…..the FAST pace of life in Hong KongGet out of my way everyone – the FAST pace of life in Hong Kong
When you get to Hong Kong, some of the locals love to tell you that the pace of life is FAST ok! Sometimes they tell it to you in a grim way that suggests you probably wont be able to handle it. Sometimes they tell it to you in a way that makes it seem colorful and vibrant and full of characters and scintillating action. Other times they tell it to you like it’s tough, even for them living in Hong Kong. ‘Aiiiiigh,’ they’ll say with a giant sigh…Hong Kong is just too fast you know?’
Bullshit. Don’t believe anyone who tells you life is fast in Hong Kong because there’s a whole laundry list of things which can really, really, really slow down your day…
1. People who stand for centuries at ATM machines, often producing multiple cards so they can have 2, 3 or even 4 goes at the whole ATM experience. Seconds go by between each button beep as Uncle Leung….looks down at the scrap of paper in his hand and then up to the screen in a vain effort to retain and recall the single digit he just committed to memory. He’ll do that 26 times. HURRY THE FUCK UP DICKHEAD!
2. People who amble all over the footpath, shopping mall, streets, paths…anywhere you can find people on foot…stopping abruptly for no reason so you walk into them, faking you as you go to move around them…then faking you the other way as you change directions, walking directly into you without deviating one iota, taking your eye out with their sun umbrella…because they never think to lift it or move it out of the way.
3. People who race past you so they can beat you to the Octopus card gates…but who don’t have their card ready when they get there. Hey, these gates are supposed to make life FAST! Gotta hurry in Hong Kong! Gotta move FAST! Life wouldn’t be worth living if you missed the 7:30 and had to take the 7:32. I understand…I think.
4. Cab drivers who constantly alternate between the gas and the break and who don’t seem to understand that you can ‘ease’ your car to a stop at the lights. We’d get there faster if you knew how to drive!
5. Drinks that never come when you order them at a restaurant.
6. Bank tellers and bank customers who chat without appearing to do any business for 30 minute stretches. Wait a minute you guys…I haven’t seen any money change hands, no forms filled out, no ID cards looked at, nothing signed for, nothing exchanged, deposited, withdrawn, no computer screen glanced at, nothing printed out, stamped, ticked, checked, …nothing. All I’ve seen for half an hour is an eye ball to eye ball conversation (long stretches of which are painfully loud and one sided) through protective bank glass. Then just when you think it’s all over and the customer is about to walk away….she turns back…unleashing (I don’t speak Cantonese so I just guess) what must be another 5 to 10 questions judging by the avalanche of words and we start up again for another 5 minutes. Still 6 deep in the line, you’ll wonder where fast paced Hong Kong is hiding. Maybe it’s at the supermarket.
7. Related people who save multiple line positions in supermarkets like games of checkout roulette…then hurry all their trolleys to the line which moved the quickest…your line.
8. The slowest check out ladies in the world. Ladies…yes your job probably sucks and you get paid next to nothing…but this is Hong Kong isn’t it?? Isn’t shit supposed to be FAST? Make that food fly across the scanner and stop looking so maudlin. It’s as bad for me as it is for you.
9. People who like to pay their gas, electricity and water bills at 711 while other people are waiting to buy a newspaper…at quarter to 8 in the morning.
10. People who rush into lifts or trains before other people have even gotten out. Fast for them…slow for you. (This is a whole other topic…for later.)
11. Going to the immigration center. Yeah, a lot of people are coming or going or renewing or whatever…but everyone told me Hong Kong was a FAST paced city! Enter that immigration center and it’ll be 3 days before you’re outside again.
12. Sitting on a bus for an hour while some skanky old boiler yells her way through 7 phone conversations 3 of which she dials, bellowing ‘wai wai wai WAI WAI’ until someone responds…and 4 of which she receives being sure to let her staggeringly loud ring tone screech for a good 30 – 40 seconds before she bothers to answer. You bag.
Pictures will be updated as I get them