It’s a rainy day Hong Kong today. As office workers, students and tourists hit the road armed with umbrellas, the probability of getting pierced in the eye (or mouth or nose) gets higher. It seems proper umbrella etiquette needs to be taught for every purchase of this foul-weather companion, as some people “accidentally” wet others while unwrapping them upon leaving the subway station or alighting the bus.
As for the umbrella wrappers, they are seen overflowing from a nearby rubbish bin. To partially address this garbage problem, companies like Sino Property Services thought of a novel way of substituting those non-biodegrabdable plastic wrappers with a human touch. In 2009, the company ditched the idea of providing that ubiquitous umbrella wrapper at building entrances. Instead, ushers/attendants offer to wipe wet umbrellas of incoming patrons. Although I think this is a good idea and may boost the company’s public image – assuming people prefer smiling attendants equipped with towels over self-help devices – it may not be cost-effective, considering manpower requirements during rush-hour surge of human traffic.
Needless to say, it’s not a good idea to stay outdoors during a rainy day in Hong Kong. For example, if you’re taking the tram, you might expect to get wet while rubbing elbows with passengers who don’t bother to wrap their umbrellas as they get in. Honestly, there are much fewer things to do: the golf course is closed and hiking trail slippery. But there are things you can do, without spending that much – if staying home is not an option.
Go to the cinema
Cinema may be one favorite hangouts for Hong Kong people shortly after the weatherman issues the storm signal number 8, a city-wide indication that reporting for work is suspended. Scan the latest movies shown in the city and take a short trip to the nearest cinemas. Broadway, MCL, AMC and UA are among the most accessible movie houses in Hong Kong. Expect a combination of English, Chinese and other foreign-language film screenings. If you prefer high-definition screenings, IMAX is available at iSquare and MegaBox shopping malls.
Go to the skating rink
Whether you’re a seasoned skater or an enthusiastic newbie learning a new skill, a visit to the skating rink during a rainy day is not a bad idea. Ice Palace at CityPlaza in Quarry Bay, Glacier at Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong, MegaIce at MegaBox in Kwun Tong or Sky Rink at Sham Shui Po’s Dragon Centre are the places to go.
Go to the museum
Hong Kong is home to about 30 museums, each catering to a specific interest – racing, film, medical field, tea – you name it. I don’t think Hong Kong’s got everything, but I am quite sure you’ll be interested in at least one in the list. And it’s a good way to learn, better than watching a movie at least. Please note that museums may be open if the weather is particularly severe. In cases when there is a black rainstorm warning or typhoon signal number 8, museums may be closed.
While rain may disrupt our daily activities, especially for tourists who wish to squeeze half a dozen to-dos in a day, it also clears the sky of smog and other forms of air pollution. When the sun finally shows up, you’ll probably have a better views of the city from strategic places like the Peak, Ngong Ping 360’s cable car ride, Sky100 or even at Victoria Harbour.
Photo credit: Pixabay. License: CC0 Public Domain