Competition is fierce in Hong Kong. Everything seems to be ultra-competitive. It is tough to get a job, it is tough to get a roof over your head and by god is it tough to get a seat on public transport. Especially old peoples, these guys really just are not spritely enough to win the rush to get those much prized seats.
While I try my best to volunteer my seat to those who are most in need of it, I sometimes worry about my carte blanche policy to give it anyone who is old. The reason I give my seat up for elders is because I have been taught to respect them even though I know nothing about them. Is this type of policy a good idea? I mean what if the old person I am giving my seat up to is a Holocaust denier or a kleptomaniacal arsonist? Should I still give my seat up to them? Let’s imagine for a second that some of the evilest men in history were still alive, men like Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden or Genghis Khan. And they were old and somehow on public transport in dire need of a seat for non-nefarious purposes. Would you offer them your seat? Or are they too evil to deserve a seat? Sure you might call the police but until the authorities arrive and apprehend them, would they get your seat?
There are other pressing issues that torment me when I think about giving up my seat to others. For you see, I am not very good at telling how old other people are. Old, for me is hard to determine. I mean proper old and decrepid people are easy to identify. They are the thin, white haired, hunched, toothless bundle of bones stereotypes that we all know and love. They are easy to spot. The ones I most have a problem with are those who are borderline old. People who are old but not really. What if I offer them a seat and they become offended because I presumed that they were old when they were only a youthful 52? This is a veritable social minefield. I remember reading somewhere on the internet (thus making it TOTALLY true) that they issue old people badges in Japan. That is a great idea because they can help me identify who needs a seat without me being embarrassed for getting it wrong. Those who want to think that they are young can opt to not wear the badges. Win-win all around.
It might be that I appear neurotic but to my mind this is a something that I worry about. I can not remember when I was first indoctrinated with this duty to give up my seat to old peoples. It is arguable that I am doing this act in the hope that the young folk of the future will offer their seats to me when I am old and riding the public flying bus rocket to Uranus. Or maybe I am doing this to feel good about myself, to compensate for all the other horrible misdeeds that I commit. Whatever it is, I look forward to the day that I see a super old, super pregnant and severely crippled lady walking onto the train looking for a seat because I know that when I see this person I will have no qualms about offering them my seat.