This blog posting by Amy Li delivers us back to the classic and crude stereotypes of Chungking Mansions that in recent years have become harder to discern. It rides off the rather tragic tail of a Beijing student who was recently raped in one of the hostels. Li links to the story, which was only picked up by the Standard and not the SCMP.
Just last week someone emailed me to ask when was the edifice of the building refurbished. They were a little concerned that the old seedy CM was slipping away.
Li’s blog posting in the SCMP brings back the blurry volatile ambiguity of Chungking Mansions for another generation of backpackers. This new generation come from the Mainland and are taking the opportunity to get a slice of Hong Kong movie infamy (do note a stone’s throw from the avenue of stars), and cheap accommodation. Saving perhaps extra cash to spend across the road in Ocean Terminal.
Many have learned much more about Chungking Mansions in the light of Gordon Mathews book. A text that offers only a passing glance at Chungking Express noting that it is most unrepresentative of life inside the great building. The building itself has undergone somewhat of a renaissance in the last few years. However, as Li’s story aptly shows, reputations are hard to shake.