Monday, January 18, 2010


Elevators are an essential part of everyday life in any place where multiple floors exist, HK being no exception. Millions of people are able to live in such a small space thanks to skyscraper apartments, but often we underestimate our dependence upon the elevator. It makes 20-something story buildings possible and enables people to enjoy the benefits of living high. In my case, I am located 18 floors above the ground (the highest which students can live at HKBU), which gives me a very astounding view of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island (very stunning at night).
Another benefit I get from living up high is the elevator system. When I push the “down” button, since I am the very top, I am guaranteed a position on the “falling” compartment. This is fairly nice when it is a rushed moment and everyone wants to access the elevator.
However, with the benefits comes the cons of living up so high. For example, while I do get a guaranteed position on the carriage, that doesn’t mean it won’t stop at every level where someone wants to jump on. If someone pushes the button on floor 17, 15, and 3, we will stop and the doors will open, even when the elevator is full already. When there are 18 floors between you and the ground and several Asian students ready for class, it’s bad news. Stopping 12 times before reaching the “G” level is not uncommon, it’s everyday life. The same is true on the ascent. If 13 people are in the contraption, then I will stop 13 times (unless they are grouped, then it may be only 6/7). Finally, if you need to do laundry (which is only on the 1st floor) then your walk is more of a trek (don’t forget something like I did…I’m used to it being across the hall from Hunter and I).
Along with the good and bad are just the plain old aspects of elevator life. Since I’m the only one in there to start off with, I get to see how people enter and where they stand/look/talk/etc. It is very interesting; some talk, many hate being touched, no one makes eye contact, a few stand right next to you (awkward), several only go up/down a floor (I hate that) while others stair at the ceiling. It’s a very solemn place, elevators. Little chatter, dark environment, and few smiles. But occasionally you’ll stop at a floor activity and the smell of fresh cooked soup/chicken/noodles/rice/pastries will gush into the elevator and wish you were part of that floor, as for 18, we don’t do much, just yell at late hours of the night.
With that said, enjoy your elevator experiences. Take time to notice the material of the walls and ceiling (many have mirrors), observe the people (that’s my favorite, especially when you see a collection of Hello-Kitty attire, I’ll post on that later), and maybe even strike up a conversation, just make sure they speak the same language as you ><


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