Hong Kong / Mitchell / transport

Getting on down with Mitchell

Trying to settle the kids in, I decided this morning was music time. Most of our stuff isn’t here yet, so choices are limited, but Bethany found a Hi-5 cd, so we whacked it in the shiny new DVD player and gave it a whirl.

Mitchell decided to join in from his lounge chair position.

Click on the photo and you’ll see what I mean (there’s a video.. apologies for shaky cam.. it was taken with my el cheapo digital camera). He loves music. He and Bethany ended up dancing until we had to go down to her school bus. It’s a nice change from feral I must admit. 

Speaking of buses, I thought I would get back to my ‘life in Hong Kong’ series with a picture Bethany took this morning. Bethany refers to these buses as Fillmore… which I guess is as close as you would probably get to finding a VW combi van here.

This is a Hong Kong mini bus (or public light bus) of the green variety. They run from areas that the bigger buses can’t get to easily (and particularly up and down the mountain areas). The ones along our road run every 5 minutes down to Causeway Bay (one of the main shopping/dining districts on Hong Kong Island). This trip costs a whole HK$3.70… or in Australian currency 59 cents (47 cents US) per trip. There is no distinction between adults and children or  pensioners… everyone pays the same if they occupy a seat. You can get off where ever you want along the route, but it will always cost you HK$3.70. Each  bus only holds 16 passengers (MUST be seated), and don’t allow standing passengers. The trip down to Causeway Bay takes about 5 to 10 minutes, and you just ‘call out’ when you want to get off. Similarly, you just wave the bus down when you want to get on because although the bus follows a set route, there are no real designated stops. Which means we walk out the front entrance to our apartment complex, cross the road, wait a few minutes (at most), and hail down the bus. It’s entirely too efficient. The only dilemma I’ve had to get used to is the issue of having a stroller. These buses don’t hang around, so the stroller has to be folded and up into the bus as quick as possible.. the buses don’t wait for you to sit down. I guess, as they say, time is money… and that is certainly evident in this city. Juggling two kids and a stroller onto these buses is an interesting but doable challenge. I’m getting more adept every time we venture out. Mitchell loves the bus. He can be screaming his lungs out one minute, but the second he sees we are getting onto one of these little green buses, he becomes his happy self again. So they make a convenient, fun and cheap thing to do with him when he wants ‘out’. 😉

As a side note, these buses run on LPG, because believe it or not, this part of China is trying to reduce emissions. Rumour has it they might switch over to electric at some point in the future. So while pollution in this part of the planet is pretty bad (although not dissimilar to that lovely brown smog halo Sydney accumulates from time to time) people here ARE trying to improve the way things are done.

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