As we left for the East a number of storylines were coming to a head: The Addingham Arsonist struck again and there were rumors of a note suggesting that this wouldn’t be the last we were hearing from him; They were marching against the Mosque which was being built next to the Army base; Snipers from Minaret’s. And the trial of Colin Wang’s killers was taking place, with all the details finally coming to light. His sister, Sally had been stabbed and tied, whilst her brother lay nearby slowly dying of multiple stab wounds. As the night dragged on, the killers discussed how they’d come to this point and one bent down, kissed Sally on the lips and told her he loved her and not to worry. Then he smashed a vodka bottle over her head. In the East I manage to buy a newspaper from England, it is already yesterdays by the time I get it; New research shows that when David Cameron’s face is superimposed on a naked man’s body (they used the same body with many different faces) and shown to housewives for a sustained period, those housewives reported a 20% increase in sex with their husbands. Boy George had the second highest rating, with more likely candidates like Sean Bean and Daniel Craig coming substantially lower in the ratings.
The obsession with simulation here reaches new heights all the time. At a wedding there are 7 photographers on the stage with the priest and couple. They point their cameras in the faces of the groom, and trip over each other trying to capture the bride making some tiny move. Their attempts to coordinate and communicate mean that they are more distracting than anything the priest is doing.
The custom of building a model flat out of wood, by the side of the road, where an actual tower block will one day be. Prospective buyers can look round the wooden building to see how their tower block flat will one day be. Once the customer ‘buys’ the simulation, work on the original can start, and the wooden model be destroyed.
I had met Colin Wang’s parents when they first came for the opening of the investigation, and in the course of trying to befriend them asked them all about themselves. They were prison wardens in the high security prison on the island in Hong Kong bay; The Raft. For years the most dangerous prisoners in the East had been locked up there in what was a pretty grim and strict regime. They had become incredibly cautious about what they gave away about their own lives, and I think they thought Colin’s death was in some way connected to their work. I think I enquired too much about life on The Raft because I saw them less and less over time, till eventually I lost touch entirely. Of course, it turned out that what led two African immigrants living in Birmingham to be in that house that night was an even more unlikely turn of events.