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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Sept 26

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT - SLEEPING ROOM - DAY


  4. Waking up, PETER checks his phone.


  5. PETER (V.O.): Today is Saturday, Sept 26. The date was special. What was it? Anyway.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I slept pretty well. Yesterday, I sent my draft arbitration decision to the secretariat to review the format. No more intensive intellectual activities for a while.


  8. Pausing.


  9. Pausing. (C.O.) (Cont'd): I also got a festive gift hamper to collect in my chambers. And I'm also awaiting some papers from the the Duty Lawyer Service.


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.): Traffic is generally easy on Saturday morning. Yes, see if I can arrange to take a 25-year old car to the government designated car testing centre. The car's licence expires on Oct 2.


  12. INT. STUDY - DAY


  13. Phone in hand, Peter is listening to a phone answering machine.


  14. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, the car testing service has been suspended? I've been going there for years.


  15. Peter surfs the web.


  16. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me try this alternative.


  17. After making a call, Peter looks happy.


  18. Act 2


  19. INT. CAR TESTING CENTRE - DAY


  20. As he waits, Peter checks his mail.


  21. PETER (V.O.): Oh, the papers I've been waiting have arrived in my chambers.


  22. Then, MECHANIC#1 (50s) approaches Peter with a paper report in hand.


  23. MECHANIC#1: After exam, your car failed the test. Here're the problem areas.


  24. Peter nods, getting the report and driving away a silver coupe.


  25. EXT. CAR REPAIRER - DAY

  26. After talking to MECHANIC#2 (30s), Peter leaves his silver coupe and walks away.


  27. PETER (V.O.) : It's good that the car's problem areas have been identified and that I've arranged to have the problems fixed.


  28. Thinking.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'd seize the time and go back to chambers now.


  30. INT. CHAMBERS - DAY


  31. Carrying a gift hamper with both hands, Peter is leaving.

  32. PETER (V.O.): I'm glad that I've done all the tasks that are within my control.


  33. INT. STUDY - DAY


  34. Working before his computer, Peter is recalling.


  35. PETER (V.O.): I believe Sept 26 has something to do with the draft Sino-British Joint Declaration.


  36. Peter surfs that web.


  37. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): My memory still serves me right. The draft Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed on Sept 26, 1984.


  38. Recalling.


  39. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): My late wife and I bought our first home in NT in 1983 when nobody was buying any property. Hong Kong's future was very uncertain then.


  40. Recalling.


  41. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): But we had housing need. And so we bought one when we afford the down payment. It was the buyer's market.


  42. Recalling.


  43. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Soon, the mortgage interest rate skyrocketed to 18.5%. It was a huge burden just to pay the interest.


  44. Recalling.


  45. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): At one point, I regretted buying the apparent cheap property. But there was no way out.


  46. Recalling.


  47. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The Sino-British negotiations regarding the future of Hong Kong were on-going and there wasn't any positive news.


  48. Recalling.


  49. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I was reading the final year of my LLB study at HKU. An optional paper that I took was Chinese law.


  50. Recalling.


  51. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): It was a relatively easy subject as there wasn't much law to read. But the study broadened my legal horizon on socialist legal systems.


  52. Recalling.


  53. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): In Sept 1984, my wife and I even rented a sub-divided unit in Wanchai. She could walk to her Music Office and I was doing my PCLL at HKU.


  54. Recalling.


  55. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): It was a great experience for us as we used to travelling from NT to urban Hong Kong.


  56. Recalling.


  57. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Those were some of the happiest moments of our partnership.


  58. Sighing.


  59. Act 3


  60. INT. STUDY - CONTINOUS


  61. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): With the signing of the draft Sino-British Joint Declaration on Sept 26, the future of Hong Kong became less uncertain.


  62. Pausing.


  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Sept 26 was indeed a very special day in 1984. And that was some 36 years ago.


  64. Pausing.


  65. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The Sino-British Joint Declaration was like a gift hamper to people living in Hong Kong.


  66. Pausing.


  67. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): My heartfelt thanks to the gift-hamper sender.


  68. FADE OUT.


  69. THE END


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