Today’s lecture was a pretty big pivot compared to last week’s – instead of reading an article or report, we got to watch a movie (Chungking Express, an artsy by entertaining Hong Kong film), and instead of a straight lecture, the class was much more of a discussion. We used our background of knowledge on Hong Kong’s history and society that we built up last week to interpret the cultural significance of the film and the sorts of issues and attitudes it was drawing attention to. Additionally, we watched a few clips from other Hong Kong movies and learned a little about Hong Kong cinema in general. While I feel like I learned a lot, it also made me very eager to watch more, different Hong Kong films, and I felt like this was the first class we’ve had that really got be stoked to seek out more on the topic on my own, and gave me some inspiration for our final project. I was really happy with it, and look forward to more classes like it this week. In the afternoon I stopped by the Wetland Park (which we tried to visit last week, but just missed the closing) – it was the perfect day for it, warm and sunny, and I had a great time walking around the park and looking at wildlife. In the late afternoon/evening, we walked around Chunking Mansion, the huge commercial/residential building in Tsim Sha Tsui that has historically been the territory of South Asian immigrants. While the environment was markedly different from the rest of Hong Kong, I personally found it really interesting, and absolutely loved the food, both the bits of street food I couldn’t help myself from buying and the excellent Indian restaurant we ate at for dinner. Many of the other students mentioned that it made them uncomfortable, and that’s understandable – the vendors were definitely aggressive, the corridors narrow and not the cleanest, and apparently (according to some of the Lingnan students) the area has a historical reputation for crime. However, the impression that I got was closer to what our professors had described, I think – it seemed like a center for immigrant communities to make some money selling to interested foreigners, more tourist-trap-esque than physically dangerous. That said, however, we only spent about an hour there, so I obviously understand the place only on a surface level, and am in no position to pass any judgements.

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