On my trip around the world, my first night in a tent was not in the nature and not between trees.
It was in a mega city. In an occupied street. In the business district of Hong Kong. Between Skyscrapers.
It all began in Indonesia, when I realized that my next destinations Australia and New Zealand will definitely kill my budget. So I decided to buy a cheap tent on amazon.com because I thought I could safe money this way (I found out later that they offer really cheap camping equipment in Hong Kong and actually I´m still member in an Outdoor Shop there). So at the end I ordered, from Indonesia, a tent, which was produced in China, but shipped from America to Hong-Kong. This was probably the worst ecologic thing I ever did.
Besides that, the shipping costs and the costs of the tent+sleeping bag were the same and the delivery took 15 days in total.
The package arrived exactly at my last day in Hongkong at the couchsurfers place and when she brought the stuff to me, I realized that the sleeping bag was way to big for traveling…(That´s why I sold it and bought a new one for a very good price in Chile )
While walking through HongKong the days before, I´ve realized that it is something going on in the city and I already spoke with some people why they occupied the streets. They called it “The Umbrella Movement“.
It is a loose pro-democracy political movement that was created spontaneously during the protests which began on 28th September 2014. Its name derives from the recognition of the umbrella as a symbol of defiance and resistance against the HongKong Police, when they used tear gas against the protesters.
They occupied in total 4 territories : Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui.
I joined them in Admiralty.
After finding myself a place between the other tents,I began to discover the camp itself.
It was incredible. Time magazine described the organized chaos of the protest sites as “classical political anarchism: a self-organizing community that has no leader.”
Teams of volunteers working in shifts deal with garbage collection and recycling, security and medical care. Well-stocked supply stations dispense water and other basic necessities such as toilet paper, saline solution, instant coffee and cereal bars free of charge. Wooden steps have been built to allow people to cross over the central. A study area has been created, complete with desk lamps and WiFi; mobile phone charging stations are powered by electricity generators and wind turbines.
Everyone was doing something creative: Painting, doing collages, posters, art everywhere. The guys next to me had hundreds of blank postcards. Everyone could write something motivating on the back of the postcard and his address on another piece of paper. Then they mixed it and send it all around the world.
Around one month later, one of this cards made it to Germany and arrived at my parents place. Everything was written in Chinese 😉
After playing cards and drinking some beers in one of the tents with some nice students from Hong Kong, I went to bed quite early, because I had to catch a flight to Sidney the next morning. When I woke up the next day and opened the “door” of my tent, it felt just unreal….