Hong Kong lights up whenever the night comes. Evenings are usually when everyone truly awake. It does not matter how sleepy and tired we all are during the day. At night meet up with friends, a couple bottles of cold beer or glasses of wine; it’s the quick remedy to our tiredness and stress.
Some find the city amusing
Some find the city beautiful
Some find the city hopeful
Some find the city horrifying
Some find the city disgusting
Some find the city hopeless
The feelings toward the city is only formed by money and status. The one who possesses money and power has the right to choose. Ones without it has no choice but to live on the edge. It’s a sick truth that there’s hardly any edge here. There’s not a real suburb or rural places with cheap rents like everywhere else.
I like the phrase we use around here – ‘It costs over HKD$10,000 per square ft’ to own an apartment. That’s around the medium of many young adults’ salary. It’s insane. The sizes of apartments can vary from 400-1000 sq. ft. Let’s do the math. One third of the salary goes to our family for allowance, one third or more goes to food/transportation and other regular expenses. If we do not buy any new clothes, jeans, gadgets and do not spend a dime with our girl/boyfriends, how much do we have left? Just how could many of the Hong Kong citizen afford the high costs/rents. Many have no choice but to live with their family. If not,…
While many public housing projects are far behind schedule, many low income families have no choice but to live in illegal sub-divided cell/cubicle-like apartments with poor conditions. That’s the ugly side of the city which no one would ever see in the Western world. And what’s even uglier, the rent of those cubicles are constantly going up year by year.
That also applies to shops around the city, rents can be doubled every two to three years as soon as the contract ends. Retail businesses and restaurants operate by family of generations simply could not afford the ever increasing rent but to end their businesses one by one. The company that I work at had encountered the exact same experience twice in two years. At the non-shopping districts, it’s usually replaced by 7-Eleven, Circle K or Real Estate Properties. At the shopping districts, it’s replaced by the high demand luxury brand shops. The Mainland Chinese visitors have high purchasing power on those goods. It literally kicked out everyone out of those zones. The landlords can just never earn enough, do they?
Now, how could we all be hopeful?