UNTRACINGS BY ETTA SHON

FICTION + ART BY E SHON

Tag: Black and white film

Macau

MOTORCYCLES MACAO HIGHWAY STREET EVENINGMACAO CONSTRUCTION SITE OLD BUILDINGSDIRTY RAGS HANGING MACAO STREETOLD BUILDINGS CIRCLE SIGN MACAO STREETPEOPLE STREET MACAO CHINESE NEON SIGNSSHELL CHINESE SIGN STREET MACAO
Macau

It’s 7:45, chilly as fuck. The whirring of the passing motorcycles interrupts her thoughts. She starts from the beginning. The lines run over and over again through her head. She’s rehearsed them continually over the course of a forgotten length of time. Other than a slight variation in order, they remain more or less the same.

She knows she won’t go through with it.

She lists her grievances anyway. The forgotten anniversaries, the unreturned phone calls, the habitual lies. That buxom slut at the corner bar whose eyes knowingly linger a millisecond too long every time he walks in. Everything she doesn’t have the balls to walk away from. Maybe this time she’ll do it.

She woke up with a funny feeling in her gut that morning. The light was harsh and white. Thin beams of sunlight cut through the opening between the curtains, highlighting the fine cracks around around his eyes. It’d been a long time since she’d inspected him that closely. He’d aged a lot in the past few years. She traced her finger lightly along a wrinkle across his forehead. His breath was light and steady, pure peace all over his face. She sidled softly out of bed, careful not to wake him.

She called in sick. Stomach issues. Shrowded in somewhat of a trance, she headed out the door, not sure what direction she was headed in. In the street, something felt off in her steps as she deterred from her usual trajectory on that Tuesday morning. At some point she ended up at the edge of the bay in front of the ferry terminal. Her eyes scanned the list of destinations on the overhead hand painted board. Macau it was.

______________

The sun’s gone down and neon signs illuminate her path. Her phone beeps, signaling that it’s got low battery. She checks the screen. No messages yet.

Her stomach is churning from hunger and she realizes she hasn’t eaten all day. It occurs to her that she could spend the night here and not come back for a few days. Let her thoughts air out a bit. She indulges in the idea for a minute before a low, laborious sigh escapes from her belly.

She knows she’ll get back on that ferry. She’ll trudge it back home and open the door and there he’ll be, barely looking up from his computer. She’ll halfheartedly throw a dinner together as he clicks away in is office. She’ll set the table and they’ll sit down in their usual places opposite each other. He’ll talk about himself, recounting his day in painstaking detail between bites as her mind drifts off. Her silence will go unnoticed as silences often do. At midnight they’ll lie down in bed, she on the left and he on the right. She’ll turn and face the wall as her mind slips away to some other time and place…the beach town of her childhood, fantasies of the life she would have had if she’d made a different turn here or there. Memories of happier times before this all started. And so it’ll go on.

This rhythm, however painful, has a powerful pull on her and she knows it.

She stops in her path and looks up at the glittering Grand Lisboa, it’s impressive height imposing itself along the skyline,  streaming lights shooting up towards the petaled towers. The strangeness and unfamiliarity of this backdrop has an oddly calming effect on her. The air is cool and moist, filling her lungs with a cool mist.

She takes one last look at the lights in the distance before turning back towards the street to hail a cab.

Sundays

BRIDGE HONG KONG TO CENTRAL STATION FILIPINO HOUSEKEEPERS WOMEN LADIES SUNDAYFILIPINO MAIDS MOBILES BRIDGE CENTRAL HONG KONG STATION SUNDAY DAY OFFFILIPINO MAID UMBRELLA HONG KONG CENTRAL STATION BRIDGE MOBILEFILIPINO HOUSEKEEPERS DAY OFF MOBILE STREET CENTRAL HONG KONG

Sundays are the only day off for domestic workers in Hong Kong, the majority of whom are women from the Philippines and Indonesia. The streets around Central district in particular are bustling with the influx of women who use this day to do their shopping and take care of all their personal needs. The few parks and public spaces sporadically dispersed throughout the city are filled with these women who relax and profit from their day of freedom. They come decked out in their Sunday best and socialize in small groups, huddled on blankets on the ground while doing each other’s hair, applying manicures, and chatting.

The top three photos above were taken on the bridge between Central station and Hong Kong station. A long row of women on either side of the bridge lounge around in makeshift cardboard shelters while napping or watching movies on their phones.

I couldn’t help but to feel a current of guilt as I walked through this bridge, camera in hand as I documented the scene. I knew that these women were very much here by choice and that their work was honest. But in the stark physical separation of the space allotted to them, dividing them from the rest of the population, the disparity in class was highlighted to an almost shameful degree. Shameful for whom, I can’t quite say.

 

 

Sheung Wan Heat

OLD LADY STRAW HAT SHEUNG WAN STREET HONG KONGANTLERS VENDOR STRAW HAT SHEUNG WAN HONG KONG STREET DRYINGSHEUNG WAN STREET ART GRAFFITI HONG KONGSCRAP METAL VENDOR JUNK SHEUNG WANG STREET HONG KONGOLD LADIES HATS SHOPPING SHEUNG WAN STREET HONGSHEUNG WAN CHINESE MEDICINE SIGN CANTONESE HONG KONG

Sai Kung

FLOATING MARKET DRIED FISH VENDOR SAI KUNG HONG KONGSTARFISH VENDOR FLOATING MARKET SAI KUNG HONG KONGBOATS GRANDMA PIER SAI KUNG FLOATING MARKET HONG KONGFISHERMAN SAI KUNG FLOATING MARKET BOAT HONG KONGLITTLE BOY MOTHER SAI KUNG PIER HONG KONGDRIED FISH VENDOR BOARDWALK SAI KUNG HONG KONGOLD COUPLE SAI KUNG BOARDWALK HONG KONGFISH MARKET LADY SAI KUNG HONG KONG

Unknown

NATHAN ROAD JORDAN DRAGON NEON LIGHTS STREET NIGHTCARDBOARD BOX COLLECTOR OLD WOMAN STREET BUSINESS MANNATHAN ROAD NEON SIGNS NIGHT JORDAN KOWLOON HONG KONGFORTUNE TELLERS JORDAN NIGHT KOWLOON MARKET HONG KONGCASINO JORDAN KOWLOON NATHAN ROAD HONG KONG NIGHT

I once found myself in an unknown city in the middle of the night. I was standing in the street and people were passing me in all directions. They were barely alive, each at a different stage of life passing out of them. I knew that I was already dead.

The colored lights from above bounced off the planes of their smooth faces. Strange faces staring a millisecond too long. They were catching onto me. I did my best to mimic their language, this undulating cadence with no name. I smelled it before I heard it. The syrupy falseness in my voice, drowning out my unholy secret.

The air was thick and smelled of caster oil and foods with unpronounceable names. My throat closed up with fear. I didn’t know how long I’d be stuck in this limbo. It was close to midnight and I was alone. I wanted to go back.

HK Nightcrawlers

OLD MAN MAGAZINE STAND NATHAN ROAD HONG KONG KOWLOONCIRCLE K WAN CHAI CLERK HONG KONGARCADE VIDEO GAME BOOTH JORDAN KOWLOON HONG KONGBOYS UNDERGROUND ARCADE JORDAN KOWLOON HONG KONGWAN CHAI SEX CLUBS HONG KONG STREETHOOKER DOORWAY JORDAN KOWLOONG HONG KONG STREETVIEW STREET JORDAN HONG KONG WINDOW BAMBOO NIGHT

Geonocturne

FACE BILLBOARD HONG KONG MUSEUM WALL WINDOW NIGHTGEOMETRIC WINDOWS JORDAN NATHAN ROAD HONG KONG NIGHT STREETGEOMETRIC WINDOWS WAN CHAI HONG KONG BUILDINGLONE FIGURE SILHOUETTE WAN CHAI BUS STOP HONG KONGNIGHT BUS WAN CHAI HONG KONG WINDOWS STREETSTREET HIGHWAY CARS WAN CHAI HONG KONG NIGHTWan Chai and Jordan, Hong Kong.

Lorsque je me balade…

belleville paellaCANAL ST MARTIN PARIS CAFE MIRROIR MIRRORCanal Stalingrad Paris France Point Ephemeremec gars belleville station paris francePARIS FEMME FOLLE RUE STREET OLD LADY VIEILLEOld Man graffiti wall rue denoyez

Paris, March 2014

Chez Papa Selfie

ART NOUVEAU SELFIEParis, France. March, 2014

 

Coron

Coron Crystal lodge neighbor dog palawan philippinesCoron Crystal Cottage Bridge Planks water palawan philippinesCoron Boy Working Craftsman vendor palawan philippinesCoron Kids playing palawancoron workers riding bus street palawan philippines

April 2014. Coron, Palawan

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