In Hong Kong, People Voluntarily Sleep In McDonald's
Long before the current protests, Hong Kong had another situation where the disenfranchised refused to be moved by the Man. And by the Man, we mean Ronald McDonald, whose restaurants serve as halfway houses for Hong Kong citizens escaping their terrible living conditions.
For years, McDonald's in Hong Kong have hosted "McRefugees," people who take full advantage of the open-all-hours restaurants by spending the night. And their numbers are rising exponentially. According to one study, 84 out of 110 burger joints suffer from supersized snoozers. Over a period of three months, one McDonald's can put up to 334 of its customers to bed, while others regularly host up to thirty tables of people who treat these budget dining establishments as McB&Bs.
Wikimedia Commons/ZhaeunwEI cuwowaiCan you check under my table for Grimaces?
It's not uncommon for people to take a quick 60 in a fast-food restaurant, but those unfortunates tend to be homeless and jobless. But while Hong Kong's McRefugees have their share of runaway teens and the mentally ill, over 70% of guests at the Hamburglar Inn are functioning adults with jobs and homes to get to. Except that, in their case, said jobs and homes are so terrible they necessitate crashing on Ronald McDonald's couch now and then.
For many Hongkongers, their work is so exhausting and hard to travel to, it sometimes makes more sense to just not go home but walk to the nearest McDonald's and put their heads on one of its least sticky tables. Not that they have a lot to go home to, anyway. With the city having the most expensive housing market in the world, many citizens can only afford "cage homes," filthy, tiny, badly wired rooms in dangerous neighborhoods where the number of roommates rivals the number of cockroaches under your bed. Compared to those living situations, hanging out in a well-lit, spacious McDonald's in the better part of town is like a four-star hotel experience.
Pirate Air Taxis Rule The Skies Of Sao Paulo
Traffic in Sao Paulo is so bad you're more likely to end up in a book of records than your chosen destination. Congestion combined with heavy restrictions has made car travel so unreliable the wealthy have figured out that the only way to beat the traffic is to fly over it. Today, Brazil's biggest city has a bigger air taxi industry than even New York City, with fleets of choppers buzzing overhead in such volume and with such recklessness it feels like the final scene of a 'Nam movie.