It was an unseasonably cold November afternoon. I finished my workout at the gym and hurried back to the office. I walked down the precipitous Wyndham Street, where dense traffic from Midlevels collected and emptied onto Queen’s Road Central. The cacophony of car horns and audible traffic signals for the blind reached a deafening crescendo, drawing everyone’s attention to the busy crosswalk that marked the start of Pedder Street. There, pedestrians built up along the curb and stared unseeing at their mirror image on the opposite side. Double-decker buses and delivery trucks pushed forward in every direction and shook the ground like a wildebeest migration. Dispassionate traffic lights changed at even intervals, trapping and releasing machines and humans competing for speed. The opening bars of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue started to ring in my head. It was lunch time in Central.
Outside Marks & Spencer, a homeless woman lay prostrate on the sidewalk, her hair wrapped in wrung-up plastic bags and her body a cocoon of sullied blankets...
Read the rest of this essay in HONG KONG State of Mind, available at major bookstores in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.
|HONG KONG State of Mind|