Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Hong Kong needs more sky
I was at an international students meet-and-greet party when I ended up talking to a Hongkonger boy. We went through the usual pleasantries, and he asked me how I liked Hong Kong. I said my normal answer: Yeah, it's pretty great, I like it here. He looked at me thoughtfully and--I can't remember exactly what he said in Cantonese--but it was something like, "Do you feel that there's kind of no sky here?" It sounded very poetic to me, caught me off guard, and I wasn't sure if I had understood. Perhaps he was talking about the thick cloud of pollution that always hung overhead here? "I mean," he continued, "there are so many tall buildings here that they block out the sky. Don't you think so?" He then said that he had lived in Hong Kong his entire life so far, but it wasn't a place he would want to stay. I was surprised--yes, with all these towering skyscrapers here there is no great expanses of sky--but I sort of just took it as it was. I wondered if it was suffocating, living under concrete, bricks, and windows. He thought so.