SIDE TRIP 28: Promdi in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is the only country I’ve been to in the region where I truly feel like an alien. I don’t know why. Must be all those Chinese characters and neon signs and tall skyscrapers and flyovers everywhere that make it difficult for me to tell where I am in relation to a landmark.
My hotel was in Kowloon and, of course, I wanted to go to Hong Kong island, too. It being my first time to go there, I thought hard about the mode of transport I would take. Subway or bus and ferry? Since the Jordan Station was just around the corner, I decided to take the subway.
It was during the early morning rush and people were rushing like mad, swiping their wallets on the turnstile to pass through. WALLETS??!!! Yes, they were using their wallets to get past the rotating bars! Hmmm…. I thought perhaps that was the general entrance and I had to buy my tickets inside.
So, I took out my wallet and placed it on top of the scanner like the others did. The bars did not move. Waaaah! What happened? Embarrassed, I made a quick turn around and observed how the others did it. The same thing. People were just placing their wallets on top of the scanner!
Take two. I waited till there were just a few people queuing and placed my wallet again on the turnstile. Still the bars would not move! Aaaaargh!!! Retreat! Retreat! People were looking curiously at me. Waaaaah!!!
I turned back in embarrassment and walked to the other end of the station. And there I saw an automatic vendo machine that sold single-journey tickets that could be used like we do here at MRT. Yaiks.
It turned out those people had magnetic prepaid cards inside their wallets that allow them to pass through the gates on a touch and go basis. Aaaaargh!
Paita ning tagabukid oi.