The Shay Rebellion | Christopher Shay

The Sun Never Sets on Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the sun doesn’t set. It just slowly vanishes. There’s never that golden light that makes buildings and sidewalks glow. At dusk, the city remains in muted colors. On some days, you can actually see the sun as it sets, but it barely penetrates the clouds. The sun’s clearly defined perimeter manages to punch a perfect circle through the fog, but it doesn’t radiate. The sun just sinks into the haze, a fading coral saucer.

Supposedly, many wealthy expats have moved to Singapore to escape to colored sunsets, where clouds go from persimmons to oranges to dragonfruit. It’s not Hong Kong’s fault really. Much of the pollution comes from coal-powered factories north of the region. But walking around the city, it’s easy to imagine the flecks of carbonaceous gunk that one constantly inhales. I can’t help but think back to when an elementary school teacher showed us actual lungs from a smoker. Cigarettes had mangled them and deposited black, glutinous tar throughout the once white organ. I am only being a little neurotic. One oft-cited study blames air pollution for killing 1,600 people each year in Hong Kong. It is no wonder the deterioration of the air quality has become the major issue here. Perhaps with increasing environmental controls in China, the residents of Hong Kong will soon see the sun set on this part of the old British Empire, but with the explosion of growth in Shenzhen, I don’t think it’s likely.

Category: Blog Entries

Tagged: ,

Leave a Reply