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.