Indoors or Outdoors? That’s a question
16 August 2016 (Sun)
The stories collection journey started at 2pm.
Carmen and I decided to walk around first — to familiarise ourselves with the neighbourhood and to spot out potential “comfortable places” where the elderly would hang out. Along the way, we found out that there were a lot of street-side hawkers selling old “goods” (e.g. bags, little gadgets, electrical appliances) and a majority of them were old people. Although the “goods” did not looking appealing to me (I do not mean to be judgmental about the potential buyers), there were still small crowds at particular “stalls” — apparently, the goods were popular.
We walked further to Pei Ho Street, thinking of visiting the wet market and sports centre — places where old people might go. The sports centre was air-conditioned and indeed, in the open areas, there were quite a lot of our “targets” sitting on the benches and chairs. We soon targeted an old woman sitting alone on a long bench (and due to the empty spaces next to her) on 6/F. She became our first interviewee and the whole thing lasted 15–20 minutes.
In the middle of the interview, our teammate K So joined us. She introduced herself to the woman, lightening up the atmosphere again when we started to run out of questions. As our interviewee was too shy to be photographed (even with us), we thanked her and left the scene to find another suitable place to summarize our findings and discuss how the interview went on (e.g. improvements).
The next spot was Nam Cheong Street Sitting-Out Area, which expanded along the street for blocks. After moving back and forth, we targeted a man in Area No.3 but he did not talk much and was self-defensive. Being afraid of attacking his self-esteem, we ended the interview and tried not to make him feel too inferior. We moved on, but having such experience in mind, we tried to look for some that seemed willing to talk. However, it was getting “late” (around 4:45pm), the elderly started getting up and leaving the place, probably going home to prepare their meals.
We then switched our target place and went to a shopping mall – Dragon Centre. What kinds of people would we find in the mall? We took the lift to the food court. It was crowded with all walks of life but the elderly were still seen in place. They scattered in different corners – some in groups, some alone. After a couple of trials, one old man was kind enough to talk to us, though occasionally checking his watch – it was almost time for him to go home. Again, he refused that a photo be taken of him and he left right afterwards.
Sitting down at a nearby table, we discussed our interviews again. We talked about the difficulties met and possible things to work on in the coming day. (Such discussion details could be seen in Carmen’s “Reflection” blog entry.) We then ended our journey.