The Kowloon City district was probably the area I visited the most in the 1980s. I spent my 7-year secondary school life there. Back then, the aeroplanes flew overhead everyday. The hawkers swarmed Lion Rock Road. Walking past the walled city on the way to school, snapping up some snacks in the international supermarket off school with friends, enjoying a bowl of tofu pudding in Kung Wo Beancurd Factory, tutoring primary students near the 13 Streets in To Kwa Wan for side money during the senior years, these were the trivia of my everyday secondary school life. I also witnessed the completion of “Red Apple” To Kwa Wan Market and Kowloon City Plaza. The streets of Kowloon City were lined with Teochew grocery stores and Thai restaurants. It was common to spot celebrities walking by. All these good memories about Kowloon City have been staying in my mind. I still remember my father feeding the birds on grasshoppers bought from Kowloon City, where it used to gather shops selling pet birds and related products. And also the night our whole family went to Sai Nam Restaurant for a nice meal. In those days, dining out was a big occasion.
Secondary school life seems so far away, but it also feels intimately close.