the pawn shop business had seemed to be phasing out a few years ago, it seems
to be thriving nowadays.
Some of them have been around for years and don't
even have an English name. But some seem to want the English-speaking business
as well - or at least those who don't read Chinese, and have an English name.
But then it is not hard to spot them: they always have that symbol that looks
like an upside down medal.
Unlike pawn shops in US where they are also the
thrift stores, Hong Kong pawn shops are generally just money lenders. Rumours
are that when the collateral is not collected by the prescribed period, it ends
up in flea markets (e.g. Apliu Street) and thrift stores.
One thing interesting
about pawn shops is that there is always a screen blocking the view of customers
inside. Another interesting thing about them is that their counters are always
very high, so high that one has to raise one's arms to pawn anything. I guess
you can calling it "fund-raising"! (Pictured
above: a pawn shop in Central district)