Hong Kong has an aging population. An aging population that lives in high-rise apartments. An aging population that likes to spend the morning outside in the park.
Some of them get together in groups to do expected things like tai chi or fan dances.
Some of them use the “fitness corner for the elderly” equipment found in most Hong Kong parks:
But there is one sub-group that prefers to occupy the children’s playground equipment. Some simply sit on the benches and watch the children, but there are many characters among them who actively use the playground. I mainly enjoy interacting with this enigmatic group of park “aunties” and “uncles,” a cast of characters I’ve never seen outside of greater China.
Here are a few of my own field observations:
Standard Elderly Playground User. Places shopping bag on play equipment. Proceeds to stretch and rub back on ladders, poles and other climbing features.
Jack Palance in a Singlet. Climbs up onto one of the playground platforms to perform his push-up routine. Children work their way around him to get to the top of the slide. Reason for using the playground platform rather than the cushioned playground flooring: unknown.
Arm Pounding Auntie. To keep the sun off, she wears gloves and a visor. She stands at the edge of the playground, using one hand to pound and slap, up and down the other arm. (This activity is a rather common sight: insights solicited.) She offers an abundance of free parenting advice. She has never seen a properly clothed child as they are all either too cold or too hot.
Shadowboxing Uncle. Inches from the slide, he shuffles, jabs, and dodges punches coming from out of thin air.
Chocolate Grandma. Does a few cursory stretches. Mainly talks to the children, commenting on which ones are good (“ho gwaai!”) and offering them sweets.
Grandpa Gorilla. He uses the glider (the thing children are supposed to use to glide back and forth between platforms) for his own personal swinging, gliding, and grunting routine. Because he is actually too tall for the equipment, he must bend his knees sharply up to keep his feet from dragging.
Any data points to add?