Something I noticed about the difference between commuting in London and being in Hong Kong...
In London you will hear
"Mind the gap, mind the gap..."
that's pretty much it. and it only announces it when the platform does have a gigantic gap that you can throw your grandmother in.
Apart from the usual "The next station is... change here for Northern, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City, Circle, District, Central, Waterloo and City, Victoria, Jubilee, DLR, Picadilly, Bakerloo, London Overground, East London line replacement bus services, and National Rail services, and International connection services"
In Hong Kong you will be completely fed up with
"Please mind the platform gap between the train and the platform", "Please hold the handrail", "Please give up your seat to those less capable to stand", "Please be reminded that eating or drinking is not allowed in the MTR trains", "Please mind the platform screendoors"
Mind you, they all come in three languages. Of course, it comes with the 12x ear-piercing beep and announcing the closing of the doors in 3 languages before the doors shut. Just shut them and leave already.
In London, we are having the most swine flu cases in Europe. What do Londoners do? They don't give a shit. It's just another flu, if I catch it, so be it. The only people I see wearing masks were Asian tourists at Selfridges. I think it looks stupid.
In Hong Kong, if you have swine flu, or even if you don't, people in bio-hazard gear will crawl all around you and lock you up in a ward while everyone around you wear toxic masks with millions of members of press tailing behind you. If you are an unlucky tourist your entire country will be blacklisted from travelling to Hong Kong. Hope you have enjoyed your stay and we don't look forward to seeing you again.
In London, when someone looking obviously in need for a seat, a seat will always be automatically emptied for the person in question without the constant battering of announcements.
In Hong Kong, when a pregnant woman enters the carriage, everyone immediately gets their daily shut-eye despite the constant battering of announcements. To be fair however, the MTR is sooo much more spacious than the Tube.
In London buses, especially late at night, at the back of the upper deck there almost always will have a few drunk strangers talking and joking with each other extremely loudly and occasionally lighting up a joint or cigarette. Strangers do tend to chat to one another on buses. They are most talkative when the weather is sunny, cloudy, rainy, or snowy.
On the tube, people pass newspapers to one another. The trains are dirty and smelly and sticky and hot. It's always rather quiet however. I can't wait for the air conditioned trains.
In Hong Kong, the trains are always spotless. Always at 25.5°C. Always smells nice. Apart from that tasteless lady with a fake Louis Vutton handbag talking extremely loudly into the phone in broken Chinglish to one of her many servants.
In Hong Kong, if you stand on the left on the escalator you are likely to be a tourist.
In London, if you stand on the left on the escalator you are most definitely a tourist.
In London, it doesn't matter what colour your skin is, if you have a seat available next to you, it will be taken.
In Hong Kong, even if it is absolutely packed, if you are not Chinese, no one is likely to sit next to you, with the exception of extremely gorgeous white ladies or handsome white gentlemen. Even still that would only happen when all the other seats are taken. They think you smell funny.
In London, if there was a terrorist bomb that went off in the tube somewhere, people will find alternative ways to go to work. If there is a centimetre of snow, London shuts itself down and everyone goes to play snowball fights.
In Hong Kong, if there was a glitch in the system, people will still be waiting at the platform for the next train that would never come. However they would all be on their mobile phones. If there is a typhoon, everyone waits for the signal to turn to number 8, once it does, everyone leaves their perfectly safe workplace and risk themselves out to the wind and storm to go home or party.
In London, everyone is familiar with words like "Signal failure", "Partially suspended", "due to electricity problems...", "due to a person taken ill on a train", "due to an earlier incident of a person under a train" and plan their journeys accordingly.
In Hong Kong, they just don't happen. Everything works in pristine order. If anything does happen, expect to see it on the headlines the next day, and some high-up government official's resignation.
That said, I really do hate the weekend closures.
PS. I want to go! -> [link]