Back in my day, if you wanted to collect glamour and fashion magazines to sell to pulp recycling merchants for fistfuls of magic beans, you’d scour the city on foot, from end to end, squirreling away your paper stuffs and other people’s trash in your makeshift bindle. When you got tired from all the trampin’, you’d slump in an alley, passout in a hobo park or go and hide under a rat infested bridge with one eye closed and the other eye on your precious bindle.
But it doesn’t work like that in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, it’s much more orderly and practical. All you have to do is join a circular queue and recycle yourself to the head of it over and over again, collecting as much sweet, sweet paper as you can. Talk about practical! This plush setup is a scavenger’s dream. Not only are your scrounging needs conveniently localised, but the mint condition fashion magazines are laden with ink – their weight attracting anybody who isn’t above looking totally ridiculous by going around and around and around on the same 10 square metre spot like a human lemming, filling up a bag one magazine at a time.
Hong Kongers are super practical. Just ask one. They won’t be able to agree fast enough. The proof is in the circular queuing I suppose. We never would have thought of a circular queuing magazine scam like that back when I was a panhandler, tin can collector and street recyclist, though. We weren’t practical enough. We mooched our scraps the hard way.