Rudeness in Hong Kong, part III

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/51424/domains/batgung.com/html/drupaldir/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/51424/domains/batgung.com/html/drupaldir/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_handler_field_multiple::pre_render() should be compatible with content_handler_field_multiple::pre_render($values) in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/51424/domains/batgung.com/html/drupaldir/sites/all/modules/date/date/date_handler_field_multiple.inc on line 185.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/51424/domains/batgung.com/html/drupaldir/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/51424/domains/batgung.com/html/drupaldir/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/51424/domains/batgung.com/html/drupaldir/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/51424/domains/batgung.com/html/drupaldir/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/51424/domains/batgung.com/html/drupaldir/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.

I can assure that you that I am tireless, dear readers, in my quest to answer the question 'Are lots of Hong Kong people really really rude, or does it just seem that way to me, because I'm an undereducated smalltown rube?'.

A recent incident has left me farther than ever from a definitive answer, which I've already sought in two previous articles.

The other day, I was taking Toddler Tall to see her pediatrician. We got on the MTR, about mid-morning on a weekday, and all seats were occupied, but only just. The car we entered had only a couple of people standing. No one got up to give us a seat. I'm not complaining about this, by the way -- although occasionally people in Hong Kong (blessings be upon them!) do give up their seats to people with small children, I certainly don't think doing so is necessary. In fact I have an aversion to -- and Mrs Tall is rendered apoplectic by -- people who scoop a five or six-year-old child into their arms and schlep it into an MTR carriage or bus in order to manipulate those already seated into 'doing the polite thing'.

Also, let me emphasize that Toddler Tall didn't look all that ill (she just had one of the seemingly never-ending series of common cold viruses she's been systematically working through lately) and, as her nickname suggests, she's big for her age -- she looks like a little girl, not a baby, and is perfectly capable of holding on to a support pole on her own, which is just what she did.

Anyway, we trundled along for three stops, and were just pulling into the fourth, when a gentleman in his 30s jumped out of his seat, caught my eye, and proceeded to make a lavish show of ushering Toddler Tall over to take his seat. He waved her in like a signalman landing a fighter on an aircraft carrier. He even swept the surrounding area with a steely gaze to ward off any usurpers who might be trying to grab the seat before we could get there (actually, there wasn't really anyone else around).

And then, as the doors opened, he got off the train.

So just allow me to recap here. This guy was already on the train when we got on. He sat there and watched us stand for four stops. And then he enacts a little pageant of politeness to make sure we get his seat -- when he's done with it?

Pardon my cynical nature, but isn't this a parody of chivalry? Or am I too harsh? Was Mr Seat really being polite, in making sure we got his seat when he vacated it, or was he a self-publicizing and self-congratulatory jerk?

Comments

The Strange, The Rude, & The Prejudice

Anything that is said here, is of course, a generalization. But this is what I've seen time and time again. I have been here for 2 years and I've decided I will not be staying any longer. Now I truly respect and appreciate where I'm from. These are some of the reasons why: I have seen people in trains, buses, and other public places change from speaking Cantonese and attempt to speak English when they see a foreigner. It seems like an attempt to impress somebody? Why is that??? Why do many ads in public places use Caucasians instead of Chinese? About 96% of the population is Chinese. Why is that??? It seems people aren't proud of who they are and they want are trying to be someone they're really not. Why do people die for a seat in KCR OR MTR? Why do most people not give up their seats for the elderly and children. Of course this is changing. It seems like public broadcasts are doing the trick. Why is it when you go shopping the salespeople are always on your tail pushing you to buy something? Ever hear about checking out the product first, before you buy it? Why do many people cut you off in public places? Why is there no sense of common courtesy amongst most people? Why are most people here so prejudice/racist? Why do most Hong Kong Chinese people look down upon the mainland Chinese. They are Chinese too. When China wins a gold medal in the olympics many people in Hong Kong are very proud to be Chinese, but in other matters they are the exact opposite. Why is that??? These WHY questions may have no answer, but it would be nice to see these things change in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is trying to be an international city. This will never be the case unless these things change. It is a little sad because there are some great people in Hong Kong, but they just get lost in the crowd of the million others.

I feel really sorry for

I feel really sorry for hearing all these complaint(?). I am a Hong Kong citizen. I think it's part of my duties to explain why these happens in HK.
Firstly, I would say, it is because there is a very keen competition in HK. In some way, HK seems to be good as an international city. But behind the scene, it also face an international competition and it is, in recent years, mostly from mainland China. As you had all in HK before, scarce resources (limited seats available on the train, MTR, buses and even a long quene to public hospital services, etc) made HK people are always in a state of competition (actually what I've seen in Korea, they also fight for their seats when in peak hour). Competition do exists in the working environments and between companies, too. Hong Kong people had to work, mostly, ten to twelve hours a day. I heard a foreigner said that he had to accomplish three tasks a day while in other country, he had only completed a task per day. If you are fall behind this competition, you will be eliminated very easily. Epecially, after 1997, a lot of immigrant from mainland China, they are willing to take a job at a lower pay (competitor, this is part of the reason Hong Konger did not like them much). So it's very logic that a tired people after work, want to have a seats desperately.

Point of View

Hi,

I found your post while searching for "rudeness in hk" on the net.

I'm traveling in Asia and I like to "study" or know about the places I'm going to in advance, although, my final conclusion about travel books and personal pinions about places and cultures can vary 100% from one extreme to another.

For you to have an idea, I've stayed in Thailand for a long time. Before getting there, I used to listen that it was the country of smiles, friendship, blah, blah. I hated Thailand. What people say, in my opinion, is a lie or some really good propaganda made by the travel ministry there.

I totally agree with the fact that an older person in a bus or trolley seat not giving it for a kid to sit is extremely selfish and groce.

If you do not like HK or think that H.Kongers are all rude and unpolite, yes, you should leave asap and go back to where you think everybody is really cool and friendly to you.

You must respect other cultures and accept them just like they seem to be (trully or not, because it all depends on the way you see things in life in general). The main reason for you to respect other cultures while you are abroad is the fact that you're in their land, not yours.

When you see people "switching" from cantonese to english when you're around and get upset about it, once again, reveals that you may have a wrong interpretation of the things around you. While you think it happens because H.Kongers like to impress others showing that they can speak english (I would be much impressed to see someone speaking latin or japanese), I view it in a different way: maybe they do it because they want to be your friend or to get closer to you somehow.

Considering this alternate point of view I've put here, do you realised who's being rude at all?

Resuming, what I'd like to tell here is that EVERYTHING in life can have zillion points of views. You should never assume yours is right. And if you think it is, you can respectfully keep it to yourself. That's better than insulting another culture or being unpolite.

p.s. I'm not chinese nor a Hong Konger.

Good luck.

By the way, take a look at

By the way, take a look at the post above made by a Hong Konger. His/her friendly explanation is very down to earth.

World courtesy rankings

Reader's Digest magazine has done a survey of 35 cities around the world, ranking them in terms of how courteous people are. A series of 'courtesy tests' was performed in each city, e.g. seeing how many people held open doors, how many shop staff said 'thanks' for a purchase, and how many times people would help someone who had dropped some papers on the floor.

I found the winner to be quite a shock. I did not find HK's place on the list surprising at all. I was surprised, however, by several cities' results, especially Singapore, Sydney and Bangkok.

Any other reactions from frequent travellers? Do you think it's an accurate picture of the places you've lived or visited?

I think comments from Gwai

I think comments from Gwai Lo is very positive but naive of how Hong Kongers think. Yes, they are trying to impress English speaking foreigners with their English, and they are NOT doing it to get close to you. Yes, they're doing it to show off...period. For the Hong Kong native, your comments about the Chinese competition causing rude behavior is an excuse. The last time I was there, which was in 1990, the Hong Kongers were just as rude, if not more, so your excuse about stiff competition with mainland Chinese causing Hong Kongers to be rude is a cop out.

Well.. even people living in

Well.. even people living in Hong Kong have a saying that i've heard on more than one occasion, and that is:

'Hong Kong people can not be saved'

It loses some of it's poignant meaning in translation but I hope you get the gist, as a British born chinese who spends a lot of time flying to and from Hong Kong, I feel it's apt.

why, why, why?

"I have seen people in trains, buses, and other public places change from speaking Cantonese and attempt to speak English when they see a foreigner. It seems like an attempt to impress somebody? Why is that???"

Just how many Caucasians speak cantonese? Do you know how tough it is to listen to somebody speak your own language slowly when you can speak to them faster in their language? Especially as HK is a place with a fast pace of life. If you think HKers are proud of their ability to speak english, you should see Singapore! There are families there who are proud that they speak english at home to the point they cannot speak chinese (and don't care). On travels, I've also heard people from other countries claim english is an international language so why doesn't everybody speak english??

"Why do many ads in public places use Caucasians instead of Chinese? About 96% of the population is Chinese. Why is that???"

Haven't a clue. I personally don't notice if a person is caucasian or chinese in and advert. Does it really matter to you unless you personally have a problem with being prejudiced?

"It seems people aren't proud of who they are and they want are trying to be someone they're really not."

If that is their choice, what's wrong with that? In many societies, role models exist. ;-)

"Why do people die for a seat in KCR OR MTR? "

Haven't seen this in HK yet. London surpasses HK many times over in this respect.

"Why do most people not give up their seats for the elderly and children. Of course this is changing. It seems like public broadcasts are doing the trick. "

Change is always good.

"Why is it when you go shopping the salespeople are always on your tail pushing you to buy something? Ever hear about checking out the product first, before you buy it? "

Hate to point out the obvious but it's their job to make a sell. Hmm. From another perspective, an attentative salesperson is actually providing good customer service.

"Why do many people cut you off in public places?"

Yes, this is pretty senseless. Have to agree with you. When I open a door and someboyd tries to dive through in the opposite direction, it doesn't make sense to try when my body is already blocking the way.

"Why is there no sense of common courtesy amongst most people?"

It might be a difference in style. Many local people just don't realise their actions can be interpereted as a lack of manners.
Then again, the reverse can be true as well.

"Why are most people here so prejudice/racist? Why do most Hong Kong Chinese people look down upon the mainland Chinese. They are Chinese too. When China wins a gold medal in the olympics many people in Hong Kong are very proud to be Chinese, but in other matters they are the exact opposite. Why is that??? "

Why are there so many jokes about the Irish and Scottish made up by the English? Why would the english support a scotsman in the Olympics or vice versa? WHy do the french look down on non-french speakers

"These WHY questions may have no answer, but it would be nice to see these things change in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is trying to be an international city. This will never be the case unless these things change. It is a little sad because there are some great people in Hong Kong, but they just get lost in the crowd of the million others."

These attitudes aren't unique to HK. As for you moving, life is a balance of one's individual values. Obviously, these have affected you and you are not able to adapt. Some people can adapt and survive. Best of luck for your future.

Hong Kong Life

Another point of view. Not Chinese & Not White. International city - I think not!

Racism or Prejudice Level - Extremely High if your not Chinese or White - Absolutely Igorant & Pathetic. Hong Kong is all about judging a book by its cover. Shallow and weak.

Friendliness - From what I have seen over some time now is that roughly 97% of the people that I have crossed paths with whether on the train, bus, malls, streets, etc. are unfriendly. Yet some of the other 3% have been extremely friendly & courteous. I mean even a 70-30 percentage would be nice. Of course I have to remind myself this is Hong Kong.

Rude - Most people I have found stare at you as if you are from another planet and they don't stare at you with a smile. Are you at a zoo? Have you never seen humans before? Still locked up in a small place eh.
- If you leave a little breathing room in a line up between you and the person next to you, it is highly likely that someone will budge in front of you. If there is about 1 inch of breathing room between you and any other object people generally tend to try to somehow squeeze through the 1 inch of free space to get to where they have to go, although they could just go around, but instead people must go through that spot.
- Climbing up your back when your in a line up. I mean come on folks.

Languages - Hong Kong's national languages are English and Chinese. Not really true except on paper.

Shopping - Excellent. Tough to beat.

Things to see - Lantau Island is wonderful, serene and peaceful. Macau nothing special. If I want gamble Vegas is still KING. Sham Shui Po, great place to buy electronics, of course you still have to be a smart shopper. Every type of shopping you can imagine from A to Z. Prices also range from the cheapest to the most expensive. Designer brand names to no names. Real products to fakes. Everything you need to shop for you can find in Hong Kong.

Food - Excellent Choice. If you are a little wary of Canton cooking, don't worry Hong Kong has an excellent selection of restaurants from all over the world to suit your palates needs.

Stress Level - None, if you like being packed in a sardine can full of people. None, if you like rudeness, pollution, and heat. Otherwise, you need to make your visit or stay a little shorter.

Some of the comments made may just represent one person's bad luck over a period time living in Hong Kong. Maybe the reality is that it is the exact opposite. Hmmm?

I'd like to add one more

I'd like to add one more point for consideration. Please note that HK is now packed with uncivilised classless barbaric chav mainlanders and those who think that HKers are rude might have come across one of those rather than a true HKer. Unfortunately this is not something we have control over. Re-education is going to take a generation or two.

And I'd like to take most of that away

While there are plenty of rude mainlanders in HK, to blame any and all ill mannered behaviour on them and them alone is disingenuous.

The pushers, shovers and cross-platform sprinters on the MTR at 8AM are not mainlanders. The pack of pretending-to-sleep office ladies on the MTR tonight who pretended not to see a heavily pregnant lady and offer her their seats weren't mainlanders.

Your in DENIAL

You can't coat everything with candy my friend. Hong Kong is what it is. Sure their are some great folks, but of course the majority of folks really are rude to say the least.

Denial...

Ok, to blame rude behavior in HK to mainland chinese is silly and clear denial.

Having said that, yeah sure HK people are rude, but the issue is whether they are any more rude than other big cities -- maybe yes, but it is probably pretty marginal. In my experience, people in all big cities are rude, even those cities where language barriers are not an issue. Quite honestly, to point to the MTR as evidence of rude behavior is sketchy at best...in my experience MTRs/subways/undergrounds during rush hour are an insane free-for-all in most big cities. As I wrote elsewhere on Batgung, in HK in general and on public transportation in particular, you really are tossed together with all segments of the population -- not just the mid-level or south side crowd.

I do wonder where these other places are with all the sweet as pie nice people? London? crowded, expensive, overcast, class and race dominate? Sydney? just ask the lebanese or aborigines how terrifically friendly all the australians are. New York? fuhgettaboutit.

Rude, yes

I left Hong Kong in the early 1990s after a two year stay partly because I did not like the rudeness of the locals. I thought it might be a Cantonese trait until I later worked in Guangzhou and found my colleagues to be pleasant, friendly and civilised. Most Hong Kong locals seem be perversely proud of their city's rudeness (look at Bus Uncle - in any other city he would be seen for what he is, an obnoxious, anti-social loudmouth) - the feeling seems to be, if you aren't tough enough, get out.

What makes me laugh is when HK people look down on mainland Chinese for their alleged bad manners. HK people are blind to their own crude and philistine ways.

Questions 4 Mr B, Tall, and rest

Mr B, Mr Tall, you guys have a great site for people like who are moving to town. Two questions and one gripe.

Questions are, what is the need/advantage to getting a car? Will it be horribly expensive to maintain...garage, maintainence, gas? Could I road trip to the mainland? How are the roads on the mainland? Could I drive to Shanghai if I wanted or is some communist border guard gonna give me a wedgie just for trying?

What part of town would you live in if you could go back in time and come to HK for the first time, again? And yes, money is an object.

Gripe is, I am moving from new york, lower east side, and I wanna know what the deal is with all these bed-wetters posting cry baby comments about rude people in hong kong? Boo hoo hoo, people aren't nice to me...c'mon have they made any sustained effort to get to know peeps, did u try to learn any of the language except cuss words? Is this what i can expect from the expat community? Say it ain't so.

My wife and I are fired up to come, meet people, explore, travel, meet more people, and oh yeah, work. Luv the even balanced what's right and wrong with the town.

Cars, etc.

Glad to hear you're excited about moving to HK.

We've written about cars and driving in HK here and here.

You can drive cars cross-border, but I'd never recommend it. The mainland drives on the other side of the road and, although its road system is improving, it's still pretty crazy in many places.

As for part of town to live in: the topic is very subjective. I really like where I am now (Tseung Kwan O), but Sai Kung is my favorite part of town. But there's a wide variety of choices, and our standard recommendation is that you get here and stay in a serviced apartment for a month or two, and have a serious look around. There's more on housing options here.

The expat community here is big enough, and HK is sufficiently varied as a city, that you'll likely be able to live the kind of lifestyle you want here -- and find expats with the full range of different attitudes to the place. You'll have an advantage in adjusting in that you're coming here by choice, instead of being stationed here.

Good luck, and let us know how things go if you get the chance.

Thanks guys

Thank you for putting this website together and all the time you take to organize, reply and otherwise provide information. I've found it a valuable resource in planning my transfer to HK.

Look forward to reading more.

I have been here almost 3

I have been here almost 3 years too long. I have the same reasons for leaving. I have seen and heard many good things about mainlanders. The good things I've heard have never come from any Chinese born and bred in Hong Kong. I have had talked to many young people who are taught by their parents that mainlanders are very bad, rude, etc. But they never seem to understand or acknowledge their mannerisms and thinking is of primitive origins.

Tolerance

I've lived in Hong Kong most of my life. I did live for a short period in Germany and then for a little while in the Canary Islands. I witnessed prejudice and even downright bigotry in every location, whether it be based on race, sexual orientation or gender. Is there really anywhere on this earth that there isn't some kind of prejudice being exercised?

I've also seen rudeness in all these places. Some is very in-your-face, others less so. I think it's easy to generalise on both sides of this fence I see in these posts: mainland Chinese vs Hong Kong Chinese. There are pros and cons on each side.

I believe tolerance is the key. Tolerance of differences, tolerance of attitudes.

I realise Hong Kong isn't perfect. But I happen to love my home.

rudeness education

Good morning guys. I came across your web & have been browsing it for a while. May I say a few words about the rudeness in Hong Kong.

I found the fellow Hongkongers rudeness.

There are always good guys and bad guys. Unfortunately, there are more bad guys in Hong Kong. It does not matter with the level of education received, regardless mainland Chinese or local Hongkonger. My colleagues, in their late forties recalled their time in the 1960’s. Formal schooling was hard to reach. Their parents were from the lower class of the society but my colleagues were taught with good personal behaviour, be polite and be considerate. None of them received higher education. During that time, families usually had many children so the elder brothers / sisters started to earn the living as early as thirteen years old. But it is not uncommon to have these people climbed up the ladder, and still behave well.

"Unlike most modern recruits I had hardly finished my primary education when I was forced to earn my own living at the age of thirteen. Nevertheless, I continued my studies in the evening and was finally enlisted as recruit of Intake 43 in August 1963" extracted from www.hkesa.com, “depot HKMSC” page.

There are eight universities in Hong Kong nowadays and chance to receive higher education is more. But this does not lead to proper manner. Families and educational institutes fail to teach the youngsters beyond the realm of textbooks. Indeed, the youngsters are spoiled. On the public transport, youngsters are dying for a seat, encouraged by their parents. At a restaurant, people are fighting for table with benched seat even other tables are available. May be, their parents teach them to do things these ways.

A Hongkonger in his thirties.

Primitive Thinkers

Your right my friend tolerance is the key. It's tough sometimes when you have some extremely racist people. I've tried to care for people all my life regardless of race, creed, or color. I still believe we should be categorized as the human race and not any other. We all are very minute fragments of our universe. Read the book first, before you make judgement. In Hong Kong, this is rarely the case. It's all about caring for humanity. But I believe primitive thinkers will not be able to understand this simple concept whether they be in Hong Kong or the Alabama.

Rudeness in Hong Kong

I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I have travelled around the world for many years. I completely agree most Hong Kong people are rude and insensitive. However Hong Kong people appear to be the most generous people when it comes to forking out donations to the poor and needy. Do bear with them! I would appeal to those who cannot stand the local people to educate them by setting an example to them e.g. keeping the door open for the one next to you and smiling and showing courtesy and tolerance. It is changing albeit slowly!

In reply to odaiwai

Pushers, shovers and sprinters do exit on trains in every big cities on earth!!
I can't agree these can be claimed as rudeness, especially people running across platform, what's wrong with this??

In nowadays busy world, you can't expect everyone walks slowly and says hello to everyone.

Not giving a seat to pregnant lady?? Yes, it's really rude.
But this happen in London and Melbourne as well, not only in Hong Kong.

maybe

Hey. I just came back from Hong Kong like 3 months ago and I have to tell you that all this crap about people in HK being ruder then other people of other places is silly. I live in Canada and people here are more or less the same as people in Hong Kong... you bump into someone and they either give you the evil eye or in a few cases they freak out at you. And the buses here arent so great either. Iv constantly seen pregnant mother, mothers with kids ect. have to stand untill I give her my seat. Iv also discovered that people in Hong Kong have better washroom manners than people over here. What I mean is that the'll flush the toilet, they wont litter the floors with tissue paper and they wont write all over the walls of the washrooms. During my trip I stayed in Tai Po with some friends. I acctually thought that they had better manners than people in Canada. Also its Hong Kong, Cultural difference... what seems rude to you might not mean its rude to them. Western culture says its rude to burp, but in Japan its acctually a compliment to the chef. Stop seeing everything in a western view and open up a bit... your in friggen Hong Kong not London. lol. get what I mean?

HK Rudeness

When I first moved to HK, I was afflicted with this attitude that people here were more rude than back home (USA). I gradually came to realize that this was mostly just due my attitude at the time. Sure, no one likes pushy salesmen who nag nag nag and almost even insult you unless you buy something, but we find it rude because it's not part of our culture. Someone who has grown up in this type of environment doesn't find it rude at all, they just think the sale's person is doing their job.

Sure, people cut me off on the MTR, old ladies are notorious for this, I see it on a daily basis. But it doesn't bother me. Why you might ask? Because I lived in Japan for 2 years, and the HK MTR doesn't even begin to scratch the surface compared to the JR line and how Japanese people act on the train during rush times. The MTR is a blessing in comparison. When people cut me off, I just smile. I'm young, 25, I can stand, I'm not going to elbow someone in the ribcage for a seat on the MTR. My job isn't hard, I'm not tired at the end of the day, so if someone else needs to jump in front of me to grab a seat, they obviously need it more than I do. I used to live in one of the largest cities in America, and our public transportation was non-existant. Just being able to live without a vehicle is amazing to me.

I think as an expat, it's a little easier to take things personally because sometimes we think 'this is happening to me because I'm a foreigner'....Truth be told, a few people have been extremely rude to me in HK, but I'm able to shrug it off and mostly not take it personally anymore, when it does happen, I just remind myself of the contrasts between my own life here, and that of the offender.

Think people are rude in HK? Try living in Tokyo for 2 years and commuting 5 days a week on the JR or Seibu lines. I saw salaryman fist fights twice a week at least; simply over train seating and space, old ladies get trampled by high school kids, I saw two people die inside a train station; one older guy fell down some stairs after being trampled and one lady had a heart attack after being crushed during the morning rush hour inside my train car going from Ikebukuro to Shibuya.

When I first took a trip back to the states to see my parents, I came to realize how rude people are in my own country, the only difference is the way in which the rudeness rears it's head. The summarize, there exists no country which is deprived of rude people, rudeness is a common trait of all countries and people, the only difference is how and what each person perceives as rudeness, and what one is simply willing to chalk up to a 'cultural difference'.

Success in HK depends on..

Success here depends on one's ability to adapt and accept local culture. I think that the level of tolerance I have for rudeness has increased substantially since living in Japan and HK. For those of us who are analytical by nature, we tend to over-think these acts of rudeness. For example, when someone cuts in front of me in the MTR line, I used to think; "Why is that necessary, that person looks perfectly healthy, how is cutting in front of me and 10 others who have queued in an orderly fashion, and then jumping into an empty seat going to benefit this person enough for them to actually brave cutting in front of me? How is their day significantly improved by this act of rudeness?".. Now I just don't care anymore.

These acts of rudeness are often committed knowing that HK culture (among other regional cultures) protects the offender from the victim in that; losing face is considered worse than committing an act of rudeness. For example, if someone cuts in front of you in line, and then you make a scene about it, you are the one who appears rude, not the offender. It's more or less the same in Japan.

None of my Cantonese friends have ever exhibited this type of rudeness in my presence, so I think it must be a certain type of HK person that commits these acts, though I won't completely generalize and say exactly what type of person I feel it is. It does seem as though the brazenness of the offender is directly proportionate to their age and inversely related to their ability to speak English…..

Back in the West, where there is no concept of ‘face’, cutting in front of someone in line could likely lead to someone beating the life out of you, or at the bare minimum, comments exchanged in a heated manor. Since this is unlikely to happen in HK, the rudeness offenders simply live out their lives in this fashion without fear of retribution.

more education

Congratulations must be made to the ninth university. Yet another to come.

That's a tough one Mr. Tall.

That's a tough one Mr. Tall. This guy sounds like a stinking mainlander. He should fuck off back to his own country, and stay the fuck out of ours! haha..No.. just kidding.

Perhaps this guy really thought that he was being polite for giving up his seat albiet late, or perhaps he was just a prick. Who cares? What matters is your perception of your own reality. Don't waste your time analysing the psyche of the HKers. I've been reading your site for years and you seem to be weighing up the pros and cons about this place. It's only going to be as good as YOU choose to perceive it to be. If you focus on the good, I guarantee that you will attract positive like minded people and situations into your life and Hong Kong will be the best place in the world. But if you look for, think about, analyse, or try to understand why negative things happen the way they do, then you will wind up attracting negative people, situations and consequences. And you will feel frustrated, angry and confused. And this, my friend, would hold true no matter where you are in the world.

Just look at at all the comments in response to your post. They are 90% negative written by bitter negative people. You can't fly with the eagles if you scratch with the turkeys... Negativity only breeds low self esteem. So quit yer pondering on this topic before I come over there and slap you out of it.

I'm a local born chinese.I

I'm a local born chinese.I can tell you that even the locals ourselves think we're rude.This is just our culture, we are rude, period.

The place you come from may have a better mannered society, Hong Kong is not one."The Asia's World City","International City", these claims do hold some truth to it though, about 10-20% population of Hong Kong are indeed well-mannered, good educated and open minded, while the others 80% ahem... let's say every tree has bad apples.

Hong Kong is like many big

Hong Kong is like many big cities in the world. IMHO, HKgers do not behave much differently than their counterparts from other metropolis. I have lived near New York City - the giant melting pot - for almost 25 years, and during my daily commute into the City, I witness plenty of seat grabbing, elbow rooming and other untoward activities. Thus, race or ethnicity has little to do with rudeness. Instead, I believe rudeness may be a product of the environment in which people live in. For example, in the rural subsurbs, people tend to be more polite, less cut throat and more laid back than the city dwellers. But when suburbanites commute into the City, their behavior will change such that they will become part of the rat race. Peace out!