Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And more crowds

Being surrounded by countless hurrying bodies doesn't matter much--but the sweat, dust, and trash produced by those bodies can make a nightly shower feel like heaven.

This intersection photo cannot begin to do justice to the thrilling traffic paths meandering through Hong Kong. But we included the shot because it shows a man wheeling a cart (see him there, right off the curb?) and a few minutes earlier someone wheeled one of those precarious loads right through the middle of a rush of vehicles. I held my breath as taxis and double-decker busses whizzed by the cart and its handler. He dodged and weaved, and eventually made it across. HK public transportation vehicles heed not any pedestrian who dares encroach on vehicle territory. Cross-cultural comparison: in Utah, pedestrians tend to assume cars will yield to them, and thus jaywalk at all kinds of odd moments to find that yes indeed, cars often slow and halt if the driver sees a would-be street-crosser. But in Hong Kong I received strict instruction within minutes of stepping off the plane: Don't expect cars to stop for you. Sure enough, I nearly got ran over, suitcases in hand, as we walked toward the Tam apartment that first evening--and so another instruction came forth: Refrain from blindly following Jerry's mom or dad across the street. Apparently they know tricks about dodging vehicles that I have yet to learn.

1 comment:

Trina said...

I think we definitely take it for granted that cars will generally stop, although I think out of respect to the cars people should use cross walks unless there isn't any cars in the path.