The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

myHK: Pet PEEVES !!

photo 21

Now that I’m a permanent resident of Hong Kong, I think it’s time for me to get some things off my chest!
Before this, there was that trembling fear of being told to, “Go back where you came from!” by a die hard expat.
But, I’m here to stay and I’ve been here for eight years for a reason.  So, don’t get getting your panties in a bunch…

Number 1-The Queue
I don’t like it when I’m lining up for at a restaurant or at Disneyland and someone is rubbing up on my butt for no reason!  I can’t move forward and even if I did, it wouldn’t get me what I want any sooner.  This lack of patience and understanding of space can be infuriating for me.  The worst of it is at Disneyland where the person behind me will literally be breathing down my neck and then sneak to my side to try making the pass.  It then forces me to play the game back.  I look to the sky as  I quickly maneuver back in front of them.  Then for the remainder of the line up, I’m forced to put my hands on my hips as widely as possible and constantly sway side to side to keep them at bay.

Number 2-The Reciept
I don’t need a reciept for a green tea I purchased at 7-11!  Are there people claiming this as a business expense or something??  I’m fine with getting the old upsell question, “Would you like fries with that?”  That’s just smart business.
It’s not that these useless receipts are just a mass waste of paper, it’s the annoyance of being handed a wad full of change back with this useless receipt tucked in it and then having to go find a spot to throw it.  Simply ask, “Would you like a receipt?” and the world will be a nicer place.

Number 3-The Yawn
Going on the MTR can be a bit like watching the lions at the zoo.  Massive yawns with one thing missing.  The hand preventing me from looking halfway down your throat!  I can see your fillings and I can hear you moaning at the same time.  This is just wrong!

What are your pet peeves?  Please let me know in the comments below!  And if you’re a receipt giving, lion-yawning, butt-hugger, I apologize in advance!

Mr. J

19 comments on “myHK: Pet PEEVES !!

  1. Stephanie
    December 18, 2013

    I definitely agree with the line- up pet peeve! One thing that also drove me crazy about HK was the lack of speed when walking on the sidewalks!

  2. Mr.j
    December 18, 2013

    Ha! Thanks for reading Stephanie!! I wrote that blog on HK walkers just for that reason! Trust me, I know that can be frustrating…;)

  3. hong kong fong
    December 18, 2013

    Made me laugh! I agree with the slow walking issue – coming from NYC, I’m programmed to scurry, even I’m not in a rush. It’s been an adjustment to be patient and slow down 🙂

    I also think ‘service’ in general in HK is lacking and reflects narrow thinking – lots of people working, but not generally that much in-depth knowledge. And when one person asks for water – maybe bring it for the table! 🙂

  4. Mr.j
    December 18, 2013

    Hi HK Fong!
    Yea I like that water one! Those minor pet peeves that don’t boil us up too much are the best to point out. Like the receipts…;)
    Waiters in hk are waiters for a reason. Damn that sounds harsh…;( my point being that in a restaurant a while back we asked the waiter if we could change one topping for another. We received an immediate NO. We made the mistake of questioning why. Waste of time. A minute later just asked for the manager and his immediate response was OF COURSE! 😉

  5. Frogman
    December 19, 2013

    For me it’s when you want to exit the MTR and people try to get on at the same time – I always stand my ground and have occasionally told people off or walked straight into them. My question is: Who is worse? Them for unconsciously doing it or us for getting aggressive and being obnoxious when they do it?

  6. Mr.j
    December 19, 2013

    I hate to break it to you Frogman, but I think it’s you. He who loses his cool , isn’t cool.

    I’ must admit I have had those same moments where I stiffened up my shoulder and gave that guy a good bonk. Some days it just has to be done….;)

    Thanks for reading!!

  7. Adrien
    December 20, 2013

    Am I the only one concerned by Mr. J.’s clothing style?? 😉

  8. Mr.j
    December 20, 2013

    Ha!! That’s my go-to-clown-shirt!!!

  9. Pingback: My 3 Words # 9 | emilykarn

  10. LtYankee
    March 2, 2014

    This is interesting! Absolutely agree with all these three. The next thing I’m gonna say is technically not a pet peeve. But I really wanna know how other expats think about this. I’ve been here for more than 4 yrs. I’m a big fan of MTR because of the half-precent-off student discount (huh, like I have other choice, lol). I just found that the city doesn’t read. Well, Hong Kongers don’t read a lot. Maybe they read at home. I don’t know. And it’s really really really hard to find someone who can talk about Dan Brown’s/John Green’s/ Lee Child’s books with me in my college. Or to find some guy who reads. Tell you something, my schoolmates even gave me weird looks when I read novels at the bench in my campus… lol. Once my friend told me “They are just curious that why a Chinese-looking guy is reading an English novel in college”…

  11. akastes
    March 2, 2014

    I like the shirt personally. Cant comment on the rest as I have not been to HK but those peeves are pretty transferable cross-culturally.

  12. theguestroom
    March 2, 2014

    Hi LtYankee,

    How’s it going?! 50% off for students! That’s pretty good! I’ve always applauded Hong Kong public transport system for it’s affodability. Unlike London’s…

    In defense of Hong KongerS, they do read a lot of newspapers.
    (Does reading Jockey Club stats count?)
    There’s a 40 person queue every morning outside the MTR near my house waiting to collect the paper.

    The entire book industry has changed so much. You’re very rarely going to see people reading paperbacks anywhere in the world these days. With kindles and iPads, but even more so the lack of concentration that people have, including myself.

    I even went through a run of audio books. I loved them actually… Is that bad?

    I guess it’s just another sad reality of how society has changed and dumbed down in some of the ways that you and I find important.

    Society will continue to change and new habits, good and bad, will come along. I think reading physical books is a great hobby to keep and you and your family will only benefit from you doing so.

    Have you ever considered starting a book club?

    Cheers and thanks for commenting!

    • LtYankee
      March 2, 2014

      Hi Mr J,
      Yea! The student discount was more like a gift for me. Even so the cost of commute is still not affordable for some local family. That’s sad.

      I do see hong kongers love reading newspapers. But fictions and non-fictions seem get less welcomed here. As it is said from No City for Slow Men by Jason Ng, the book I’ve recently read, locals like self-help books more than novels. Cost and benefit, that is so Hong Kong. lol

      I read everyday, either physical books or my kindle paperwhite (I even think read on a Kindle Fire is a waste of money, for me. Kindle Fire is really cool, but…lol). Just can’t get books off my hands as long as I’m on Tung Chung line. Not doing corssword or reading a book on the train is totally a waste of time for me (what a nerd…). When I was a little kid my father took me to bookstores every time we went to big cities. I guess that’s the most reason why I’m a book-lover.

      Audiobook, cool! Good for you! I would like to try it. From the standpoint of a business, audiobook is a multi-million industry. You are totally right, the entire book industry has changed so much, and it is still on.

      BTW, have you even heard of Underground New York Public Library ( ? Photos on the web are amazing!!! And it really sweet when I saw kids read.

      I’ve considered starting a REAL book club in college. And I did some researches. It turns out only a few guys (actually less than eight people) showed their interests in a English-book club. Mission impossible.

      Cheers, have a nice evening!


      • theguestroom
        March 3, 2014

        Hey AJ,

        Wow! Very cool site! Thanks for that link. I just quickly looked at the pics, impressive! I’ll check out the site more tomorrow. Looks great!

        8 is a solid number for a book club. Unless by saying, “less than 8” you meant 2…;)

        Why not go for it? You’re obviously passionate about reading and u think it would be a great experience for you.

        I’ll put it out there to TheGuestRoom readers,… Who’s up for joining a book club??!! You never know, someone may take a bite. 😉


  13. theguestroom
    March 2, 2014

    Hi Akastes,

    Thanks! The shirt is actually quite awesome! A real talking point!!;)

    I agree, these peeves can be pretty much applied anywhere.
    But the butt huggers here can be a bit extreme. Probably because of the large population and different tolerance of personal space.

    I’ll have to do a part 2 with more HK specific pet peeves…;)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  14. LtYankee
    March 20, 2014

    Hi Mr J,

    Sorry for the LATE reply. I was kinda mess last week.

    Luckily I found a book club on Meetup. So at least I’m getting involved in something with book club. lol

    That’s so kind of you to talk about the reading thing in the future. I’ll be glad to see a bunch of comments about that.

    Good day!

  15. theguestroom
    March 9, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Guest Room and commented:

    Classic myHK!

  16. brielle8383
    March 10, 2015

    Love the shirt and foam moustache.
    The one thing I was very aware of when I was in HK was the yawning. It seemed everywhere I was people were sleep deprived. I truly could count hundreds of people daily just full open mouthed yawning, which in turn would make me yawn also. I really wonder why that is?

    • theguestroom
      March 10, 2015

      Hey Brielle,
      Too funny! Yes, yawning people everywhere in this busy city! 8^o

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