This Shopping Mall’s Design is So Bad, It Made Me Question Reality

Shirley Lee
9 min readApr 6, 2023

You should be reading about AI.

You should be reading about fossil fuels.

But sometimes, you do need to experience a minor mental breakdown and get unreasonably outrageous over something utterly meaningless. For a chuckle. It’s good for your mental health.

That’s why you are going to read about a shopping mall I visited the other day.

What happened

My friends and I booked dinner at a restaurant on 28/F of this shopping mall. Yes. I am from Hong Kong. We don’t have much space, so things are pretty tall over here.

The mall is located at the city centre (Tsim Sha Tsui) and you can go right into the mall straight from the Tsim Sha Tsui train station (also called the MTR station). The mall has an entrance that connects to the station.

That evening, when I arrived, I texted my friends: Hey, I have just got from the MTR station to the mall. Where are you now?

They texted back: We are in a shop on 1/F. Come join us!

I checked which floor I was on.

I was on the Floor MTR. Or MTR/F. If that is a thing.

This floor labelling practice is obviously not normal, but it’s not unheard of in Hong Kong. The first shopping mall here with a Floor MTR was built all the way back in 1998.

MTR is an underground railway, so I was pretty sure 1/F was above it. So I went up the only escalator I could see.

The next floor is LG/F. “LG” Probably stands for “Lower Ground”.

Then I was on G/F, which is an entrance facing directly towards the street. I was finally on the actual ground level.

That’s when I saw these escalators.

I stared at these escalators and stood there for one whole second. Why did it seem like the short ones on the right would only take me up half a floor to an unknown section of the mall, while the long ones on the left also look like it would take me to 3 or 4 floors…