April 29th, 2006

Holy Hong Konger

Posted by natdavauer in Around the World

Do you know what a person from Hong Kong is called? Hong Kongese? Hong Kongian? Nope, they would be a Hong Konger. Really.

What the Hong Kongers have is really a fascinating city. One of the most densely packed cities in the world. As you walk down the motor/sub/hall-ways you wonder just how many people are matching your stride above or below you on another level of the city. What they don’t have is any room left to improve. The city looks the same as it did almost 20 years ago. Cities like Beijing and Shanghai might as well be on different planets compared to their former selves.

One change I have noticed since I’ve been there is the erection of the fifth tallest building in the world. To be more accurate, I barely noticed this enhancement considering the amount of tall buildings on the Hong Kong skyline. Like kids who drive tricked-out Hondas though - once you fill every possible space with something, the only thing left to do is make it light up. If you happened to look out your window in Kowloon and past your drying laundry around eight p.m. you might think it’s finally happened. The stress has finally gotten to the office workforce and they’ve lost it. Window lights blink like computers in the Bat Cave computing the Joker’s current position, and then entire buildings blink on and off. Soon enough though you would stop worrying about the workforce and start worrying about the mothership. Bright laser beams start shooting out of buildings in every direction. Large green lines divide the clouds above Hong Kong island. Within milliseconds Kowloon shoots it’s own red beams back across the harbor frying the retinas of any unlucky souls left in their office (being a Star Wars fan I can’t help but wonder if this makes the Chinese the Empire, which would be reasonable if it wasn’t England on the other side of the water). It would all make sense however if you happened to be down by the harbor where they blare awful pop music (think: half-hour cell phone ring) to which the entire Lite Brite Orgasma is computer-choreographed to the cheers of the tourists who have come to Hong Kong to shop until they drop.

A better solution to the running out of land problem is just to make more land. The waterfront facing Kowloon on Hong Kong island is in the process of being reclaimed. I suppose you would have to consult a geologist to see who, historically, really had the spot first. Being some of the most polluted water in the world (remember all of those people packed together? yeah.), it won’t hurt to reclaim some. The Hong Kongers are in the process of building a beautiful new waterfront on the island side of the harbor. In the near future you will be able to go for a pleasant stroll through the gardens, sit in the grass, have a bubble tea and enjoy the battle for the galaxy from the island side. Although, maybe by the time it’s done the grass will light up and the flowers will shoot laser beams.

The real beauty of this city to me is its function as a natural archive. It is a port city that holds a world of useless antiques from the consumer age. It is a veritable museum of junk. What hasn’t been made there has been shipped out of there. Naked Batman People have small shops that are just crammed with every item that’s ever been sold. Being from America makes it especially fascinating as we’ve purchased every item that’s ever been sold. The complete line of Panasonic TV’s from 1977 to 1993: all boring, all with no intrinsic value whatsoever but here they are, like a family lined up for a family photo. A lightly used set of WWF Happy Meal toys complete with souvenir cups. Every out-of-date camera ever made including a Kodak “Disk” camera with a used disk of film still in it! A few gems can be found buried deep in the cardboard boxes that are all the stores have to show for organization - see naked Batman. Originally to have been painted black as the Caped Crusader we all know, this key chain was mistakenly painted semi-naked by some poor guy who wasn’t aware that The Dark Knight doesn’t go around fighting crime in red underpants. What does leave me confused however is the nonchalant hand waving pose. Maybe he’s supposed to have a garden hose in his right hand as he stands watering the bat-garden and waving to the neighbor. “Oh, Gladys you wouldn’t believe what guano has done for my hydrangeas!”

Since no one will ever buy most of this stuff, it will just sit there forever. Newer junk will push the older junk lower and lower in the cardboard boxes until one day the alien archeologists will be able to come and dig through the sedimented layers of Hong Kong to learn all about us.

“Look see this layer that’s all polished, white plastic?”

“Yeah, the one with the flecks of optional blue and white?”

“Yes, that is the iPeriod.”


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  1. on March 7th, 2007 at 7:29 am

    [...] I got this blog from techorati. It says that Hong Kong is a natural archive with a variety of things even with such small area. To do a follow up story, I may go to a dense district, such as Wan Chai or Mongkok to take photos of different shops which show the variety of the place. I can also interview people of different races living in the district. [...]

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