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Hong Kong Vagabond


3
Foreword
The events in this book took place between 1968 and 1974, towards
the end of the Vietnam War.
Born in 1935, I have lived the peripatetic life of an adventurer, with
forty four different jobs in eight countries during my short working life.
Three yachts, two of which I built myself, sank under me.
This book is a pastiche of the portion my life spent as an expatriate
civil engineer in the still colonially ruled Hong Kong.
It was a time that preceded the establishment of the ICAC, the Anti-
corruption authority in Hong Kong and corruption was a commonplace,
if not an acceptable, way of life among many of us expatriates. Of
course, for the Chinese public servants, what is regarded as corruption
in the West, is and was traditional.
The book displays the often amoral way of life that permeated the
expatriate community generally, as well as the affluence of government
employees; so different from the life they would have led in their home
countries.
Most of the action is based in Hong Kong. The latter portion covers
the solo voyage I was obliged to make on leaving Hong Kong to finish,
unexpectedly in Australia.
The names of most of the characters in the account have been
changed to protect their anonymity. If anyone still alive appears to
recognize themselves and is disappointed in my display of their
character, I apologize.
There are persons who have become known in the public arena
through their exploits, either beneficially or notoriously. Their names
have not been altered.
While the book is basically autobiographical, some sequences have
been altered and perhaps embellished to enhance the narrative flow.
John Mason
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