Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Typical Wednesday in the HK Speedway

Whilst walking home from work today--paying more attention to my iphone than the path ahead of me--I was very nearly struck by a truck in the crosswalk.  I suddenly realized that HK is one of the worst places for pedestrians.  The labyrinth of high fences surrounding every street in Kowloon give some warning of this danger but it takes a few months to realize just how perilous cultural norms make walking in HK.  Not long after my near run in I was walking by a basketball court when a souped-up Honda straight from the set of Fastest Furiest sped by me and honked (not slowed) as it neared a group of children walking across the road.  The children did not seem the least bit surprised by this fast-approaching ton of machinery; they had timed their steady trajectory to reach the other end of the street.  The whole scene passed in few seconds of disquieting clockwork.  Cars simply do not find it necessary to slow for pedestrians.  Lauren has sought to change this trend by staging a mini Tiananmen Square protest, marching across momentary crosswalks to the chagrin of onlookers and displeasure of oncoming motorists; yet I doubt such brave actions will result in any lasting change.

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