The high population density and small living quarters have a large impact on the lifestyle on the local population.
The people are very intense and rushed. In office buildings as the elevator door is opening, someone would be jamming on the close button… During line-ups they always think the one next to them is moving faster and can’t seem to settle into any particular line.
The people place a lot of emphasis on expressing their individuality through their accessories such as cell phones, PSP, NDS, andâ€¦.hair. There are stores dedicated to selling cell phone cases, straps (cartoon character, flashing lightsâ€¦.), NDS pens, and stickers. The convenience of the SIM card allow them to swap to the newest cell phone models consistently.
There is definitely a high Japanese influence in Hong Kong, most people my age have dyed their hair and the guys seem to like hairstyles that resemble a birdâ€™s nest (just in time for the Olympic s!). For the more affluent, car modifications range from turbochargers, huge spoilers, tinted windows, and big mufflers…
Or curtains, action figures on dashboards, baby-on-board and Hello Kitty stickers.
It is very funny to read the writing on the shirts, often worn by unsuspecting wearers that bought the shirts at a bargain deal. Many have either really bad grammar or really strong sexual connotations. Below is an example from the MTR (subway).
Hong Kong is an endless bombardment of advertisements. They have even installed TVs in the buses to promote the â€œMega Danceâ€ weight loss program as well as skin whitening products. In order to drown out the background noise, the people like to talk very loud and in gruesome, exquisite details on the bus and in the MTR.
Some of the stories include:
– a man who works at the mahjong parlor and pays his second wife in China $6,000/month, who spends it on mahjongâ€¦
– a girl breaking up with her all-too-dependent boyfriend over the phone
– a pair of Pilipino guys flirting with two Pilipino girls sitting beside me (thinking nobody would understand their English)â€¦
– a restaurant owner who eats at her competitorâ€™s place everyday and calls her store to report the number of beef balls in the bowl of noodle today
The other passengers have evolved to ignore all these incidents by focusing on instant messaging, playing on NDS/PSP, or hum softly. Such is the life in a very crowded city full of different individuals.