6. Moving To Hong Kong (1949)
The year 1949 was a pivotal point for China and by extension my family. The civil war on the mainland had ended and this time my parents needed to make another decision. Father kept this education and some work papers for memory's sake, and left his civil servant job. Next, the whole family including me and my two sisters took a ferry to Hong Kong. I was four years old at the time. Grandma Yee stayed behind in Guangzhou and would join us in Hong Kong in 1953.
After our ship reached in Hong Kong, we stayed several days at Grandpa Chan's work office on Connaught Road West. There was not much to do except waiting and watching grandpa work. They used an interesting method to record the goods delivered and received. As a coolie was leaving the junk carrying a sack of rice on his back, he was given a short bamboo stick by a man standing on the water's edge. After crossing the road, he gave the stick to another man who was sitting at the entrance to the warehouse. Next, he entered the warehouse to drop off the load.
A few days later, we loaded our belongings onto a small truck with uncovered bed. I remember sitting on a piece of our luggage as the Jordan vehicle ferry sailed towards Kowloon. As our ferry was inching towards the Jordan pier ramp, the scene was unforgettable.
The last stop was Grandpa Chan's flat at 111 Ki Lung Street, 2nd floor meaning level 3 counting from the ground. It had a walkout uncovered balcony we called 騎樓.