05.02.2011 24 °C
While Atta looked for her shoes in Parklane Shopping Arcade, I decided to take a trip to the Kowloon Park right behind it. I went there a couple of times 2 years ago and enjoyed it. It's quiet on the weekdays that provides an green oasis in the midst of hectic Tsimshatsui. The aviary and bird park also give you something to watch while you do your relaxing stroll. Today falls on the weekend, and the park took on a different character. It becomes very lively with crowds, and I turned my eyes from bird watching to scientific studies of other kind of birds (female homo sapiens).
Most of the crowds gathered here were Indonesian domestic workers. Like the Pinoy maids, the Indonesian counterparts gather on the weekend with their fellow country folks in parks, and sidewalks. Working far away from your homeland, the homesickness could be somewhat eased with the companies of your own people. I can relate to their experiences. Been there, done that. Not as as maids, but as somebody who led his life away from my folks in a far-flung alien world at a young age.
This park is a logical gathering for the Indonesian expats because it locates right behind the biggest mosque in Kowloon (I think the biggest in HK, and I think the Pinoy tend to concetrate in HK Island, especially around the Statue Square in Central). Looking at some of the shopping bags, I guess they prayed, then shopped, then had lunch break at the park, more praying, perhaps more shopping before the day ends. An interesting alternating material and spiritual cycle being set up there with Fairlane Shopping Arcade lcaotes next to Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Centre.
Since this is the 2nd day of Chinese New Year, most of the people you see on the streets of Tsimshatsui are Indo and Pimoy domestic workers, and tourists. Of course Tsimshatsui is always filled with non-locals, but with Chinese New Year where locals aren't out doing shopping, but visiting each other, the foreigners are almost made up 90% of Tsimshatsui's faces in the streets (despite the fact that Kowloon is the most densely populated place on earth).
These days the biggest tourist group in HK is of course Chinese Mainlanders. Since HK has always somewhat a chaotic place, but with this additional Chinese tourists, the chaos has just increased 2 folds.