Culture

Dear number six: Stay on the path

 

While in Hong Kong, I was reminded of one of my favorite shows ever. That being BattleStar Galactica (the new one).  So well written, acted and just overall grand intensity. It was a show that I looked forward to watching each week.  Although, I must admit, that the last episode left me wondering what was really up with the world and what role did Six have in it all. Of the twelve known Cylon models, six was the sixth of the “Significant Seven”.  She was there at the beginning and at the end of the series.   While she was instrumental to the near-destruction of humanity and its potential salvation, we never get to know her name.  It may have been Sara. But who knows. She was Six forever more.

 

Now why would Hong Kong remind me of Battlestar Galactica and number six?  In a way Hong Kong reminds me of Blade Runner. I have had that movie a lot on my mind as of late. These days it just feels like we are not so human anymore and that humanity may be better off with replicants. Meaning fake humans. Designer humans. Maybe.   But this is not why I am reminded of Battlestar Galactica, which has a slightly similar take on humanity as Blade Runner.

 

I was specifically reminded of the television show while on a guided tour of Lantau, in Hong Kong.  I hardly ever take guided tours. I hate being on buses. I don’t care to travel with other people I don’t know. I even don’t like working out near other people. But that is a whole other bit. But you get it. I don’t look on guided tours with a fond eye. However, with an eight year old son who can walk 12,000 steps or more in a day but gets fussy, a tour can be helpful. Plus, it helps give my torn knee muscles a break as well.

 

Onto a tour we went to the island of Lantau. It was a relatively small group as there were 33 of us. There were empty seats on the bus. I can do that. We had a tour guide who was very firm in that we were to cooperate with her and be on time.   She would write out by what time we were to return to the bus after “free time” and expect us to dutifully be on time. To ensure that she didn’t leave anyone behind, we were assigned numbers. We were no longer named individuals but instead we were numbers. We had to note our presence when our number was called. I was number 15. I had to laugh the second I was assigned a number. I immediately flashed back to science fiction movies and television shows.

 

I found it slightly ironic that we were reduced to a number while out on travel meant to expand our perspectives and horizons.   I understand that she had to do her job and find a way that would allow her to quickly assess the group situation. I get it. I just, inherently, flinched at being a number. However, soon into the process my son loved raising his hand and noting number 15 was present in the group. He took to being a number. I assume that in third grade kids are used to lining up and following a teacher around.  I may be called many names at work behind my back, but I haven’t been referred to as a number in ….

 

 

But my number discomfort is not what this bit is about.

 

I actually laughed at some point in the tour when we lost number six.   Hearing the tour guide repeatedy call out for number six and seeing her search high and low for this person really took me to a whole other mental realm. Here we were in a foreign land learning the customs and norms while searching for number six. Eventually number six was found and received a scolding. As a result of number six’s trek off the path, we were close to missing our ferry and we all wanted to go back to our hotels at that point. The tour guide was not happy and the tour ended with a terse goodbye (hope to never see you again kind of vibe).

 

So here is the moral of the story. Don’t be a number six.  Don’t cause humanity’s downfall. Don’t cause a tourguide to lose their temper. Stay on the path.

use use

 

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