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  1. #1
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    Is this really living?

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_B.../LD28Cb02.html

    "China's 'homes' feel the squeeze
    By Olivia Chung

    HONG KONG - Soaring property prices in Beijing and other Chinese cities are giving rise to a new line of accommodation - "apartments" little wider than a narrow bed and hardly a meter longer, earning landlords ready cash at little cost and snapped up by young workers on low pay, often with families to support back home. "



    IMO this isn't living, it's voluntary imprisonment.

  2. #2
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    The photo was shocking! A little porthole, no space whatsoever, no room for a fridge or microwave or anything? There must be another room somewhere that we don't see? Absolutely insane.

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    Room for TV and internet connections!

    Home is where your heart is...literally!
    Without fear you cannot find courage

  4. #4

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    No one is forcing anyone to live there - they can live further away and pay more if they want. The girl in the article seemed pleased enough, and she's the one living there and paying! She is probably limited in her options as a migrant worker. There are far, far worse accommodation options here - plenty of rooms stuffed with bunk beds for those building the subways, plenty of tents outside being lived in by migrant workers, and plenty of homeless people too. This is another option - again, migrant workers choose to come to Beijing because it offers more than their home towns.

  5. #5

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    Some of the factories which offer dorms have conditions far worse than pictured in the attached. At least these capsule apartments are clean, and there's privacy and ventilation.

    Photos in the attached:
    http://www.chinahush.com/2010/04/01/...e-meters-each/

    Capsule hotels have been quite popular in Japan for some time:
    http://i1.accvietnam.vn/f/ichizine/s...tel%20(17).jpg
    Use Yah Blinkah!

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    I realize that no one forces anyone to live in these capsules. But I would be so claustrophobic! I wonder if there are any common rooms. Where are the bathrooms? I could not exist in a place where I could not move around, can that be healthy? I think I'd rather be in a tent (depending on the weather, of course). They look worse than prison cells.

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    The capsule hotel in Japan doesn't look bad at all if all you're looking for is a clean place to crash at night. If anything it forces you to spend more time exploring the city and not so much time in your "hotel" .

    The Beijing cube apartments are atrocious. The open grating roof makes it looks like an animal cage. You can't even fart in your own apartment without your neighbor hearing it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    The capsule hotel in Japan doesn't look bad at all if all you're looking for is a clean place to crash at night. If anything it forces you to spend more time exploring the city and not so much time in your "hotel" .

    The Beijing cube apartments are atrocious. The open grating roof makes it looks like an animal cage. You can't even fart in your own apartment without your neighbor hearing it.
    I remember some old SROs in NYC that had ceilings like that.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    Some of the factories which offer dorms have conditions far worse than pictured in the attached. At least these capsule apartments are clean, and there's privacy and ventilation.

    Photos in the attached:
    http://www.chinahush.com/2010/04/01/...e-meters-each/

    Capsule hotels have been quite popular in Japan for some time:
    http://i1.accvietnam.vn/f/ichizine/s...tel%20(17).jpg
    Yeah I was gonna say, I definitely read that Japan has had these for a while, and thanks to the stock market crash and soaring real estate prices, people are using them more long-term now.

    The open grating sure is WEIRD though!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Yeah I was gonna say, I definitely read that Japan has had these for a while, and thanks to the stock market crash and soaring real estate prices, people are using them more long-term now.

    The open grating sure is WEIRD though!
    The open grating on the ceiling is a way to allow for air flow/ventilation and light. The Japanese compartment hotels are enclosed, because they provide for light and air flow mechanically into each capsule. The capsule apartments in China, like the old SRO hotels I mentioned in NYC, didn't have that kind of technology in use, so air flow and light were provided by simpler means - open grating on the ceiling. It's not pretty, but it works.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  11. #11

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    I love the comment from someone who says that you might as well just die. You will be living in the same size space and with a lot less worries in life.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    I love the comment from someone who says that you might as well just die. You will be living in the same size space and with a lot less worries in life.
    Yes, but if you die, you can't get up and leave for a while. Unless of course you're a vampire

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    Why is the ceiling so unusually high considering the narrow width of the mini-apartment? Perhaps they could drop the ceiling and expand the sides a bit.

    I doubt that an adult could even stand up anyways, you'd have to spend your whole time lying down or crouching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icedance21 View Post
    Why is the ceiling so unusually high considering the narrow width of the mini-apartment? Perhaps they could drop the ceiling and expand the sides a bit.
    Well, as it is, you can't really stand up very straight anyway. If they expand the width but shorten the height then you can't stand up at all. I imagine that would be against code. I would have to be able to stand up from time to time. Although I guess most people will use these to only sleep in.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    If there's a fire in that place, you're toast. I don't see any easy escape route just from looking at the picture.

    Where does one keep clothings, etc.?

    I'm afraid to ask what the blue bucket under the "bed" is used for.

  16. #16
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    Well, people can adjust to most anything, but I wouldn't say it means one isn't living. I'd say it means that there's a real estate bubble.

  17. #17

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    cruisin - the article says there are public bathrooms outside. These rooms will be used for sleeping, and to get a little privacy/quiet time. Privacy and quiet time is all relative too - this is still much more quiet and private than out on the street!

    If you ever come to Beijing and notice all the people standing/squatting and sitting around on little stools on the side of the road chatting or playing cards - this is why. Homes are not often private havens in Beijing - at least not for the lower class, they're shelter to sleep. In summer you'll see people sleeping on benches or random stretches of grass (I use the term loosely!) because the commute home is long so they nap in the middle of the day. I'm constantly amazing the places and positions I have seen the Chinese sleep.

  18. #18
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    I'm dreading to think what the blue bucket in those photos is for.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    cruisin - the article says there are public bathrooms outside. These rooms will be used for sleeping, and to get a little privacy/quiet time. Privacy and quiet time is all relative too - this is still much more quiet and private than out on the street!

    If you ever come to Beijing and notice all the people standing/squatting and sitting around on little stools on the side of the road chatting or playing cards - this is why. Homes are not often private havens in Beijing - at least not for the lower class, they're shelter to sleep. In summer you'll see people sleeping on benches or random stretches of grass (I use the term loosely!) because the commute home is long so they nap in the middle of the day. I'm constantly amazing the places and positions I have seen the Chinese sleep.
    I've actually been to Beijing twice. No offense, but I did not like it there. I am somewhat germ phobic, it was nightmarish for me.

  20. #20

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    Why would that offend me? I do wonder what you, as a germphobe, were expecting though? Especially to come twice (was that a choice?) Most people who come to China realise before coming that the hygene standards and realities are lower than the developed world. China is a developing country.

    Beijing is actually incredibly beautiful once you get beyond the pollution and hygene - which not that many Westerners do. Or those that do live in the expat areas (where the lack of hygene is better hidden and they can be in denial). Today is May Day long weekend and it's sunny and people are dancing in the parks and going to temple fairs. If you came before 2008 A LOT has changed because if the Olympics. It's hard to change habits, especially since the Chinese consider that their standards have been working for decades, why change? And then came SARS...

    I think China celebrates spring more than most because it means less being in their cramped homes and more being outside. Four of my friends have said they'd live in the capsule if it was available in their areas.

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