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Father’s day

June 16th, 2008

Thinking of my father

I took this photograph, recently, at the Kowloon Public Ferry Pier at Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. This man was looking at a luxury liner docking. He had his right arm resting on the barrier and his left hand holding on to his coat and a bag. He was looking at the harbor for a long time and this setting reminded me of my father who left for Hong Kong before I was born.

Standing on the waterline, with his belongings, must have brought back all sorts of memories of his life. Before the days of air travel, getting on a sailing or a steamship was the main ways to get in and out of that place. He probably didn’t travel in such a luxurious cruise boat in the old days but in something smaller and with less passenger comforts.

The reason for his first journey to that port was probably not as a tourist wishing to see the pearl of the orient or to experience the fragrance bay. This destination was perhaps not of his own choosing and it was the turbulent circumstances forced on him at that time.

He could be longing for his family to come to visit him or he could be wondering when he could depart to see his wife and young child that he had left behind in some far away land. It may be that, finally, this man has made some money over the years and is waiting to board the ship and returning, for the first time, to his long awaiting family and home. Or this could be the last picture of this man, on land, before he jumped fatally into the sea.