The first time I travelled to Hong Kong I was completely overwhelmed by the mass of humanity.
The crowds are still here in Hong Kong but there has been a certain level of sanitisation of Hong Kong. Many of the street markets, night “restaurants” have gone. And whilst I maybe amongst the majority, physically I am still an outsider.
I am considered usually as a bit of a novelty. At worst as a gwei mui. limited With my broken and badly spoken,With my broken and badly spoken extremely limited Cantonese and my very obvious western ways. But nevertheless I am spoken to politely (usually) and with patience.
Going to Austin Avenue where I was abandoned was a strange almost unreal moment. It passed by almost on a subconscious level. Seeping through only now, several days on. Where I was left is now a fancy night club with a modern facade, all glass and metal. Once it was a stairwell to a block of buildings maybe flats, maybe commercial buildings. But there I was left and found I think by the local police and transferred into the care of Fanling. The latter part now puzzles me as just round the corner is a Catholic Church which seems to have had connections to Po Leung Kuk. As we asked on the off chance if there would be any members of the staff that were still working who had been around in the early 60s. But the priest is changed every ten years and there were no other members of staff that go back that far – well at least the receptionist didn’t know of any.
It’s an odd empty but also almost comforting feeling to actually see and know where I was left, where my life at once ended and started.