MTR pet hates

I’ve written about the MTR public transport in Hong Kong before – about station names as well as what I (don’t) like about the MTR. Normally I like most things about the MTR, but the last few days I’m really annoyed with it.

Instagram MTR Tin Hau

Given it’s so hot these days I’ve resorted to taking the MTR to work instead of the tram. The MTR has air conditioning so I don’t arrive completely drenched in sweat at work. However, it’s not something that I would consider a relaxing journey either.

The last few days I’ve had numerous encounters of:

  • People standing on both sides of the escalator, not moving, just chatting to each other or being busy with their mobile phone. When you try to pass them, they are annoyed with you!
  • Long queues close to the entrance and exit points at the MTR stations and when you walk a few steps away from the escalator or walkways there is lots of space to wait – but clearly no one wants to walk more than his two or three steps
  • People entering the train as soon as it stops – not even letting people off the train first. This is really annoying at rush hour and just causes chaos!
  • Not sure if this is even worse: People entering the train just to stand right in the middle and not moving down the aisle. So there is almost no space to squeeze on or off the train
  • A classic one I’ve noticed is that younger/healthy people immediately fall asleep when sitting down – so they don’t have to get up when some one who is less able to stand for a longer period of time. They just appear to be sleeping until miraculously their station is announced and they jump up, wide awake and leave. Of course, this only works when travelling alone and becomes outright silly when two or three people next to each other do this
  • A pet hate of mine is actually people clipping their nails on the train. Ok, I get it – you don’t have enough time and you need to put on your make-up. Fair enough. If you want to look silly doing this in the middle of the train ride, then go ahead – at least you don’t make a sound. But the sound of clipping nails just really freaks me out

I’m sure these problems are not typical Hong Kong problems, they probably happen on every big cities public transport system. What just annoys me is that it has become really bad recently – is this because of the holiday/summer season with lots of tourists in town?

And no, this is not how the MTR usually looks – it’s way more packed!

MTR Train

4 responses to “MTR pet hates

  1. HK MTR is done by same company as one in Singapore, or at least looks way too similar – same design of entrance halls, same cars with no doors between them so that whole train is walkable from head to tail.. And yes – same yellow lines on the floor showing where to wait for people to disembark! ) so really strange people rush in not waiting.. Did you see how scrupulously they wait in line in Taipei to enter the train? That is really a role model for all MTR users.. as to ppl staying on both sides of the escalator… well.. that’s HK.. Try to walk the Nathan road in the evening, it looks much like slowly moving queue at supermarket’s cashier. People can suddenly stall right in the middle of the slowly moving crowd, keep talking on mobile, not caring about you bumped into their back with no way to detour ) If you want to find opposite place, come visit our subway in Moscow – it is a habit to run headlong on the left side of escalator, not only down-, but also upstairs (!) so that they could even heavily kick you if you suddely get on the way ) For those who got used to this rush, it is very irritating at first times to find himself inside the slowness of HK )

    • haha – very accurate description. It’s really annoying if there are three people talking and walking slowly in front of you and there is no way to pass. I hate it when they make you feel like doing you a big favour by moving aside…

  2. Made me laugh. I hear you, but coming from NYC, the trains here are a dream :) modern, clean, frequent, consistently cool. I get a kick out of the entry points here and the ‘guides’. None of this would be feasible in NY, people would just jump the rails and do whatever they want. That said, people do step aside there on escalators (usually).

    The nail clipping? Also drives me insane, and it happens all the time in NY, too. Along with many other gross habits :).

    Guess there are adjustments and annoyances no matter where one goes!

    • So true – most of the time I’m really amazed by how easy it is to travel on the MTR here in Hong Kong. It’s just some days that it all is a little bit too much for me. But it’s nice to receive all the lovely response and feedback, seems everyone has an opinion about public transportation! :)

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