Pride of Place: GiGi To Man Chee

Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]

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My favourite place in Hong Kong 
is…your heart. Just kidding. I don’t feel I belong, but if you asked me to pick a place, I would pick this shore near where I live. It is smaller than it used to be because they reclaimed the beach to widen the roads, things changed around it, but it’s still there, for now.
I like to walk by the water at night, some people jogging, some dogs. Smell of dog droppings mixed with sea salt and sand on the breeze. Some people fishing. Some sailing boats and ships. Planes in the sky. Shadows of trees and usually couples. I haven’t seen a ghost yet, but sometimes there is ash strewn, along with newspapers, on the footpath. Some flowers and birds, but not many. Barbecue smell. What else.
They used to light candles and sit on the beach during Mid-Autumn Festival. TVB filmed a scene there years ago. The swimming area was open and closed over the years. I wouldn’t swim there though, I heard it’s where the drains empty. Still, pools could be worse, I don’t know. An African once told me he got too tanned from swimming in the sea too often. We probably don’t want to get tanned anyway. My brother as a kid bloodied his foot once walking on the rocks in slippers. I think I caught one tiny fish that day, and refused an offer of a few pieces of fresh fish from a fisherman and got yelled at by my dad when he later found out. I always imagine bringing my favourite people here, but it always ends up the other way round.


GiGiGiGi To Man Chee is a graduate (Class of 2016) at the Department of English. [Read all entries by GiGi.]


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