Hong Kong

http://www.ypdbooks.com/ebooks/1497-one-thousand-days-in-hong-kong-YPD01693.htmlFaced with a straight choice between a boarding school in England or three years at a British Army School in Hong Kong, Mark Harland chose the latter.

In 1966 Hong Kong was exhilarating, dynamic and evolving into the richest jewel in the British Empire. Across the border, Communist China, the most populous country on earth, was in turmoil with Mao Tse-Tung's Red Guards running amok and maintaining their version of law and order in the most brutal fashion. How did it affect the Crown Colony, a mere pin-prick on the map of the Middle Kingdom?

The author traces his arrival by cargo ship on a steaming hot August night and recounts his memories. Using three consecutive years of progress at St. Georges School in Kowloon as a template for this book, Mark Harland interlinks the everyday events of colonial life into a melange of history, geography and politics.

Whether you have lived in Hong Kong or not, the account of those 'One Thousand Days' will leave you feeling that you, too, crossed the 'Fragrant Harbour' twice a day to attend a school administered by the British Army six thousand miles away from either Agincourt or Aldershot.

1 comment:

  1. Having read his book 'Malta - My Island', I was relishing the arrival (long-awaited for me down here in the Antipodes), of Mark's 'One Thousand Days in Hong Kong', charting his memories of his three years living in Hong Kong as a teenager in the late 60's, attending the British Forces School on the mainland! From the moment I opened the book, I couldn't put it down. Each personal page of his is full of so many of my own identical memories of my childhood, growing up in Hong Kong, even down to that 7.10am pick up each day for the one and a half hour trek to school (and the same back!) on days of 99% humidity and 35c, on an army bus to get from the farthest point on the island, Stanley, across the harbour, to our St George's School that sat just metres and 15 seconds on final approach to touchdown of the stream of 747s flying directly over us and landing at the original Kai Tak Airport! For anyone who has lived in Hong Kong, passed through on a stopover or who has an affinity with life in the Far East (or even if you haven't), I absolutely recommend this insightful and brilliantly written biography! Only one complaint......I tried to slow down my reading, as I didn't want such pleasurable reading to end, so another ten chapters would have been great! Thank you Mark - you absolutely nailed it!

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