National Geographic : 1962 Jul
HONG KONG, OUR NEXT STOP, brought us two weeks of intensive classwork-and more vivid impressions. Our billets well illustrated the crowded conditions in the British Crown Colony.* Most of our ISA boys stayed in Y.M.C.A. rooms-the best then available so narrow that we could touch both walls by stretching. Several girls stayed near a refugee area. "Those poor people were awake all night," one of the girls remarked, "and so was I." After a few such nights, our hollow-eyed ISA girls were moved to quieter quarters. Just as Hong Kong itself shelters the ex tremes of rich and poor, two of us were un believably lucky in our accommodations. Mike Andes and I spent two weeks in the *See "Hong Kong Has Many Faces," by John Scofield, in the January, 1962, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. home of Mr. Hari Harilela, an Indian-born representative of ISA. Mr. Harilela's three story mansion-protected by solid steel gates -w as a dazzling combination of mahara ja's palace and luxury hotel. In harsh contrast, we went into the New Territories behind Kowloon and saw narcot ics addicts working in a rehabilitation camp. On a day's trip to Portuguese Macau, we stood a stone's throw from a mountainside commune of Red China. Talks with refugees made us feel fortunate indeed. Our class studies gave us the same scene from a different angle, and we saw the refu gees as fragments of humanity squeezed from the relentless mold in which the Communists are attempting to reshape old China. We discussed Confucius and his theories of so ciety and state, weighing them against the men and ideas that rule the country today. Recess Time in Hong Kong: Students Crowd a Junk The British Crown Colony fades astern as Sea Dragon passengers pose for a class por trait. Refugees from Red China constantly swell the city's polyglot population, which now exceeds three million. Lesson in transportation teaches Mike Andes that ricksha travel offers comfort and reasonable speed in crowded streets. Lesson in bargaining educates the ricksha rider to a popular Hong Kong practice: de bate over what is a reasonable fare.