Take the slow tram, treasure the slowness, put your phone away

The Hong Kong Island tramways are notoriously slow and without air-conditioning. It is especially torturing in the hotter than usual June, reaching a daily high of 35 degrees. Today by chance, I took a ride on one of them. It must have been years since I last commuted on this historical form of transport. Least expectedly, the slow tram provided my mind with a much-needed sanctuary. My destination was fairly close by, so I figured that a tram ride wasn’t going to be that bad (it was also much cheaper). The upper deck was always preferred, as it is always more interesting to see the city from a unique vantage point.

Looking outside from my window seat, I could see other vehicles would often overtake my tram. My physical self was trapped in the slowness of the tram with nowhere else to go. As we slowly crawl along the street, through the jungle of skyscrapers (many of them iconic), all of a sudden, my busy mind wonders off to a different place. I silently asked myself a series of questions: What do I want to become? What are my goals? How to achieve my goals? And most importantly: Am I happy? Then I realize one thing: rushing usually gets you nowhere. Great things do take their time; just like an old bottle of Penfolds Grange, or a piece of Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture. The city life can be stressful, we try to get as many things done as quickly as possible in the little time we have. Mean while, mobile technology often distract us from our rest time (mobile games, instant messages, social media…).

Life gets complicated very, very quickly. This tram ride provided valuable time I usually don’t get to reflect on the many things on my mind. My friend, put your phone on silent and away for the ten minutes during your next tram ride. It will absolutely not be the end of the world (nor you), I promise.

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