I remember that the area between Central and Wanchai - now the site of Admiralty, the High Court, Pacific Place, etc. - was once an urban desert. The land on both sides of the road was used by the navy and the army, and for ordinary people there was nothing there: just a wide road with narrow pavements bounded by walls.
Hardly anyone walked between Central and Wanchai, and some of those who did were tourists who knew no better. The trams didn't usually have to stop there so the drivers could speed up a little, with a lot of clanking.
There was an acute lack of eating-places in Central so some minibuses used to run between Central and Wanchai only at lunchtime.
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From Hong Kong 100 Years Ago by John Warner, produced by the Museum of History and published by the Urban Council in 1970:
The military and naval authorities ... annexed large central areas of land which divide and disrupt the city to this day. The wealthier merchants ... insisted on their 'right' to control the waterfront and to have direct access to the sea ... Private access to the waterfront was, until the 1860's, extremely limited. At that time the Praya was built, which unified the waterfront of the centre of town, but plans to extend it in the 1870's to unite Wanchai were vetoed by the military authorities.
I remember China Motor Bus.
CMB had the licence to operate buses on HK Island. I think the HK system of regulated monopolies generally worked well, even though it wasn't laissez-faire, but this company was a disgrace.
I once got on a bus that had a hole in the floor. A metal plate about the size of a doormat was missing between two benches on the lower deck. I looked through the gap and saw the road whizzing by.
The company sometimes imported second-hand buses from England. (It is humiliating that such a thing should have happened in Hong Kong!) I once saw one being driven from the dock, still with its British number plates. This was something I hadn't known about. I must have shown my surprise, and the driver looked embarrassed. The buses were refurbished before being put on the road, but I once got on one in which the London Transport notices, in their distinctive typeface, were still faintly legible on the walls.
On the very last day of their licence to operate, one of their tunnel buses took a wrong turning at Kai Tak airport and the upper deck smashed into the building above the road. Luckily there were no passengers.
China Motor Bus relinquished its licence in order to concentrate on property development. It still exists, quoted on the Stock Exchange.
I remember shopping with my mum at Dodwells at the bottom of Melbourne Plaza.
I remember just once seeing a woman with bound feet, in Tsim Sha Tsui in the late 70s.
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In the same period, in a crowded market in Kowloon, early one morning, I saw a woman doing her shopping seated in a rickshaw.
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Until a year or so ago, in the north-west New Territories, I would see a small, bent old woman carrying her shopping home on a shoulder-pole.
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I remember that in some shops you would pay at the front, and the money would be put in a small tray or clip suspended on a wire from the ceiling. It would be drawn up, then across the ceiling, and down to the cashier at the back of the shop. Any change would be sent by the same route.
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If you bought, say, a few bottles of beer: instead of putting them into a plastic bag, the grocer might tie them into a bundle with string or tape. They would end up securely held in a sort of net, made from the tape. He would then cut one more short piece, and make a handle.
Mrs R.O.'s father, a shop-keeper, sold cans of paraffin tied together like that. She says she can still do it herself.
Where abouts was this? Love the music in the film.