Grandpa Liu the lonely Traveller
by Sonia Yu, 17–08–2015, Smarties, Interview
Mr Liu got long thin lips but he did not smile much. He sighed deeply when recalling his childhood. “ My life is tough. The Japanese Army invaded GuangZhou when I was six. My mother was killed and my father died the year after. We had no food. At around twenty, I migrated to Hong Kong alone and continued working ”, he said, staring strictly at one spot. We asked him if he would prefer staying in Hong Kong to GuangZhou. He answered yes without hesitating. The reason was elderly receives better welfare services here. Mr Liu smiled when showing us his Tung Wah membership card. He told us Tung Wah would help the elderly without children to arrange funerals. That was great.
The 82-year-old man lived in Fu Cheong Estate alone. In the past, he also joined one-day-trips held by Sik Sik Yuen. He enjoyed travelling with elderly and pointed out that there was fewer trips alike. He appreciated staffs from Sik Sik Yuen calling on disabled elderly nearby and giving them lunch which costed $10-$20 each. However, he thought that the meal did not taste good even though he did not taste once. On the other hand, he felt contented with the public housing estate and the CCSA as well as the Old Age Allowance. He received $4000-$5000 monthly income and the rent costed him $1000. He believed the rest could afford his living reasonably. However, he had three chances to choose for where to live. Therefore, the final choice may not be the ideal one. Besides, he thought the transport system in Sham Shui Po was well developed.
Mr Liu liked wandering around Yau Tsim Mong District and enjoyed sitting in different areas, especially in parks. However, he wished parks could be more beautiful as Kowloon Park. We were curious about how would Mr Liu enjoy wandering around the street outside instead of staying indoors where air conditioners were in power. He said there was not enough space in the cool public areas. During winters, rather than staying at home, Mr Liu would still go outside to sit and relax but with heavy clothes on.
When it came to family and friends, he shared with us that he had no close family members and his friends mostly passed away. However, he had no interest in meeting new friends as he did not want to be bothered.