Monday, 5 May 2014

Wing: Overseas study tour? Disneyland? Until you fit the 'poor' title

Overseas study tour? Disneyland? Until you fit the 'poor' title
Translated by Karen L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)

Hey, Bighead, why are you so late? Come in! Ah Wah opened the metal gate of his flat.

“Wow, Ah Wah, your place is not bad.”

“Yea. The intake was launched last year. How about some PES time first?” Ah Wah switched on the game console next to the television right after he closed the metal gate of his flat. “Sure. By the way, where’d you been in Summer?” asked Ah Wah.

“My father took me to Wetland Park. What about you? Did you go to Disneyland?” Bighead pointed at a Mickey Mouse cap on a side table.

“Yea. Disneyland gave us free tickets. We didn't have to pay for a cent.”

“Eh? I've never been to takes four hundreds something for one...” annoyed Bighead.

Ah Wah resumed, “I also joined an overseas study tour to Germany! Do you still remember that I went to the Lunar New Year Cup early this year for free? I really wanted to watch a soccer game when I was in Germany, but all of them were sold out. Can’t have one even I was willing to pay.”

Ah Wah's mother took out two cans of cola from the kitchen and asked Bighead, “Boy, do you want a cola?” Then she went, “Ah Wah, have you handed in the 'exemption form' to your teacher?”

“Oops, I forgot to.”

“Games, games, games...Then do it tomorrow! Otherwise, you won’t have the school textbook assistance and the subsidy for Internet access charges!”

Bighead stayed till 6 in Ah Wah’s apartment in the public housing estate and went home, an old tenement building in Yau Ma Tei with no elevators. He climbed 7-floor stairs and got home with sweat running down his back as usual. He opened the metal gate of a flat and came to a small butchered room through a crooked corridor.

He got no air con at “home”, so he was going to take a shower to cool himself down. But somehow it happened to run out of water, so he had no choice but to leave the washroom. And then he ran into Mr. Chan, one of his flatmates, who lived in the butchered room next to his. 

“Boy, no water for the whole building today. Gotta clean the water storage tank. Hey, excuse me, I gotta take a leak.” Mr. Chan told Bighead and then rushed in the washroom.

The blues filled in his mind. He lied on bed. Soon later, his father was back, with one hand taking two bags of takeaways for tonight and another hand holding several clumsy thick folders. “Pa, what are these?” said Bighead.

His father replied, “these are some reading materials of the accountant examination,” and handed Bighead one of the takeaways.

After a few bites of meal, Bighead can’t help to ask, “Pa, I wanna go to Disneyland and I wanna watch soccer games in Europe.”

“My boy, If you want to be there, you’ll have to study harder, okay? I've never been to Europe, and I’m still studying to add value to myself, just for a better future.”

“Pa, you have worked day and night, and I have always stayed top 3 in the form. I’m better than Ah Wah, way better! But because his parents got no jobs and enjoyed CSSA, all they need to do is to say it out loud ’We are poor’, and they can have everything. New flat, soccer games for free, Disneyland tickets for free and Community Care Fund to overseas study tour in Europe. All the luxuries you and I would never have, just because of that identity! Why do I have to study harder and harder? All I know is, they've got better lives than we do. Tell me, how can I hope for a ‘better future’ of hard work?”

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