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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    I'm dreading to think what the blue bucket in those photos is for.
    it probably serves the dual purpose of holding both drinking water and urine.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by siouxdonym View Post
    it probably serves the dual purpose of holding both drinking water and urine.
    You just had to say that, didn't you. I thought that it was probably just for drinking/cleaning water. They do have bathrooms.

    I would find it extremely claustrophobic to live in such a small room.

    However, what we are accustomed to in the west is very different from what people are accustomed to ane expect in the developing world.

    Many poorer people in developing countries live in dormitories where they have even less space than a cubicle in a room spared by many. And are happy to do so as it is preferable to living on the street or in a slum shanty.

    When I was in the Philippines more than one Filipino who lived in a dormitory told me that he/she would feel very lonely to sleep alone in a room.

    Different places and cultures have different orientations to space. The downside of our orientation to space is that it separates us. You have people living alone in big houses who are unbelievably lonely and people don't even know their neighbours. This is not a plight suffered by most Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos - and others who are collectivist in orientation.

    You'd make friends very quickly in the Beijing cubicle. And surely have no problem should you have need to borrow one or two more blue pails.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    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.
    I wasn't expecting clean, but I wasn't expecting it to be as bad as it was. I was aware and prepared for the pollution, but hadn't really thought about the physical filth, even in some of the nicer places. It was before 2008. I did not want to go the second time, but sometimes we have to do things we don't like . At least the second time I knew to bring some hand wipes, Lysol, and peanut butter .

    However, I feel fortunate that I met some very interesting people, walked on the Great Wall, saw The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, & Tiananman Square. It was just very difficult for me to be there.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    You'd make friends very quickly in the Beijing cubicle. And surely have no problem should you have need to borrow one or two more blue pails.
    My major concern is fire safety. There's only one door out of each cubicle. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    At least the second time I knew to bring some hand wipes, Lysol, and peanut butter .
    All of this is available at both foreign and local supermarkets. Peanut butter and hand wipes since at least 2000, and Lysol since around 2004 I think. Chinese peanut butter is much tastier than American (Australian is too ), less salt (actually it may be salt free).

    orbitz, my concern is also fire safety. The Chinese government takes fire safety seriously about once every two years, usually after there's a disaster publicised in the press, and sporadically in between and a quick money maker.

  6. #26

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    I figured many Westerners would be all at this, as many can't believe I live in "only" 750 square feet.

    For me personally, if it came down to a dorm vs. a cube, I'd take the cube every time.

  7. #27

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    As an American who is accustomed to a large living space, including a huge lawn, it seems a horrible situation.But I think it is all relative.

    How much individual space does a crew member on a cruise ship have, how much room does a worker for traveling carnival - which on one of our walks, DH and I saw the trailers provided and they did not appear to be more than a sleeping compartment, etc. And are those individual spaces?

    I am sure that there are other examples. Would I want to live in that type of space? Fortunately, I don't have to so I can't tell you how I would feel. I think that I am of the same opinion as PL.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    As an American who is accustomed to a large living space, including a huge lawn, it seems a horrible situation.But I think it is all relative.

    How much individual space does a crew member on a cruise ship have, how much room does a worker for traveling carnival - which on one of our walks, DH and I saw the trailers provided and they did not appear to be more than a sleeping compartment, etc. And are those individual spaces?

    I am sure that there are other examples. Would I want to live in that type of space? Fortunately, I don't have to so I can't tell you how I would feel. I think that I am of the same opinion as PL.
    I have no trouble in small spaces (in college I'd manage to sleep on half of a twin bed, because the other half would be full of textbooks and papers ), but I'd feel claustrophobic on a submarine. Mostly because I'd know that I'm stuck in a metal tube deep in the middle of the ocean...

    I had friends who went to UCLA, and there, every piece of furniture touched another piece of furniture, with just enough space between the beds for people to walk through. It wasn't the fact that it was small - it was the fact you had to share such a tiny space with two other people! Lack of privacy would do me in. I'm an introvert and need the alone time.

    Actually, recently I've been drooling over Tumbleweed Tiny Houses . I don't like having such a large space to be in, it feels like a waste for me. I definitely prefer to be efficient. But yeah, a capsule is definitely too small, but then again I'm an introvert and I wouldn't be outside for the other 18 hours of the day.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    As an American who is accustomed to a large living space, including a huge lawn, it seems a horrible situation.But I think it is all relative.

    How much individual space does a crew member on a cruise ship have, how much room does a worker for traveling carnival - which on one of our walks, DH and I saw the trailers provided and they did not appear to be more than a sleeping compartment, etc. And are those individual spaces?

    I am sure that there are other examples. Would I want to live in that type of space? Fortunately, I don't have to so I can't tell you how I would feel. I think that I am of the same opinion as PL.
    My dad served on a submarine in the US Navy. They slept stacked - the butt of the man above you was inches from you - and in shifts.

    My friends across the street from me are not from the US. Our houses are comparable in size. In mine, I have 3 people. In theirs, they have approx. 8 (it varies). Same number of bedrooms, but in their opinion, their house is so large that they've actually chosen to rent out what they consider to be the extra rooms. It's all relative.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  10. #30

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    It's kind of surreal in cities like Beijing or Hong Kong where everything else is pretty cheap compared to the US or European countries, but then you look for apartments....

    I guess that's to be expected when you have so many people in a small area.

    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.
    It's not unusually high, it's the camera angle. The article says the rooms are 2 meters high, about 6'6".

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    I had friends who went to UCLA, and there, every piece of furniture touched another piece of furniture, with just enough space between the beds for people to walk through.
    Yeah, that pretty much sums up a lot of college rooms. But even the smallest college dorms I've found to be a larger than the ones here. I mean, at least there was room for furniture.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho
    It's kind of surreal in cities like Beijing or Hong Kong where everything else is pretty cheap compared to the US or European countries, but then you look for apartments....
    Yeah. There might be a bit of a bubble right now, but I would imagine that in the long run, housing prices in Beijing, Shanghai, and other urban centers are going to keep rising into the foreseeable future. This is a massive country whose economy had been repressed by communism and only in the past two decades really seen expansion. Beijing is going from the drabness of communism to a world class metropolis, and prices are rising commensurately.

  12. #32
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    Angelskates might have a better perspective on this than I do. But, I imagine that part of the housing expense is due to there being no real suburban housing. I recall that there is a great deal of empty space around Beijing, but everyone is crowded into living in the city. Possibly because there is no public transportation to get people from more remote areas. Or, because there are no/limited utilities extended to more remote areas. Though that may have changed since I was there. If that is still the case, we may see a large effort to get housing on the perimeters of the city, people spreading out to get nicer accommodations.

    China/Beijing is not the only place where I've noticed that phenomenon. There are areas in the US, where I have noticed that housing within the city is very expensive, but little has been done to develop more affordable housing in the areas around the city. I noticed in parts of Texas, which has vast expanses of undeveloped land, that the suburban properties are very small. That quite large houses are built practically on top of each other and those developed areas are surrounded by acres/miles of nothing.

  13. #33

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    Do people living in these apartments have any "stuff"? I did not see space for a few changes of clothes (including a coat and umbrella), a mirror/comb/toothbrush/towel, some food and a plate, etc. I'd give up the television for a few more changes of socks & underwear, a book or two and a reading light. I'm another person who prefers privacy over larger shared spaces, but this is about half the size for me to be comfortable for more than one night.

  14. #34
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    I think things are stored under the bed where the blue bucket is and in bags hanging above the bed. I was wondering if the blue bucket was a trash container with a lid to keep the smell down.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    I noticed in parts of Texas, which has vast expanses of undeveloped land, that the suburban properties are very small. That quite large houses are built practically on top of each other and those developed areas are surrounded by acres/miles of nothing.
    I think there are a few reasons for this.

    1. Most people do not go out and buy their own plot of lands miles from everyone else. They look for an already built home in an established neighborhood. Most people do not want to be completely alone, just outside of the city (and I mean just, not miles and miles away) and out of the super small and expensive apartments.

    2. Builders snatch up areas of land and want to make as much profit off of it as they can. So they put as many houses as they can in this space.

    I think the examples of places in the US are different than in Beijing.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    I think there are a few reasons for this.

    1. Most people do not go out and buy their own plot of lands miles from everyone else. They look for an already built home in an established neighborhood. Most people do not want to be completely alone, just outside of the city (and I mean just, not miles and miles away) and out of the super small and expensive apartments.

    2. Builders snatch up areas of land and want to make as much profit off of it as they can. So they put as many houses as they can in this space.

    I think the examples of places in the US are different than in Beijing.
    I'd think that many people who are buying houses have kids, and thus would want a place with an established school system and a big-box store. You aren't going to get that in the middle of nowhere, and it would take some risks for a middle-of-nowhere place to be developed.

    Where my parents live, a new state university recently came up. It's growing, but it's slow. The developers bet wrong because they spent untold amounts of money building giant McMansions with giant lawns that nobody could afford aside from I guess some of the professors. The real estate bubble burst very badly (it's the worst county hit in the state) and there are now neighborhoods full of unfinished houses there. There was no market for such houses, but they built anyway.

    Here in LA many people live miles and miles from their workplace just so they can be in the suburbs with a house with a lawn. But it's definitely not in the middle of nowhere.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    I think there are a few reasons for this.

    1. Most people do not go out and buy their own plot of lands miles from everyone else. They look for an already built home in an established neighborhood. Most people do not want to be completely alone, just outside of the city (and I mean just, not miles and miles away) and out of the super small and expensive apartments.

    2. Builders snatch up areas of land and want to make as much profit off of it as they can. So they put as many houses as they can in this space.

    I think the examples of places in the US are different than in Beijing.
    Absolutely, the US examples are very different from Beijing. I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was saying they were the same. Sometimes my train of thought takes off and I don't transition properly .

    Anyway, with regard to the Texas example, it's not so much that I am suggesting building in the middle of nowhere. It's more that, there is so much space to spread out, and the homes are on such tiny lots. I guess it strikes me as being odd because living in the NE, there is not much land left to develop, and yet most suburban properties are much larger. Even with much smaller homes on them. You rarely see communities where all of the houses are divided by walls, in the NE.

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