Give way? No way!

There are such a lot of people in Hong Kong that anywhere you walk you are bound to cross path with other people. One brutal difference between the people here and the people elsewhere is that those you cross path with will invariably speed up, take an extra step and cut in before you. Giving way is extremely rare. This phenomenon is not just confined to walking. I also notice that exactly the same happens on the road. In bottle-neck situations where maybe two lanes are converged to one, drivers will scramble for the next spot and frantically try to get ahead of the car at the other lane. And unless there are mechanisms, like a traffic light or a zebra crossing, which make it mandatory for a car to stop, most drivers make full use of their right of road use and do not let the pedestrians cross the road.

Here in Hong Kong, people seldom give way. They compete fiercely, even in situations where competing is not necessary or even counter-productive. They see most situations as a zero sum game and they try to be the winner to take it all. They seldom think about how to create a win-win situation or even let others take the cake. This is not only a rather selfish but also stressful way to live.

As if life in this city of incredibly brisk pace and high cost of living is not stressful enough.

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