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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Postcard From Kowloon - Chungking Mansions - 1984

Kowloon Air Shaft

Chungking Mansions

Third world Casa Blanca
smell of spices and fried foods
rise from a first floor farmers market
jewelry on the cheap
watches and cell phones
might last for a week
            three if you’re lucky.

Labyrinth of aisles and warrens
maze of small shops
harried clerks and throngs of customers
newspapers from a world of nations
foods of any taste.
An edgy, gritty feel
above all this
some twenty floors of small one-star hotels
rest stops for immigrants and new arrivals
Lonely Planet tourists
travelers of low means.
A constant rattle of Mahjong tiles echo in the air shaft by my window
looking out on other rooms the same as mine
the price is right
            stay here a day or two at most.

On my way out this early morning
passing still closed shops
the biggest rat I ever saw!

Koloon 2

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