Western people got used to see Hong Kong is a big city with thousands of glimming lights, impressive buildings, hi tech and great oppetunities for work and entartainment. But not everybody knows that there is another Hong Kong and it differs from the advertising brochures greatly.
Jonathan van Smit is one of the few foreigners who ever sees the dark side of Hong Kong.
The New Zealander tells us by email: "I know some Western expats who never eat Chinese food, and who rarely venture outside their expat communities. They're here to make money not to experience a different culture. They live in a largely expat world, their kids go to international schools, their maids do the housework, cooking and shopping. I imagine that the more local parts of Hong Kong are completely alien to many of them."
The level of inequality can be shocking: "Hong Kong is either heaven or hell depending on who you might ask. It has the [developed] world's highest Gini score with Singapore 2nd and the USA 3rd. Over in Kowloon you'll find so-called 'cage people', residents living in cages or ultra small dwellings, barely able to make ends meet and end up begging in the busy streets or living off meager social assistance if they can get it. Food and rent are expensive so losing a job can be a matter of life and death."