Friday, June 17, 2011

Life on the MTR

I love the MTR. It provides constant opportunities to observe humanity. And get shoved in the ribs.

At the gates, a woman's Octopus card wasn't working, and rather than give up and seek assistance, she continued to swipe it. Which was a bit silly, but not as silly as the phalanx of men in black suits standing impatiently behind her, when they could have moved left and gone through a free gate. The four of them, clenched together and pushed right up against her, looked like a fairly well-dressed crow, about to peck the lady in the back of the head. Somehow, not so terribly efficient.

A man got on at Wan Chai, talking on his phone. This is remarkable partly because nobody ever phones anyone whilst on the MTR (everyone spends their time texting) but also because of the phone. It was a tablet, one of those things that you buy when you want an ipad but don't want to admit it/when you're a trifle concerned about fitting it in your pocket/some other obscure reason. It's a very long time since I've seen a mobile phone the size of a paperback book. Perhaps it was a homage to the 1980s.

As he prattled on, I considered taking a photo, but I figured that might be rude, and he might get envious if I waved around my phone. Which is the size of a phone, not a very large slice of bread.1 Or he might sneer at me because my phone isn't big enough. It's so hard to know sometimes.

I wouldn't have wanted to anger him though, because as well as an impractically sized phone, he was wearing camouflage print trousers, which must mean he was in the military. There's no other reason for wearing camouflage. Especially not on a train in an ultra-urban environment.

Also, he had on a Hong Kong Marathon t-shirt, the extra-polyester version they give the runners (so he must have had good cardiovascular function, which means the kicking he'd administer would go on for a very long time), a pair of thick black rimmed glasses (clearly very clever) and a utility belt (some kind of super hero).

All in all, you don't want to mess with Hong Kong's answer to Batman.

As opposed to Hong Kong's Superman: jumps a queue in a single bound! Faster than a speeding taxi! Vulnerable only to Hong Kong Kryptonite (aka "door handles").



Did you hear that? I said "door handles"?


Sorry, it must be this phone...

1 What an unhelpful size comparison that is, unless you're some sort of master baker.


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