One thing that really bothers me about HK is the huge disparity between the rich and the poor. How accessible the city is to the 'haves', and how very inaccessible it is to the 'have-nots' - monetarily, societally, physically.
We spent a week living like a local, in an apartment on the 6th floor of a building with no lift, in a not so well-off part of hk. Sadly, this accommodation is fairly common and representative of the average local's experience (particularly the part about no lifts). The city is unforgiving of slowness, unaccomodating of the elderly/ parents with prams/the physically impaired, and unsupportive of those with no money. Physical slowness is not only met by obvious impatience, but downright rudeness. If one is physically slow in Hong Kong, expect a sharp not-so-polite verbal rebuke or perhaps an elbow in the ribs with a puff of wind as people pass you by. Very quickly, I realised this country brought out the worst in me as sometimes, the only way to get anywhere is with equally aggressive elbows.
As tourists from a wealthier country, we are uniquely placed to access all corners of the city while still seeing the disparity for what it is. We are privileged enough to justify the high end of town as once in a lifetime experiences, or write any splurges down to an opportunity cost (read: tourist trap) that was begging to be spent. And of course we can also sling it like the locals in shoebox sized accommodation, eating street-side curry fishballs. But for the local trapped in their caste, life can be a perpetual grind of cardboard collecting while stretching their insufficient "fruit money" pensions week to week. Returning to Sydney, I'm thankful for shower heads that aren't installed above toilet bowls, our welfare system and abundant pavement.
#reflections #karjacktravels #hongkong #apartmentliving