This is the very first entry in a big bulging diary I have – it’s also full of pictures cut from brochures, saved tickets and receipts and all kinds of stuff, and I promise to show you some more in the future. We had arrived in Hong Kong for a three-day stopover en route to London and coming from the very non-crowded city of Perth, I can remember to this day the feeling of amazement I had that people could live in apartment buildings like this. Their washing hung in the windows and (a detail I didn’t remember but my picture clearly shows) some had TV antennas attached by long cables from the roof down to the windows.
Regular readers will remember my 25 years ago in Europe series in which I laid bare numerous pictures of me as a nine-year-old (fortunately, I haven’t received *too* much ridicule as a result!). But wait, as they say, there’s more. I recently came across the diaries I kept during those trips and there are some real gems to share. At the risk of becoming an international embarrassment, I’m going to share these with you, mostly for a much more intellectual reason – I think the views of a nine-year-old from the most isolated city in the world as she gets exposed to all these new places is kind of interesting, especially when we’re thinking about my favourite topic of cultural insights and understanding.
That and some of the stuff I drew, wrote and saved is just really hilarious.
At the time, I know I felt a kind of sympathy for these people, thinking that it can’t be much fun living in an apartment block like that. These days, I’ve had my own experiences of apartment life and while I still love my sprawly suburban house (especially with kids), I can see definite advantages to living in something more contained, too (no gardening, no gutters, just to name a couple). And if I had the luck to live in New York for a year (a little fantasy of mine!) then it’d be criminal not to live downtown in an apartment.
But to sum up, I just think it’s cute that of all the great places I saw in Hong Kong, the one I chose to draw was an apartment building.