Anyone know the reason for the constant hacking and spitting?

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  1. #11

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    The quote from PDLM about SG is probably because the original post mentioned it. I didn't realise SG has a CC but they are the world foremost control freaks so no suprise they would have one , eh !

    In London mini cabs and taxis are exempt the charge and gave rise to a very funny segment on Top Gear about some very expensive supercars being on the register.


  2. #12

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    on skyhook's scheme, why not simply charge ppl who wants to use certain road at certain time. if someone lives in saikung and needs a car to go to work (to one of the mtr station) why shld he/she be charged for the congestion and polution in downtown hk ?

    anyway, sg is the first country i believe in the world that started the congestion charge scheme, and it was started like maybe 20 years ago. only around 10 years back they started the electronics scheme of charging all cars that goes through the gantry.

    i don't think exempting anyone works. that would jsut cause people to start purchasing those vehicles that are exempted. remember the congestion scheme in france where only odd number cars (car plate) or even number cars are allowed on certain days. people just ended up buying 2 cars to drive on different days.

    while i do not agree with the way such paying scheme works (there shld be more innovative ways), we can't deny that for a full blown problem these schemes do offer a temporary relief, until people grow used to the amount you have to pay and it goes back to the original problem!


  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by freeier:
    on skyhook's scheme, why not simply charge ppl who wants to use certain road at certain time. if someone lives in saikung and needs a car to go to work (to one of the mtr station) why shld he/she be charged for the congestion and polution in downtown hk ?

    anyway, sg is the first country i believe in the world that started the congestion charge scheme, and it was started like maybe 20 years ago. only around 10 years back they started the electronics scheme of charging all cars that goes through the gantry.

    i don't think exempting anyone works. that would jsut cause people to start purchasing those vehicles that are exempted. remember the congestion scheme in france where only odd number cars (car plate) or even number cars are allowed on certain days. people just ended up buying 2 cars to drive on different days.

    while i do not agree with the way such paying scheme works (there shld be more innovative ways), we can't deny that for a full blown problem these schemes do offer a temporary relief, until people grow use to the amount you have to pay and it goes back to the original problem!

    I have to agree with your post, what I was trying to hint though, was that I don't believe Hong Kongs tiny percentage of privately owned/used cars are a significant contributor to the pollution that is experienced.

    Anybody with eyes can see, when they are out on the roads, count the quantity of commercial vehicles, including diesel vans, and then count the cars, and I bet you, that you will count 8 vans for every car pressent, and close to as many trucks.

    Shipping is also major producer of the smog in the harbour, I see many ships in Castle Peak Bay, billowing black sooty smoke from their stacks. I believe HK could cut its visible diesel exhaust emissions by 2 thirds, just by only offering Bio Diesel, dropping petroleum diesel all together, but I doubt the petroleum industry here would ever allow that to happen. Also the govt would lose billions in reduced fuel tax revenue.

    My main point with the E-tag idea ( mainly to stop oddometer wind back cheats ), was to allocate a pre determined yearly mileage, say 10,000kms per year for private drivers, stay under that mileage, and its business as usual, but if you venture over that distance, then you should pay a levy in 5000Km blocks over your original allocation.

    If a car is company owned, then it should be under a different scheme, and stricter scrutiny applied, this will insure that the company car is used for work purposes, especially if a log book is made mandatory, and that the allocated driver be made liable for any use outside of business hours..

    The idea is not to punish those who are not the main pollution culprit, its to reduce unnecisary use of the vehicles we drive.

    The person who drives from Saikung to central once in awhile isnt an issue, as most people who own cars in Sai Kung, don't use them to drive to work, they are used on the weekends, or during the evening to get groceries etc. Epats in the NT who I know who own cars, use them only when they need them, and still use public transport for 70% of their transporation needs. Compare that to your home country, and i am sure that figure would be the complete opposite.

    The other thing we dont want to encourage, is the HKSAR Govt using the "environmental " banner, to introduce a new cash cow for itself, at the expense of all of us, and still nothing done about cleaning its act up.
    Last edited by Skyhook; 18-12-2007 at 11:14 PM.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr.mk.ii:
    I really haven't experienced this anywhere else, so it puzzles me.

    I've noticed that most of the time here, when a local person enters a public restroom or even the shower room at the gym, they start hacking and spitting like they're trying to get yesterday's dinner back up.

    Is it grease in the food they eat that settles at the back of the throat and refuses to leave? Some genetically defined overproduction of phlegm? Does anyone know why it's so common?
    I think we need some of the best scientists in the world to figure it out. I was born here and grew up here. I don't do it and I don't like it but am used to it. Not sure if it has anything to do with me being half scottish?

  5. #15

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    Some figures

    Thought you might appreciate some numbers (from Wikipedia or government sites):

    on average, 13.5% of households have access to at least one car, rising to 23.7% for Wan Chai and mid-thirties for rural areas.

    About 34% of car owners use their cars for getting to and from work. 25% use their cars for recreational driving.

    There are 517,000 licensed cars in HK, 64% of them private.

    By contrast, there are only 18,138 taxis and 4,300 KMB buses.

    I can't find figures on PLBs.




    In my opinion, most of the cars I see in urban areas are expensive and are used by idle rich people who don't like slumming it on the MTR. Ban them in urban areas, or anywhere that has an MTR connection.

    PLBs are a damn nuisance, and spend a lot of time idling while waiting for passengers. I think the major bus companies should be licensed to operate PLBs in low-density areas. Scrap the green and red tops. It would make the system more efficient as a whole if a few companies can operate all the buses.

    I personally think HK has way too many taxis in urban areas. I should imagine they spend most of their time with only the driver in them. It would be nice if a decent amount of space could be set aside in each neighbourhood for taxi ranks, and cruising for fares made an offense (difficult to enforce, but worthwhile). Let's face it, you only need a taxi in an urban area if you're running late.

    But that's just my take, as a pedestrian and MTR-rider.


  6. #16

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    dear sigga.... jsut wait until it rains in the summer time... then there are not NEARLY enough taxis around...

    i must admit, i now have a van and i use it pretty much every day. i had to buy it for work purposes. i also drive it from sai kung to hk island almost every day. i NEED to. most of the time i have to get from stanley to cyberport to mid-levels and then back to sai kung. to do this by public transport is VERY expensive(taxis) or VERY time consuming(think over 2 hours getting home from work). not only that, many days, i have to pick up and drop off dogs. this would only be possible if i took taxis everywhere as they are not allowed on public transport.

    i wish that i could convert my van to LPG, but as far as i know, it is illegal to do that. i don't want to convert it only to save the air, but also to decrease my costs. i pay WAYYYYYY too much for petrol per week.


    now back to original post....

    try saying...."aiya, ho wat dut" (translation... aiya, very disgusting!) or even just "aiya" with a disgusted face...


  7. #17

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    back to the original topic, i think spitting is one interesting culture in china. i guess it has always been there..

    maybe because beijing always has sand storm and the people had to clear their throat from sand. that created a full culture of spitting and spit tubs ?

    some social historian might be able to give better picture.


  8. #18

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    Spitting and hucking up gorby's isnt just a HK/mainland China habit, Greeks, Italians. Lebanese, love to do it also.

    Well, from what I saw in Melbourne, immersed in over 50 different cultures, its nine times out of ten, the older men who do it most...

    Its a habit thats learnt and lost, as generation x and below, don't seem to find it at all cool to do it.

    In time it will gradually phase out here in Hk too, ever since the HKSAR Govt started fining people for spitting in the street due to the SARS scare, spitting has dramatically declined in HK. It was out of control in public area's pre SARS.


  9. #19

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    today we are all old men or rather...

    Today we are all Hackers and Spitters, thanks to the tobbaco coloured skies.
    Let him who has not cleared his throat in the last fifteen minutes, stand and aver that there is no connection between air pollution and the state of our lungs.


  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanenosuke:
    So that's what you think? Hmm. I guess it could be a reason ... too bad the government has decided to yet again postpone (oh big surprise!!!) studying the London/Singapore congestion charge method.
    The government has had a very public consultation on road pricing ideas, which ended up in a big free-for-all last Monday, at which anyone was free to come and add their views to the 88,000-strong public survey on road pricing and to help legislators form a consensus view.
    I went along... I've never experienced such close participation in public policy before, and it was a great event.
    I get fed up with hearing how the "government does nothing" when it really does work at these issues. If you participate, your voice will be heard.
    Last edited by taihunggao; 20-12-2007 at 03:39 AM.