Backwards street

There is a street in Hong Kong called Rednaxela Terrace. Why is that interesting? Try spelling the name backwards.

Rednaxela Terrace
Lancer1210 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Yup, Rednaxela <-> alexandeR.

Incredibly, we don’t actually know why the street has this name. There are a couple of explanations, neither convincing:

  1. Some dude named Alexander supposedly owned property on the street. Because Chinese script is written right-to-left, someone wrote the name the same way. This does not seem plausible, because it’s the only example of a reversed name in Hong Kong.
  2. An obscure 19th century writer named Robert Alexander Young wrote an anti-slavery treatise called The Ethiopian Manifesto under the pseudonym Rednaxela. This also seems unlikely, because there’s no explanation for why a street in Hong Kong would be named after him.

The street is best known for being the Hong Kong home of José Rizal, the Filipino writer who would later be executed by the Spanish for triggering the Phillipine Revolution. His grave was marked by his sister with RPJ… his initials, backwards. Coincidence, or conspiratorial connection with Rednaxela Terrace?

It’s a coincidence.

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