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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Returning to a Place

  1. FADE IN


  2. Act 1


  3. EXT. MA TAU CHUNG ROAD - MA TAU KOK ROAD - 09:15


  4. In a three-piece black suit, PETER is going somewhere.


  5. PETER (V.O.): I'd be arriving 1 Ma Tau Kok Road in good time.


  6. At a road junction, Peter sees the "Ma Tau Kok Road" signage and an old office building next to a housing block.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Is this it?


  8. Checking the name of the building, Peter sees "Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre".


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, here's my meeting venue.


  10. INT. MA TAU KOK DETENTION CENTRE - 09:20


  11. Appearing, Peter presents a letter to a uniformed OFFICER.


  12. PETER: I'm a Duty Lawyer. I've an appointment with my client.


  13. Act 2


  14. FLASHBACK


  15. INT. HOME, TIN SUM SAN TSUEN - DAY (SPRING 1974)


  16. Phone rings. Peter (19) takes the call.


  17. CALLER (From phone): ...I'm calling from the Housing Dept. We've a letter for you.


  18. PETER (V.O.): What's the letter about? I sense that it's not unimportant.


  19. FLASHBACK UPON FLASHBACK


  20. INT. OFFICE - DAY (EARLY SPRING 1974)


  21. Dressed in a new blue suit and carrying an old bag, Peter enters an interview room and sees the CHAIR, MEMBER#1 and a young MEMBER#2.

  22. PETER (V.O.): I've my suit made in Temple Street for this recruitment interview. I've been using my school bag since Form 3.


  23. In response to the questions posed by the Chair and Member#1, Peter answers them confidently. When Member#2 poses a question, Peter hesitates a little.


  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, he emphasizes on his vocabulary, but he pronounces the past participle "bedevilled" as "bede-villed"...


  25. Nonetheless, Peter responds to the question calmly, as the Chair and Member#1 look on.


  26. CHAIR: Do you have any question for us?


  27. PETER: I'm afraid no.


  28. END FLASHBACK UPON FLASHBACK


  29. CALLER (Cont'd) (From phone): Come to collect it on ... in the afternoon...


  30. PETER: But I've to teach in the afternoon...


  31. CALLER (From phone): You're so troublesome!


  32. PETER: Yes, in the afternoon, Sir.


  33. CALLER (From phone): At 1 Ma Tau Kok Road.


  34. The caller hangs up.


  35. INT. OFFICES, MA TAU KOK ROAD - DAY (DAYS LATER)


  36. Peter gets a thick letter from a middle-aged CLERICAL OFFICER.


  37. PETER (V.O.): It's an offer letter. Accepting it, I'll become a Housing Assistant.


  38. Pausing.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's a civil service post. It isn't easy to work for the colonial Govt.


  40. Peter takes another look at the clerical officer.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He has been a bureaucrat for quite a while.


  42. EXT. MA TAU KOK ROAD - (LATER)


  43. Walking along the road, Peter looks very happy.


  44. PETER (V.O.): If I pass the probation, I'd have an iron rice bowl on pensionable terms.


  45. Pausing.


  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When compared with my teaching job, my monthly salary will be doubled...


  47. Recalling.


  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But my Dad wished that I could become a Police Inspector...


  49. Peter touches his glasses.


  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Being short-sighted, I won't be eligible.


  51. END FLASHBACK


  52. Act 3


  53. EXT. MA TAU KOK ROAD - MA TAU CHUNG ROAD - 11:30


  54. Walking along, Peter is in thoughts.


  55. PETER (V.O.): Working as a Housing Assistant, I got training and was taught laws relating to Landlord and Tenant.


  56. Pausing.


  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That assisted me a lot when I attended the HKU Law School admission interview in 1981. The rest is history.


  58. Pausing.


  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There's nothing like returning to a place that looks unchanged to find the ways in which it and I have developed.


  60. THE END


  61. FADE OUT





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