Hong Kong Oddities

Being an exchange student I find some of the things people do quite odd.

First, people seem very keen to mark their territory. Whether it is in a canteen or the library, they will leave their mark. The mark usually consists of a bag or pile of big text books, informing everyone that this is their space. It also tells everyone how much reading they are doing or how hard working they are. I guess this is the result of living in such a densely populated city. Space is the greatest commodity. Then one day some one broke this code of conduct: I left my bag on the chair and went to the toilet then when I came back someone had put my bag on the floor and logged into the computer. Cheeky mare.

Next, I think that the use of the umbrella is odd, when it isn’t raining at all. Precautions are one thing, but surely with so many people, you could easily accidentally poke some one in the eye just by walking around. Then again wearing a waterproof jacket would make you too warm – or at least it would me, but everyone else seems to be very thickly dressed up. I must admit it does get a little chilly inside with the air conditioning on, but not so much that I feel the need to wear a big thick winter coat.

And finally, students here take extra curricular activities very seriously. For the recent student elections everyone got a very professional looking photo of themselves in a suit somewhere around campus…whereas back in the UK, people would come up with the best pun related to their name or subject and make giant card board items out of it, for example a dentist may walk around campus with a giant cardboard model of a toothbrush. I guess we just don’t care as much as Hong Kongers.

Washing your cutlery in a restaurant is strange to me. It seems like you are saying that you don’t trust the restaurant to clean the cutlery properly for you. I would be insulted, but the restaurants seem to encourage it.

There also seems to be no middle ground for the speed at which you move around. There is one group of people who move slowly, which consists of the elderly and people who just don’t care. Then the group of people who are always running after the MTR, even though the next train is coming in less than five minutes. There are just two speeds of life, two extremes. Then despite rushing everywhere, they will not eat while moving.

Hong Kong is odd, but I still love it.

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