HK still livable, but tread carefully in LKF

Hongkongers reel in shock at the news that their city was (up until yesterday) more livable than Singapore.

Although the Chinese Communist Party has (arguably) still not quite dragged Hong Kong down to Singaporean levels of authoritarianism, censorship and general zombification, most of us have long assumed that the Lion City scored better in housing, traffic management, South and Southeast Asian cuisine, and probably some other things that add to the quality of life – trains running on time, death for chewing-gum smugglers, etc. Apparently we have been wrong, and only now has Singapore overtaken us.

The Standard declares that the global survey shows Hong Kong’s living standard dropping – in fact, the data say Singapore’s has risen faster. A more level-headed view comes, interestingly, from a Singaporean source, which quotes a resident of Melbourne (Number 1 in the rankings) as asking whether the methodology covered anybody who’s living under a bridge.

While exact scores are meaningless, the broad picture confirms what you already know: Japanese urban life leaves the rest of Asia in the dust, while Mainland cities are barely fit for human habitation.

The reality is that organizations compile and release surveys and rankings to promote themselves, and the media play along and publish them because readers and advertisers lap it up. A feature listing Shatin’s Top 10 Kindergartens is a guaranteed sales-booster.

Another reality is that at 7.15am, I decided to vary my routine and take my morning stroll through Lan Kwai Fong, and I encountered this…

What on earth happened? Whatever it was, it was far more interesting than anything you would get in Singapore.

(You should have seen the rest.)


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9 Responses to HK still livable, but tread carefully in LKF

  1. fufufufu says:

    Well, this is the path of greater integration to the glorious mainland !

    We’re not at the level of Beijing yet but getting there !

  2. Stanley Lieber says:

    Rats. That’s what happened.

  3. Henry says:

    That’ll be LKFs rats, various species

  4. sleeper says:

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

  5. Glad you get out every now and again. But watch you do not stray outside the Soho Triangle. All kinds of threats – fresh air, bookshops, sunshine, intellectuals, bicycles…

    How black are your lungs by now? Have you checked?

  6. Headache says:

    Rankings are bunkum. Can Singapore boast cat-sized urban rats? I think not!

    To borrow from Terry Pratchett, Hong Kong is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colourful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound.

  7. Maugrim says:

    Wah, pic is of gweilo ‘puffet’ la

  8. Donnie Almond says:

    Does any of you fossils remember the ‘safari suit’ (Kevin Sinclair doesn’t count) ?. I guess the last time I actually saw a gwai wearing one was circa 1989. In the seventies and early eighties they were still seen around town, as an acceptable substitute for a coat and tie (British colony, stuffed shirts and all that). Did James Bond wear a safari in “The Man with the Golden Gun” when he entered Bottoms Up ? Could well be. Like walking up the stairs of Lindy’s in Peking Road and ordering your bagel & lox with a large pickle and everybody in the room was dressed up to go shooting elephants. Girls in those days would still love you long time.

  9. C.Law says:

    I remember the safari suit fondly, comfortable and practical while being accepted as sufficiently smart for all but formal occasions. Considerably more sensible than a jacket and tie. I’d be happy if they came back into fashion.

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