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Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm a horrible bloggerKowlon Walled City

I'm the worst schedule - er ever, and not so great at time management when I'm not working.

Job - show up 15 to 30 minutes early, coffee in hand, ready to face the day.

Home - Had a nightmare about bugs crawling out of my recesses, didn't get to sleep until three a.m.  (My previous nightmares were all about my teeth, but now that I've found a dentist, my lizard brain has found something else to torture me with. Yay?)

Planned on doing laundry.  It was a good plan.  Until I found this DIY photo hack website, and a German documentary about Kowloon city.

If you are not familiar with this place, do yourself a favor and Google it.  Around 30-50 thousand people, living in a .01 mile area, run by the Triad, which was(is?) the Hong Kong mafia.  I believe (haven't fact checked thoroughly) that this was the most dense population of any city block, possibly ever.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/05/05/article-0-12EF340A000005DC-165_964x736.jpg  That's it, there. (It was destroyed in 1993, and a public park built in it's place.)

The place was built up and modified by it's residents to such a point that it became a maze of dark, dripping corridors, tiny apartments and businesses; rife with prostitution, drug use, and normal people living fairly normal lives.



You can see some of the rest of Hong Kong surrounding the area, a city which is fairly dense by typical urban standards.

Inside, this place looked kind of like a cyber punk acid trip.







Here's a view from the top:



As you might imagine, the only light hitting the lower levels and most of the streets were artificial.  I get lost just thinking about trying to find my way around that insanity.

People are amazing though - besides the 'soft' crimes, most citizens here worked, lived, ran tiny businesses (footage wise), just like any other place.







Originally, the site was an army base.  In the documentary, people ignore an old cannon left in the middle of one of the built up alleys as they walk by.  There were bits and pieces of the old base left to be built upon.  One of the wildest though (to me anyway) is the space and reverence given to this temple:



One of the few places that seemed to still get natural light while on the ground floor.

So, that's what I did instead of laundry yesterday.

Monday, July 2, 2012