Zombie Week

In HK, the Chinese New Year holiday is over, but in the Mainland it continues for at least the rest of the week. This means that my nice quiet island is still overrun with Mainland Zombies, even though its residents have returned to work. The main pedestrian arteries are clogged with peripherally challenged, personal spatially unaware MZs whose interaction with the world is mediated through the lenses and screens of their smartphones, unless of course one hand is occupied running into feet with a trolley while the other is busy poking faces with a rain-or-shine umbrella, necessitating pocketing of the phone/camera and frequent abrupt stops to take it out. The way they move really is classically zombiesque: a la the kind that spontaneously form a slow-moving herd, each member with eyes averted, facing every direction except the direction the MZ is tottering in (not to be mistaken for the fast, purposive kind Will Smith or Brad Pitt have had to contend with in recent years).

This week, if I’m gonna get to the ferry pier on time and not decapitate any MZs (oddly, this remains illegal in HK, despite widespread public support), I need to leave about 5 minutes earlier than usual. Also, if I’m going to sit anywhere visible from the main road, particularly with a dog, I’m gonna be in a lot of photos. (I saw a white man with a dog apparently makes for an incredible story back in the Mainland, and it requires photographic corroboration.) As I sit and eat my breakfast, periodically projecting my WTF-face onto touch screens, all I really want is some sign of embarrassment for their disturbance and objectification of my daily routine, some expressive evidence of fully-functional mirror neurons, some acknowledgement of our shared humanity. I think I’d have about the same luck with actual zombies.


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