I applied online for the government’s $5,000 consumption vouchers on the first day of registration, choosing my Octopus card to receive the money. I thought registering would be a “breeze” because the government said it would take a few minutes for those who had applied online for last year’s $10,000 cash payout, which I did. The government said such people would only have to provide personal details and answer two security questions related to last year’s online registration for $10,000. When I went to the government’s website, a countdown clock appeared, giving me 30 minutes to complete the process. The registration was a “breeze” at first but I soon had to “jump through hoops”.
The word “breeze” used this way means something that is easy to do. The expression “jump through hoops” means having to do a lot of difficult or unnecessary things to achieve something. After filling in personal details, I had to click a box that said “I am not a robot”. When I clicked it, a number of unclear pictures appeared asking me to click those with buses. This happened about four times during the registration. I had to click pictures with trees, bicycles, and so on. I finished the registration in 20 minutes but knew other applicants would complain about having to “jump through hoops”.
There were numerous complaints the next day. The government agreed to reduce the number of “I am not a robot” boxes and increased the countdown clock to 45 minutes. Why does our government always make things so complicated? Hong Kong’s quarantine rules are a joke. People must quarantine for 21 days, 14 days, or seven days depending on which country they are returning from and if they have been fully vaccinated. I am fully vaccinated but must still quarantine for seven days if I return from the US. What’s the point of being vaccinated if you still have to quarantine? Hong Kong University disease expert Professor Ben Cowling has said many times the rule makes no sense. I agree.
政府的五千元消費券首日開始登記時，我已上網申請，並選擇以八達通卡收取那筆錢。我以為整個登記程序會是易如反掌（breeze），因為政府說過，曾上網申請過上年一萬元現金發放計劃的人士，今次登記只需要幾分鐘，而我上年有申請計劃。政府說，這些人士只需提供一些個人資料，及回答兩條有關上年上網登記一萬元發放的保安問題。當我上政府網頁時，一個倒數計時器出現，給我三十分鐘去完成整個程序。登記手續初時着實簡易（breeze），但很快我便需要跨越重重關卡（jump through hoops）。
Breeze一字在這裏是指輕而易舉的事。習語“jump through hoops”是指要克服重重障礙或不必要的關卡，才能達成某事。當我填完個人資料後，我需要剔選一個「我不是機器人」的小格子，一剔過後，畫面顯示一系列模糊的圖片，要求我剔選有巴士的圖像。在登記程序中，這一類驗證出現了約四次，我需要剔選有樹、單車或其他事物的圖片。我最終花了二十分鐘完成登記，但我知道其他申請人必會投訴要如此克服重重障礙（jump through hoops）。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧