I love this old postcard of the China-Hong Kong border. Lord knows I crossed it more times than I can count.
But when this photo was taken in the 1960s, the border seemed romantic. A different time, that’s for sure.
When I disembarked the train at Lowu, I walked into the customs hall and waited in a line for Hong Kong residents even though I needed a valid China visa and not just a Hong Kong ID.
Walking over a footbridge, I mentally waved goodbye to the navy-clad Hong Kong officers. Before I reached the end of the bridge, I walked past lanky PRC officers dressed in military green.
Welcome to China.
Chaos and confusion ensued. The border city of Shenzhen was dusty and full of street urchins, begging for money and school supplies. Girls dressed in hot pants and tight t-shirts leaned against barber shops off to the left. I remember one upscale Japanese department store in Shenzhen fifteen years ago. The rest of the place was a dump.
But all that’s changed now. The border may not have recovered its romantic aura from yesteryear, but at least it’s gotten itself together.