Thursday, January 26, 2012
An MTR Ride
Since hubby had an obligation to visit relatives while we were in HK, I decided to meet a friend who is based in the city. Not having been in touch for a while, we had a lot of catching up to do. With sale signs posted everywhere, we decided not to waste any time and spoke as we shopped.
She is considering moving to the Mainland and asked what she should expect. I told her the people are lovely, but that Chinese culture is different, even compared to that of their HK cousins. With its distinct social norms, she shouldn't benchmark behavior against her own values.
"Like what?" she pressed further, as we fell in line behind twenty people in a busy station. I pointed to the orderly crowd and explained that people do not normally queue back home. One needs to be aggressive in order to get a ride, and there is nothing personal in pushing or being shoved.
The train arrived and the doors opened to loud beeps. I was the first through the door and on one of the vacant seats. I loudly called to my friend, who was still at the back of the queue of passengers that slowly came in, and reserved a seat for her with my bag.
My friend hesitantly took the seat and whispered, "I think you've been in China too long," avoiding the stares that we had to endure until we got off at our destination.
photo from tumblr.com