Thursday, May 01, 2014

Run Around Kowloon

What is the circumference of Kowloon?  This morning I discovered that it is roughly 21 kilometres, and it took me about two and a half hours to run around it. 

Along the way, it allowed me to take another look at the humongous hole in the ground which is the High Speed Rail Terminus, which has acquired another note of infamy.  Four years ago, the controversy centred around why it had to be so expensive, and why it had to be in that central location.  Now it is going to be even more expensive, and it will take even longer to build.  

Part of the reason, apparently, is that the MTR failed to drill enough holes at the site to study the geology, hence they did not anticipate that there are a lot of hard rocks there.  Or that they knew that it contained a lot of hard rocks, but did not account for it properly.  I do not know which is worse. 

In any case, it was fascinating looking at the site, seeing how vast and deep the hole really is.  Hong Kong has become an expert in building huge structures in the midst of dense urban areas.  But this scandal is giving us a black eye, 


YTSL said...

The MTR used to be the pride of Hong Kong but these days, the sheen has gone off some of its shine. I still think it compares very well to such as the London tube, New York subway, etc. But, increasingly, the experience of travelling on it is not as comfortable as doing so on the trains of such as Tokyo.

StephenC said...

It started very well. But it has not really improved. The passengers seem to be behaving more poorly, not better. Practically everyone has to stand now, so that they can carry more people, making them more money. Still, the fares are rising, ...

YTSL said...

Hi again Stephen --

I definitely agree with your point re MTR passengers seeming to behave more poorly now than previously. Among other things, definitely notice more eating and drinking in the MTR -- this despite the signs that still tell people not to do so.

Also, maybe it's indeed because more people have to stand now but I've noticed an increased reluctance on the part of a number people to give up their seats to the elderly, etc.

StephenC said...

40-50 year ago, many people were poorly educated and behaved rudely. Without culture, one may say. Gradually we have improved, through education, and better living standards. Now we seem to be going backwards as a society.