Golden Boy: Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood

Golden Boy: Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood❴KINDLE❵ ❄ Golden Boy: Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood Author Martin Booth – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk At seven years old, Martin Booth found himself with all of Hong Kong at his feet when his father was posted there in This is his memoir of that youth, a time when he had access to corners of the colo At seven years old, Martin Booth Memories of PDF/EPUB ê found himself with all of Hong Kong at his feet when his father was posted there inThis is his memoir of that youth, a time when he had access to corners of the colony normally closed to a gweilo, a pale fellow like him From the plink plonk man with his dancing monkey to Nagasaki Jim, and from a drunken child molester to the Queen of Kowloon the crazed tramp who may have been a Romanov , Martin saw it all but his memoir illustrates a deeper challenge Golden Boy: Epub / in his warring parents This is an intimate and powerful memory of a place and time now past. This book grabbed me big time and will stay with me long time I have lived in Hong Kong for 16 years and have always wondered what it was really like before WW II and in the immediate post war years before it exploded How Booth remembered everything is beyond me but he manages to recall names and places with startling accuracy It is also the story of a boy taking advantage of an opportunity to explore a different culture and growing up quickly in the process In its way it also portrays This book grabbed me big time and will stay with me long time I have lived in Hong Kong for 16 years and have always wondered what it was really like before WW II and in the immediate post war years before it exploded How Booth remembered everything is beyond me but he manages to recall names and places with startling accuracy It is also the story of a boy taking advantage of an opportunity to explore a different culture and growing up quickly in the process In its way it also portrays a basic conflict when it contrasts the viewpoints of Martin s father, an arrogant, closed minded, bureaucrat and his mother who was open to learning and becoming a part of the Chinese Community Having been here for so many years, I can almost immediately spot the ex pat ghetto inhabitants as opposed to the folks with an open mind and an adventurous and exploratory spirit It mostly has to do with basic respect for individuals Respect for others will get you a long way.Booth s descriptions are wonderful and I can almost feel Hong Kong as it was when he lived here In some ways it reminds me of my first trips here when I would just walk the streets until I got lost His writing gave me the same sense I have, that this is a Chinese City and always has been It s easy to think it is totally Westernized but just as it was never a British city, it is not a Western city To paraphrase ex Governor Patten paraphrasing Deng Xiao Peng, It s a Chinese City with Western characteristics I wish Booth had lived long enough to write the next chapter in his love affair with Hong Kong This book ends in 1955 when he leaves for England at age 10 but four years later he returned for good I feel blessed that he was, at least able to write this book Gweilo Memories Of A Hong Kong Childhoodis the memoir of Martin Booth s time as a child in colonial Hong Kong His father is in the Navy and gets posted to the country after the war In typical 1950s fashion, Martin is left to explore the place on his own Booth wrote this book for his children when he was diagnosed with brain cancer, so that they would have a record of the best years of his life after he dies It is certain that he did love Hong Kong.The book is delightful in places I reall Gweilo Memories Of A Hong Kong Childhoodis the memoir of Martin Booth s time as a child in colonial Hong Kong His father is in the Navy and gets posted to the country after the war In typical 1950s fashion, Martin is left to explore the place on his own Booth wrote this book for his children when he was diagnosed with brain cancer, so that they would have a record of the best years of his life after he dies It is certain that he did love Hong Kong.The book is delightful in places I really enjoyed the time that little Martin went out exploring on his own, making friends with Chinese, Europeans, and Americans alike He gained experiences that he never would have in today s world Because of his golden hair, he was also able to get entry into private Chinese spaces The Chinese person would touch his golden hair for luck, and bless him with a nugget of culture Along with Martin, I too learned about the vanished world of old time Hong Kong Together, we visited the dai pai dongs and ate hundred year old duck eggs, we played mah jong and visited rickshaw pullers smoking opium We also visited forbidden areas like Kowloon Walled City and made friends with triad members Today, the dai pai dongs are modernised, there is no opium anywhere, and Kowloon Walled city has given way to a large garden You can see why this book is so important I liked the author s voice as a child Though he displayed some colonist tendencies why wouldn t he , it was not so marked that it affected the experience of the book He did not appear to have many friends, but he made friends with everyone He was a bit of a brat, but this didn t really irritate me Because if he had been an obedient child, this book would have been boring His inquisitiveness leads him to very intriguing places and I only wish he could have prolonged the book, writing about his time in Kenya, and then his experiences of life back in Hong Kong He might have achieved it if he had cut out his parents and their problems from this book.Both mother and father are unpleasant and annoying While Martin s father was grumpy, joyless, and borderline abusive at times, he was the better character to read about His mother constantly snarked at her husband, belittling him in front of everyone all the time She also lied and cheated to get her own way, for example, while purchasing crockery and telling Martin not to tell his dad about it But what I found the worst is that she was the one who dragged Martin into the fight and would keep snarking to him about his own dad It is no wonder that he hated his father I was horrified that she even belittled him for being concerned about Martin s well being by telling him not to go into the water at high tide She sounds like a real horrible, self centred person Whenever this woman showed up on the page, I really wanted to turn the page She is the sole reason I am removing a star from this otherwise delightful memoir.Overall, a wonderful read into a very different Hong Kong I love this book, but probably because I spent 10 years of my life living in Hong Kong While in Hong Kong, I lived between the world of white, colonial expat , and Chinese local This book is about a rich, white, expat, European, colonial boy that crosses over to the mysterious side of the local often poor Chinese He can cross over and experience the other side of his world because he is a little boy and can make friends with Chinese children and Chinese servants I loved reading this book I love this book, but probably because I spent 10 years of my life living in Hong Kong While in Hong Kong, I lived between the world of white, colonial expat , and Chinese local This book is about a rich, white, expat, European, colonial boy that crosses over to the mysterious side of the local often poor Chinese He can cross over and experience the other side of his world because he is a little boy and can make friends with Chinese children and Chinese servants I loved reading this book because I know all the localities he visited I also was a teacher at the British school that he attended and I think the children even today still wear the same uniform he wore brown jacket, white shirt, brown trousers The girls wore brown gingham dresses I was also a cross over child in many ways I was not a local, but I was Chinese I was born overseas and spoke perfect English I was not poor, like the poor locals of Hong Kong I taught alongside colleagues that were white, rich, European colonists in the pre 1997 era of Hong Kong I was one of the first that system ever hired of teachers that were not UK expats and a sign of the changing times as Hong Kong was returning to China So, I lived an interesting life living in both worlds Just like the Golden Boy of this autobiography Autobiography of an English boy of aged 7 9 growing up in Hong Kong in the 50s Exploring on his own infamous Kowloon walled city wild bits of The Peak etc , and also the contrast in the way his parents adapted to the life of expats, and their new home His father was a mean spirited man with chips on his shoulder and a drink problem, but in describing all his mother s little asides to him Martin about his father, it actually makes her look vindictive and underhand probably the opposit Autobiography of an English boy of aged 7 9 growing up in Hong Kong in the 50s Exploring on his own infamous Kowloon walled city wild bits of The Peak etc , and also the contrast in the way his parents adapted to the life of expats, and their new home His father was a mean spirited man with chips on his shoulder and a drink problem, but in describing all his mother s little asides to him Martin about his father, it actually makes her look vindictive and underhand probably the opposite of his intention.In my formative years, I was at boarding school in England , where my best friend was an expat from Hong Kong, and there were many Hong Kong Chinese girls as well I was captivated by everything I heard about HK, and longed to go I first went between school and university to stay with my friend and her family, and it exceeded everything I d hoped for Part of the appeal of this was learning a little of what her childhood might have been like were she ten years older Martin Booth was an author of whom I was unfamiliar A few years ago, on a plane back to the states, he was recommended to me by the gentleman in the next seat, so when I happened upon this volume, it was quickly added to my collection Lucky me From the very first page to the very last page, I was an involved reader, thanks to the literary skills of the late Mr Booth Hong Kong, in the early 1950s, was not yet one of the economic Asian Tigers After the end of WWII, it once again was a Bri Martin Booth was an author of whom I was unfamiliar A few years ago, on a plane back to the states, he was recommended to me by the gentleman in the next seat, so when I happened upon this volume, it was quickly added to my collection Lucky me From the very first page to the very last page, I was an involved reader, thanks to the literary skills of the late Mr Booth Hong Kong, in the early 1950s, was not yet one of the economic Asian Tigers After the end of WWII, it once again was a British governed colony where colonial civil servants were posted, such as Martin Booth s father Young Martin, a typical English lad, found himself uplifted to an alien world but one which became both playground and school populated with strange foods and stranger people Stuck between warring parents, he quickly discovered that his blond hair and pale face make him a lucky boy among the Chinese population Inquisitive and strong minded, he roamed the entire area, including the nefarious Walled Kowloon City Opium fiends Demented Russian emigres Hustling Communist refugees All of these played a part in young Booth s childhood, and thankfully he wrote it all down for the rest of us to read I think what I liked most about this volume was the ability of the author to take me into a world that no longer exists Greed and environmental destruction had not yet destroyed the soul of the colony, and it comes through very strongly here Indeed, Hong Kong had never appealed to me previously, but I longed to be with Booth in his golden childhood of 1952 when it all seemed simpler I came to realize that the Chinese were a nation of spectators.My only issue with the book was the hatred exhibited by the author toward his own father I always feel there are two sides to every story, but the father is portrayed as a rigid imperialist, which I m sure was a child s way of dealing with the strife within his family His mother, a free spirit, comes across as the heroine, but I didn t feel much respect for her Her constant put downs of her civil service husband made me uncomfortable as a reader, and I got the impression she wanted to have her cake and eat it, too Well, it was Booth s story so he could tell it whichever way he wanted The fact that he wrote this after being diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor is amazing I am thankful he did, for it opened a new world to me.Book Season Autumn orange light over water This was a wonderful read edging into five star territory, evocative and compelling about a place and a time long gone, and yet I can t ignore two overarching issues The first is the author s age especially at the start of the memoir, seven going on thirty seven it seems, as he was a tiny man about town where he didn t even speak the language at first I m not sure how much is memory and how much is later projection, especially given that the author returned to Hong Kong in a few years for goo This was a wonderful read edging into five star territory, evocative and compelling about a place and a time long gone, and yet I can t ignore two overarching issues The first is the author s age especially at the start of the memoir, seven going on thirty seven it seems, as he was a tiny man about town where he didn t even speak the language at first I m not sure how much is memory and how much is later projection, especially given that the author returned to Hong Kong in a few years for good and it seems likely later experiences overlaid his earliest memories I m willing to give that a pass, buttroubling is his account of his parents relationship, where while the author is on his mother s side and portrays his father as a vicious buffoon, it s entirely obvious that she actively sought to undermine his relationship with his father to the point of cozening reactions that resulted in physical punishment His father was a Colonel Blimp, but, unintentionally on the author s part, his mother comes off equally badly There s not always two sides to every story, but it seems clear there were in this case Very much resonated with me My family and I spent three years in Hong Kong from January 1956 to December 1959 on both Hong Kong side and Kowloon I swam at Repulse Bay, Stonecutters, Shek O and other beaches, visited Tiger Balm gardens, walked Happy Valley cemetery and rode the Peak Tram many times I was nine years old when my father was posted with the army to Hong Kong and Martin s life was almost an exact copy of my life except perhaps for some of the seedier visits he made and which as a g Very much resonated with me My family and I spent three years in Hong Kong from January 1956 to December 1959 on both Hong Kong side and Kowloon I swam at Repulse Bay, Stonecutters, Shek O and other beaches, visited Tiger Balm gardens, walked Happy Valley cemetery and rode the Peak Tram many times I was nine years old when my father was posted with the army to Hong Kong and Martin s life was almost an exact copy of my life except perhaps for some of the seedier visits he made and which as a girl I was unable to see But Martin did not mention the many visits to the shopping alleys on Hong Kong side where my mother, sister and I spent many hours happily purchasing fabric and things like glittery party slippers He did not mention the food hanging outside shops frequented by flies and other bugs and which my mother, sister and I would not eat under any circumstance So many memories, many forgotten events such as the happy arrival of the comics from Britain in brown surface mail wrappers complete with string pulls, the wooden ramps on and off the Star Ferry which swayed dangerously in the tides and yes, one often saw things in the water that one would rather not see including raw sewage, baby corpses and loads of dead cats and dogs I even ran the halls of the Peninsula Hotel tracking down celebrities of the day for autographs Hong Kong in the 50ies was a wonderful place to be but Martin portrayed it as mostly idyllic at least for a boy who was pretty much left to his own resources Life for a girl was a littlerestrictive Rain flooding down those nullahs which I played in when the water was a trickle took the life of a British boy when he fell in and his body washed out miles away into the Bay A school friend of mine fell out of a Bedford truck on the way home from school when the driver had to slam on the brakes for someone crossing the road carelessly She died But the people of Hong Kong were lovely to children and you were often on the receiving end of generosity never experienced in the UK.I am sure that Martin s path and mine could have possibly crossed when he returned to Hong Kong in 1959 but he was three years older than me and when one is only 11 12 and he would have been 14 15, we would not have had a lot in common save for the military background But I am sure that as adults, had he survived, we would have had a wonderful time chatting about life in Hong Kong Thank you Martin for re opening the doors for me Superb memoir of growing up in Hong Kong.I lived in Hong Kong for seven years and this very successfully captures the excitement ,noise,smells and thrills of the far east.Great characters leap from the pages and propel you back to the days of empire I recall that Martin Booth wrote the book to provide his grandchildren with an understanding of what it was like to grow up in a different era in an exotic location he succeeded A fascinating adventure indeed This book sheds curious lights to the on going occupy central demonstrations in HK right now I was marvelled at martin s dexterity of recounting his childhood happenings Joyce is such a wonderful individual loving, compassionate, and righteous I am intrigued to find out Martin s other masterpieces I really enjoyed this book Part of its appeal, of course, is that we lived in Hong Kong for four years so the streets, landmarks, beaches, temples Booth mentions are familiar to me But he has also captured a time gone by HK in the 50s many places that are no longer there or weren t accessible to us a few decades later He helps us see the good, bad and ugly of colonial HK through the innocent eyes of a child His mom was a woman I would have wanted to be friends with His attention to deta I really enjoyed this book Part of its appeal, of course, is that we lived in Hong Kong for four years so the streets, landmarks, beaches, temples Booth mentions are familiar to me But he has also captured a time gone by HK in the 50s many places that are no longer there or weren t accessible to us a few decades later He helps us see the good, bad and ugly of colonial HK through the innocent eyes of a child His mom was a woman I would have wanted to be friends with His attention to detail makes this a thoroughly enjoyable read The only thing it was lacking was an Afterward He mentions that his family did return to HK a few years later and his parents were, surprisingly, still married , but for how long Did his parents divorce Did his mom become the Sinophile she aspired to

Golden Boy: Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood Epub à
  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • Golden Boy: Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood
  • Martin Booth
  • English
  • 06 October 2019
  • 0312426267