One final post about the Hong Kong/Macau/China trip (probably). I think I covered all the major stuff I did in the overly long entries I wrote before this one. It was a great trip and I definitely want to go back again sometime. I think getting a group of people to go one day would be ideal, since we can just order ridiculous amounts of food and all only pay a few bucks.
Thinking back to HK, I think the subways and trains over there and even in China might rival if not beat the Japanese ones. If there are any Japanese people reading this right now I’m sure they’re thinking to themselves “that’s impossible” but it’s pretty true. HK’s trains seemed cleaner, bigger, and smoother. Sure HK has a lot less area to cover than say, JR East, but I was still really happy with it. I don’t think I ever waited for any train more than 4 or 5 minutes. The only negative is that there are no luggage racks up top in the cars, which doesn’t make sense. There are LCD screens inside the cars that show of course loads of advertisements but also some other programming. Japanese trains pretty much have only weather and stuff, but the train in China had an America’s Funniest Home Videos-type show on that was pretty funny because the category was “animals attacking men below he belt.”
Cell phone etiquette is also totally diferent from Japan. Whereas pretty much everyone in Japan follows the rules of putting their phones on silent or vibrate in public places, HK seems to be the complete opposite. I can’t read much Chinese, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were signs in the trains saying “Please turn your phone’s ringer ALL THE WAY UP.” There was an almost constant barrage of C-Pop MP3 ringtones anywhere you go, with people always picking up their phones and starting conversations (WEI!) wherever they are, yelling enthusiastically into their handsets. This is probably because the average Cantonese conversation is the same decibel and excitement level as a Japanese person trapped in a burning building full of children. In Japan on the train if someone gets a call you see them cupping their phones to their head as if it were a severed ear, whispering quietly, ashamed that their silent conversation might be inconveniencing someone else.
OK I think that’s everything about the HK trip for now. I need to get to bed.