My friend Charles who flits between Beijing and Thailand had a recent mishap with a taxi driver and a group of plainclothes police in Hong Kong. Keep in mind that Charles doesn’t speak Cantonese, and that the communication channels throughout this story are therefore pretty faulty.
Here’s my summary of the story:
He was having problems talking to the taxi driver, who ended up taking him to the police station.
He quickly leaped out to speak to the police to sort out the mess.
They were still going through the bureaucratic hurdles of form filling when the taxi decided not to wait and drove off.
His suitcase (wallet & passport included) were still in the taxi.
Even though he knew the last four digits of the taxi’s license plate, the police have not been able to do anything in the past few days.
(Updated from here down.)
It strikes me as unsurprising that the taxi driver drove off with his stuff and that the police deem it outside their boundary of duties to recover goods left in a taxi. But that does not make it right — I would have hoped for more especially from the police, particularly when the victim in question has lost his passport. (For fucks sake, it can’t be that hard to recover the non-cashable items!)
Stranded in Hong Kong, Charles has reached out to his friends abroad via the internet and they have responded like a human flesh search engine:
Charles was having issues getting enough money to even get a new passport from the British Consulate, so a ChipIn fund was set up, and flocking to it (myself included), we have contributed over 1800$US in the past four days.
In the four days Charles posted an account of his troubles on his blog, he’s received 127 comments: Shouts of support, offers for help and serious call-my-friend-the-ambassador missives.
See the original account here and keep up on the latest from Charles Stuck In Hong Kong here. (A giant shoutout to Sam Ismail for setting up the Punk Kiva fund.)