My brother and sister arrived into Hong Kong today. They are here for week. If I am honest, I was getting more and more nervous about them being in Hong Kong with the way things were going. After 1st October when that guy was shot by the police officer, things have sort of spiralled out of control.
Today was also the day they announced the emergency law against wearing face masks in gatherings. People were not happy.
The protests started around 3 PM just as they were about to announce the law. Fruitbat and Sis were scheduled to arrive into Hong Kong around 7 PM.
Protests started to get … more aggressive pretty quickly. People were out on the streets even before the law was formally announced. Police were firing tear gas, and people were angry.
As it got darker, it only got worse (in terms of escalation on all sides).
I went to the airport to pick them up. I was worried about possibility of roadblocks and the like since that had happened in the past. There have been a couple of times the airport was shut down due to protests and the resulting police confrontation.
For me though, there were no issues. I got on the bus, and rode all the way to the airport happily listening to my music. I got there earlier than I needed to, so I got off the bus at Terminal 1, just to take a look around. I had heard that no one but people with boarding passes could get in the airport. I was kind of curious to see what that looked like. Well, it look s like this.
Massive water filled barricades outside every door into the airport. Only a few had an actual entrance, and tonight, only one door was manned by security.
I ended up having to take an airport bus down to the bus terminus to get to the arrivals hall. Again, I wouldn’t be able to enter, but I would be able to wait outside.
My brother and sister arrived, and it took them awhile to get through immigration. I was waiting outside and getting more and more nervous as I watched the live streams.
Near us, at Sha Tin, there had been a lot of activity in terms of protests. They were generally not making their way up to Ma On Shan, where we live, but it was only a matter of time.
I was able to get my siblings and called a GoGoVan. I thought taking a bus would be fine until watching the live streams. I just wanted to get them home as quickly as I could. We were able to get a van pretty fast and were on our way to Ma On Shan. Surprisingly, the GoGoVan driver took us right through Sha Tin (where I knew things were going south). There was a massive protest within the main mall there, and the train station was being simultaneously burned and flooded as we drove by. Luckily, all we were able to see were the fire trucks outside the station as we passed.
We made it to Ma On Shan pretty quickly after that. The kids were so happy to see my siblings. B was at my flat with the kids. Everyone spent time talking and catching up.
It was about 10:30 PM when Fruitbat decided to head off to his hotel. We had been watching the MTR app all night as each station was closed down due to the escalation. So far, the Ma On Shan line had not been effected. He only needed to go two stops from us, so it wasn’t too far. We started walking towards the MTR station and were halfway there when I received the alert that all of the MTR was now shut down.
We headed to the bus stop to see if that would work. I checked the app, and it said buses were still running. We waited for a bus. There were about 3 that would take him within a very short distance of his hotel. I watched the app times and nothing was showing up. In fact, we hadn’t seen any buses the whole time we were there.
We went back to my compound and attempted to get a taxi. Because his hotel was so close to Sha Tin, they refused to take us. It got to the point that the app to call a taxi shut down as well. I tried GoGoVan. No luck.
Fruitbat and I returned to my flat. B had the idea that we would walk there. I live very close to the promenade, and you can walk along the river. It will take you to where his hotel was. So B went with Fruitbat and me, so he could walk back with me and I wouldn’t be alone (not that I was really all that worried. Hong Kong is still ridiculously safe).
We got Fruitbat to his hotel. It was a 45 minute walk there. We tried to call another taxi from the hotel, but they still weren’t picking people up. And the couple that we did see, didn’t seem willing to take anyone. B and I walked back to my flat.
Luckily, it was a nice night. It was pretty quiet considering the chaos not even a mile away. B and I got back to my flat around 1 in the morning. It was an exhausting day. Unfortunately, B was also not able to get to his home. Near where he lives now is a hotbed for protests due to the events of 31st August in Prince Edward Station. So he was stuck with us for the night.
I am just happy everyone was safe, and they were able to get here without too many issues. I can’t wait for this week.