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Weekend Lockout and the Man on the Street

For some reason I have been unable to access wordpress all weekend and yet now it suddenly is opening for me. I guess this is not a universal issue as my stats show that this has been a weekend where people have been all over this blog – so thanks for reading me.

It hasn’t been a bad thing to be locked out for the weekend as it has been a really busy one with the semi final for our rugby team on saturday (35-5 win which is great but the only 5 points they scored was from a missed tackle by me, which was not so great) and friends from Paris here on their way to Australia.

So after we fed and bathed the kids and got them to bed I processed one batch of film using my new 5 reel Patterson tank to process 4 rolls of TMax 400 – all shot on Aperture Priority on my Voigtlander. It’s funny using the A setting on the camera as it still feels like cheating after only running cameras on full manual for the last year.

The image below is from the first of the films and is the same guy who has been sat here every day since I can remember and I photographed a year ago and posted it on my Tumblr blog.

This time as I crouched to take a photo, an irate Hong Kong woman stood in front of me and started berating me and asking why I was taking a photo of the guy. Instead of getting angry with her though; I asked her how many times she sees him – to which she said “every day – why?” and so I asked the obvious question of how many times she drops a coin in his hat he uses to beg with and whether she thought it was acceptable in HK for us to have people reduced to begging; to which she called me a bad man and walked of;, leaving me in piece to take my photo and leave the man a few dollars and my thanks.

The reason I have taken the picture again and posted it today is more about the general disquiet in HK over the last budget and the lack of long term thinking for education and medical improvements. Yesterday saw the Central area brought to a complete standstill with 10,000 protesters and tear gas being fired by police to disperse the crowd.

In a country with sky rocketing living costs, it feels as if more and more of the poor are being left behind and because of Chinese pride they may not be begging on the street but they may just be going hungry or without medical care instead.

Posted by simon on March 7, 2011

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