Order please

Hong Kong is full of orders. Stand here. Walk this way. Do not cross over the line. Hold the hand rail. Look right. Look left. Mind your toes on the escalator if you are a) wearing thongs, and b) if you are wearing Crocs. Since I’ve been here I haven’t seen anyone wearing Crocs so not sure who that sign applies to. Everywhere you turn there is a sign telling you what you can and can’t do. The other day, upon entering a garden, a sign informed me that I wasn’t allowed to frolic. Luckily I wasn’t in the mood for skipping.

The Hongkongese are order followers down to the letter. Rarely will they set a foot out-of-place or attempt to buck the system. So for someone who is as anally-retentive as myself this place is heaven. As a tourist it is very easy to assimilate, follow the rules and you can’t go wrong. Well, mostly. If, like Australians, people drive on the left-hand side of the road here, why is it that I am meant to walk on the right-hand side of the footpath?

Unfortunately my euphorically-ordered bubble burst tonight. While I was making my way to the airport on the train I was interested to learn that I was sitting in the ‘quiet section’ of the carriage. Surely not. People were talking and using their mobile phones. Where were the noise police to enforce order? The system is flawed. Fortunately it’s time to leave.

Nan Lian Garden


6 thoughts on “Order please

  1. Mmm had no idea hk was so full of orders! I am on my way to the airport for my Mexico trip and your post helped put me in the travel space! X

  2. There’s an incredible confusion in terms of what side you are meant to walk on – we didn’t get it at all. Did you like it? I felt like it was a place going gang-busters – so full of energy.

  3. There is no ‘quiet’ area in HK šŸ™‚ Especially not after they invented the mobile phone!! Try watching a movie in a cinema without being interrupted …
    There was a kid wearing Crocs involved in an escalator accident a few years ago (or so I’ve heard). It made the headlines cos it was pretty freaky. May explain why no one is wearing Crocs any more …
    Spot on about the left/right thing. I always think left is the ‘slow’ lane and right is the ‘fast’ lane, but it is flipped around in HK for pedestrians for no reason. At least it makes the escalators less chaotic in peak hours!!

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