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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

May 4th

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. PETER is standing in front of a red vintage coupe. We hear the engine running.

  5. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I chose to have the car delivered to me on May 4th 1989. How have I, my family and Hong Kong changed in 31 years?

  6. Peter lowers his body to take a photo focusing on the car's retractable head lamp.

  7. PETER (V.O.): Only expensive coupes then had retractable head lamps.

  8. Peter gets inside the car and drives it out the parking lot for a few feet before reversing it to its original position.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The clutch, gears and brakes are okay. The car is reasonably well after 31 years.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's a jewel of Japanese-made car.

  12. Recalling.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): At that time, Japan's economy was booming and hadn't reached the height of its economic bubble yet.

  14. Act 2


  16. Peter picks a T-Shirt with a motif of the Borobudur Temple.

  17. PETER (V.O.): Oh, I bought this T-shirt in summer, 1989 when my pragnant wife and I visited Indonesia for the first time.

  18. Checking.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Well, the T-shirt, like my coupe, is still good.

  20. Peter sighs.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Not to mention 31 years, a lot has happened in the past year.

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): After May 4, 2019, I went to Beijing to speak. And then I became a senior citizen.

  24. Pausing.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then in late May, I travelled to Wagayama and Osaka for no particular purpose, but it turned out to be fun.

  26. Pausing.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And then in June 2019, the first wave of protests in Hong Kong began. I was travelling in Ishigaki. The Japanese I met there were amazed that the Hong Kong-style protest could be that peaceful.

  28. Pausing.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In July, while I was travelling in Melbourne, I joked about if the protesters would want to wage a revolution.

  30. Pausing.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In August, the protests became violent and I worried if I could leave the Hong Kong Airport for Miyakojima.

  32. Pausing.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In Sept, my wife and I motored with our younger daughter in England before she began her 1st year in university. It was a relief to be away from Hong Kong.

  34. Pausing.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And despite the man-made unrest in Hong Kong, I travelled to Victoria, Canada, to meet up with my former classmate of 34 years, and had a great time there. I'm still very glad that I did the trip.

  36. Pausing.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In Nov, I visited Fukuoka and observed first hand how our elder daughter was doing there.

  38. Pausing.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And then with the change of Hong Kong's enforcement head, Hong Kong began to turn around in Dec. I went to Bejing to speak again and it snowed.

  40. Recalling.

  41. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The last time I experienced Beijing snow was in Dec 1987 when my wife and I visited Beijing as tourists. I still remember the scenes vividly.

  42. Pausing.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then, I declined work before Christmas and joined my family to have fun, motoring from Tokyo to Aomori and return.

  44. Pausing.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And then within a fortnight in Jan 2020, I again visited Tokyo..

  46. Pausing.

  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Just when the riots were about to die down, the coronavirus began to spread from Wuhan. Since then, I haven't swum.

  48. Peter comes out from the bath.

  49. Act 3

  50. EXT. PARK - DAY

  51. In an open space, Peter is stretching his hamstrings as masked people pass by.

  52. PETER (V.O.): Yes, we've been wearing masks since the Chinese New Year 2020. The 2003 SARS experience has made it a Hong Kong social norm in times of public health emergency.

  53. Pausing.

  54. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My concern in Feb 2020 was whether I could still make my trip to Hokkaido.

  55. Pausing.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And I made it. But my March trip to visit our elder daughter again was cancelled. We didn't need to visit our younger daughter in UK in April as she has already come home because of the UK's herd immunity strategy.

  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And today should have been the day when my wife and I return to Hong Kong, having visited our son in Australia.

  59. Reflecting.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Due to previous riots, Hong Kong wasn't thought to be a safe place to live or visit. But now, with a record of just 4 CONVID-19 deaths, Hong Kong has suddenly become a very safe place to live and visit.

  61. Pondering.

  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Before the pandemic, I was defending Hong Kong's interests in social media with my interpretation of human follies. Now, I'm promoting Hong Kong's interests based on facts and science.


  64. Peter works behind his computer, watching TV occasionally.

  65. PETER (V.O.): Relatively speaking, Hong Kong is going strong, like my old coupe.

  66. We see Peter inserting the image of his coupe into his blog post.

  67. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): May 4th - what a day to remember!

  68. FADE OUT.

  69. THE END

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