Pet peeves on Hong Kong public transport

Pet peeves on Hong Kong public transport

Nail clipping, pole dancing, potty training: The things we have to put up with on daily commutes!
hong kong public transport
The price of beauty, paid for by fellow commuters' disgust.

Last week, everyone was talking about that photo of a woman who applied a beauty face mask on the MTR. Commuting daily on public transport, we have seen far worse.

Below are 10 of the most annoying things we endure on an almost daily basis in Hong Kong.

十大公共交通工具內的怪現象遇上不妥的行為,乘客或許可以選擇下車,可憐小巴司機只可以張貼提示。Clip... Clip... Clip...

Nail clipping on public transport tops this list not just for the annoying sound, but the ensuing fear that looms within us when we hear it.

When we hear the sound, we instinctively try to locate the origin of the irritating clipping sound, and before we can react, a nail clipping, possibly enveloped in germs, could be flying straight toward our face.

There are much worse things than eating a stranger's nail -- but it is pretty bad. We can only hope that it isn't a toenail.

In-house DJs

When we're trapped next to a fellow commuter listening to mournful Cantopop at top volume, it can be pretty annoying.

When there is a hard-of-hearing granny on our other side listening to Chinese opera also at top volume, it is almost enough to make one schizophrenic.

Keep volumes at a neighbor-friendly level and we'll have fewer insane people on our trains and buses.

Pole dancing 

Never heard of "pole dancing"? It's when a commuter on the MTR leans on a pole with their whole body.

Either they have crushed the knuckles of whoever else is holding onto the pole, or forced other commuters to contend without a handhold on the swerving train. 

Because, you know, everyone else is too polite to ask you to move your body off the pole.

Public announcements

Every day on Hong Kong’s public transport, there is someone overly generous about sharing their domestic problems with others.

Most of these people have hands-free devices and are speaking on the phone at the top of their voices, like the infamous “Bus Uncle.” Their conversations penetrate our earphones, forcing our inner psychiatrist to judge them and their mundane issues. 


The wonder of makeup

It’s confusing. Five minutes ago a passable-looking lady sat down next to you, fives minutes later, Zhang Ziyi showed up in the same spot in the same outfit.

Everyone appreciates beautiful things, it’s human nature. But if we could just hold onto our tweezers, brow pencils and lash curlers until we reach our destination, everyone would appreciate it.

These stunts with sharp tools on moving vehicles can be a bit frightening. 

What is your pet peeve on public transport? Rant away in the comments box below.

The harder you push, the faster you go

It's survival of the most thick-skinned during rush hour on the MTR. 

The idea seems to be that if we can't fit on the train, we're just too embarassed to push others aside.

But once we're in, we don't want to move further in to create space for others waiting enter.

The result is an unnecessarily crowded area near the sliding doors with the weak getting left behind on the platform.

Potty training

We’re not sure of the best way to potty train a kid, but using a Ziploc bag on public transport might not be the most considerate way. 

First of all, excrement smells bad, even if the kid is on a steady diet of rice gruel and carrot mush. Second of all, poo-poo and pee-pee is just not cute not matter what the kid looks like.

And however much the parents love their kids, this kind of public display of affection is beyond normal hygiene tolerance thresholds.


Did you pay for that seat?

Strong, healthy men are often seen seated next to their backpacks that hog seats which haven’t been paid for. It also happens with ladies and their precious brand-name handbags.

Sure, the leather tote might be worth more than our net worth, but after being cradled in your arms all day, surely these handbags don’t feel the exhaustion the standing elderly do.

Odor. Any odor

We can understand the smell of B.O. on public transport during Hong Kong's sweltering summer. 

But, we have to grumble a bit about the smell of herbal ointments, barbecue pork rice, tuna sandwiches and B.O. combined. It's a killer scent.

If we could keep the eating to places where there are tables installed and keep public transport an odor-free place, that would be great.

No such thing as a free massage

After a long day at work, you finally get on a bus and out of sheer luck find a seat that doesn’t have suspicious stains on it.

Just as you’re about to lean back and rest your eyes, your neighbor shoves his knees up against the back of your seat, giving you a sensation of being prodded in the back by two eerily moving objects.

What is your pet peeve on public transport? Rant away in the comments box below.