Game time: Video shows Hong Kong commuters playing mahjong on MTR

MTR said in a statement that the commuters boarded the train at Mong Kok station and got off at Choi Hung. Photo: YouTube
MTR said in a statement that the commuters boarded the train at Mong Kok station and got off at Choi Hung. Photo: YouTube

Thanks to the productivity culture that defines our lives today, we’re told to seize every minute and make every moment count—well, some Hong Kong commuters are taking that maxim a little too seriously.

A viral clip emerged this week of commuters playing a game of mahjong in an MTR carriage, sorting and drawing tiles on their table as the train pulls out of the station. One of the players is wearing a suit and tie.

MTR told Coconuts that the video was filmed on the Kwun Tong line last Wednesday evening. In an emailed statement, the transport company said that five men got on at Mong Kok station, opened up a mahjong table and played until Choi Hung station, where they got off. (In case you’re counting, that’s a total of seven stops.)

From the video, the carriage does not look to be crowded. A woman—it’s unclear if she is part of the rogue mahjong playing crew—holds up her phone, filming the bizarre scene. It’s also not known whether the scene was staged.

The MTR appealed to the public to be respectful of commuters on the MTR and not to engage in inconsiderate behavior.

According to the MTR’s regulations, the permitted limits for carry-on baggage, musical instrument or other equipment is no larger than 170 cm including length, width and height. The average mahjong table, at just under 90 cm for each square side, would exceed the limits.

Weirdly, it’s not the first time that commuters decided that an MTR carriage would be the perfect setting to play mahjong. In 2016, photos circulated of a group riding the Tseung Kwan O line doing exactly that, complete with plastic stools to sit on while strategizing their gameplay. When MTR staff received complaints, they boarded the train at Tseung Kwan O station, but by then the group had already packed their mahjong table away.

The 2016 stunt was actually filmed for a YouTube video of people playing mahjong in unbecoming places, including in the middle of a road crossing and at the beach.

Read more: Flexi Travel: Photo of ‘kung fu master’ stretching on the MTR shared widely

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