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Top 10 ways to annoy a Hongkonger

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

We live in a fast paced city and don't have time for minor annoyances. Here's a roundup of the best ways to get us riled.

Block the lift close button
For many of us it happens several times a day – you bundle into a lift and immediately press the ‘close’ button. Why wouldn’t you? Yes, it’s automatic, but we have places to be, things to do, people to see. And quite frankly, when there are 30 plus floors in a building, we’re not getting anywhere if someone is content to wait for the doors to close in their own sweet time. 

2 Run out of credit
Want to really piss us off? Just try repeatedly swiping an out of credit Octopus in the MTR while a queue builds behind you, maintaining your denial that you’re out of money and that it’s the turnstile that has somehow got it all wrong. Hong Kong’s MTR, unlike other metro systems around the world, has a system and it works. This is the city that pioneered contactless payment for public transport!   

3 Ask if we know kung fu
Yes, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Jet Li and Donnie Yen are local legends, we’re aware. But that doesn’t mean we all come kung fu fighting out the womb. It’s an art form that takes years of dedication and persistence to master and, as hardworking city-dwellers, most of us simply don’t have time.

4 Wheel a suitcase
Hong Kong’s 7.2 million people know exactly how to walk around its crowded pavements without too many collisions. However, bring a suitcase, a street market and a shopping mall into the mix and things start to become problematic. You might be enjoying your leisurely meandering but the person behind you is doing everything in their power to get past and put you and your trolley behind them. 

5 Complain about the size of your apartment
With 180sq ft apartments being sold for $500,000 in some parts of Hong Kong and the poorest living in cage homes, you can imagine the offense when you complain about the size of your four-bedroom pad in Mid-Levels. Since 2007 house prices have soared by 154 percent in the city, so rubbing it in that you happen to have room to swing a cat is simply not cool. 

6 Cut in line on the MTR
It’s really quite simple: you stand one behind the other in a straight line and await your turn. Nowhere is it more infuriating to a Hongkonger than when someone cuts in line on the MTR, so desperate are they to be on first. Or for that matter, when an individual stands slap in the middle of the doorway, with a huge backpack jutting out, so the orderly system of entering a carriage collapses and chaos ensues.

7 Question our winter coat
Fortunately, our winters only ever really get as cold as about 16 degrees Celsius. But when else can we unveil our winter wardrobe? We like coats as much as the next person, not to mention that if you’ve tried going on the MTR in winter or walking through the IFC, you’ll know the conditions are almost Arctic, so they’re totally needed, okay?

8 Don’t have WhatsApp on your phone
If we ask for your number, please don’t expect a call. WhatsApp is simple, effective and free, and it’s how sane people communicate. Not having the service installed on your phone is equivalent to not having a phone at all. Yes, Line has cute stickers but it’s still niche. And as for WeChat – you’re not on the Mainland anymore, Dorothy.

9 Claim that all Chinese food is the same
As the fourth largest country in the world, there’re huge differences in Chinese regional cooking and it would take almost a lifetime to sample everything China has to offer. So, if there’s something you don’t like – and we’re not all fans of duck tongue here – at least be more specific, or try more dishes until you find one you do enjoy!

10 Cough and splutter without a mask on 
Just because you’re feeling miserable, doesn’t mean everyone has to suffer. Since we’re all crammed in tightly together, it’s only good manners to don a mask. Hong Kong has been pretty high on hygiene ever since the SARS outbreak in 2003, the legacy of which means most Hongkongers wear masks when they have respiratory colds. So, as a common courtesy, please keep your snot and splutter to yourself and let us all have a happy, germ-free week. 

Emma Russell

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