Kevin from Hong Kong

When the Communists took over Hong Kong in June 1997 a significant number of British residents fled the ex-colony to Taiwan. Previously, I had read that members of the large British population had been termed “FILTH” by the Chinese residents, referring to their status of having ‘Failed In London, Try Hong Kong’. Certainly Kevin fit this description. Apparently, I’ve met Kevin, but I don’t remember doing so. The first news of his destructive force reached me as a rumour that there’d been a fight at the Taipei Hostel. This was before an argument with the Big Paul had turned violent and forced the receptionist. Penny, to quit. So I called her up and asked what had happened. I was told that the ill-tempered and rather large, ex-Canadian (we canonly guess at what force led to this status of ‘ex’) school teacher and two others had been involved in some sort of physical altercation with the Irish nightmare. The school teacher’s nose had been broken during the fight and he had gone to the police to file charges. The police had ceased Kevin’s passport and notified him that a trial date would be forth coming.

Lily, the manager or owner (no one is really quite sure which) of the Taipei Hostel kicked him out. This in itself is a major step. In living memory. Lily has never kicked out a paying customer. This includes the Big Paul, whose threats to injure Penny, the receptionist, had led to her resignation. So can be sure that Kevin was serious.

Over the next few weeks, stories filtered back of Kevin’s flight from one hostel to another, until he had no place to live. Every week there was another story of Kevin’s most recent fight; Kevin fights at Spin, Kevin fights at the Formosa Hostel. Then the king of all Kevin stories filtered back. During another fight at the Formosa II Hostel, Kevin had stabbed Alan in the leg. Alan was a nice kid too. Difficulties for liberal arts graduates had forced him to flee America for the more hospitable job climate of Asia. He is the sort of person you’d want teaching you or your kids. I don’t know if he had to go to the hospital, but he was still around the next month. Kevin had to move to the Amigo Hostel, I was told, but after that he kind of faded from my consciousness.

I don’t know if Kevin ever did end up in court or jail or get deported. Most of the people he beat up couldn’t go to the police, because they were working in Taiwan illegally. In all likelihood, the authorities never found out that Kevin had been the terror of Taiwan’s foreign community. But that’s the way it goes.


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