The main mode of transportation for most hongkongers is the MTR railway system, which is well connected throughout HK. Peak hours at the MTR stations are mornings, between 8.30 to 9.30 and evenings, 5.30 to 7.30. If you’ve ever travelled on the MTR during peak hour, you will accept that personal space does not matter as you’re closely surrounded, arse-to-tummy, with total strangers.
I witnessed something that tickled me in this morning’s peak hour at the TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) MTR station. As is typical during peak hour, the train arrived at the TST station already packed with people. To have any chance of getting to work on time, it is necessary to force ourselves onto the train. It is a way of HK life and rarely is there any shy hesitation (from those trying to get on) or upset feelings (from those already squashed in-the train). We push ourselves against the train occupants, enough for the train doors to close without obstruction. The MTR station employs Gate Monitors (people) whose duties are to clear the obstruction so that the train doors can close.
This morning, a lady wearing a coat with hood persisted on boarding the train. The space on the train was enough only for her body, so that the hood was hanging off her but still outside the train. Although the Gate Monitor urged her to come off and wait for the next train, the lady insisted on remaining on-board. So the Gate Monitor did the next best thing, she cleared the obstruction by pulling the hood over the lady’s head. This was quite funny because it clearly demonstrated that Hongkongers do what it takes to solve a situation.