Chungking Mansions may have celebrated its much-vaunted makeover yesterday, but for some residents it was business as usual inside the infamous Tsim Sha Tsui landmark. Owners, tenants and district officials celebrated the new look and enhanced security of the once-vice-riddled mansions with lion dancing, roasted pigs and a blessing ceremony. The celebration also marked the formal opening of the so-called 'super zebra crossing' across busy Nathan Road outside the mansions, relieving one of the biggest crushes in Tsim Sha Tsui. But it will take a little more to impress V.S.M. Thamby, who has lived happily in the complex with his family of four since 1967. He's had four decades of living alongside criminals, prostitutes and drug dealers, witnessing countless police raids and suspicious deaths. 'Though many friends have moved out over the past few years, I think it is safer living here,' the leather and gemstone trader said. 'There are more Indians and Pakistanis and I am closer to these cultures so I feel safer. 'I don't see much of a change actually; the appearance has changed a lot, the order has improved, but not the inside,' Mr Thamby said flatly. There were still long queues at the tiny lifts. The physical upgrade and improved environmental hygiene meant more to a 74-year-old Shanghai native Wah Chun-fat, who has run two Chungking Mansions guesthouses listed in international guidebooks since 1979. Mr Wah, who lives with his three children and three grandchildren, owns the flat next to his business. He praised the new hard marble floors, the cleaned-up back alleys and, particularly, the improved power supply. In 1993, a circuit overload led to a fire that blacked out the entire centre for 10 days. He said he had never been too worried about crime at the infamous mansions, and the situation had been steadily improving. 'But I was terrified by that fire. I had to run down the stairs with my grandchild, our mouths covered with wet clothes. I was sick for a week after the fire.' The makeover has yet to change the unique character of the complex. Any passerby who stands at the dark marble entrance under the infamous gold lettering is still swamped by gangs of copy-watch pedlars and curry-house hustlers.