Thursday, June 26, 2008

Banner Torn in Typhoon

At the height of the typhoon this (Wednesday) morning, a big banner off the entrance to the cross-harbour tunnel was torn from its frame. For a while it was fluttering in the wind like a giant flag. Then it was torn off completely. Such is the power of the wind.

In the 1960s and 1970s, when the typhoons hit, there were often heavy flooding, land slides, houses destroyed and ships wrecked, killing may people. Now Hong Kong seems much better prepared for typhoons.

Nevertheless there are still flimsy sheds built on shaky foundations on hillsides, such as these in Shatin. I wonder how they fared in the typhoon.

When I was small, most of the people I knew were poor. Life was hard but jobs were available. There were always work at the factories even though wages were low. Now many of them are living in relative comfort after years of hard work. But there are still poor people. Our places have simply been taken by another group, whose outlook seems to be worse than before. There is now a better safety net but jobs are much harder to find.

Being poor in a society where most people are poor seems almost "normal". Being poor in a society with much ostentatious wealth is much more depressing.

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