My last piece of sentimentality about my trip to Hong Kong, and my trip to Number 8 Old Peak Road, where I used to live happily on the fifteenth floor.

*      *      *

I took a walk down to the park at the bottom of the street and walked back up, mainly to see how different the walk was as an adult. It was different, shorter than I remembered. I was waiting in the lobby while the security people called me a taxi.

A minibus pulled into the courtyard. The kind of small bus you only see in Asia. It discharged two boys, obviously brothers, both as pale-skinned and blue-eyed as any British you will ever see, along with a Malaysian or Phillippine looking woman, his ‘oma’, who was watching over them.

The older boy looked about seven, the younger was probably five. The older one was holding an airplane made out of two pieces of balsa wood, probably made in school that day. As he climbed up the stairs the balding Chinese security guard with the glasses came out to greet him. He pointed to the plane and said, “Whoa-ah!” The boy held up the plane and moved it around cautiously, looking at the guard. The guard said something in Chinese. The boy looked at him uncertainly, continued to move the plane around. The guard made noises like a machine gun: “Chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh.” The boy smiled, but he still wasn’t sure. He followed his oma inside.

They all walked to the elevator. The guard still pointing to the plane and saying things in Chinese. The boy still looking uncertain, still slowly waving the plane in front of him. Just before the elevator came he pointed to the guard and said, “You’re bad. My plane.” Then he smiled as the elevator doors opened and he dramatically jumped inside, escaping the strange-looking giant who threatened his airplane. The guard laughed too.

The elevator closed, and they all went home.

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