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#OnlyInHongKong: The 7 Types of People You Will Meet on Hong Kong’s MTR

By Jenny Leung 2 October 2018
Whether you’re new in town, or a seasoned Hongkonger, there’s one thing about this city that never ceases to amaze us – the MTR. More specifically, the people on it. From loved-up couples who are way too keen to show their affection, to those who seem to lack volume control when speaking on their phones, here are 7 types of people we’ve all had to deal with when travelling on the MTR.

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The Pole Hogger

It’s rush hour, people are pouring in, and everyone wants a piece of the pole. Fat chance if you have a pole hogger on the train. Whether they’re leaning their entire body against it, or simply won’t budge to make space for others, pole hoggers are not the friendliest of people you will come across on the MTR. You could try and ask them to politely move, but don't expect much other than a cold, hard death stare.

The Loud Talker

It’s bad enough being so uncomfortably close with a bunch of strangers on a train, but when there’s a loud talker on board, you’re never going to hear the end of it – literally. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do with this one. Believe us, many people have tried only to end up starring in the latest viral video of yet another screaming match on the MTR. Best advice we have is to just stick in your headphones and turn up the volume.

The Runners

Come rush hour, you’ll see waves of people sprinting across station platforms to try and make it to the next train before the doors close, or legging it to the escalators as soon as the doors open up. It’s funny we know, but can any of us honestly say we’ve never been guilty of this crime before?

The Love Birds

We get it. Sometimes feelings are uncontrollable – but get a room! While it’s nice to know that true love still exists, we really don’t need to witness make-out sessions for minutes on end, and we definitely don’t want to watch any inappropriate groping. So please, keep things PG on the MTR and save your affection for the bedroom.

The Time Savers

So you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and now you’re running late for work — what to do? Here’s a time-saving tip for you: just do your whole morning routine on the MTR! First, prep your face with a refreshing face mask, then carefully put on some makeup (steady hands are needed for this), and then enjoy your breakfast. Some practise is needed for these tasks, so the next time you’re on the MTR, take a look around you and we guarantee you’ll be able to spot a handful of these time-saving professionals and learn their epic skills.

The Space Invaders

Just when you thought the train carriage was full and you couldn’t possibly fit into that tiny space that’s left by the door, the space invaders come along to prove you wrong. No, we’re not talking about the retro 70s video game, we’re talking about the portion of people on the MTR who seem to be able to defy the laws of physics and squeeze and push their way onto the train, even when there’s clearly no more space (or so you thought). Yes, it's annoying if you're the one being pushed, but boy is it impressive to watch.

The Pervs

When things start to get a little bit too close for comfort on the MTR, a little skin-on-skin action is unavoidable. But ladies (and fellas too) should be aware of this unsavoury type. While it doesn't happen as much as it used to, there's still always one or two creepy pervs lurking about on the train. Whether it's their wandering eyes that make you feel uneasy, or it feels like someone is intentionally getting close to you, don't be afraid to speak up and put them in their place!
Read more! Check out these Essential Hong Kong Apps You Can't Live Without, or explore the rest of our Culture section.

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Jenny Leung

Senior editor

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the UK, Jenny grew up with the best of both worlds. She loves just about anything to do with music and doesn’t shy away from belting out a tune or two when it comes to karaoke. If she’s not out and about exploring the city and practising her photography skills, she’s probably tucked up in bed with a book or glued to her laptop doing her online shopping.