Friday, August 14, 2009

The Concourse is Our Playground

There used to be an ad slogan by Nike that says "The World is my Playgound". Well, if MTR has to use a new one, it may as well be "The concourse is our playground", judging from what I saw this morning on my way to work.

I don't commute by public transport much these days - spoiled by the option of driving - but today's one of those rare occasions that I felt too lazy to be behind wheels in the rain, and never did I realize it's actually fun watching people commuting like sheep being herded from one place to another. It is really quite a scene that is worth mentioning on any Hong Kong travel guides - well, talking about the Rough Guides!

Then I started to wonder, with the East Asian Games coming to town this December - "You are the Legend", we were told, whatever that means - I am surprised the organizer didn't consider putting our MTR concourse to be the sporting ground for some of the events and have a separate category of "MTR Commuters" to compete against the world's best (at least the best from the East Asian side of the world).

Take 100m sprint for example, I can see many people have been training hard day in and day out on the concourse on Admiralty station, at the Tsuen Wan Line-Island Line interchange on their way to work and back, and from what I saw, many of whom are definitely up to par with the professionals, finishing the race in less than 10 seconds. I am sure they would have done even better if they didn't don their suit or dressed to the nines with high heels to do the run. How about race-walking? I was told I am a speed walker myself too, but nothing compared to those who can walk from Hong Kong Station to Central Station (a 500m walk, according to information from Google) in less than 2 minutes, including the time wasted to avoid the not-so-fast crowd that often cram on the moving walkway.

The organizer can even consider having new events in MTR - well, I figure since ballroom dancing has become a competitive event at the Games, what can't be? How about dancing to iPod music on a moving train for a change? It's a combination of art and balancing skills, you know, and we can even get sponsorship from Apple. Or newspaper picking - like those old ladies outside the station? Hey that requires endurance, physical strength, patience and a little bit of charm and luck - everything that is needed for any competitive sports. Or even "People Dodging" - having 2 teams facing each other at a narrow Mongkok Station entrance and team members have to reach the other side without being bumped by any one of the opposing team. Trust me, I tried, but I can never accomplish that.

See, commuting can be fun if you start day-dreaming!