I am not afriad of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today~William Allen White

Archive for the ‘transportation’ Category

Please offer your seat to those in need

The city of Hong Kong would like to remind fellow commuters to please offer your seat to those in need through friendly happy face animations.  To all those rude people (including you seniors) that ran into the train, please be reminded you need to let others out of the compartment first.  To those of you sitting down inand pretend to be asleep to avoid getting up for some pregnant lady or old people wobbling, please get a life.  Finally, to those that ran blindly into the compartment and fight over a vacant seat and got it instead of someone in their fifties or sixties, please seriously get a life!  Especially if you immediately pretend to be tired and close your eyes or flip your phone on and pretend to ignore all the frowns coming your way.

I remember one time I was sitting down and a lady in her sixties walked into the compartment.  I saw her came in and held onto the pole, so I decided to get up and let her have my seat.  This big man in his thirties dashed into the seat, and I was like “honestly, you think I would get up to let you sit, REALLY???!!!  I am wearing 3-inch heels here!”  In all fairness to that silly man, when I pointed out I got up to let the old lady behind him sit, he did get up and stand, but SERIOUSLY??!!

Once again, I would like to bring people to an old post of my on “public transportation etiquette”. https://btlau.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/public-transportation-etiquette/

On the ding ding tram

I decided to take the “ding ding” tram across the Eastern part of HK today; I was searching for some locally made egg noodles to add to my company’s portfolio.  I didn’t realize the ride would be so long, it took over 30 minutes when the MTR ride takes 15 minutes or so.  I was able to sit on the top row of the top deck, allowing me to take some pictures of an “older” looking part of Hong Kong.

ding ding tram lane running alongside regular cars & buses

since it moves quite slowly and across the entire Easter & Western HK island, it is a love spot for advertisers

Tourists love trying out the “ding ding” tram, offering the cheapest form of transportation within Hong Kong island.   The city of Hong Kong is separated into three parts, the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New West Territories. “Ding Ding” tram is only runs in Hong Kong island, and the reason locals call it the “ding ding” is because of the honking sound it makes everytime it enters a station.   Of course, there are hundreds of outlying islands dotting around Hong Kong, though not all of them are inhabited.  That is why people are shocked to find out HK is home to many amazing hiking trails, mountains, volcanic rocks, and scenic beauty of nature.  While we are indeed known as a forest of concrete towering of high rises, we indeed have many beautiful and breath-taking scenic routes and places that are not far from city center.

 Eastern part of HK Island mainly comprise of old looking buildings

Stolen Moments on MTR


I couldn’t help snapping some “stolen moment” pictures on the MTR today; to be honest, it was one weird ride because I am seeing a lot of things that usually don’t happen on the MTR, so it makes it all the more interesting!

yes, there was a giant floral arrangement on the train today

2 kids dressed up ready to hit disney land, i love the boy's outfit, trust me, everyone was looking at him, and the parents didn' sit next to them, rather across from them, lol

these 3 elder gentlemen are mega busy on the mtr reading newspaper and surfing the net

Public Transportation Etiquette Part 2

It is not my intention to refer to old blogs, but it seems like once I have started a few days back, it leads to a series of events that makes me keep referring to old pieces I have written about.

 In my previous “public transportation etiquette” blog,


I voiced out rudeness in passengers; however, today, I had issues with the driver. So, I got onto the minibus after this mommy with the nanny and 2 kids; the 16 passenger bus wasn’t full, and I slid into the seat behind this quartet who decided to pay for only 2 seats and have the 2 young boys sit on the laps of the mom and nanny. I see this happening all the time on the bus where the adult just hold the small kid on his/her lap and forgo paying for an extra seat. Therefore, I don’t really understand why the driver blew a fuse and made such a big deal out of it, insisting this is “illegal” and the mom needs to pay for all 4 people and the little boys cannot sit on the adults’ laps. While the mom is Asian, she doesn’t speak Chinese, I think she’s Korean, I heard her speaking to the kids while we were waiting for the bus. Anyway, the mom couldn’t understand why the driver keeps yelling at her and she keeps saying to the driver she has taken 2 seats therefore she’s paying for 2, and the driver keeps yelling and talking louder and louder. At certain points along the ride, he stops the bus and keeps pointing and gesturing, and I got so fed up with him, I was just translating to the mom he wants her to pay for the kids as well, excluding all the rude words and unnecessary adjectives used.  Oh my god, I don’t know if the driver is bored driving all day or what, but he just won’t let up and keep yelling and yelling and refusing to let other passengers onto the bus. I got so fed up with him, I was saying to him, look, they can’t understand Chinese, so it doesn’t help if you keep yelling, and you’re just disturbing other passengers. It’s true, who the heck wants to hear him babble on and on about how he’ll lose money if everyone keeps not paying, I mean, it’s not like they are taking more than 2 seats, and you are losing money because you refuse to stop your bus to let passengers flagging you down onto the bus!

I am not the type of person that likes to get into the middle of other people’s issues, I always have an air of ignorance to me, but his continuous babbling and gesturing is really hitting onto my nerves . I told the mom to just ignore him and let him rant, and I told him to just shut up because she doesn’t speak Chinese. I love it when the mom got so fed up with the driver she slapped his seat and yelled out the golden words “just shut up and drive”!

This once again brings about starkly the ethnocentrism in a lot of people; in this case, clearly the mom can’t understand Chinese, so no matter how loud you speak or how many adjectives you use, it doesn’t help, she doesn’t understand!!! This has happened in Canada too, I see a lot of sales and waiters acting really stupid when clearly the people they are serving cannot speak English; therefore, speaking it slowly and louder and louder would not help! You look so stupid doing that! They are not stupid or retarded, they don’t understand because they don’t speak English! Why do people keep thinking that when they speak slower and louder, they would be understood??!!?

Border Crossing: Hong Kong to China


Today, I travelled to Shenzhen to pick up my cousin who is flying in from Amsterdam to start work at IBM China. I thought it would be fun to document the journey and the different forms of transportation I have taken to reach the airport in Shenzhen. It took approx 2 ½ hours to travel from my apartment at Jardine’s Lookout to the airport in Shenzhen if the following transportations are taken:

  • 10 minutes mini bus ride (16 seaters) from Jardine’s Lookout to Causeway Bay
  • Around 15-20 minutes ride on the cross tunnel double decker (78 seats + 112 standing capacity) to travel from the Hong Kong Island to Hung Hom MTR station on the Kowloon side of HK
  • 40 minutes train ride to Shueng Shui MTR station (last station before reaching border crossing into Mainland China)–> took a quick 5 minutes pee break here
  • Around 5 minutes train ride from Sheung Shui MTR station to Lok Ma Chau China immigration crossing
  • Around 35 minutes car ride in a private car to the airport

Double decker bus to cross the tunnel between the HK island and Kowloon side of HK that is separated by water--I thought it would be more fun snapping the picture of a double decker that says "private" on it, since this is public transportation

The government needs to do a better job at relieving massive traffic congestion at harbour tunnel crossing, it really is time consuming, especially during rush hour

Boarding the train at Hung Hom MTR station where the last stop will be for passengers to cross into China

Chuckled a little bit at the sign, I wouldn't exactly use the words "no trespassing", it's more like "not allowed on the tracks"

I admit I am a bit high maintenance at times, it's a 40 min train ride, so 1st class compartment for me

pee break at Sheung Shui MTR station, last stop before the train hits China border crossing--this is a very busy station and passengers are usually carrying trolleys and carts stacked with goods for both private and commercial use

Passengers at Sheung Shui MTR station can choose to cross the border into China either via the Lo Wu Check Point or the Lok Ma Chau Check Point

I chose the Lok Ma Chau train because it's only one tenth as busy as the Lo Wu station which can have over 5 to 6 million people crossing each day during holidays or long weekends

Instead of passengers, carts, and trolleys zigzagging past you and long queues at Lo Wu border crossing, Lok Ma Chau is my option

After slapping my Octopus card to pay for the train ride, I am officially in China

Public Transportation Etiquette

I would like to share a little bit on the etiquette on public transportation and my pet peeves!

When you get onto a mini bus, which is a van type of bus with 16 seats and zero standing capacity, it’s really annoying when single passengers select the aisle and leave the window seat empty. The bus will not start moving until 16 passengers get onto the bus, so why don’t you shove your bum to the inner seat so passenger coming on after you don’t have to slide past you and squeeze into inner seat when there is restricted leg room! It just gets to be such a hassle if you’re carrying heavy groceries and still the person refuses to move in and let you take the aisle seat! Rather, they will slightly squeeze their feet in thinking their limbs do not take up space or ever so slightly move their legs to the aisle expecting you to tuck gently into the window seat without touching them at all! Then when you’ve trouble squeezing in because you’re carrying loads of stuff or they’re not as skinny as they think, they’ll make these tsk tsk sound like you’re offending them, OMG!!! The worst part is passengers that know they get off at the last stops and still decide to take up the aisle seat, then whole annoying procedure will occur again when you’ve to get off. It’s usually worst when you get off because the bus kind of lurched and braked on a skid and you could easily loose your balance. Sometimes I get so frustrated I just want to swap the other passenger with my bags, because why can’t just make an effort to stand and let me through?

Moving on to the MTR (subway), people waiting to get onto the MTR will generally stand in 2 uniform lines left and right of the doors that slide open when the train approaches. The center is left open so passengers on the train are able to get off before passengers standing on the platform get onto the train. What really irk me are the elders in this particular situation. While it is the right thing to do to yield your seat to old people on the train, it does not mean the old people could just push to the front of the line and butt the entire line of people waiting to get onto the train! I have such issues with these rude seniors who just stand smack in the center even when there are 20 people lining up, or those seniors who sidle up to the left or right of passengers standing at the front and will make a mad dash into the train once the door open, completing shoving past the passengers that are getting off the train! I know it’s petty to call them out and they probably act this way because the chance of confrontation is unlikely, but have some manners! Just because you are old doesn’t give you the right to butt ahead in a line or ignore the basic etiquette of waiting for passengers to get off first before you get on! The PA system specifically said “please let passengers alight first” in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin!

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