Long Live Chungking Mansions

Long Live Chungking Mansions!

The even-floors Block-A lift in Chungking Mansions wasn’t going to stop bleeping, let alone move. Not until the unfeasibly tall man in a suit stepped out. He knew the score and obliged. ‘That was a big guy’ I commented to the African ladies squashed up against me in the tiny space, as we began to ascend.

‘Tall man’ one nodded.

‘Where are you from?’ I asked.

‘Zambia’ said the other.

‘How’s Lusaka?’


They stepped out around floor 12, you lose track of these things when you seem to stop just about everywhere on the way. My stop was 16, and then the stairs to 17, the top. The odd-floor elevator didn’t go there, which is why I’d told the Chinese security man controlling the queues for them: ‘The even lift is the best’. He’d laughed. It was 2am and he wasn’t knocking off till 7. A sunny temperament helps working a beat in Chungking Mansions.

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Long Live Chungking Mansions!


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