After four years as a war-tossed refugee in Australia, David T. K. Wong set out in 1947 on a Messageries Maritimes ship for his family’s adopted home in Hong Kong, that little rump of alienated China flying the Union Jack.
He found the place edgy, rambunctious, anachronistic and anomalous, trying to survive the misfortunes and hardships imposed by forces beyond its control, like the refugees fleeing civil war in China, the Korean War and the United Nations sanctions against China. Such tests of its survival instinct were to come again and again over the next 22 years.
As the territory struggled, so did Wong. In his second instalment of a multivolume family memoir, he details with astonishing candour and wry humour his own encounters with poverty, racial discrimination and a fracturing marriage. His plight, however, was redeemed by the exceptionally kindness, affection and generosity of relatives and a cast of international friends.