A towering presence at home among skyscrapers
The tallest man in the world apologised to Hong Kong people yesterday for giving them cricks in their necks.
'They have difficulty talking to me as they need to raise their heads high,' Sultan Kosen said. 'I am sorry I may have made their necks hurt.'
The 2.51-metre, 29-year-old Turk, on his first trip to the city to promote a planned world-records theme park, said he also had trouble in conversations - his ears were too far from the other person's mouth.
Kosen, born into a family of seven who are all of normal height, said that his lofty build was never convenient, but he did not find things any worse during his three-day stay in Hong Kong.
'Though my height is always a problem, people here are nice in helping me solve the problems,' he said with a cheerful smile.
He joked, however, that he did notice it more in Asia than in Europe, where people on average are taller.
Wherever he goes, ceilings and doorways are too low and beds are too short, but he said the hotel where he stayed had kindly put three beds together to accommodate him.
US tourist-attraction operator Ripley Entertainment, which brought him to the city, also provided him with a seven-seater car to travel around in. He said he felt well taken care of.
Asked what he liked most about Hong Kong, he said he enjoyed looking at the skyscrapers but was even more entranced by Victoria Harbour, as he believed 'water brings life'.
One regret was that he did not have time to get a suit made for his giant frame.
'I heard that there are some excellent tailors in the city, but I did not have time to shop,' Kosen said. 'I will definitely come back and try it next time.'
Kosen, who in 2009 was declared the world's tallest man by Guinness World Records - eclipsing Bao Xishun of China - was brought to Hong Kong as part of the promotion for a Guinness World Records attraction proposed by Ripley.
His height is caused by a defect in his pituitary gland, which controls growth.
The sleeve length that is required for one of Kosen's shirts