- 08-20-2008, 04:10 PM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Hong Kong
In my experience people in HK totally lack basic courtesy. When I was pregnant noone gave me a seat on the MTR or the bus (Due to which I only took taxis during last trimester), people slammed doors at me even when I had my hands full with shopping bags, I was pushed even while walking down crowded streets and even while standing in long queues noone offered me to go first. I only take the taxi now with my 6 month old because I dont want my baby to be uncomfortable, although even now people push me to get ahead every now and then. Even when they see my baby is crying or I am having difficulty getting in/ out of the door with the pram they never help. Due to its terrain, the way its structured and of course the people's attitude the city is very unfriendly to pregnant ladies, those with small children, elderly and disabled. The only people who come forth to help are taxi drivers and few employees at some of the stores (Maybe they are given some training in this direction).
- 08-20-2008, 06:25 PM #10
I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant and I get offered a seat at least 90% of the time I'm on the MTR. OCCASIONALLY I don't - but I've never really made a big deal about it. It doesn't harm me to stand for half an hour if everyone is "too selfish" to give me a seat - although I am getting more and more tired all the time...
The craziest thing I ever saw on the MTR - if you go to Sheung Wan station, everyone will RUN and PUSH each other for the lift. The closest door to the lift is the disabled door in carriage #5. One day I was in that carriage and at Central, a guy in a wheelchair came into the carriage. I thought "This will be interesting" because I KNOW that everyone will run - so I sat back to observe what would happen when we got to Sheung Wan (everyone has to get out there coz it's the end of the line, so I KNEW that the disabled guy would be getting out there too)...
Anyways - people were pushing PAST this poor guy - and I watched as they all RAN to the lift, like normal - and the guy in the wheelchair didn't even bother going to the lift - he went up the escalator in his wheelchair!! He got on, put his brakes on real fast and held tight onto both hand rails!!!!
- 08-20-2008, 09:30 PM #11
From someone who uses the MTR from the new territories into Central a few times a week and who has spent most of her life in Hong Kong I can say with confidence that the somewhat lacking spatial awareness of hong kong commuters in general becomes more of an inconvenience and less of a factor in using the MTR when you have kids.
I barely got a seat when I was pregnant - this was counteracted by me actually asking for a seat. It was no big deal, you just had to be frank. Stewing in my own discontent (not to mention the sciatica and aches) was only hurting myself, and I figured if I wanted to kick off about anything it might as well be if someone actually refused to give up their seat when a pregnant lady asked for it -- which of course, didn't happen.
I am very peeved by the lift ettiquette in Hong Kong though. I too have had many frustrating waits by the lift as people have pushed me and buggy aside to make way -- who were CLEARLY able bodied. The Tung Chung line in Hong Kong Station is notorious for this -- despite the escalator LITERALLY 10 paces away. There has been an occasion where I have been very 'vocal' to in this case two teenage boys who just looked at me dazed when I gestured they get off the lift in favour of the woman in the wheelchair waiting -- SHE felt bad for US because we got off to take the escalator (husband pulling me away as I was still ranting) whilst the two boys still took the lift. There have been occasions where a sharp knock to the ankle from a buggy has sent a clear message - a method I would recommend you use with discretion.
The bottom line is it IS frustrating, there are days where everything goes wrong - rude co-passengers, people using the buggy as a handrail, people touching baby without any acknowledgment of parent, long waits by the lift, hunting for an exit barrier etc. BUT the fact of the matter is things ARE improving. If anyone hasn't noticed yet, the disabled sections in trains now have not only a man in a wheelchair sticker, but a woman pushing a pram. Signs are becoming more apparent to give up lifts to people that need them.
YES, the advent of technology isn't helping, YES, queuing for the train is sometimes laughable, YES, there have been co passenger horror stories (mine was on a bus, this man rudely banged at my then 5 week olds carseat with his fist whilst bab was still inside, asleep -- screeching about as he put it 'one person, one seat.' I could understand where he was coming from but any sympathy or guilt on my part was irreconcilable with the fact that this guy was a weedy little sh*t.) But all it takes sometimes is someone to glance up from their PSP or ipod or DS or highhorse, smile and inquire about the baby -- and any bleakness to your journey vanishes.
- 08-20-2008, 10:51 PM #12Banned
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
- hong kong
Interesting topic. I find out that time matters, during rush hour my son and I are rarely offered a seat but other times we always have one or are offered one. Although they are few occasions that young ladies offered us their seats, most people offered us seats are over 40, I guess. And never had any luck with 20s guys.
- 08-20-2008, 11:33 PM #13
I think it's crazy here when people stand up for school aged kids - in Australia, we were always taught that kids should stand up for any adult!! At least when I was a kid, that's what they told me!!
- 08-21-2008, 12:46 AM #14Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- sheung shui
For a while, rarely a person would give up their seat for me. Lately, I have noticed on the MTR that only women will give up their seats for me; I am 35 weeks pregnant. I did have a young lady (maybe 20) give up her seat for me, while her boyfriend kept his seat! This surprises me as in the states it is taught that a "gentleman" should give up his seat for a lady regardless if she is pregnant. While I never expect anyone to give up their seat, I have noticed a trend. Not sure if it is a culture thing or not. It does worry me about what to expect once I have my baby and need to take the MTR.
- 08-21-2008, 11:25 AM #15Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
I'm also fully frustrated having to squeeze into a lift with so many able-bodied young guys/gals pushing moms with kids or wheelchaired bound folks. It also happens a lot when i need to take shuttle bus to the MTR station, young men would insist on the reserved seats despite huge and yellow signage on the seats. They were pissed when i ask for them (though i was alone carrying a baby and stroller). Totally yikes! When pregnant, i was only offered seat by ladies in their 40s and that only happened a few times. I really think people are just plain selfish.
- 08-21-2008, 04:12 PM #16Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Hong Kong
Some might dislike me for saying this but I have ALWAYS been offered help by white folks and Pilipino helpers (Many times even without asking for it.) and EXTREMELY rarely the Chinese.