Friday, April 30, 2010

Thoughts on Hong Kong 2

Another day, another wander through the bustling streets of Hong Kong. I went to a wet market first. Amazing. Fresh food everywhere. Occupation, Safety and Health would not condone the hanging meat. I thought of 1 Corinthians 8, 10 and the temple meat markets. People seemed comfortable buying it as the 'butcher' cut of strips of the hanging red flesh. There were live fish, can't get fresher than this. The fruit and vege's were brilliant.

Travelled on a tram. So many options here for public transport, all efficient and cheap as. Auckland MUST get its act together. Went by ferry to Kowloon and got hammered by Hawkers trying to flog off replica watches, tailors wanting to fit me with tailor made clothes, etc etc. It was fun fending them off.

Saw a couple of beggars. Only a few. I couldn't help giving a few bucks here and there. The rich man and Lazarus.

As I write, the sun is out on day 3, there is blue sky behind the smog!

Went to the Vine church last night and Andrew Gardener taught. He is quite brilliant, as those who know him from Laidlaw will know. This church is taking off. They have real opportunities to do social justice work here among refugees etc. There is no Social Welfare system of consequence so they have a great chance to shine.

One feature of HK that interests me is its safety. Unlike Auckland and many western countries, you can walk the streets at night with relative safety. There are Triads if you want to get into the heroin and cocaine world. But, for the rest, there are few thefts, murders etc. In fact, violent crime here is huge news if it happens, because it hardly ever does. We in the west can consider ourselves 'civilised' and morally upright; this place is far safer than the west. This is fascinating to me and humbling.

Another thing that stands out is our need in a city like Auckland to build itself up i.e. stop the sprawl and fill it in. This will create the critical mass to form the infrastructre we need. We have to stop spreading and go up.

People bemoan apartment living in NZ. It is great. It is a culture shock in way, but it is not a bad way to live. Safe, clean if cramped. It enables a city with a strong infrastructure.

The weather is not hot as I expected. It is unseasonably cool here. Rain yesterday. The locals are all moaning.

Teaching starts tomorrow. It will be interesting to reflect on how I relate to this context... Cherio!

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