blandishments likely to procure you D’Aguilar-wards and report any would-be Wyndham Street sirens to the relevant authorities.
10) Returning Asians
Simultaneously looking down on their compatriots, after completing a dental degree in Denver, while despising being out-whited by every Asian-adventuring Caucasian, Returning Asians don’t quite fit in anywhere. Except maybe there. Just between the Grumpy Cat acolytes and the Climate Change evangelists.
I would urge all concerned to take these suggested amendments to HK society very seriously indeed. With the new family-friendly CPC committed to keeping more bums on workbenches than could be usefully provided by the combined might of Vietnam and the Subcontinent, the Four or Five Child Policy might only be a National Congress or two away. Then there might not even be room for lovely useful folk. Like our very good selves.