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Dining, laughing, living amid Hong Kong protests

Updated : 2019-09-11 14:17:54

Life is not quite normal after three months of steady protests in this Asian financial centre — and yet normal life goes on, as it must, for the city's 74 lakh people. Residents, tourists and laughter fill the restaurants at the Temple Street night market, though declining airport arrivals and discounted hotel rooms show the tourism industry's pain.

The images of this summer's pro-democracy and anti-police and anti-government protests have been riveting. Repeated bursts of tear gas. Homemade gasoline bombs hurled at police. Blood stains on the ground. A sea of umbrellas as marchers take over downtown streets. Away from, or between, the madness, old-timers play their mahjong tiles. Bright laundry hangs from a drab apartment building in this vertical city. Spray-painted slogans cover a Kate Spade advertisement on a bus shelter. On the other side, people wait for the bus.

Commuters ride an escalator at a train station past police officers in riot gear deployed to arrest protesters in Hong Kong. Life is not quite normal after three months of steady protests in the Asian financial centre - and yet normal life goes on, as it must, for the city’s 74 lakh residents. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Commuters ride an escalator at a train station past police officers in riot gear deployed to arrest protesters in Hong Kong. Life is not quite normal after three months of steady protests in the Asian financial centre - and yet normal life goes on, as it must, for the city’s 74 lakh residents. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A tourist poses for photos in front of a popular mural by artist Alex Croft Saturday in the SoHo district of Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A tourist poses for photos in front of a popular mural by artist Alex Croft Saturday in the SoHo district of Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pro-democracy protesters march in central Hong Kong. The images of this summer's pro-democracy and anti-police and anti-government protests have been riveting. Repeated bursts of tear gas. Homemade gasoline bombs hurled at police. Blood stains on the ground. A sea of umbrellas as marchers take over downtown streets. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pro-democracy protesters march in central Hong Kong. The images of this summer's pro-democracy and anti-police and anti-government protests have been riveting. Repeated bursts of tear gas. Homemade gasoline bombs hurled at police. Blood stains on the ground. A sea of umbrellas as marchers take over downtown streets. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Spectators watch as pro-democracy protesters march in central Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Spectators watch as pro-democracy protesters march in central Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man sets up his camera in the Victoria Peak area to photograph Hong Kong's skyline.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man sets up his camera in the Victoria Peak area to photograph Hong Kong's skyline.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pro-democracy protesters march along a street past a restaurant in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pro-democracy protesters march along a street past a restaurant in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A woman looks at her phone while stretching at a park by Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A woman looks at her phone while stretching at a park by Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group of people play basketball at Southorn Playground, where hundreds of people gathered the day before to protest against China, in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group of people play basketball at Southorn Playground, where hundreds of people gathered the day before to protest against China, in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People wait for buses at a bus stop vandalized by protesters in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People wait for buses at a bus stop vandalized by protesters in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Workers bundle rebars at a metal yard as a building displaying Chinese national flags is seen in the distance in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Workers bundle rebars at a metal yard as a building displaying Chinese national flags is seen in the distance in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A bride fixes her groom's bow tie during a wedding photo shoot on the top of the Victoria Peak in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A bride fixes her groom's bow tie during a wedding photo shoot on the top of the Victoria Peak in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
An old apartment building stands next to a gleaming tower in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
An old apartment building stands next to a gleaming tower in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A taxi driver eats his late dinner in his car near the Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A taxi driver eats his late dinner in his car near the Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group of British tourists share a laugh around a dinner table at Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group of British tourists share a laugh around a dinner table at Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group of elderly people play mahjong at a shop in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group of elderly people play mahjong at a shop in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A woman stretching at a coffee shop is seen through a window with condensation in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A woman stretching at a coffee shop is seen through a window with condensation in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Workers remove graffiti left by protesters during a protest the night before in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Workers remove graffiti left by protesters during a protest the night before in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A man walks past a bus stop spray-painted with an anti-China slogan
A man walks past a bus stop spray-painted with an anti-China slogan "Chinazi" in Hong Kong.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A vendor selling handbags along with a few
A vendor selling handbags along with a few "I heart HK" tote bags, sits in her booth at Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pedestrians cross a street in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pedestrians cross a street in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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