This week’s Post Magazine (free with the Sunday Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English language Sunday newspaper) has a piece, hidden away at the back, about the Shenzen Metro. It’s by David Evans, who I think was one of the SCMP journalists who had a turn running the Lai See column after Nury Vittachi was sacked. Now he seems to be reduced to writing "colour" pieces for the Post magazine, but unfortunately it appears that he can only see in black and white.
It’s not entertaining, it’s not informative, and it’s certainly not well-written. In fact, it would be right at home on a blog, if you believe some of the kind people who offer constructive criticism of HK blogs. However, I hope I’m never quite as dull as this:
The machines operate just like those in Hong Kong and display destinations in both English and Chinese. Taking my green plastic disc, I approach the barrier and search for [the?] slot in which to insert it. A female staff member smiles as I wave my arms about helplessly looking for a coin-sized hole. Suddenly the machine beeps and the barrier’s part. It’s a stored-value green plastic disc [uh?].
As I start my journey at the beginning of the line, there is no hunting around for the correct platform. Besides, this shouldn’t be a problem as everything is conveniently labelled in English and Chinese.
After a 10–minute wait the train glides noiselessly into the station. I wait for the carriage to disgorge its passengers before entering. Two casually dressed old men remain seated together in the carriage. Day trippers?
That’s right – he bought a ticket, he went to the platform, he waited for the train, he got on the train. Nothing interesting happened, and he has no insights to offer. Could it be any duller?