Looking up and away to the often-scattered cotton candy skies, you’ll also see a Lego house city of pastel skyrisers. Each lovingly – or impatiently? Forcibly? – slicked with lacquers of pastel rainbow paint to create a chalk-tinted landscape. In a city where concrete overtakes greenery, it’s nice to see glimpses of candyfloss-coloured architecture. These towering structures that house innumerable families, solo dwellers, expats, sweet retired couples who have lived there for perhaps over 20 years. What are their stories? What are the stories behind each tiny, gated window?
There’s an elderly couple that I see almost every morning. They stroll hand-in-hand to the pier and he often carries her bag. She often mops his forehead with a pocket handkerchief. Sometimes she has a newspaper and he holds breakfast too. I imagine this is a lovestruck couple who have been together, well, forever. Perhaps they were torn apart by the war and thus she dotes on him as much as he does her. Their child, it’s probably just one child if they’re from Hong Kong, is a grown man yet the second bedroom remains a time capsule of sticker-adorned furniture, Gundam collectibles and there’s probably freshly changed sheets every week. He returns once in a while, but it’s rare.
I’d like to think the couple were and are best friends. They walk hand-in-hand each morning and share food by the waterfront before heading to the wet markets where they buy each other’s favourite foods. They head home and she’ll treat herself to a tofu fa on the way home while he lovingly tuts. He naps in front of the TV while she potters around the 12x12 apartment. Once he awakens, they chatter absentmindedly about the recurring dream he’s had since they were 16. She prepares dinner as he practices chess. And then the everyday mundane begins again but it’s anything but mundane.