The People of Hong Kong

Sam Co-op, Hong Kong, Street Life, Thoughts, Travel 7 Comments

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, and….hair. There are stores dedicated to selling cell phone cases, straps (cartoon character, flashing lights….), 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 bird’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 “Mega Dance” 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 mahjong…
– 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)…
– a restaurant owner who eats at her competitor’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.

SamThe People of Hong Kong

Comments 7

  1. Horace

    Good observations. Life seems pretty shallow in HK. Working like mad during the week, shopping and eating out on weekends seems like the norm for most people. There are some deviants here and there, but seems like the majority is too tired from the day-to-day getting by that they paralyze themselves when they have free time.

    That modded VW van wannabe is so cool! Ideas ideas…

  2. Salina

    Hey Sam!!! I just read your most recent post, and I really love the pictures. Anyhow, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself when I read about the ongoing daily life in HK, as I seem to qualify for some of the conditions you describe of a “typical” HKer. Despite the fact that people in HK are always rushing, they are willing to stop for a moment to help an old granny pick up some apples if she ever dropped them. Even though time may be the very essence of their life, they still have a lot of heart. =)

  3. Post

    Hey Salina,
    Well I am just over-generalizing things to make it more comical. :D
    I do find that people in HK are very helpful in their cool sort of way….
    Where are you nowadays? If you are nearby we should definitely meet up!

  4. jsunkistc

    amazing job with the photos and stories sam…like a photojournalist! this is sam cheng reporting for samtron news.
    it really bothered me when i went to hk and i saw all those inappropriate tees also and them not knowing/understanding/realizing the reputation they’re advertising.

  5. bily

    cool post sam. I haven’t been in HK for more than a week or two my whole life, and I was mostly too young to remember. haha. quite an interesting experience you must be having, to say the least. I might go for the summer after graduation

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