Ham-fisted UK politicians, high-risk Hong Kong hamsters and (almost) a flying Kiwi

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Grounded since last August, I’m fast morphing into my home country’s native bird, a Kiwi that can’t fly. The emergence of the Omicron variant in the community and a new Delta outbreak means that the chances of any easing of Hong Kong’s tough inbound quarantine regulations are between slim and none. And Slim, as the old adage goes, just left town.

Still, it could be worse. I could be a hamster. To much hilarity across much of the world – but absolutely none among local pet shop proprietors, hamster owners and, most of all I assure you, the local hamster community – Hong Kong health authorities have ordered the culling of all hamsters bought after 22 December. Most of the circa 2,000 cute little rodents were imported from the Netherlands, some carrying the Omicron variant (clearly none flew Delta), which presumably explains why they are now being turned into hamster jam.

You couldn’t make this stuff up. What a crazy mixed-up world. Ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair gets a Knighthood a couple of decades after lying to the people about weapons of mass destruction and instead playing a critical role in the mass destruction of Iraqi and British lives ever since. Still, that seems to be serial behaviour among British leaders as the current incumbent, Boris in Blunderland Johnson, breaks all his and his government’s lockdown rules in the national interest of attending drinks parties while awaiting an inquiry to check whether he was there. As a result he is facing calls to resign not only from opposition politicians but also from his own Conservative Party, which just confirms my long-held belief that the current batch of Tories are revolting.

 

Supporting our industry one final time…

Like a couple of Hong Kong hamsters desperately clutching onto their exercise wheel as the men in hamstermat, sorry hazmat, suits come to take them away, Boris is hanging on like grim death. Seems rather unjust that all those cute family pets are about to meet their maker while such a dirty rat survives. Such is the inequity of life. Better it seems to be ham-fisted than hamster.

For now, the closest I am going to get to an overseas trip is on a ferry ride to Central or, as happened yesterday, to Mui Wo on Lantau island. In fact it was multiple ferry rides as in order to meet my lunch appointment I had to island hop from Discovery Bay to Peng Chau and on to Mui Wo. On a gorgeously warm Hong Kong day when the sunlight shimmered and swayed like an illuminated tango dancer on the waters, I turned my marine transport into an Interim Moodie Davitt Bureau, trying mostly in vain not to be consumed by the scenery while sailing to and from my meeting.

It was almost like old times. A return trip in quickfire time. Transit stopovers. Even a lounge (of sorts). An enjoyable business lunch with a fellow travel retail executive. And without a single flight delay. Ok, there was no onboard catering nor duty free and I did encounter as you will see a local corona case. But for sure a day to count one’s good fortune living here in beautiful Hong Kong. Unless, that is, you’re a hamster.

Waiting in the departures zone
Not a flying Kiwi perhaps but at least it is an overseas trip
The Moodie Davitt Report Interim Marine Bureau is open but can I focus on work amid all that beauty?
Arriving at my transit port in Peng Chau
Into the lounge pre-flight
Safety instructions carefully followed
All passengers may board now
After a smooth flight with no turbulence, I have reached my destination
Parking revenues are critical to the contemporary transport infrastructure operator
Heading towards my downtown destination
Time to rest up after all the stress of travel
And time to chill out…
Homeward bound: Could Constable or Turner have painted a more perfect sky?
Passengers wait patiently in the departures hall at my transit hub
Oh no, a case (at least) of Corona spotted en route…

My chosen transit hub operates a dual arrivals and departures zone: Boarding call for the final leg
But why not wait in the lounge a little longer?
Final call
Homeward bound
An image that encapsulates the beauty of travel
Passengers can even stop off at the local Trappist monastery
Journey’s end

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