HONG KONG: The Endless Ferryboat Ride

The passenger on the Hong Kong-Macao ferry last week was as weather-beaten, ageless and nondescript as a chunk of driftwood. Like the driftwood, he seemed doomed to float from shore to shore on the China Sea forever. He had no passport. His name, he said, is Michael Patrick O'Brien, but he readily admitted: "Back home in Washington and Oregon, they call me Steven Stanley Regan." He never knew his father; his mother was Hungarian; the only identification he possesses is a Red Cross certificate which calls him "a stateless Irishman."

Up to last month, not even Michael himself could plot...

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