Hong Kong daily life

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One of the challenges of living the expat life is getting used to day-to-day differences you can't really prepare for. Here we provide some thoughts on all the 'little things' that make daily life in Hong Kong so interesting -- and occasionally infuriating.

Beating the heat in Hong Kong

As we enter the fiery heart of Hong Kong’s seemingly endless summer, the minds of all good Hong Kong men converge on a single thought: have I sweated through my shirt yet? Read more »

Town planning in Hong Kong, part II

As I mentioned in my previous article on Hong Kong town planning, it's curious -- in a wonderful way, of course -- that Hong Kong's extreme population density, coupled with 'Radiant City' town planning that's produced mostly urban hellholes in other countries, has resulted in a very livable city that's among the world's safest. Read more »

Town planning in Hong Kong

I've recently read a classic book on town planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs. Jacobs burst on to the town planning scene with this book in the early 1960s, and has been the sage of what's been termed 'New Urbanism' ever since. She unfortunately passed away recently. (You can find a fairly recent interview with her here if you're interested.)

 Read more »

The airport to Hongkong island in record time

If you've just arrived in Hongkong, join us in the race to the Hongkong island taxi rank, and the quest for a new personal best. Read more »

Two square meter man

I've griped about it myself: pollution and a general indifference to the environment in Hong Kong. But in one way, at least, Hong Kong is surely one of the world's most environmentally-sound cities. How can that be, you ask, through a haze of air pollution, standing next to a harbor that's a toxic soup? Read more »

More little things in Hong Kong we could do without

Having completed our 'Hong Kong loves' lists, it follows naturally that we batgung must consider the polar opposite: the things we hate about Hong Kong. Mr B did his list a while back, so it's time I got to mine. Read more »

Typhoons in Hong Kong: Looking forward to 'The Big One'?

As I've demonstrated before, I'm mildly obsessed with the weather. Much of the blame for this banal preoccupation can be laid upon my upbringing on the northern plains in the USA, aka Nature's Bad Weather Galleria.

Here in Hong Kong, of course, things are much less exciting, with no blizzards, real tornadoes, or even serious thunderstorms.

Weather excitement here boils down to rain that occasionally gets so heavy it's newsworthy, and, of course, typhoons. Yet for all the prominent roles typhoons play in potboiler novels set in Hong Kong, they don't really affect day-to-day life here all that frequently. Some years none at all come anywhere near Hong Kong, but most years at least one or two will occasion at least part of day off work, when the 'Signal No. 8' is hoisted. Read more »

Hongkongness

There's stuff about Hong Kong we like, and stuff we don't, but how about all the other stuff that is just there in all its 'hongkongness'? Here are some of the highlights from the Batgung and their readers.

Mr B starts us off with ...

-- punching the lift door buttons till the door closes (and going back to your home country, getting into the lift, and thinking WHY DOESNT ANYONE PRESS THE BUTTON???)

The Mr Tall Summertime Sweat Scale

Although the weather so far this June has been quite temperate (for Hong Kong, that is), it's still pretty hot. The sweaty season is upon us. I was well aware of this the other day as I took a little lunchtime walk to a nearby shopping mall to investigate a new stroller for Toddler Tall.

As I walked -- the mall in question isn't in fact all that nearby, unfortunately -- I passed through a predictable descent, from a nicely-pressed young man into a sweaty mess. If, for whatever masochistic reason, you would like to accompany me on my sweat-slicked odyssey, read on! Read more »

Little things we could do without

We've written of the things we like, and Mr Tall notes the "gwai privilege", but you can't live here for long before thinking of a few things you wouldn't miss ... Read more »

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