Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - a shadow of its former self|又中又英

When I was a primary school student living in Tsim Sha Tsui, I took the Star Ferry to school on Hong Kong side. All the ferries had names, such as Meridian Star and Celestial Star. My school friends and I remembered all the names. We tried to guess which one would arrive to take us across the harbour. The Star Ferry is a Hong Kong icon. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who was development secretary in 2007, turned my stomach when she pushed for the Hong Kong side Star Ferry Pier to be demolished to make way for a highway. She was also responsible for the demolition of Queen’s Pier, another Hong Kong icon.

The Star Ferry and Queen’s Pier were part of my growing up. Before I left Hong Kong a year and a half ago to return to the US, I rode the Star Ferry’s upper and lower decks numerous times to recapture my youth. The Star Ferry is now a shadow of its former self. It is unprofitable because tourists are not visiting Hong Kong and locals prefer the MTR. It wants government permission to increase fares. A Hong Kong icon would die if the Star Ferry decided to shut down. If something turns your stomach it means you feel angry or sick about something.

To recapture your youth means to try to remember or bring back your younger days. A shadow of your former self means you are less important or powerful than before. There are many ways to make the Star Ferry profitable and important like before. People who read my columns are smart with ideas. Please share them. Don’t let the Star Ferry die.

當我還是小學生,住在尖沙嘴之時,我會乘搭天星小輪到港島的學校上學。所有小輪都有名字,例如「午星」和「天星」。我和我的同窗朋友們會記得所有的名字,我們會嘗試猜猜是哪一艘抵岸接我們過海。天星小輪是香港的標誌。二〇〇七年林鄭月娥為時任發展局局長,當她推動拆卸港島的天星碼頭以讓路興建高速公路時,實在令我反胃(turned my stomach)。而另一個香港的標誌——皇后碼頭的拆卸,同樣是由她負責的。

天星碼頭和皇后碼頭是我成長的一部份。當我在年半前離開香港回到美國時,我乘搭天星小輪上層和下層無數遍,去重溫青春舊夢(recapture my youth)。天星小輪現時已大不如前(a shadow of its former self)。它並不賺錢,因為沒有遊客到港,而本地人都情願搭港鐵。它想獲得政府批准加價。如果天星小輪決定結束營運,一個香港標誌就會沒落。若某事turns your stomach,即是指你對某事感到憤怒或反感。

To recapture your youth就是嘗試去記起或喚起年輕日子的回憶。A shadow of your former self是指你已不復當年勇,沒有從前般重要或具影響力。要令天星小輪像從前般賺錢和重要,有許多方法。讀我這個專欄的讀者們都是聰明而滿有想法的,請分享你的點子,不要讓天星小輪死去。mickchug@gmail.com
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧