Kowloon City Stories / Contribution

The whiff of cloth dyeing

The neighbourhood of To Kwa Wan is both familiar and unfamiliar to me. When I was a child, I lived with my grandfather in the 13 Streets. Our flat was on the fifth floor of one of the tenement buildings. It was easy for me to go up and down the stairs, when I was still a primary school student at the time; while it was tough for my grandfather. I could see the Cotton Mills from my window, and the scene of dyeing cloth was often seen, and the strange whiff of the dyed cloth was often in the wind.

At that time, my after school activity was to make hand-made plastic flowers with my mother. I emigrated with my family after my grandfather passed away, and we re-located back to the neighbourhood in 2010. The neighbourhood became deserted, most of the ground floor shops are garages, full of a gas and oil smell, a sigh.

I miss the lively neighbourhood.

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