iReport: A bizarre moment in Hong Kong
Pushing loaded carts, often uphill, is a task usually relegated to Hong Kong’s poorest residents. In these photos, the laborers move about seemingly unnoticed by international business people and tourists in Lan Kwai Fong, a dining and entertainment destination in Central, one of Hong Kong Island’s poshest districts.
In Hong Kong, it is common to see both old and young laborers pushing carts like the ones shown in these photos. Poverty affects all ages.
Pushcarts, themselves, are not bizarre. You see them the world over. After posting this story on iReport, I came across a 2007 news story that noted that in Milan, police were issuing citations to Chinese wholesale clothing merchants who used pushcarts to ferry goods on the northern Italian city's sidewalks.
What's bizarre is that people such as this either become invisible to us or they become a nuisance.
It’s hard to believe people still ferry goods this way, especially when modern transport equipment is readily available. It’s even more bizarre when you consider that Hong Kong is regularly ranked among the top 20 richest cities in the world.
Here, in the Chinese territory of seven million, the laborers' plight is largely disregarded -- and that's unsettling.
All the photos were shot in a segment of D’Aguilar Street between Queen’s Road and Wellington Street, bordering Lan Kwai Fong, in Central. The area is the heart of the luxury retail trade and Hong Kong Island's nightlife hotspot. But you wouldn’t know it from looking at the people pushing the carts.
My friend, fellow iReporter and poet mmslavick gave me a toy-size, miniature pushcart, modeled after the ones shown in the photos. I placed it on my desk to remind me of my own good fortune. I accidentally knocked it off one day and it broke apart. It had been shoddily constructed.
I particularly like a line from her poem, “city automatic”: "every evening, the same woman with old hair bends over her wooden cart and collapses pushes collapses ..."
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