I live in HK, a city that has an amazingly serious air pollution problem (due to a number of factors - urban layout, geography, proximity to pollution-belching mainland factories that run on dirty diesel generators because the main grid is unreliable, depending on how good/bad your connections are with the corrupt swine in charge of the utilities). Anyway, the air is very very bad for most of the year - eye and nose and throat-burning bad.
Many Hongkies are superstitious retards who maintain little shrines in their homes and burn incense.
Fine and good. It doesn't affect me so far.
Unfortunately, they often choose to burn their incense in the shared hallway outside their apartment door.
When the hallway is saturated with acrid incense smoke, it begins to seep into the other apartments. I work at home, so I have to deal with this crap periodically. It's usually bearable.
Today, the peasants who apparently pooled 3 generations of their family's savings to buy the crappy concrete box down the hall from us decided to burn some sort of incense bonfire in their apartment (inside is good) - with the door open (d'oh - bad). It had to be more than the normal stick or two of incense since the smell was strong enough (and with other smells mixed in) to lead me to worry that the apartment block might actually be on fire - either a straight-up apartment fire or a case of a superstitious gimp burning incese for their dead ancestors and accidentally lighting their drapes on fire while they were napping away with a Cantonese soap opera blaring on their tv.
This leads to me walking down, through the smoky hallway, and banging on the barred gate outside their front door and ringing their doorbell until, eventually, one of the idiots got to the door. Of course none of them speak English, the 'other' official language of HK.
I did get them to close their goddamned door, though. They also understood that, when I pointed at my phone and said '9 9 9' (local equivalent of 911), I meant that I was ready to call the police.
Had to vent. I may ask my wife to go bitch them out some more later.
September 11th, 2006 4:38am
HK? Where is that?
September 11th, 2006 4:46am
(We've secretly replaced Hong Kong with the seventh layer of hell. Let's see if it's denizens notice.)
September 11th, 2006 4:47am
yeah, Hong Kong
Remember that scene from one of the Godfather movies where Cardinal Lamberto (who, iirc, becomes Pope later in the film) is sitting on the edge of a fountain talking to Don Corleone. He lifts a rounded stone out of the fountain pool and tells Corleone that Europe is like the stone and water is Christianity - the stone has been immersed in the water for centuries but the water hasn't penetrated it (he cracks the stone open and shows Corleone the dry center). In other words, Europe has been exposed to Christianity for hundreds and hundreds of years but most Europeans are cutthroat sinners (or whatever).
It's the same with Hong Kong and what you or I would consider civilized behavior.
They were a colony of England for 100 years with parts of the territory having been under English rule for significantly longer. All of the structures of a civilized society were set up and are still here ... yet, if you scratch the surface of a lot of HK'ers, even setting aside the ones who are just 1st-gen immigrants from the PRC, and what you see is not pretty.
Burning of noxious incense is actually one of the most benign examples ....
September 11th, 2006 4:54am
Why do you live in a tenement building in Hong Kong?
September 11th, 2006 4:56am
Why do I live in a high-rise apartment block?
If you live in HK, you don't really have a hell of a lot of a choice. It's either a high-rise or a 3-story "village house".
HK has been inundated with immigrants from the PRC since forever. They're in various stages of cultural assimilation. Of those who've been living here for several generations, you've got the younger, better-educated people who were born and raised in the more built-up areas and the villagers who time forgot.
* Groups that don't generally burn incense and believe in wacky superstitions: young professionals
* Groups that are generally comprised of superstitious retards: everyone else (including the young professionals' parents and grandparents)
We actually live in a middle/upper-middle class development. The problem is that, no matter how expensive you make the apartments, some peasant types will pool their resources, sell the 3 story village houses that they got for free from a development company when their village agreed to sign away their ancestral lands for development, etc. and buy their way in.
In other words, you can start out with a (relatively) decent building + grounds and end up with idiots burning incense in red metal cans in their apartments or out in the hallways, grandparents dropping their grandkids' drawers so that they can piss or crap down a storm drain, etc.
September 11th, 2006 5:19am
Here's a separate example of crazy peasant behavior that one sees in HK...
Yesterday, in Causeway Bay, my wife and I were walking down a very nice stretch of pavement (high-rent commercial buildings and shops on either side) and found a couple of shit-smeared women's absorbent pads. My wife's best guess was that they were likely flung there out a window or from an alleyway by some mainland wife of a well-to-do local (more HK guys are marrying skanky mainlanders these days than are marrying HK women, supposedly) who shat herself unintentionally while on some weight loss scheme involving dieuretics.
September 11th, 2006 5:21am
(in a bad way)
September 11th, 2006 7:06am
there goes my lunch
At least you do not get Chavs with affordable housing elements in every new development in London
September 11th, 2006 8:40am
> F*cking savages
Weren't you earlier extolling how glad you moved away from the US for HK?
son of parnas
September 11th, 2006 11:33am
In that post, if you'll recall, I said something like "Though I often bitch about HK, I am much happier here in HK than I was in the USA ...". This thread falls in the bitching category.
No place is perfect. HK also has its own advantages. :)
September 11th, 2006 12:32pm
You live in an appartment surrounded by savages and you are planning to move again. Your life in the US must have really been bad.
son of parnas
September 11th, 2006 12:37pm
Yours may be quite crummy as well.
Unless you've lived abroad for a significant length of time, however, you haven't got anything to measure against ... so it may seem "okay".
September 11th, 2006 1:24pm
> Unless you've lived abroad for a significant length of time,
Defined as the amount of time it takes me to realize how unhappy I really was?
What made you unhappy in the US and how has HK made you happy? HK sounds like a miserable place to me.
son of parnas
September 11th, 2006 2:11pm