The pace of life in Hong Kong is the fastest in the world I have to say. Living in Hong Kong since I was born, no matter where I go, I feel no where can compare to Hong Kong if we talk about speed. For example, New York, I think everyone from the States would have said that everything in New York is quick, but I feel that NYC is quite slow to me. Even Tokyo, is almost at the second place right after Hong Kong, but I still feel no where can beat Hong Kong.
Just like having a meal in the restaurant or especially at the cha chang tang (茶餐廳), the waiter / server will come to you to take the order right after you set down. You better know what are you going to eat, it’s like they don’t allow you to think, and actually all locals order so quickly. Another example is doing grocery in the supermarket, when you need to pay, you better be very quick, otherwise you will be the one slowing the entire process or system down. After you paid and the cashier gave you back your change or credit card, as well as the receipt, you better pack all your money and get all your grocery and run. The person standing next in the queue will be pushing all the grocery all the way to the front and the cashier will start working on the next customer without waiting for you to get done. It’s kind of stressful if you are not used to it. Sometimes I wonder why everything has to be so quick, maybe we should really learn to live slow.
That’s why riding the tram is such a contradictory activity that you can do in Hong Kong, consider everything is in a faster tempo. The tram is one of the earliest public transportation that is still running, since 1904, more than 100 years of history. Tram only runs in Hong Kong Island, almost through the entire northern part of the island, from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan. For those people not living next to the MTR (metro system) station, like me that living in Happy Valley, tram is one of the best choice as a connection from the station to home. In the past, that works for people that lives in Kennedy Town or Sai Ying Pun as well, but since the West Island line opened for business last year, I guess less people rely on tram to get connected to the station. But for me, living in Happy Valley and working in Kowloon side, I enjoy riding the tram home every night after work. Get out from the MTR station in Causeway Bay, and hop on one of this tram. It’s a very short ride, just around 5 minutes, and I love to enjoy the scene of the race course. There is always something going on, different teams practicing in the middle of the field, like rugby team and football team, people jogging, dogs walking, and etc. Nice to watch and enjoy, instead of playing with your phone. I also enjoy the ding ding sound very much, it sounds so nostalgic, reminded me of the old days. My father brought me to the tram ride, that’s one of the activity we used to do, ride from one side to the other side of the island. And I think, that’s one of the most romantic transportation in the old days, riding the tram with your loved ones.
Nowadays, people complains that it’s too hot to ride the tram in Summer time, which it’s true. If there is traffic jam and the tram is not moving, it can turned into hot sauna. But I guess that’s the authentic part of the tram, being slow and hot. If you need something quick and with air condition, take something else and there are plenty of choices, like bus, mini-bus or taxi. Few days ago, the Hong Kong Tramways was starting to test this new air-conditioned tram. I still prefer the original tram, but let’s see if I am going to bump into one.