On July 7, people came and went on the streets of Sham Shui Po. Sham Shui Po is located in the northwest of Hong Kongs Kowloon Peninsula. The buildings of the whole street retain the appearance of the 1960s. From the middle of last century to the present, there has been a constant influx of people of all kinds. Today, there are many restaurants and e-mall all over the streets and alleys. The owners of the area operate various properties such as tanglou, Fangfang and cage house. This is the most complicated and smoky place in Hong Kong.
Huang Feng lives in a Tang building in Sham Shui Po. Tang tower is a kind of Chinese and Western style building built in the middle and later period of last century in Hong Kong. After years of wind and sun and repeated private building and reconstruction, most of them have been in a state of disrepair. The meaning of division is to divide a family in the Tang building into several small compartments of less than 10 square meters.
Life in the house
Huang Feng turns from a busy street into a narrow door. The entrance of her house is hidden between a Japanese restaurant and a shoe store.
The Cantonese songs played by the ancient early taste shops in the street are gradually fading away. The sound of rectifiers in the stairwell receives Huang Fengs breath rhythm of climbing stairs. The corner of the dark and narrow stairs is piled with household garbage of all floors. Sometimes mice will run around the garbage heap on the floors. In order not to frighten the children, she insisted on taking the garbage from the ninth floor room where they lived to the dustbin near the Sham Shui Po subway station.
Huang Feng walked around the garbage piled up in the corridor and went downstairs.
After the renovation, each tenant has its own water and electricity meter.
Huang Feng and her son live on the top floor of the building. After the summer sun, the house is sultry. On rainy days, the house often leaks. The window machine of air conditioner works hard in the sticky air, and two electric fans are needed to cool the air. They are used to the mixed noise of air conditioner and outdoor people and vehicles.
Huang Feng sat in the small room waiting for her son to come home from school. In order to save money, she and her friends moved the bed and refrigerator by themselves. The washing machine was sent by a kind audience after an interview with the poor families in the community by Radio Hong Kong. The belongings almost filled the whole house, and her and her sons belongings were piled up in high closets.
Huang Feng is cleaning up the dishes in the kitchen. The kitchen and bathroom are separated by a bamboo curtain door, each space can only accommodate one person. Portable mirrors hang in the bathroom.
Because there was no closet at home, Huang Feng and her sons clothes were hung in every corner of the house.
In the small kitchen, the little tortoise raised by Huang Fengs son is placed in a large plastic basin, and the rice cooker is covered with a handkerchief to cover the dust.
The door of the room is the bedroom. After putting the basic furniture and household appliances, there is almost no extra space. This room, which is less than 10 square meters in total, rents at HK $3200 per month (about 2900 yuan), which is already the lowest price given by the landlord. Since Huang Fengs son cant get a job in Hong Kong, the government cant pay for his sons stay in Hong Kong for $460. Apart from basic expenses such as utilities and meals, they have little balance.
In the corridor in front of Huang Fengs house is a vegetable Trailer sent by the welfare agency.
Huang Fengs nine-year-old son said that he often stood at the door of a convenience store with his mobile phone to do his homework because there was no Internet in the Tang building where they lived and the WiFi provided by the landlord was often not available. His happiest time is to go to the community center, where there is an iPad to use, and he can only do homework with his mobile phone at home.
Huang Fengs son studied in a narrow space.
There are bilingual Pinyin boards on the refrigerator at home.
Huang Fengs son joked that his mother couldnt keep up with his study progress, so he couldnt help him immediately. The son is almost the source of Huang Fengs happiness.
Living in poverty as a companion in Hong Kong
Before moving here, Huang Feng and her son stayed in the sisters home in Sham Shui Po. Her sister moved to Hong Kong in her early years, and it was she who advised Huang Feng to bring her children to school in Hong Kong. Because her son is a Hong Kong registered permanent residence, Huang Fengs life in Shanweis hometown is relatively difficult, and she cant afford the expenses of private schools in the mainland. In addition, Hong Kong is short of educational resources. She needs to stand in kindergarten before she can continue to be a public school in the future.
A picture of Huang Feng and her son when they first arrived in Hong Kong was posted on the refrigerator.
In order to subsidize her family, Huang Feng once ventured to be a water guest (agent purchase). She discussed with the kindergarten to arrange the children to attend classes in the morning so that in the afternoon she could take her son through Luohu customs to bring goods to mainland buyers. But after all, this is not in accordance with the regulations, so she only dares to bring a little milk powder and bath products each time. Once, Huang Feng was found by the customs and detained her pass until late at night. She had to give up her shopping and go back to the last subway in Hong Kong. Later, it became more and more difficult to take goods through customs. In addition, the child had to go to the kindergarten senior class, so she stopped doing it.
Because her son often sweats when she sleeps at night, Huang Feng goes to the market to buy a piece of spareribs for HK $103 (about 90 yuan) to cook corn and spare ribs soup for her son. This is the second time she has been cooking soup since she moved here for more than a year.
Huang Fengs son gulps down the soup made by his mother.
Huang Fengs son chatted with his mother while playing games.
In 2015, the government conducted a physical examination of children in the Sham Shui Po area, and Huang Fengs son was found to have excessive blood lead. At the same time, Huang Feng learned from the comprehensive examination in the medical institution that her son had ADHD and needed to take medicine every day. Later, with the help of charities, Huang Fengs son received some medical aid.
After school, Huang Fengs son, who was active, was riding a bicycle on the roof and fell down accidentally.
Huang Fengs son showed off the ants he had caught.
Huang Feng wipes sweat for the children who come back from playing.
Institutional support, social worker assistance
Chen Huiling, a social worker, helped Huang Fengs son wipe the wound when he fell down accidentally.
On July 7, in order to help Huang Fengs family survive the epidemic, Chen Huiling sent them some more childrens masks. She also brought her own cake coupons to Huang Fengs son. Chen Huiling, who moved to Hong Kong with her parents in her early years, shares the life of Huang Feng and her son.
Chen Huiling sent Huang Fengs childrens masks and told them to pay attention to the epidemic situation.
Chen Huiling gave the cake coupon to Huang Fengs son.
Among the members of the Kowloon West Service Office served by Chen Huiling, there are about 2000 single parent families in Sham Shui Po area who are in similar circumstances to Huang Fengs mother and son. The service department will contact enterprises to arrange employment, organize group travel, conduct language training and help children learn to help them adapt to Hong Kong life slowly.
Looking forward to improving life with both hands
Huang Fengs sister advised her to apply for a one-way divorce, forget the past and start a new life, but she did not dare to take this step easily. According to the law of Hong Kong, an applicant who immigrates to Hong Kong with his / her children has to meet multiple conditions, such as the age of the child reaching 18 and the applicant reaching the age of 60, in order to become a Hong Kong resident. If she gets divorced, she doesnt know how to survive the vagrant life in the next ten years.
Huang Feng walked out of the dark and dilapidated corridor.
On the evening of July 7, Huang Feng sent off Chen Huiling, a social worker who came to visit.
She stood on the street with neon lights, and there was a sunset among the buildings.