Life in a Hong Kong high-rise, part II

As Mr T describes, life in a high-rise can be a shock for us small-town folk, and the side-effects take a bit of getting used to. All at once you live much closer to a bunch of families than you ever have before, but you have no idea who they are. The previous flat we lived in had an especially lively assortment of characters in the neighborhood.

Beans ! Every morning at around 8am we'd hear a rattling noise on the aircon and window panes. By chance the source of the rattling bounced in through the window one morning -- an uncooked red bean. So every morning, someone on a higher floor would reach out of their bedroom window and set free a handful of red beans. If you have any idea what significance this has, please share -- is there a local god that is particularly fond of red bean offerings?

Closer to home, was the man we called the madman. He lived in the flat directly opposite us and screeched christmas carols at the top of his voice, 365 days a year. When we finally bumped in to him in the lift lobby, it was a disappointment to find him quiet and reserved. I guess he lets it all out in the privacy of his own home.

Next to him lives a family to whom noise was as essential as oxygen. Most evenings would have them playing mah-jong, with the TV on full blast, and everyone shouting at once. Generous to a tee, the front door stayed open to share the noise with their neighbours.

Round to the next flat, and I can't remember seeing them in three years of living there. I'm sure that we did, but I guess they couldn't really compete with their next-door neighbours for our attention.

A couple of floors down and across from us, war was raging. We'd hear the wife scream and rant for 30 to 40 minutes at a stretch -- she must have had lungs of steel and a throat of leather. When there was finally a pause, you knew that within a few seconds the husband would shout a couple of words, and the wife would start up again. In an odd kind of way you had to think they knew each other very well -- the man knowing just what to say for maximum effect. What a waste of energy, though.

I kind of miss them now though. We've moved to a larger flat in a different building, where there's a lot more space between the flats. No one has a nickname yet, a sure sign that they are better at keeping their eccentric habits to themselves.

Got a mad neighbour you need to vent about? Just seen the most amazing thing thrown out of a high-floor window? Please write and tell us all about it ....


funny about the red beans

funny about the red beans part..local god who likes red beans..

Thank you for sharing