Convenience Stall Vendor


Hong ( “康” - healthy )

Lai Chi Kok (荔枝角)

08:00 - 19:00

“I have been working as a street vendor at this same spot for 53 years, since I was 12 years old. Back then my mum started off selling milk tea and coffee in the 60’s, and I would come help her out. This whole street used to be packed with hawkers and street vendors. In the 90’s the government toughened up on licensing requirements, so everybody had to leave - we are the only remaining stall here. Every day for the past few decades I set up shop, take stock and sell to the office and factory workers around here. The best selling products are cigarettes and fizzy drinks. I don’t smoke myself, I’m 65 years old and I want to stay healthy.”  

「我喺呢度做咗 53 年,由我12 歲開始做。嗰陣時阿媽六十年代喺度開始賣奶茶咖啡,咁我咪嚟幫手囉。以前成條街都係小販同街檔。九十年代, 政府睇牌照睇得好緊,個個收檔走曬,得我哋呢檔留低。我幾十年嚟日日嚟開檔,點貨,賣嘢俾啲寫字樓同工廠工人。最好賣嘅係煙仔同汽水。我自己就唔食堙嘅。我今年 65 歲,想保持健康。」

Odoo • Image and Text

“I grew up in Lai Chi Kok, and I remember we used to see gang fights break out just in front of our stall. Sometimes they would grab our knives as well and we would just try to hide and stay out of the way. Doesn’t happen much these days. I like my job. I have always had this thought since I was a kid - ‘Why study so hard only to work for someone else when you can work for yourself?’. With this job I have no restrictions, but I also have no freedom. On the one hand I have no one to answer to, on the other I am tied down because everything is down to me. I chose this for myself but I would still tell kids these days to study hard - you have more options that way.”  

「我喺荔枝角大,記得以前會見到成班人喺檔口面前打交。有時仲會攞埋我哋啲刀嚟打。我哋咪盡量避開囉。依家好少見喇。我做呢份工幾開心。我好細個嘅時候以經成日諗:「讀書讀得咁辛苦咪又係要同人打工?咁不如打自己工好過啦!」我做呢行冇束縳,不過冇自由。一方面我冇人管,令一方面我行唔開因為乜都係靠自己。我自己楝嘅,不過我都會叫啲细路勤力啲讀書 - 多啲選擇嘛。」  

“I stand here all day and see everything happening in the neighbourhood. I have a lot of regular customers and sometimes they help me buy lunch or stand in for me when I need to take a quick break. I sit on this armchair to rest sometimes, or my regulars will stop by for a break to have a chat. I like to keep active though, so every morning I swim 1km before work. I also love to go surfing in Bali, but I haven’t been going as often these days as my surfing buddies are all married and have young kids, so they have less freedom to travel. My son is 36 years old and he is a chef at an Italian restaurant. He cooks for me sometimes - his steak is excellent.”

「我喺度企成日所以呢度發生嘅都見到哂。我有好多熟客。有時佢哋會幫我買飯,我要行開吓嘅時候佢哋會幫手睇吓檔。我有時會坐喺度唞吓,又或者啲客會坐吓傾吓偈。不過我鍾意保持活躍。我每朝都去游一公里水先返工。我又好鍾意去巴里島滑浪,不過我啲滑浪朋友都結咗婚有細路,所以冇咁易行開。我個仔 36歲,喺一間意大利餐廳做廚師。佢有時都會煮嘢我食㗎 - 佢整啲牛扒最正。」