>Chinese Organization of Space

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When I lived in New Zealand, counting change was a problem. It took me some time to figure out why this was so difficult! The size of a New Zealand 10 cent piece was the same as a US quarter. And dollars were divided into fifths rather than quarters. I never could do it quickly.

In Hong Kong, keypads for the ATM and elevators are a problem for me. We have ATM machine numbers lined up like a telephone with left to right and top to bottom:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
0

I think we organize elevator buttons in the US left to right, with the lower numbers at the bottom and the higher above

9 10
7 8
5 6
3 4
1 2

But look at the elevator above. HELP! I got into an elevator today with about 25 floors and I could not find the floor 8 button for the life of me! I felt like an idiot! I had to ask someone to find it for me! The order was somehow bottom to top and then starting at the bottom again and going to the top.

At CityU, the elevators are numbered to help people find the right color-coded section of the extended academic building to go up in. I noticed today that the same pattern is true as the elevator numbers as to how they number each elevator in the building. Think of looking down on a blueprint of the first floor of a building, with each elevators assigned a number and they are located on either side of a long corridor. We would number the elevators:

odd side of bldg even side of bldg
1———————–2
3 ———————–4
5———————- 6
7———————– 8
9 ———————- 10

But at CityU, the system of numbering elevators goes something like this:

1———————— 6
2———————— 7
3———————— 8
4———————— 9
5———————– 10

I did a workshop at HK PolyU this week. Even though each of their buildings has a name, they all have block letters also. It is the letters that are used for location. So I was in room BC310. You go up the elevator in Block B or Block C, separated on the ground level, up to the 3rd floor where they are connected. BC means the room is in-between the Block B elevator and the Block C elevator. But the letters of the building’s central elevator shafts are ordered somewhat like CityU’s elevators. So think of each letter as a building. This is how the buildings are arranged in relationship to each other:

A–F
B–G
C–H
D–I
E–J

I have yet to figure out the ATMs. Every time I go to get cash, I am paralyzed trying to figure out how to find the numbers for my 6 digit code.

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