Meat Market

Recently, I went to a meat market in Sham Shui Po that is colloquially called the "Red Market." This was an interesting experience as it demonstrates a lot of cultural differences between Hong Kong and the United States. It was very shocking at first. The market is indoors; it's essentially many little stands all under one roof.  When you first walk by the entrance the smell is very overpowering but once you enter you immediately get used to it. Once inside there are tons and tons of stands which you navigate between through a path in the middle which is ridiculously crowded. People are packed like sardines all trying to push past each other. My first time going inside I was shocked by seeing every part you could possibly imagine of fish, pigs and other animals - fish guts, hearts, lungs, pig hooves, ears, whole faces, etc. I was most shocked to notice at one stand where the had fish cut in half long ways with the hearts still beating. Having moved along to a different booth, I looked down and noticed a live fish, floppy around next to me in the middle of the aisle between all the stands. One huge difference between meat in Hong Kong and meat in the US is the careful, airtight packaging. in Hong Kong meat is handled casually by hand and is not refrigerated. As strange as all this seems to the average American, I do have to acknowledge how much less hypocritical Hong Kongers are about their meat consumption. They use pretty much every part of the animal, making it much less wasteful. In America we try to kind of hide the fact that what we are eating is a dead animal. We "feel bad" for the animals and want to be humane but we also don't want to see or know what goes on, as though we are not really comfortable with what we are doing. Hong Kong is much more upfront, and the meat is also clearly much more fresh. 

Overall, though I'm a big baby about meat and I can barely even eat chicken with bones in it and the limits of my comfort zone are boneless breast, I enjoyed my experience at the market and I can at least appreciate how visually interesting of a place it is (especially because they use red lights throughout the whole thing, which is why they call it the "Red Market").

Unfortunately, one of my rolls of film didn't turn out so not all the pictures I took there survive. But here's what I did capture.