Everything in Hong Kong is smaller in contrast to super-size me America. And it’s not just the drinks at your local fast food joint. Some examples:

  • My room is just about as wide as I am tall. So, when I sleep, my feet usually touch the wall. It is probably comparable to my laundry room back in the States. (Property is much more expensive, a flat/apartment here costs about the same as a house in the US suburbs.)
  • The average person is shorter, so when I go shopping for clothes and shoes, I’m buying the sizes that sell out last. (Yay!)
  • On a bus, instead of sitting four across, you often find five seats in the same width. (It’s a tight fit.)
  • An elevator that isn’t full is a wasted elevator. You are standing so close to everyone else that you can smell their body odor.

It’s definitely the norm here, so privacy isn’t really an option. The density of people is the highest in the world. Your typical (read: every) apartment building is ~40 floors. I can hear the neighbor practicing piano and another one yelling at his sons at this very moment.

However, density definitely has it’s advantages. I can find every kind of trinket I need within walking distance of a MTR (subway) station. Also. public transportation is cheap because everyone actually uses it.

Oh, and there are still great public parks and places to hike close-by. For example, I went hiking in the Sai Kung area, and the landscape was just amazing. The water was very transparent, so I could see the bottom. It’s an amazing balance and battle between civilization and nature!

Originally posted on halfwayaroundtheworld.studentsgoneglobal.com.