I have gazed deeply into the tea leaves poured over my crystal ball and in 2014 all of this happens:
1. Food: An authentically delicious Mexican “taco truck” starts parking in my Tai Po neighborhood every Thursday evening.
2. US Hubris: Americans harmoniously conclude that it is shameful to have: (1) the second highest child poverty rate of any “developed” country (behind only Romania); and, (2) the most guns per capita of any country (with Yemen a trailing a distant second).
We unanimously take action to change this by relocating all Tea Party adherents and gun nuts to Kiribati, where they watch the reality of climate change unfold first-hand as the island nation sinks into the Pacific.
3. Tourism: The world realizes that Mainland Chinese tourists are no more or less annoying than anyone else.
We are all equally annoying.
If you are on vacation and don’t encounter an annoying fellow-tourist, then you are the annoying tourist.
4. Censorship: The Great Firewall of China is permanently corrupted in such a way that instead of blocking Facebook, the New York Times, Twitter, this blog, etc., it only blocks Nigerian scam emails, non-vetted hyper-political Facebook rumors, those sidebar ads about tummy fat and all movies in which dogs talk. Oddly, the stealth modification applies worldwide and is unfixable.
5. Hong Kong Politics: A great leader emerges on the Hong Kong political scene who both inspires Hongkongers and doesn’t frighten Beijing. S/he is well-spoken, smart, savvy and a cunning negotiator for Hong Kong’s interests.
6. Sport: I run the Standard Chartered Half Marathon at a respectable pace for the duration. It does not rain. The air is crystal clear. The bananas at the finish line are delicious and are not rock hard, inedible green things.
7. Technology: Everyone in the world becomes slightly bored with their smartphones and mostly leaves them in their pockets. The “whistle” alert sound is disabled on all phones.
8. Health: There is a cure for malaria.
9. Language: I understand jokes in Chinese.
10. Environment: Red Banner Sister devises a method to transform air pollution into mini-marshamallows that rain down from blue skies.
Beijing becomes a Willie Wonka-esque wonderland.
Happy New Year!
What do you predict for 2014?