6:30 in the morning. Yaumatei is waking up. A few people are coming out. Or are they actually going home? Not many cars on the street yet, except taxis and buses. Most of the neon lights are off. Nathan Road is unually dark and quiet.
On Temple Street, the vendors and crowds are gone. Sweepers are clearing away the mountains of garbage.
Prostitutes are still on the street. One of them propositions me. I pretend that I do not hear her and hurried away.
Every time I pass by this 7-11 around this hour, there is always a small crowd in front. They even seem to be the same people. Probably South Asians, from the way they look. Do they have no better place to go to, besides the dirty sidewalk?
Some people are eating. Are they having breakfast? Not likely, judging by the number of beer bottles on the table.
A Cha Chan Ting (茶餐廳) is preparing to open, awaiting the breakfast crowd? Watching people setting up shop in the morning gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. It feels fresh, active, energetic, hopeful.
An old lady is picking up plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, and tin cans from the garbage. These old ladies are the backbone of the miniscule recycling industry in Hong Kong. Without them, there would be even less recycling.
But what a way to make a living. Image bending over that way for hours at a time. At her age. But such is the plight for some of us in Hong Kong.