Everywhere in Hong Kong, you won’t find it hard to see people line up outside a restaurant or luxury fashion store to spend money. For example, Hong Kong people spend hours lining up outside those “recommended restaurants” and eat there for only 20 minutes. You can also see a long queue outside sushi restaurants every night at 10pm where the half-price discount starts, and those crazy people with a big suitcase of cash queuing outside a luxury fashion stores on Canton Road. Why on earth Hong Kong people like lining up so much? Are they obsessed with waiting? Aren’t they love efficiency?
The reasons, I think, are:
1. Getting Attention
A lot of people who line up regularly, especially the teenagers, enjoy the ego of being stared at by people on the streets. I mean, if they are wearing a nice outfit, lining up is probably the best way to showcase it. There are just too many people on the street walking in insanely high speed, people won’t notice your existence unless you’re in a static mode, so once you’re lining up in the queue, you can instantly distinct yourself from those hundreds of people walking on the street, you then get the attention.
2. Showing Off
You should know that Hong Kong people are excessively obsessed with materialism, their main interests are shopping, eating, watching movie, singing karaoke, or I should say “spending money” (that’s why lots of people spend a lot of time checking stock prices at work). You would see people lining up outside luxury fashion stores to implicitly tell others about their wealth, like “hey, I’m gonna grab a Louis Vuitton bag soon”. What’s next? They will drain out all the inventory in the store within light speed once they get into the store.
3. Self Identification
From a British colony to an independent region of China now, Hong Kong seems to never have a firm identity, leading to a lot of Hong Kong people’s eager to identify themselves from whatever means they can use. Take lining up as an example, if Hong Kong people queue up to eat in a Michelin-starred restaurant, it resembles a personal branding for Hong Kong people to tell others their interests such as what they like eating and that they’re being cool to eat in an recommended restaurant. But the result can be disastrous – you wait for 1 hour to get into the restaurant, then you can only sit there for 20 minutes and the waiter will urge you to leave before you even have time to wolf all the food inside your stomach, and you pay ridiculous price for 20 minutes in the restaurant, oh consumerism.