Hong Kong through the Looking Glass:
Is the Ocean Safe + Clean?
by Dante Archangeli

By Dante Archangeli       "Chinese people don't care about dirty water," Sam, my barber, asserted. We'd been discussing Hong Kong beaches and commiserating about how something that appears so beautiful from a distance can be so unpleasant up close. But Sam's declaration threw me for a loop. Just a minute before she'd told me about the beaches she wouldn't swim at because of the trash in the water and on the sand. "Ummm, but aren't you Chinese?" I asked. I knew that she'd grown up in Hong Kong, but my ability to differentiate Hong Kong Chinese from other Asian ethnicities isn't anywhere near as good as a native's. "Oh yes I'm Chinese" she confirmed with pride. "But I don't like to go swimming in dirty water. Other Chinese people don't care. They just go in." I suspect that nobody really likes swimming in dirty water and I hope the Hong Kong government cares. But it may have a narrow definition of dirty.