Our final day of touring Budapest was here. After yet another brunch of pizza bread and baked goods, we headed out to make our way to the Hungarian Parliament. Upon entry into the Corvin-negyed metro station, we again inquired about our travel route at the information counter. With a bit of help from the people at the counter, combined with our map skills, we took the metro going to Deák Ferenc tér. From there, we were supposed to change Continue reading
In the midst of all that wealth per square metre, what is there to be found in Hong Kong at street level? Who are the half-invisible figures who oil the cogs of that great machine?
Up until the early nineties, Hong Kong was home to a neighbourhood that could justifiably be described as an abomination. Kowloon Walled City is now a rather pleasant and serene park, but from the mid-twentieth century onwards was a revolting, densely populated den of 0.01 square miles that at its worst, housed around 33, 000 people. After the Japanese occupation left the island, squatters took residence in the area, and finding them to be a little difficult, us British decided it best to just leave the place be. Consequently, the rule of law disintegrated as the tower blocks grew higher and denser, cramming more people and less air into the nightmarish square of land. Living conditions declined continually, with many having no access to clean drinking water or working gas or electricity. Violence ran rife and criminal gangs took hold of the walled city as their own. As the rest of the island grew and prospered, a blind eye was turned for decades as people lived out appalling lives trapped in this urban prison. It was finally demolished in 1993, but on the site where it once was, a scale model still exists that gives a chilling impression of just how grim and claustrophobic conditions were there.