Aside

While my blog will concentrate on destinations and their essence, I will be using this as a personal “soap box” from time to time. And I am disgusted, like most of the civilized world, by today’s ruling of Hong Kong’s Supreme Court that so-called “domestic workers” (i.e. Filipino maids) can never become residents of the country (psuedo-country at best) where they spend the vast majority of their lives slaving away. Any fight by Hong Kong people for their human rights is undermined by their treatment of those who raise their children and cook their food — “Why don’t you love the ones who take care of you?” I remember one maid’s protest sign reading. Filipinas, and increasingly, even more easily exploited Indonesian women, are a colonized people, treated worse by the Chinese than the British ever treated them. I know firsthand about the sexual abuse, long hours, broken contracts, false terminations, loan sharking, years of separation from families, etc., etc. For two years, while I was a reporter for the Asian Wall St. Journal, I infiltrated the maids who took over Central in Hong Kong on their day-off every Sunday and documented with a Handycam their many ways to reclaim their humanity (from religious frenzy to beauty pageants). The 150 hours of video that I recorded are a unique documentation of the culture of poverty and migration and the amazing happiness (“domestics’ bliss”) bred of community. As a writer, I have not had the time or technical knowledge to edit this cinema verite material properly. I am still looking for an eager young filmmaker who might want to take this material and unearth the documentary gold. Anyone reading, please contact….

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