Monday, March 28, 2011

Hong Kong: My...Hotel?

I was lucky enough to have a close friend in Hong Kong with family who was out of town. So I got a free apartment to live in. Sweet!

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Oh, and it's a government housing estate. Projects on the outskirts of town. Even more sweet!

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Almost 13,000 people live here, in housing provided to lower income families. It's a far cry from the million dollar flats on the other side of the water. You won't find any option traders or business lawyers here.

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On a clear day, you can see these projects from Victoria Peak. Actually, almost half of the population of Hong Kong lives in some form of government housing.

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Here's my view from up on the 23rd floor. The park below was full of songbirds, heard daily through the bars on the window.

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And here's the inside. Cozy, and not too loud considering the sheer number of people living in each high rise. A bit larger than my apartment in Tokyo, though my bathroom is massive.

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TV channel 5 is hooked into a static-rich elevator feed. It's a bit freaky, and feels like a buildup to terror in a horror movie.

All alone in my apartment, watching the elevator feed. Suddenly a white-robed figure appears simultaneously in all 4 cars. The few residents riding take no notice.

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But the coolest part of living in the projects is the people. Real people. Very little English. A lot of cheap beer.

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The first night in town, alone at my new housing at 1am, and this lot was sat around a folding table, drinking $1 bottles of beer and talking shit. I only remember a couple words in Mandarin (yeah, they speak Cantonese in Hong Kong). Pijou means beer, and that was all it took. Over the following weeks, I spent more time with them than anyone else.

3 comments:

Copperpot said...

Insane what's going on. Seems like you've been real lucky, I'm sure friends and family in the states have been going nutso thinking about you.


anyway. That photo inside the apartment is brilliant, man. Gorgeous shot, like a porn star had sex with my eyeballs.

eed2e898-92c5-11e0-aa22-000f20980440 said...

Pretty dope you got to experience such a real slice of HK life. My grandparents used to live there (坪石邨). Lots of vivid memories staying w/ them on the weekend, roaming around the housing estate, playing with the kids.

Lots of cool photo ops in that place.

Andrew said...

Pretty dope you got to experience such a real slice of HK life. My grandparents used to live there (坪石邨). Lots of vivid memories staying w/ them on the weekend, roaming around the housing estate, playing with the kids.

Lots of cool photo ops in that place.