Hands Up !!! - Don't Shoot !!!!

Hands Up !!! - Don't Shoot !!!!


My wife Beth, our former colleague David Ferguson, and I were in Hong Kong in 1993. The three of us had led a Sister Cities trip to Taiwan, flown to Hong Kong, and were decompressing.  We took a bus out to the far side of Hong Kong Island and enjoyed a nice dinner overlooking the ocean.


When it was time to go back I thought be fun to take a sampan back instead of the bus. So I waved a passing sampan down and negotiated a ride back to Kowloon.  The sampan Captain spoke no
English and my Chinese consisted of xiè xie, (shey shey, thanks) but I thought he figured out what we wanted and we did the deal. I hoped he understood that we wanted to go back to Kowloon. This was not a tourist boat, just a regular sampan who happened to sail past.

Beth wanted no part of this risky deal and said she would take the bus back. "You don't want to miss this", I said, and Dave and I each grabbed an elbow and shanghaied her onto the boat as she protested.  We had a lovely boat ride as the sun slowly set and the day turned into night. It was beautiful and I was pleased that I had shanghaied Beth.  But the trip took longer than I thought and it became quite dark.

Then a big patrol boat came out of the night with their searchlight blinding us, with M-16 rifles aimed at us. The sampan Captain raised his hands and we followed suit.  The Captain ducked into the sampan and we wondered what he was up.  I hoped he was not coming out with an AK-47. But he just brought out his papers and they let us go on our way.

I think they were trying to stop smuggling or infiltration but am not sure.  It seemed to me they were acting a bit serious for just smuggling. This happened a total of three times.  Each time the patrol boat came up with searchlights and M-16's aimed directly at us.  

Beth was not overly happy with the rifles and still berates me.  The ingrate - after I took her on a lovely, impromptu, interesting cruise! You just can't please everyone. I figure any time someone aims a rifle at you and you don't get shot it is a good thing. And three times! It made for a memorable story.

I took the photos of sampans from a previous diplomatic trip to Vietnam in 1970. It was another diplomatic effort to win the hearts and minds of the people. The sampans looked a lot like our Hong Kong sampan.















The Sarasota Breeze February 2023


 



Dear Member,


Attached please find the February 2023 issue of the chapter newsletter-- The Sarasota Breeze -  and the reservation form for the February 24th Luncheon at  Michaels on East.  PLEASE NOTE THE MODIFIED DATE — (4TH Friday of the month). The February Luncheon program will feature an update on the Sarasota Military Academy (high school and prep school) non-profit charter school.  Please note the new luncheon price.

We have scheduled a Meet and Greet for February 8th at Gecko’s on Hillview and we hope you can join us.  

Additionally, there is information in the Breeze highlighting the February 7th lecture by former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich presented as part of the Sarasota World Affairs Council (SWAC) Lecture Series. With the hostilities in the news every day, this promises to be a very interesting discussion.  Don’t forget to make reservations.

Looking forward to seeing you at the February luncheon.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this issue of The Breeze - and as always, please let me know if you have a suggestion on how we can improve it.

Thank you & Stay Safe.

Len Friedlander
Editor











The Sarasota Breeze January 2023 Issue

 


January Issue

Dear Member,

I hope you have had a wonderful Holiday Season, and are ready for the New year.

Attached please find the January 2023 issue of the chapter newsletter-- The Sarasota Breeze -  and the reservation form for the January 20th Luncheon at  Michaels on East.  The January Luncheon program will be singers from the Sarasota Opera who are currently rehearsing for the upcoming 2023 Opera Season.

Please note the change in the cost of the luncheons for 2023.  Yes, the price has increased but hasn't everything gone up?  Michael's on East originally proposed a more substantial raise in the luncheon price but your Board, working with the restaurant, was able to reduce the cost as much as possible for our group.  We hope you continue to join us for our monthly gatherings.

We have scheduled a Meet and Greet for January 11th at Gecko’s on Hillview and we hope you can join us.  Additionally, there is information in the Breeze highlighting the January 9th lecture presented as part of the Sarasota World Affairs Council (SWAC) Lecture Series.

Looking forward to seeing you at the January luncheon — and wishing everyone a Happy Healthy New Year.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this issue of The Breeze - and as always, please let me know if you have a suggestion on how we can improve it.

Thank you & Stay Safe

Len Friedlander
Editor


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