Day 13 – On the MTR

This might be my most extreme version of this post a day challenge ever… 

Had a lazy morning and spent all may day hanging out with my secondary school friends who are back from their unis in the UK. 

On my way home and just remembered that I haven’t typed anything today, with it being almost 11pm and no topic at hand.

So here I am, posting on the go, with the shuddering and swaying of the car while it whisks under the streets of Hong Kong (and under Victoria Harbor), looping my arm around a hand rail and just typing away (glad its not rush hour, HK ones are crazy!)

MTR by the way is the Hong Kong equivalent of the Metro/Subway in New York or the Underground/Tube in London.

Its seen a lot of changes during my time here so far. Two new line extentions, a new line, with a combined 10 brand new stations, but always carrying people on time from place to place.

This is starting to sound like an ad…. it isn’t, more like I’m trying to think of something, anything, to talk about.

I’m curious as so whether there is a term for the subtle things that make a city’s transport unique. Aesthetic, I guess?

Here are some of the unique features to the MTR in my mind, that are hard to convey through only pictures (which I will add later):

  • The cheerful “doot” sound as you pat your octopus card on the reader
  • The “Please hold the hand rails, don’t keep your eyes only on your mobile phone” warning on the escalators in Mandarin, Cantonese and British English. 
  • The free wifi in the stations
  • The strict no food or drinks rule thay make it extremely clean (at least in my experience compared to other ones around the world)
  • Quick transfers between trains, just a stream of people walking from one line to another
  • The vibrantly colored station walls, with subtle meanings (red are big interchange stations, some are hint to station names like 鑽石山 (Diamond Hill) being black with silver specks etc)
  • HK rush hours. They are really something special XP
  • The silent tutting of people behind you when you hold up the line at the ticket barrier

    Also uniquely it is the only subway system in the world that makes a profit without government subsadies (since they own the land around the stations, they can make money from store rent of the nearby shops)

    So yeah, a quick peek into this small part of HK life today. See you tomorrow (hopefully with fixed wifi)!

    Rebecca 

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