So… I know I’ve already expressed my opinions on the general state and standard of living of Hong Kong.. But I feel… to offer some deeper understanding of my largely negative perspective.. A description of the “hotel” we were staying in during our time there is necessary…
Our accommodation in Hong Kong…. was a small room which was one of many of its kind in the city.. it was windowless, it was tiny, it was extremely basic, and it cost too much for what it was.
It was the cheapest place we could find in Hong Kong… because of course price matters with our being backpackers and all.. but perhaps…. at this stop.. it may have been worth putting in just a little extra money.. to improve our circumstances somewhat..
Basically the room had enough floor space for only one of us to stand at a time.. otherwise it was literally a concrete box that a double bed fit perfectly inside of..
So this meant that you stepped through the door, and straight onto the bed or the next person couldn’t actually get into the room at all..
The walls were covered with dirty white tiles… the type which had been chosen because they could be easily cleaned I suppose.. but which none the less, hadn’t been.
And I don’t remember what the flooring was… because I barely saw it…
There was no natural lighting. Just those bright white bulbs that are reminiscent of office buildings.. or hospitals.
And the bed was a hard mattress with basic linen.. that was almost never stainless..
There was a private bathroom…surprisingly.. It was a very small cube separated by 1 wall and a thin glass door from the bed.. Which featured a toilet and a tiny sink, and a shower head that was stuck up above the toilet so that the bathroom could also be the shower.
So in other words.. you shower with the toilet..
(I have to admit though… this is a very common design in Asia – and not one exclusive to this particular “hotel”).
And while I can see how it is a design which could be considered a clever use of space… For me the whole concept just really cries out about the pressure that exists for people to build their lives within tiny spaces in the overpopulated East..
But anyway… that was pretty much it. There was nothing else to it. A tiny TV on the wall. A jar of solidified communal coffee powder on the table in the hallway outside.. Oh, and an air conditioning unit (and I have to admit I I was grateful for the fact that we HAD an air conditioning unit) that bought in all kinds of stray smells from the alleyway below us..
And if you went out onto the hall way you could look through an open window into this alley…. And I mean, I don’t even know why the window was ever installed… because it looked out into the centre of a block of apartments.. there was no view, their was no light, there was no fresh air.. just 4 walls of apartment windows that looked onto one another in a closed square, which would have been no more than a few metres across from one wall to the opposite.
And it was filthy..
We were actually woken up on multiple occasions by the sound of falling trash, as people from the surrounding apartments dropped their rubbish out of their windows…
There were bottles, pairs of old underwear… and other .. unidentifiable objects just collecting on the air-conditioning boxes and window ledges that covered the walls of this…. pit.
And we only had to stay there for 10 days.. some people live in that place.. Because the whole building wasn’t just a hotel. It was an apartment complex. And what it seemed was going on… was that a few crafty residents had bought up several rooms and, kind of, converted these chunks into small hotels..
So within the 1 apartment complex.. there were 25+ “hotels”. Which means a lot of people, coming and going..
And the ground floor had a different purpose altogether.. That was like a big warehouse space where several families had set up small businesses… it was actually almost entirely an Indian community. And despite a large number of stalls.. the products were all the same kind of repetitive offerings..
SIM cards, phone repairs, laundry services, sex toys, and traditional food..
Which was fine in itself… even if some of the stalls were a little tasteless… EXCEPT that it meant that every time we entered or exited the place.. we were accosted and questioned by a crowd of Indian men, trying to make a sale…
It just…. wasn’t a nice place to stay..