Wednesday, January 26, 2005


The ancient lifts in Chungking have earned their own notoriety, independent of the rest of the building. Fortunately, they are slowly being replaced and blocks A to D now have one new lift and one old one. Block E, my block, is still languishing in the back corner of Chungking, waiting to be included in the upgrade.

Everyone in Chungking knows that the weight sensors are situated in the middle of the lift floor. Seven average sized people can fit into the E-block lifts but only if they all stand against the walls. If you step into the centre and set off the overload buzzer you may face considerable lift-rage from your co-passengers.

I know that I've written about the Chungking lifts several times. The reason is that they are such a big part of my life in Hong Kong. I spend a considerable part of each day waiting for the lift and travelling up and down between the ground and sixteenth floor. The lifts also provide many 'only in Chungking' moments:

(Indian man steps into lift, overload buzzer sounds)
African man: Aiyaa! You've got fatter! I can see your stomach is much bigger.
(Indian man adjusts footing and buzzer silences)
Indian man: Yes, now harder getting in lift.
African man: You live on 14/F?
Indian man: Yes
African man: Together with who?
Indian man: Before with friends only, now my wife also coming.
African man: Oh! Wife cooking for you! That's why you get fatter!
(all passengers erupt in laughter)

(cool photo below which I found with google)

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