Thursday, November 26, 2015   

Sense of fare play alive and kicking at hot HK taxi rank

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Publisher Pete Spurrier had been waiting a loooong time in an endless Hong Kong taxi queue on a boiling hot day.

Finally, a taxi appeared. Just before it reached the queue, two men intercepted it and climbed in.

Pete leaped into the road, preventing the taxi from moving. After a five-minute standoff, the shamed cab-snatchers got out and slunk away. Pete received a huge round of applause from the 50 people in the queue.

This is not a particularly unusual story, but as it circulated, several people commented that such incidents in East Asian cities almost always involve a Westerner or a South Asian leaping into action. Never an East Asian. How come?

"Only a Caucasian could really get away with doing what Pete did," said Regina Chen.

Another Chinese female, a young woman named Wings, thought it was to do with size. "It mostly comes down to our build," she said.

But others pointed out that some East Asians are tall. I was intrigued by a comment by David Sun from Taiwan, who said there was a desire for justice inside Westerners and South Asians which made them stand up to troublemakers, but East Asians would not consider queue-jumping worth a confrontation.

But there are exceptions. Ingmar Jense from Oman said: "I recall a Chinese person being quite effective at standing in front of a tank." *** Reporters have found a place where it is illegal to listen to music on your phone, a reader told me. "I know, it's my house," I replied.

But my informant wasn't talking about overstrict parenting. He was referring to a town in Uttar Pradesh, India, where a new law makes it a crime to click the iTunes app on your phone. If the local police do catch you listening to Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber or the like on a phone, you are hit five times with a shoe, local media reported. That's outrageous. You should be hit AT LEAST 20 times. *** I read that the new TV series called Vegas isn't filmed in Las Vegas, but on a massive, "super-detailed replica of the city" near LA How detailed? They have a naked Prince Harry in one corner. *** Now this is what you call "news in advance." The Curiosity, a wheeled robot exploring Mars, last week beamed back the information that one of the Martian moons will crash into the planet in 10 million years. Of course, Earth will be completely different by then, except for the fact that Singapore, China and Malaysia will be ruled by the same parties. *** The secret of being wildly successful as an employee is just one line long: "Keep your boss's boss off your boss's back." Send ideas and comments via

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