Am I seeing things or has Hong Kong suddenly become even more overcrowded than before? Everywhere I go, there are people. Many streets, particularly in Central, are no longer walkable. MTR trains are perennially packed. The shopping mall where I live was never crowded when I moved into my new flat a year and a half ago. Now, there are so many people on weekends that it seems worse than Mong Kok. Am I seeing things? If you are seeing things, it means you are imagining things that are not really there. The word “walkable” used this way means suitable for walking. The word “perennial” used this way means happening all the time. If trains are perennially packed, it means they are always packed or full.
My friends have reassured me I am not imagining things or seeing things. Hong Kong has indeed become much more overcrowded in the past year or two. The main reason is the sudden influx of tourists, mostly from mainland China. The word “influx” means the entry or arrival of a large number of people or things. Last year, Hong Kong had an influx of over 65 million tourists. About 51 million were from mainland China. If you divide 65 million by 12, it means there are about 5.4 million extra people in Hong Kong each month. Did you know the whole of the US has about 75 million foreign tourists each year? Tiny Hong Kong has 65 million.
Many of my friends say Hong Kong has too many tourists. I agree. Hong Kong is too small to have 65 million tourists every year. It is eroding (gradually destroying) the quality of life of Hong Kong people. Many Hong Kong people tell me they no longer go out on their days off. Your day off is the day when you don’t have to go to work. They say they stay at home because the streets are not walkable and MTR trains are too full. This is bad for our society.
是我眼花（seeing things）了嗎？抑或是香港突然比以前擠逼了許多？我去哪裏都滿是人。許多的街道，尤其在中環，根本寸步難行（no longer walkable）。港鐵的列車車廂長期（perennially）都是水洩不通的。我一年半前搬入新居時，那裏的購物商場也不是那麼擁擠；現在每逢周末，那兒的人真是多得好像比旺角還嚴重。是我產生幻覺（seeing things）了嗎？若你是seeing things，即是你憑空想像一些不存在的事物。Walkable在這裏是指適宜步行的。Perennial在這裏的意思是經常發生；若列車都是perennially packed，即是說它們長期都是擁擠或是載滿人的。
我有許多朋友都說，香港有太多遊客了。我同意。以每年要迎接六千五百萬遊客來說，香港真的太狹小了。這實在蠶蝕着（eroding）香港人的生活質素。許多香港人告訴我，他們放假（days off）的時候不會再出外了。你的day off就是你不用上班的日子。他們說，情願留在家中，因為街道都不宜步行（walkable），港鐵車廂又總是太滿。這對我們的社會來說真的太糟糕了。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧