Mind the Gap: What is the one thing that scares you most and why?

Each week, we present the same question to three people from three very different generations. This week…

Joshua Lee |

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Angelina Wang, 16, Chinese International School

Whether it’s online or in real life, we’re constantly interacting with people. We’re surrounded by people on a daily basis. But what happens when we lose this? My biggest fear: loneliness.

Don’t get me wrong; I know that spending time on your own is good for personal growth. But being alone isn’t the same as loneliness. Loneliness is bleak and desolate.

Roman Catholic nun Mother Teresa once said that “loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty”. Imagine all the best moments of your life. If you take away everyone but yourself from that memory, would those moments still be worth cherishing? At the end of our lives, what do we desire more: time spent with our family and friends, or time spent by ourselves?

In a city like Hong Kong with all its many ways of communicating, it’s super simple to get in touch with someone at any given moment. I think we have to learn how to overcome the feeling of loneliness that comes with being deprived of human interaction.

Mind the Gap: What superpower would you want for a day, and why?

Leaf Chong, 27, interior designer

It has to be frogs! I have been afraid of them more or less since I was a baby. They are the creepiest creatures in the world and I can’t bear to look at them, let alone touch them.

Although frogs mostly stay still and do nothing, you never know when they might decide to suddenly jump. Every time I look directly into their big beady eyes, I feel as if they are about to swallow me.

I also hate their wet, slimy skin. Do you know why their skin is so moist? It’s because they breathe through it! I find that disgusting.

Despite my fear, however, I actually find frogs really tasty when they’re cooked. When I was young, my mum always served what we call “farm chicken” in Chinese. My mum would trick me by telling me that I was eating chicken, and I believed her. I just thought it was a very small, delicious chicken. If you haven’t tried frog, you really should.

Mind the Gap: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

Carol Chau, 51, housewife

My biggest fear is clowns. It started when I was a teenager, when my friends and I thought it was cool to watch scary films together.

In one movie we watched, there was a scene where a little girl is sleeping in bed, when she is woken up by a sudden noise. Then, a clown doll jumps out from underneath the bed. I was terrified. So, not only am I afraid of clowns, I’m also afraid of clown dolls, because I am worried they will suddenly come to life.

A lot of people seem to think clowns are really funny and entertaining, but I simply don’t understand this. Their smiles are drawn on with face paint, and you know that beneath this, they are either unhappy or hiding bad thoughts. I prefer real happiness, not just fake smiles.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge