View from Queen’s Road in Hong Kong

It has recently come to my attention that a certain class of Hong Kong expat refers to anything “off the island” as “the dark side.”

As someone who currently lives “off the island” in Hong Kong’s New Territories and who has also lived in Mainland China, I was inspired to create this comic view of greater China from the perspective of this closeted class of Hongkonger (the main omission being the Lan Kwai Fong and Soho expat/tourist areas that would be at the viewer’s back):

With inspirational thanks to theย New Yorker Magazine’s“View of the World from 9th Avenue” cover from 1976. You can see a copy of it here. Also, for those unfamiliar with Hong Kong, “The House of 1000 Arseholes” is the local nickname for the “Jardine House.”

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23 responses to “View from Queen’s Road in Hong Kong

  1. Hahaha Awesome! Makes me want to create a Shanghai version. Anything outside of the former French Concession would be wastelands. South of Zhaojiabang Lu?!?! Who would ever go there!?

  2. BRILLIANT!… and guilty as charged… I definitely remember rolling my eyes and muttering “I don’t do the dark side” when friends would suggested a trip to Kowloon to check out a new restaurant. Anything “outside the expat bubble” wasn’t worth exploring. Why venture out when your entire world (of work, home, friends, bars, shopping) is neatly encapsulated into 1 square mile? How small-minded and immature, but so very true at the time.

    • Oh yeah, I remember that funny map! Thanks for reminding me and sharing.

      And yes…”dark side” is scarily a real concept… I think those folks are perpetually gearing up for another night in LKF.

  3. Even though I don’t live in China, I can totally identify as I avoided of the “dark side” in other countries that I have lived in. Although now, I think the expats living in Rio or Sao Paulo probably consider where I live to be the dark side. And I love the Gangnam Style reference – I used to living in Gangnam when I lived in Seoul!

    • I can totally relate to avoiding “the dark side” in places that are dangerous, or where it’s uncomfortable to be a woman. Hong Kong is so safe and there is so much to see and do everywhere that “the dark side” really just amounts to anything outside one small-ish expat bubble!

      But, like you, I’ve also avoided “the dark side” in other places, including other cities in China where I felt too shy to leave my comfort zone…

      Glad you liked the Gangnam reference! Having lived there, you must be getting a kick out of the popularity of that song.

      • It’s number six on the top 40 chart here! I just went to a school performance the other day at the international school that my kids go to. The 5th grade did a parody of Gangnam Style – their song was all about DNA which they had been studying in class. The crowd went wild – but then again it really doesn’t take much to excite a bunch of bored housewives ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Thanks for liking my post about rotisserie real estate! Have you seen THAT phenomenon before? What a hoot…

    As a New Yorker, I’m surprised even back in 1976 (wasn’t alive yet…) the magazine “recognized” New Jersey. Then again, they called it Jersey, so we’re half-way there.

    Regarding your graphic, I’m glad to be a frequent guest of the dark side then! Indeed, one of the most irritating facets of Kowloon life is the presence of South Asian shysters, but that’s not hard to evade (do they bother women that much?) A short walk over to Chatham Rd. South up to say, Observatory Rd. should do the trick. But since you are planning to dive right into their mecca (double entendre intended) and eat…have fung!

    Have I mentioned yet the only other part of HK island I don’t mind going to (but that’s a stretch considering the larger neighborhood it’s a part of)? By the Indonesian Consulate in Causeway Bay. Warung Chandra is a common luncheon spot, and a peek around a couple of Indo expat malls in the vicinity are a bit of a tease. Have you been?

    That pedestrian bridge from the star ferry terminal connecting to as far south as Queen’s Rd. Central…it’s a treat. Bothersome, but convenient. (Are you familiar with the threesixty supermarket in the same centre as the Landmark MO?)

    Also, where are all of the SE Asian expats on your graphic?! I guess it wasn’t drawn on a Sunday;)

    • No, I’ve never see a rotisserie in a real estate office. Anywhere. Hilarious and very inventive.

      You are completely right about my terrible omission of any SE Asians! Since the graphic is from the perspective of a certain group of expats, I think I could have added some lines pointing to various parks and pedestrian bridges in Central with the text “helper’s Sunday leisure spot.”

      The South Asians aren’t too hard to evade (at least for me), but they try to sell everyone copy-somthing or suits.

      I know the threesixty and other areas of that part of Central very well. When I used to travel over from Zhuhai I spent, much, much time running around the all the pedestrian bridges in search of food, books and lead-free toys to haul back to China.

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