Two, sometimes three times a day, Mr Ha calls my smartphone and demands to talk to a Mr Ho. It seems that Mr Ho owes a lot of money to somebody who has tasked Mr Ha with getting it. How Mr Ha got hold of my number is a mystery, and a very annoying one, but you have to admire the man’s persistence. Mr Ha has multiple phone numbers at his disposal. If I block one, he uses another. Sometimes I answer and explain in English and Cantonese words of one syllable that I am not Mr Ho. Mr Ha then rings off. If I don’t answer, he leaves a voicemail, filling the system to the brim in a couple of days. I diverted the smartphone to my landline which is not connected to voicemail. Unperturbed, Mr Ha found a way to leave a message directly on the smartphone. Sometimes, with more than a hint of menace, Mr Ha gloatingly announces he is going to take legal action to recover the missing millions. I haven’t calculated precisely how much time all this has wasted – stopping what I’m doing to look at the phone when it rings, occasionally conversing with Mr Ha, deleting voicemails, etc – but it must be getting on for several hours. Whatever the total, the situation’s more Funny Peculiar than Funny Ha-ha. In idle moments I sometimes ponder how Mr Ha spends his downtime, what his life goals might be, and whether he has cosy how-did-your-day-go chats with his partner over the supper table (“Only got sworn at 15 times today”; “Thought you were looking a bit more cheerful.”). At others, I wonder if this might be some sort of convoluted phishing operation. Whatever Mr Ha’s motivation, it raises questions about technology’s impact on our day-to-day lives. Chunky debt collectors used to hammer on your door at odd hours of the day (or so I’m told) but you could always hide and pretend not to be in. As far as Mr Ha is concerned, I’m permanently in and at his beck and call, rain or shine, weekday or weekend, and he probably has some sort of computerised dialling system at his disposal. If anyone has got a solution to this unwarranted form of digital bullying, please feel free to give me a ring. On second thoughts, write a letter and post it (with a stamp) c/o South China Morning Post .