To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Middleburgh - Jump Starts

#2 son feels (in a disparaging way) that HK is a "SCARY PLACE"... what a wuz!! ... I mean the film "Alien" was scary ... but we enjoyed it didn't we ... Well I first saw it in Wimbledon with #1 wife who left serious bruises on my right arm where she clamped me vice like at the climatic moments. Now that WAS truely scary !!

Frankly the only thing which is scary in HK is perhaps the prices of some things. (HK is ranked as the 5th most expensive country in 2009 for expats) and the minibus driver driving skills. (but they say that everywhere!!)

People are generally safe on the streets (except journalists when Mrs Mugabe was in town!!). The Triads in partnership with "Business" generally keep a low profile - so as not to upset the local economy. Police refrain from assaulting passers by unlike London or Tehran.

Having said that we do have our share of sicko's such as the Mong Kok Acid Tosser. Hopefully he will toss himself off next time. In the meantime heavy duty umbrellas are required when visiting Mong Kok.

Actually if there is one thing that is "scary" about HK - it is the frequency with which people toss themselves off of buildings. Unfortuantely we have a perfect "storm" of tall buildings and depressed people and for some reason many of the jumpers insist on either killing their spouse and/or kids before or whilst jumping in the misguided belief that there will be no one to look after their loved ones after they have topped themselves. Deluded or what !!!

The filipina that cleans up after us shared two stories about jumpers on our estate:

she used to work in a nearby block : One morning she was taking her employers kids to school. They had just stepped out of the front door when a man splatted himself on the walkway next to them - brains etc spayed all over ..... So after getting trauma counselling for that instance, she's in doors cleaning windows and looking over across at the blocks opposite. She watches a woman climb out the window (22nd floor) and do a bungee jump "sans bungee". This all came to light a couple of months ago when we were discussiong yet another woman who jumped from a 17 floor window in the block next door.... makes you wonder ... and explains why the promo material for HK doesn't push it as a place for high fliers.

Charcoal-burning is also a popular form of suicide in HK. In 2001, it had surpassed hanging as the second most-common local method of suicide, behind only jumping, accounting for about 25% of all suicide deaths. Some non-government organizations worked with charcoal retailers to promote the message of "treasure your life" by putting "seek help" labels on charcoal bags.

Since starting this post (yes it was unfinished business !!) the Mong Kok Tosser has been inactive , like the Bowen Road serial Killer (he merits his own post!!) . We have however had a couple of other scary incidents of note

for example , a man murdered 4 relativesin the New Territories, buried them in a trench outside a village hut and cemented them over reminiscent of Cromwell Road, Gloucester: When I pointed out to colleagues that Cromwell Road was more scary they didn't believe me untill they checked it out. Of course Fred West was a serial killer- we have had one recently but he was more like the Peter Sutcliffe murdering prostitutes. That quite common here - A man recently killed a teenage prostitute after having sex with her in his flat.He then cut up the body, flushed some pieces down the toilet, dumped her head in the sea and disposed of her bones in a basket of pig remains at a butcher's stall in a wet market.

And at the end of the scary scale just to prove that our political system in HK is second to none we may have had our very own attempted political assasination. A couple of weeks ago a mainland Chinese was jailed in HK for 16 years after being found guilty of carrying a firearm and ammunition with the intent to commit an arrestable offence. It wasn't clear whether the arrestable offence was to kill lawyer and former democracy politician Martin Lee Chu-ming and/or his friend media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-yee. According to reports he was arrested when police discovered the gun after stopping him for something else. A HK resident was also jailed for three years for smuggling the gun and bullets from Shenzhen and in China authorities arested 10 men including "a gangster" from HK accused of offering 1Million HK$ to murder the two men. Why and on behalf of who remains unclear.

May be on reflection #2 is not such a wuz !!


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