又中又英——mass exodus

  In the wee hours of August 17th, I boarded a red-eye flight for Los Angeles. I saw long lines of people checking in for flights to London. I had read news reports of a mass exodus of Hong Kong people with BNO passports to emigrate to Britain but it was an eye-opener to see it myself. Some of those leaving were comforting tearful parents who had chosen not to leave. Others were taking pictures with their relatives. It was sad to see young and educated people leaving Hong Kong for new lives abroad. The mass exodus will cause a brain drain but I understand their reasons for leaving.

  Many are leaving because they believe the national security law has eroded their freedoms. They want their children to receive a liberal education that promotes free thought. Others are leaving because they feel the government’s policies to fight the coronavirus are too strict. The expression “wee hours” means late at night or early morning. The American slang word “red-eye” means a flight that takes off late at night. The expression “mass exodus” means many people leaving a place at the same time. The word “eye-opener” means a surprising event that helps you learn or understand something more deeply. When a large number of talented people emigrate, it’s called a brain drain.

  Some recognized me from my TV shows, which I no longer do, and asked if I was also emigrating. I explained I have an American passport and wanted to visit relatives in the US. They asked if I planned to return to Hong Kong. I had booked a return ticket because the government said fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents returning from the US with a positive antibody test need only quarantine for one week. But the government now says returnees from the US must quarantine for three weeks. It is insulting for commerce secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah to say Hollywood stars like Nicole Kidman deserve special privileges and need not quarantine but Hong Kong residents must quarantine.

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  在八月十七日的凌晨時份(wee hours),我登上了「紅眼」航班(red-eye)飛往洛杉磯。我在機場見到長長的人龍,待辦飛往倫敦的登機手續。我之前已讀過那些新聞,報道持有英國國民(海外)護照的香港人移居英國的大規模外逃(mass exodus),但到我自己親眼目睹時,才真的大開眼界(eye-opener)。一些離開的人,在安慰他們正在流淚、決定不離開的父母;另一些人則在與親戚合照。見到年輕和受過教育的人離開香港往外地尋求新生活,實在令人傷感。這大規模外逃(mass exodus)會導致香港人才流失(brain drain),但我明白他們離開的原因。

  許多人離開,是因為他們相信《香港國安法》已侵蝕了他們各樣自由,他們希望子女能享受自由的教育,推崇自由思想。另一些人離開,則是因為他們認為政府對抗新冠肺炎疫情的政策過於嚴苛。習語“wee hours”是指午夜或凌晨。美式俚語“red-eye”是指夜間起飛的航班。習語“mass exodus”則指大批人同時出走、逃亡。“Eye-opener”是指令你瞠目咋舌、眼界大開的事物,令你更深入明白一些事情。當有大批人才移民他國,這種人才外流就叫brain drain。

  一些人因為我之前主持、現在已沒有做的電視節目而認得我,問我是否也要移民。我解釋我有美國護照,想往美國探望親友。他們問我是否計劃回港。我有訂了回程機票,因為政府之前說,已完成接種兩劑疫苗,以及抗體測試呈陽性的香港居民,從美國返港只需要隔離檢疫一周。然而,政府現在說,從美國回港人士必須隔離三周。商經局局長邱騰華說,像妮歌潔曼的荷里活巨星,應享有特權而毋須接受隔離,香港居民卻必須隔離檢疫——這是何其侮辱!

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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