Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Old Yaumatei

When I was small, people used to comment on the growing number of banks this way, “There are more banks than rice shops (銀行多過米鋪).”  The assumption being that rice shops were numerous.  Nowadays, however, they are quite hard to find.  Here is one in Yaumatei, between Jordan Road and Austin Road.

It still sells rice by the catty, just like in the old days.  But the rice is now stored in small plastic buckets.  Not huge, three-feet tall wooden tubs.  And there are pitifully little rice to sell.   Partly because we eat much less rice than before.  The 7 million people in Hong Kong eats only 26,000 tonnes of rice a month.  It amounts to about 8 pounds (6 斤) per person each month.  But the bigger reason is that we tend to buy our rice from supermarkets nowadays.  So these rice merchants are doomed, unless we give them more business.

This one, at least, retains an old style balance, which is still in use.  This, in itself, may be reason enough to shop here. 

Here you can get your knives and scissors sharpened.

Or buy traditional herbs stored in big glass jars and small drawers. 

The old Hong Kong is fading away quickly.  It is getting more and more difficult to find.  Soon it will disappear completely.  


YTSL said...

Hi StephenC --

"The old Hong Kong is fading away quickly. It is getting more and more difficult to find. Soon it will disappear completely."

I hope not! This not least because I believe that it's important for a place and people to treasure their roots/traditions/past.

More than BTW, have you read Martin Booth's "Gweilo"? I realise that a lot of Hongkongers might think it's superfluous/unneccesary to read accounts of Hong Kong by foreigners but this one is a really loving as well as well written one. In all honesty, certain passages literally brought tears to my eyes -- and quite a few of the pages are devoted to recounting a childhood spent in old Yaumatei... :b

StephenC said...

I also do not want it to disappear. That's why I keep going back, and to give them business whenever I can.

Regarding "Gweilo", I haven't. Perhaps I will now. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi mates, nice piеce of writing and plеasant arguments commented here, I
am in fact enјоying by these.

Here is mу web-site

Anonymous said...

Hi there еverybodу, here every οne іs ѕhаrіng theѕе kinԁs of knoω-how, ѕo it's nice to read this blog, and I used to pay a quick visit this web site every day.

Feel free to visit my homepage ...

Anonymous said...

Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, great written and
include almost all significant infos. I'd like to look extra posts like this .

Check out my weblog - instagram