“Dance like no-one is watching,” they say, and if you’re riding between Admiralty and Central on the red line, there will be significantly less people to tune out
Hong Kong is busy; it’s busy, busy, busy. The city streets are constantly packed, giant queues form as people wait for buses or the latest Instagram food trend to be served from the coolest location. During the day, many people spend their time in large concrete boxes that reach into the sky, only exiting onto streets shrouded by colourless buildings in search of food. After work, most of us rush to get to happy hour, or meditation or whatever fitness regime we follow, yet all of this is nothing compared to the madness that is the MTR.
Over 5 million people pack themselves into this giant underground tube of steel every day, and while it’s a fantastic way of moving people, it’s not exactly the height of luxury or comfort. Sardines have felt more pleasant inside their tins than the general feeling that is the subway at peak hour.
I’ve seen fights break out, people do their laundry, and others be sick on the MTR, but there is one special stretch on the red line that always makes me feel happy. If you’re travelling on the Tsuen Wan line to Hong Kong Island, the short ride between Admiralty and Central is something of an enigma, for it is here–if you listen closely enough–that you will hear… the call of the dance.
While most people disembark at Admiralty, stuffing themselves out through the tiny holes like toothpaste through a tube, if you stay on board that extra stop, that’s where you’ll find the magic happens. For just over a minute, you have the ride nearly all to yourself. Look down through the carriages and all you’ll see are the handles swinging in perfect unison. It’s incredibly calming.
Also, for some reason, it always makes me want to dance. I think it’s because you don’t usually get that much space all to yourself in the city. Obviously, the way the carriage is set up lends itself to some pretty hot pole dancing (made even better if you surprise this on your travel partner), but I’ve also pulled off some epic Michael Flatley-esque high kicks by holding two of the handles at once.
In my head, I’ve choreographed a fabulous crawling routine, where I actually make my way down through the carriages, but have yet to pull that one off. In part because of the strict timing needed to make it perfect, and in part because of my aging knees. One day, I hope to pull off an epic dance party like in the video above.
Quite frankly, I would like to see more people expressing themselves on this special journey, and less people looking at me like I’m losing my mind.
Next time, I’m breaking out the costumes.