On our 2nd evening in Hong Kong we found ourselves in protracted financial negotiations over a ‘must-have’ consumer item. The politesse of the moment involved intermittent departures from the matter in hand for exchanges of personal information. The young vendor, who turned out came from Bangladesh, surprised Brainme by stating that he wished that he could live in the UK. I asked him why he felt this way, when he was in fact living in such a fast-moving and dynamic economic environment. The reply he came up with I found quite surprising: “Chinese brain, no good….duplicate brain. UK brain, original brain”. I have since pondered on this street-level reply, especially given my somewhat gloomy expectations for the economic and political future of this country. Whereas I don’t, for a moment, give credence to a Darwinist interpretation of his thoughts, it has prompted hopes that perhaps there is indeed something unique in the UK culture which is creatively competitive and which can see us by for a little while longer.

This is the last in the ‘Hong Kong section’ of my retrospective postings, based around our 2012 trip. After 2 days in Hong Kong, we took the Big Bird on to New Zealand, a country very close to my heart. But more on that later……

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