Tag Archives: illegal parking

Fire Engine Frustrations

Inconsiderate people are everywhere. Not just at the lifts at the MTR. Is it Hong Kong’s stressful, time-lacking situations that make it so? It must be tough work being a customer service officer here. People want top service but are out to get the best deal and expect the first class infrastructure to help create that competitive environment. 

I watched this Fire engine wail past me at the Wan Chai / Johnston Road intersection, its fire fighters all suited up and sirens at maximum volume. I took a leisurely stroll (maybe 2km/hour) up Wan Chai Road towards the market to find it completely stuck before the Queens Road East intersection. How can a person carrying a baby, a backpack and an umbrella be walking faster than a fire engine?


How frustrated the firemen must be. Cars were double parked two vehicles deep on one side and a truck occupied the other side of the road. And the truck and goods people expected the fire engine to somehow squeeze its way through. The road was certainly not designed as a three laned highway. 

If a fire was burning down a house or a family was trapped in an elevator, this little traffic jam would be wasting valuable time. Do the drivers care? No. What if it’s their family? 

The truck finally moved off at the insistence of the fire engine. Those cars double parked should’ve moved off too. 

If only the traffic police would allow pedestrians to report obstructions and penalise them, that might force all these drivers to behave with more consideration. 

Advertisements

A day of accidents before the Black Rain

Yesterday the rain was torrential. The Hong Kong observatory first labelled it a yellow rain, then a red rain when the thunder and lightning rolled in, then the highest signal, black rain. Rivers ran outside my window and the rain was a constant drumming on every exposed surface. 

There wasn’t much wind, it wasn’t a typhoon so it was quite pleasant walking outside especially with Wellington boots on (or rain boots 水鞋 as they are known here) and a big umbrella. No need to dance around the puddles, with waterproof knee high boots on you can walk straight through them. Now my sister visiting from London understands why I buy them. The streets of Wanchai were not too busy and only those with a mission and an umbrella could be seen braving the water currents on every pavement. 

The day before black rain day, it was an overcast, cloudy and cool sort of day. For some reason there seemed to be a tension in the air, perhaps an expectation that something was going to happen. 
Two traffic accidents happened within minutes of each other, causing a massive gridlock along Wan Chai road and Queens Road East.

Everyone stopped what they were doing to watch the accidents play out, oblivious to the honking all around them. Both involved taxis whose drivers had rolled down their windows and were swearing at the other vehicles. 



Incident 1:
A car was trying to parallel park in a relatively tight spot along Wan Chai Road and either hit or almost hit a taxi. I have no idea who was at fault but the taxi driver was yelling, cursing and making obscene gestures at the driver of the other car.  


Incident 2: A taxi had stopped by the bus stop to let a passenger alight. A van appears to have driven up and blocked it. The driver of the van can be seen confronting the taxi driver. Perhaps the taxi had cut the van off earlier and got a scrape. 

What is more interesting to you… the incident or the people watching the incident? Everyone loves standing by and watching a good scuffle.

Hong Kong government has a website showing traffic conditions on major roads. You can look at these cameras to plan your journey if the weather is looking unfavourable.