Saturday, March 3, 2007
The interface between economic worlds, between developed and developing, is evident throughout Hong Kong. This photo, while perhaps aesthetically average, catches this divide. The first floors are shops specialising in hi-tech entertainment gadgets and the kind of sub-Hello Kitty toys that are so popular, while the top floors are cheap hotels and rooms. There are many Indian eateries in the building, offering food to the residents and passing tourists, and at the entrance visitors are swamped by Indians handing out brightly coloured credit card sized discount vouchers and promising their cafe's food is the best that can be had.
Walking through the stores it became clear that while the economic miracle was evident at the front of the building, the stores at the rear were in many cases empty shells, still waiting to be leased, The bright lights, glass, mirrors and aluminium shutters, combined with the thin web of walkways in the mall gave an effect not unlike a crazy house at a fun fair.