HONG KONG—On any given business day, Hong Kong’s 7.2 million people take 12.4 million journeys on public transport, many of them coming into and out of the area of the city known as Central.
The neighborhood is home to finance giants including Bank of China, HSBC, and Citigroup, as well as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It’s also the local headquarters of companies including Rolex and the law firm Clifford Chance, along with the city’s main government buildings and China’s People’s Liberation Army Force.
But since Hong Kong’s mass protests started, a daytime visit to Central or Wan Chai, the two neighborhoods abutting the agitation’s epicenter at Admiralty, has offered up glimpses of a post-apocalyptic Hong Kong. Because protesters have blocked roads and some businesses are keeping employees home, the neighborhoods during the day are eerily empty, with abandoned avenues and overpasses that normally teem with many of Hong Kong’s 18,000 taxis, 163 trams, thousands of buses, and half a million cars.
I expect zombies to come running out at any moment.