Hong Kong Filipino Attack
It’s a little known fact for the visitor to Hong Kong that besides the bustling commercial and financial centers, the culture and history and the bid Buddha, Hong Kong has over 250k Filipino maids/nanny’s/workers. Bored Hong Kong wives demand much of these ladies during the week what with their shopping trips and tennis lessons, someone must make sure the domicile is spotless and little Jimmy is fed and tucked into bed. These Hong Kong Filipino ladies work grueling 14-hour shifts 6 days of week. Sunday is the one day where the rich house wives and overworked husbands give their domestic help the day off and it is also a day that if you have no knowledge of this (like I did), it will freak you the heck out.
What this traveler wasn’t prepared for was the sheer number of these ladies and the geographic expanse of their Sunday outings. The epicenter of the Sunday melee is the Hong Kong business district, normally a ghost town in any other city on this day, but Sunday is no ordinary day in Hong Kong. Imagine a bee hive swarming with thousands of worker bees, now imagine the same beehive of 5,000 Hong Kong Filipino ladies throwing down blankets on sidewalks, stairs, parks, walkways, and roads (yes, the city closes the roads here and they set up shop on the asphalt) and hanging out for the day. I am also not taking about a few streets and parks, I am talking about the entire business district, being filled to the brim by these women. They sing, play cards, domino’s, worship, eat McDonald’s and gossip from sun-up until sundown. It is a serious marathon of leisure. Once the day wears one and the sun threatens to set, the ladies slowly pick up their blankets, coolers, and shopping bags and head for the bus stops for a slow retreat back into the multimillion dollars hills from which they came only to repeat this feat in another long, arduous 6 days.