Lives of Others

All the people in these pictures are people I don’t know and their lives are completely different from mine.  Yet, we walk the same streets, and breathe the same (polluted) air.   I took these pictures because they are contrary to the the glitzy, shiny, materialistic image Hong Kong portrays.

During “normal” hours, Queen Road Central is a busy and crowded street.  At 6:15 am though, the newspaper men are my only companions.  I run past them at around 6:15 am.  The butcher typically start chopping up his merchandise by the time I run by him, around 6:25 am or so.  This shop is in Sai Ying Pun.   I see the newspaper men and the butcher 3 or 4 times a week during my morning run, and I had never stopped, paused and wondered what their lives are like, until now.

In Causeway Bay, there is a little area under the overpass where women gather with their Taoist deities.   This is where you go if you need advice on love, business, health, or any other arenas of your life.  I hear these fortune teller ladies can also put curses on someone on your behalf or make someone fall madly in love with you.   I don’t believe in fortune telling, but I do like that they are camped out on the street with their deities.  It’s such a contrast to the bankers.  I wonder if some of their wives visit the fortune tellers and put a curse on their husbands’ mistresses.

I don’t notice street performers very often in Hong Kong, though I did notice this one.   This young guy was parked outside Central Station singing for his supper.   According to the sign in his box, he’s Korean and he does not speak any Chinese.  People seem to be quite generous with him though.  It seems awfully un-Korean (un-Asian in general) to allow your son to travel to another country and earn money this way.  I wonder what his story is.  I gave him $10 HKD.  I hope he got into a decent hostel for the night as it is getting chilly in Hong Kong!

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