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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Laguna City


  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. STUDY - DAY


  4. Remote control in hand, PETER stares at the black-screen TV.


  5. PETER (V.O.): No luck. It's a 1st generation flat-screen TV. Let me see what interesting questions the Quorans would ask me to answer. Here's one.


  6. We read on Peter's phone screen: Is living through the pandemic making you want to move once it is over?


  7. Pausing.


  8. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What would motivate people to make a move? There must be some unmet needs.


  9. Pausing.


  10. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Some may have got fed up with the bad governance in their place of residence.


  11. Pausing.


  12. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If it is unlikely that there won't be any change for the better, those who have the means might vote with their feet.


  13. Pausing.


  14. PETER (V.O.): While safety needs are basic, the Hong Kong situation is different from US. UK or elsewhere. Let me share my perspective.


  15. Peter begins to type on his phone.


  16. Act 2


  17. INT. SHOP - DAY


  18. Peter pays at the cashier.


  19. PETER (V.O.): Okay, I've ordered a new TV set and they would provide the services I need. I also contributed to the economy.


  20. EXT. COMMERCIAL & BUSINESS DISTRICT - DAY


  21. Crowded.


  22. PETER (V.O.): This is Hong Kong. What should I have for lunch?


  23. Peter smells something.


  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh yes, it's deep-fried Chicken Taiwanese style. Yes, I haven't had that for a long time.


  25. INT. MALL - DAY


  26. Peter orders some deep-fried chicken and pays.


  27. PETER (V.O.): Yes, I can have it without going to Taiwan. Let me buy some sashimi.


  28. A packet of sashimi in hand, Peter pays at the cashier.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Ha, the quality of sashimi here is on par with those in Japan. It's a perfect substitute.


  30. INT. STUDY - DAY


  31. Peter enjoys his Taiwanese and Japanese food.


  32. PETER (V.O.): I was working very hard last week. It's quite a relaxation now. Let me continue entertaining the Quorans and learning in the process as well.


  33. Peter checks a phone notification and we see: How come the infection rate of COVID-19 is much higher in US than it is in China, even though China is more compact and populous?


  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It has a lot to do with governance. China's execution of its policy is much better than US.


  35. FLASHBACK


  36. INT. HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL - DAY (2003)


  37. Peter (49) is among around 60 mature STUDENTS. A white-haired LECTURER (70s) is lecturing.


  38. PETER (V.O.): He speaks from his practical experience on performance management.


  39. The lecturer continues to speak with passion.


  40. LECTURER: In performance, one must keep up the momentum and execute relentlessly.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And that's how to make a differnce and to do better.


  42. END FLASHBACK


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I learned this in US. The academics must feel frustratiing to find that those in authority don't practise what they preach.


  44. Having typed on his phone, Peter checks another notification. We see: What is one thing you would change to end the CONVID-19 pandemic faster?


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This has something to do with people's mindset.


  46. Pausing.

  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We can't go back to change the beginning but we can still change the ending if we want. Most people don't have the ability to wait and don't have good attitude while waiting.


  48. Peter types on his phone.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If people can make adaptive changes, they would feel the pandemic ends faster.


  50. Peter taps Submit.


  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I was told that I would receive a call about the delivery of the my new TV set. But no one calls me.


  52. Pausing.


  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I like to be creative while watching TV. But it's so quiet now.


  54. Picking up his bass guitar and switching on a bass guitar amplifier, Peter plays a few bars to the rhythm. Then, he finds the guitar cable coming lose and is being unplugged.


  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh my god!


  56. Act 3


  57. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  58. Tools in hand, Peter is fixing and testing his bass guitar.


  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Okay, it works again. Even if I can't fix it, it isn't inconvenient for me to bring it to a repairer. Hong Kong is so accessible.


  60. Looking pleased, Peter returns to his screen time.


  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There're quite a number of viewers of my answer relating to making a move once the pandemic is over.


  62. Pausing.


  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I don't have any unmet needs. I know how fortunate it is to live in Hong Kong.


  64. Pausing.


  65. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I suspect some Hong Kong immigrants in North America or Europe might like to return.

  66. Pausing.

  67. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Hong Kong is quite a laguna city in the pandemic.


  68. Turning his vision from the black-screen TV, Peter enjoys the harbour view.


  69. FADE OUT.


  70. THE END


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