(Leica D-Lux 5)
The Kowloon Photo Service is a time-honoured shop tucked in a quiet corner on the old Woo Sung street near the Temple Street night market on the Kowloon peninsular. Every time passing it I am almost certain that for most of the time, what it does is nodding its sleepy head to the slow humming of the external air-conditioning units on the second floor across the street. I will usually stop a bit for window shopping. It doesn't sport a modern shop front with flickering LED blinks or shone by a cluster of floodlights. No fanciful array of novel merchandises on revolving beds or highlighted with flowery billboards in the background are found in the two crampy window displays outside the shop, but a small number of selected items -- not even the newest models but only the good stuff including old film point-and-shoots -- each attached with a string tied to a tiny price tag on the other end. The price tag is inked with numerals, not printed with QR codes, mark you. It is seemingly trying to make as little show as possible of its presence by today's standard.
The style of yore continues to its interior. I especially like the old-style glass-door cabinets behind which the photographic beauties line up to tickle one's fancy. Personally, I have a leaning for such neighbourhood old stores compared to the forever burgeoning big chain shops which appear rather intimidating to me. A plus is no troop of Mainland travellers bustling about. Some find the shop too plain but others like me just love the nostalgic experience of doing shopping there. It offers friendly service and, most notably, photographic paraphernalia not commonly available in just any shops, including darkroom equipment. The Kowloon Photo Service has seen days of better business but now is probably more satisfied with a fair amount of earnings. In a world where big and new are good, this old-and-small-are-beautiful mentality is a non-starter. Glad that its is still around.