The messenger


HONG KONG – It is another ordinary morning for Kwan Wun-Chun, who walks 25 minutes from his home to Tai Wai MTR,  not to commute, but to distribute one of the six free newspapers in Hong Kong.

With only a few wrinkles lining his dark skin, the 68-year-old looks younger than his actual age.

Two piles of Sky Daily are there waiting for him in the corner of the station. He stands in front of a bicycle parking lot, his orange waistcoat with the Sky Daily characters making him stand out from the busy morning commuters. He is short with quick moves and a cheerful smile, greeting everyone good morning as he hands out his papers.

Kwan Wun-Chun swiftly hands out free copies of the Sky Daily in the Tai Wai MTR.

A queue forms. Kwan quickly grabs a smaller pile from the floor, settling them in his left arm, and from there his right, gloved hand moves in and out swiftly.

Across the street, the constant buzz at the bustling intersection of two narrow roads changes to a cheerful ring when the signal turns green, more people swarming towards Kwan. Kwan finds himself surrounded by folks, young and old, strong and delicate, mild and wild, all hands reaching to him for a Sky Daily. He tells everyone to get in line and the chaos becomes order.

Kwan had a lot of jobs. He had been, at one time or another, a land troop soldier in China Air Force in Changsha, a plumber at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, an electrician in several public middle schools in Hong Kong.

Born in Singapore, then moved to Indonesia with his father, Kwan recognizes himself  as Cantonese. His father decided to go back for their home country, China, in 1953, when the Anti-Chinese policies in Southeast Asian began to prevail.

Kwan could hardly tell his favorite job among so many but is sure that Hong Kong is his favorite place. His oversea background helped when he moved to Hong Kong from Guangzhou in 1979. The motive was blunt. He was paid 50 RMB a month in Guangzhou,  the same amount  of HK dollars a day in Hong Kong.

After retired from Christian Alliance Cheng Wing Gee College in 2003, job opportunities began to narrow for Kwan. He contacted a labor agency and got a job delivering the Headline Daily. The same agency introduced him to  the current job two years later when the Headline Daily cut two-thirds of its delivery men.

By the time Kwan  finished, it was 8:40 a.m. He put the last piece in his own airy brown bag, grinning to a man two foot taller than him. “I am also a reader. Sorry there is none left. Get here earlier tomorrow,” he says.

He will spend the rest of the day at home with his families, the five-year-old grandson in particular.

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3 Responses to The messenger

  1. I enjoy your vivid description of the newspaper delivery scene and the photo is also very nice!

    P.S. It will be fabulous if the font size can be bigger. 😀

    • Thanks! The font size is decided by the theme I use so it seems I do not have many options—either changing the theme or purchasing the customized service. I even tried to write in html language but it could not be compatible with the theme.

      Perhaps I should consider changing a theme.

  2. Pingback: Hong kong Workers | Blog Kong

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