In Hong Kong perpendicularism is an uninterrupted attitude affecting people and concrete structures alike. The feeling continues when looking up at the IFC Tower, all of 415 m, or watching ‘just legs’ walk past. They are not ‘fat legs’, ‘chicken legs’ ‘duck legs’ or whatever other name one can give to legs, but, slim ones leading up to a slimmer torso and face.
I remember the first day (2008), strolling around Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, my reaction was ‘but everyone is so thin’ and tried to wrap myself in my wispy scarf. From then on I decided to wear Kurtis, loose-fitting long tops, to feel better. Most Indian women, or for that matter residents from the sub-continent, the matronly and non matronly, wear the shalwar kameez (tunics with loose pants) depending on age group and hoping to blend in with the crowds.
There was no escaping from ‘thin’ forms because you are bush wacked with print and audio/video advertisements about slimming techniques and cremes. Walk into any health club or gym to find a wasp-waisted figure pounding the treadmill with all her will power. “Lady you do not need it.”
From people to buildings it does take time getting adjusted to height and weight problems. Three years on and I still have to see the frontal full façade of any building. I am a proud pointer of Bank of China, the landmark HSBC building, the IFC Tower and others from a distance but get closer and the areas resemble Lego land connected via numerable vertical, horizontal or subterranean walkways and escalators.
But then there is no need to look up but straight ahead, accompanying the conscientious junta on its numerable errands.