In the hot seat

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I got a ticking off from MrsB last week when I passed my bar-stool along to a friend who'd just arrived - "You should have passed the cold one", she said.

Funnily enough "I've been keeping the seat warm for you" is a common thing to hear back home if you pass your seat to someone. Here, it's not the done thing.

The three Chinese people present that evening all agreed you should let the seat cool off before sitting on it, but noone had an explanation other than it being something everyone knows - unless you're an uncivilised barbarian of course :)

Does anyone know the background to this custom ?


Re:In the hot seat

I know what you're talking about.....especially with the older generation, many a time I've watched an old lady on the MTR fanning a recently vacated seat before plonking herself down on it

I asked once and was told it's to do with the fact that if the seat is still warm there's still part of the person's spirit inhabiting it....not sure though!!!

what's on that seat?

Actually, I think there may be worse things that may be lingering at seat level than spirits . . . .!

I have to admit this whole phenomenon was a new one to me. It goes to show that even after 13 years here there are still lots of ways I'm no doubt inadvertently offending people!

Re:In the hot seat

:lol: you could be right about worst things lurking

in the olden days (egads I sound ancient) in HKG, the seats on the trams were wooden frames with open rattanwork seats and backs....and strange things used to live in them because I was forever getting bitten on the backs of my legs....but one thing was for sure, those seats sure cooled down quickly !!

Re:In the hot seat

Piles !

That's the consensus so far, that sitting on a warm and just vacated seat will give you piles. As well as Fiona's fanning solution, we're told that carrying a folded newspaper to sit on is also an option. The newspaper has the obvious advantage that you can leap into the empty seat immediately. Fanning leaves a dangerous window of opportunity for your fello traveller to slip in and steal the seat. Important considerations for the frequent commuter.

Also, chalk up another benefit to the humble newspaper, along with workman's hat, and general-purpose umbrella.