From: Mr. Carrie Lam

Government House

Lower Albert Rd

Hong Kong

 

Dear Clement,

I know it’s been a while, but the past few months have been awfully exciting, what with God summoning my one and only to CE-ship of Hong Kong, she hearing his call, and having 777 of the election committee answer His summons. Though I’m not a number theorist, I can’t help but observe that 777’s prime factors are 3, 7 and 37, so lots of 3s and 7s no matter how you cut it. The Holy Trinity and the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelations all rolled into one, if you go for that kind of thing.

It would be remiss of me not to tell you of the Inauguration, though I was somewhat relegated to the sidelines. Between you and me, I found President Xi (I was told “x” is pronounced “sh” in their language, so his name is pronounced “she”) a little brusque. When I told him I study algebraic topology, he seemed non-plussed so I explained, as I often have to, that I study mathematical doughnuts. He responded by introducing me to a business magnate who operates a supermarket with a bakery chain, saying that we should “get connected,” whatever that means.

Anyway, Xi went on to give what sounded like a fine speech which confirmed that two systems supervenes on one country. All very fierce and I only wish my Mandarin was good enough to have understood any of it. My one and only, however, seemed quite bouyed, and was quick to point out that her predecessor didn’t receive the honour of a state visit. After that and the tea and biscuits, it was off to look at half-finished roads, bridges, tunnels and what-not. I didn’t quite see the point as most of them go from nowhere to nowhere, but President Xi seemed duly impressed.

Then of course came the removal to Government House. I feared it would be haunted by the ghosts of dead governors but, to the contrary, it’s been quite pleasant, not least because, with my one and only’s limitations regarding domestic stock-keeping arrangements and the consequent lack of toilet paper, I’d become rather fed up with having to clean up down below with kitchen paper, old newspapers, government gazettes, policy documents and whatever other scraps I could find lying around. I wouldn’t say it’s quite the same as our modest semi-detached in Cambridge, and the assorted lackies can get under one’s feet, but it’s an improvement over the nondescript days of serviced apartments.

As soon as the move was over – well, if China treats all its Nobel Laureates like that, no wonder it has so few of them. I mean, they seem to be have thought that stage four liver cancer is akin to a head cold, and that a hot water bottle and an aspirin will see it off and poor old Liu back in comfortable solitary confinement in two shakes. And then he goes and carks on them. All the more surprising as, aside from a surprising innuendo to the effect that my son’s rather well-remunerated position at a Chinese Internet company was secure only for so long as my one and only resolved Hong Kong’s internal contradictions, Xi had seemed the decent type.

Of course, as Legco amply demonstrates, in logic one can prove anything from a contradiction. With Liu keeping the international press distracted, they didn’t notice my one and only’s alacrity in having the courts toss out another four of those contradictions, with the rest of the so-called pan-democrats on final notice. As my sweetness and light says, the way to heal a divided society is to remove the dividers.

Interesting times, and it’s a curse to live in them. But, the butler’s arrived with a fresh toilet roll, so I must be off,

Yours,

兆波


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