Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014

Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014
Admiralty, Umbrella Revolution 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mainland Chinese and Travel and Hanauma Bay

These two/three things do not go very well together at this point in history. This is due to the fact that many of the Mainlanders now traveling overseas completely disregard issues of littering, hygiene etc... that govern the customs and behavior (never mind legal structures) in many countries.

Mainlanders I saw this past summer in Hawaii openly flouted the laws and behavior in a way that to me, as a person who has lived in HK for some years now, and tells people that this is my home, found rather disturbing.
I can only hope that the local people of Hawaii erect some more laws and impose fines because I do not see how they will be able to otherwise stop rampant polluting and exploitation of the natural environment. We have all read about Beijing's concerns about their own citizens as travelers.

Hanauma Bay is slowly recovering from what it was a decade ago. (A mess) And there is a required 9 minute film to watch about not stepping on the reef and respecting sealife. This film is available in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, French, Spanish and English. But what happens? Get to the beach and forget the film! You large groups of tourists (mostly Asian) who cannot swim who are stepping on the reef! Swimming beyond the reef! Littering! Isn't anyone worried about drowning? Why do people think if they can't swim in their own country and have only swam as deep as the nearest hot tub that Hawaiian ocean water is where you should try swimming in 20 feet of water?  All you can do is a short dog paddle and you suddenly venture into the open ocean? Are you crazy? While they were clearly from a variety of aforementioned Asian origin groups (Indians also making the cut here), they were out of control. From what I gather, a few Russian groups were splashing in a way that made me think their swimming skills were fairly zip. Back in the day, my aunt told me it was always the mainland haoles, but I would say now, that didn't appear to be the case on the day I was there...

You can say I'm culturally biased or you can say I am telling it like it is. These were the groups.

At one point the Hanauma lifeguard bellowed over the loudspeaker: GET OFF THE REEF. Followed by: IF YOU GO BEYOND THE REEF WITHOUT YOUR FINS YOU WILL HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING BACK TO SHORE. And then: WATCH YOUR CHILDREN. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR CHILDREN. He repeated that a few times. ( I suppose people got so keen to snorkel, they were abandoning their children. Great. Drown!) Then, again: PLEASE DO NOT STEP ON THE REEF. I REPEAT DO NOT STEP ON THE REEF. OFF THE REEF. OFF THE REEF PLEASE.

Finally after a series of other announcements, the poor lifeguard was reduced to saying: I AM NOT YOUR BABYSITTER!

(Yeah, sigh, it was the lone brazen Mainlander there. The only person who was unashamed of stepping on the reef at that point)

Can't blame the lifeguard!

I sound like a HKer, but after getting pushed down the aisle of an airplane, and the like by members of the Mainland tour group (so glad I wasn't there next to the guy spitting continuously in the vomit bag on the plane, but I saw the passenger next to him wince and grimace) I was deeply disturbed. I am however, WELL AWARE that not ALL Mainlanders exhibit such bad traveling habits. Of course not. And what a drag it is to have your fellow citizens behave in such a way. But it is a serious enough issue that I think this should be addressed.

The government to require some sort of video upon exiting China. Maybe along the lines of DO NOT SCREW UP OUR SOFT POWER ATTEMPTS. How can soft power work if the people are seen running amuck and not respecting places where they travel?
Hawaii should play some videos while people go through immigration and impose hefty fines to those tour operators and individuals if they are given a warning to get off the reef and don't comply. This is a way to keep the coffers full and can be poured back into the public parks.

Everyone should be also required to sign a contract--if you go into the park, you will not behave in a way that damages the natural scenery.

When I got back, I heard from two people that Mainlanders are really unpopular in the Maldives. One woman witnessed them littering, throwing their cigarette butts in the ocean, trash in the water, and then taking the coral! The people of Maldives were intimidated, then upset and tried to tell them, but the Mainlander paid no attention. Plus Maldives people don't speak Mandarin.

Big problems.

Get ready world. It has only just begun. Honolulu is set to have a slew of condos on Ala Moana/Ward,  big group. Probably for the China money. We're talking that they have looked into the population density of HK.

I propose fines. Big fines.

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