So there we were, all in one place, a generation lost in space, with no time left to start again.
Yu-Ching – also known as Astrid – is Hong Kong people. A friend of mine from a while back. She arrived at our meeting place swinging one of her up-to-season purses, and refusing to set it down next to my 2006 clutch. LOL! Raymond came a little late. He’s Taiwanese, born and raised in Taipei. I – the first one there – am, of course, from the Philippines. And so there we were, forming our own 3-China conference.
Not that we set out to do that. The thing just sort of came up when we realized that we were all of Chinese descent, and all of us living outside the Mainland; kinda representative of everything that our mainland cousins were not, and too opinionated for our own good.
The thing that started us talking along these lines – after about an hour of catching up and what not – was the question of unification. More specifically, the unification of Raymond’s little island with the Big Red across the strait.
Raymond sez: I used to be for it, and then I came into contact with some mainlanders. I realized that we may both be Chinese, but we are not one people. Their culture is very different.
I sez: Obviously. You grew up in a democratic society, and they’re now just experiencing the freedoms that you take for granted. But that shouldn’t be a problem. Look at Astrid.
Astrid sez: Yes, look at me.
Raymond sez: HongKongeese -
Astrid sez: HongKong people
Raymond sez: HongKongese are different. All they really care about is business. As long as the mainland let’s them stay capitalistic, they’re happy. Why do you think pro-democracy movements are so stunted here? A lot of HongKongese just feel that if they rock the boat too much, they’ll be threatening their businesses.
Astrid sez: That’s kinda true. But there are alot of democracy minded people in HongKong, y’know.
Raymond sez: Sure. But not as many as in Taiwan. In Taiwan, people are very interested in the political future. I’ve got nothing against HongKongese. We’re just different. Just like we’re different from mainlanders and from you, Rom.
I sez: Gotta admit, Taiwan’s problems aren’t that talked about in the Philippines. We have our own problems. And anyway I think we have a lot more in common with Hong Kong people than with you guys Ray.
Raymond sez: Exactly.
Astrid sez: Quick, we can still get those Jimmy Choos I saw before the mall closes …
So much for our 3-China conference. But it did give me something to chew on. Raymond’s concern was that Taiwanese were too culturally different from mainlanders. If that were to be considered a valid reason for staying separate, then what does that say about the Muslim separatists back home?
What makes a country a nation?