Friday, March 09, 2012

Mong Kok Street Scenes

 As far as I can remember, this was the first time I saw and heard someone playing guqin (古琴) on the streets of Mongkok.   She played well, but not too many people paid attention.  Although I suspect many of the people on the street were not in a hurry to get anywhere. 

When I saw the crowd from across the street, I didn’t know why there was such a big crowd.  But I quickly realized that this was where many of the Bank of China  Centenary Commemorative Banknotes (中國銀行100週年紀念紙幣) turned up.   Many of them were carrying big stacks of the notes in their bags. Others were carrying piles of money.  The notes were changing hands for hundreds of dollars each, depending on the numbers on them.  Nobody wanted those with 4s and 7s.  Everybody wanted 8s.  The more the better.

Tak Yu Restaurant (得如酒樓) on Shanghai Street is probably one of the oldest remaining Chinese restaurants.  It was said to have opened in 1920s; but I am not old enough to verify that personally.  This is also not really Mongkok, but close enough in Yaumatei.  The food was said to be OK but not particularly good; and business was also not quite blooming.  How long can it last?  Is it going to fade out just like all the other old Chinese restaurants?

Not too far away, a very common but disturbing scene - a crowd in front of the Jockey Club betting center.  They were mostly adult men; but there were also some women.  Not too many young people were there; that was probably because the young tend to bet on line more.  How much time energy, and precious human lives are wasted in places like this?  How much good could have been done, if the time, energy, and real human lives are spent more productively?


YTSL said...

Hi Stephen --

Interesting entry! Re the Tak Yu restaurant: what kind of Chinese food does it serve -- old style Cantonese, Shanghainese (as befits its location on Shanghai Street ;b) or something else altogether? Also, does it have an English menu? Would love to try it some time... :)

StephenC said...

It is old style Cantonese dim sum. Not sure whether there is an English menu, but I suspect it doesn't. The dim sums are circulated around the restaurant on carts. No need to order. You can order noodles, etc., however. :-)