Friday, October 4, 2013

"No Spitting" and "No Peeing" in Hong Kong and Macau

Today Beijing Cream shared a photo of a mother from mainland China helping her boy urinate into a trashcan. The mother's and boy's actions would not be highly unusual except for the fact they occurred in a Hong Kong subway station. In short, in my experience kids publicly urinating is not common in Hong Kong or nearby Macau. I have seen numerous examples elsewhere in China though. If you look closely at a set of photos I took at Nanmen Square in Yinchuan, Ningxia, you can see a case of public urination I felt comfortable including with other "everyday scenes".

At least for now, I'll refrain from further discussion about public urination in China, but I would like to address a possibility Beijing Cream raised regarding the photo they shared:
This was taken inside a subway station in Hong Kong right in front of a sign that appears to say “No Peeing.” (I can’t tell for certain, but wouldn’t it be great if really was a “No Peeing” sign?)
Some signs in the Hong Kong subway have caught my attention before, and I'm pretty sure a "no peeing" sign would have made that list. I appreciate that the lack of detail for the sign in question can make it look like a warning against public urination, but I strongly suspect the photo captures one of the Hong Kong MTR's "no spitting" signs:

"No spitting" sign in Hong Kong with text "Spitting spreads germs"
From Cory Doctorow, some rights reserved

However, Beijing Cream may instead be heartened by a sign I recently saw in Macau. I must say it is my favorite "no peeing" sign to date:

sign showing a dog pointing at a man urinating in front of its doghouse and a policeman writing a ticket
It seems somewhat just though.

The sign appeared to be effective during my brief time in front of it. I didn't spot any public urinators nearby. Maybe the Hong Kong MTR should take note.

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