Musing Mondays asks you to muse about:
Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
My recent whim has been non-fiction. It just happens that way, I’m intrigued by all these books. First and most of all, Argo by by Antonio Mendez. In Thailand, I found a copy of Bangkok: A Cultural History, something that is neither a history book on academic scale nor a conventional travel guide. It delves into how Bangkok becomes a post-modern city while retaining its Buddhist ethos and monarchic traditions.
Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong by Gordon Mathews arrived in the mail the other day. Chungking Mansions is known for the diversity of its international residents. It’s been estimated that coming and going of residents, visitors, and food stall customers of this complex amount to about 10,000 a day. This peculiar locale is named by Time Magazine the one of the most globalized places in the world:
“When Hong Kong refers to itself as “Asia’s World City” it means the well-ordered worldliness of big banks, fine hotels and a philharmonic. The local tourism board would probably prefer that you didn’t think of the worldliness of Nepalese sex workers, Bangladeshi hash dealers and Nigerian men trading used PCs by the container load. But this other Hong Kong can be found across Victoria Harbour, just a few minutes from the city’s administrative and financial heart. And the truth is, Hong Kong’s claim to internationalism is as equally proven by the demographics of Tsimshatsui, as the tip of the Kowloon peninsula is called, as it is by anything else. The district’s pavements are swirling rivers of turbans and baseball caps, hoodies and hijabs.”