A quick visit to the Chungking building
I decide to visit Chungking mansions which i have seen on film in a Wong Kar-Wai movie a long time ago. The Chungking building is on Nathan Road, one of the biggest streets which run through Kowloon. The building is a big block, probably built in the 60ies, it has numerous shops on the first floor.
There is not a trace of daylight on the ground floor. A number of merchants offer their goods, from electric appliances to money exchange.
There are several elevators and stairways which lead up to the other floors. Groups of immigrants wait in front of the elevators, ranging from Indian to black people, some of them in their traditional clothes. All of them are men. They wait to get on the elevator that brings them up to an endless number of guesthouses which cover all of the above floors. The African men look quite positive, there seems to be a future for them in Hong Kong (or at least a present).
I get out through a backdoor to a dark and narrow lane. Three guys squat on the floor. One of them has bad teeth, he flashes a rather dirty grin and offers me marihuana. Better get out of that place, it’s too dark and dirty in the backyard.