Tag Archives: Travels

Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, 1991

During my first visit to Hong Kong, I stayed in the Chungking Mansions, which was a building consisting of shops and and rooming houses on various floors. I had a deluxe room, which had a bathroom. The shower consisted of a nozzle on the sink and drain in the floor.

There were two elevators the size of telephone booths. One stopped on odd floors and the other on even. The line was too long for me to wait so I took the stairs and noticed that several patrons used the stairwells to dump their garbage. Years later I read in a guide book that a group of prostitutes ran their business out of the Chungking Mansions but got so disgusted that they left. I shouted out, “I stayed there!”

The Chungking Mansions feature in Wong Kar Wai’s film “Chungking Express.” If you haven’t seen it, you should.

Galway Ireland


In 2014 I attended the Galway Arts Festival. The great thing about Ireland was that I could turn to the stranger sitting next to me and spend the next half hour discussing the play we’d just seen. In America, they’d think I was some kind of serial killer and leave. On my last night in Galway, I  was walking back to my hotel after the play and realized I hadn’t discussed it with anyone. Just then, I guy on a bicycle screeched to to a stop and said, “Did you just see Ballyturk? What did  you think of it?” I started talking and other guys on bicycles pulled up. We spent 40 minutes discussing the festival while standing on the side of the road.

It’s a great festival and the Irish are wonderful people. If you ever get a chance to go, do it.