Call and Response Cheer

The sun was blindingly bright outside, but on this Monday afternoon, in the depths of the busy MTR (Hong Kong subway) station, it seemed to make no difference at all. The throngs of people trudged with their heads down, bags heavy and eyes glued to their smartphones. I was making my way back from one of those classes where you throw out a question–or two or three or five–only to be faced with vacant stares.

Suddenly, “Ta-ho-ho-ho”. I looked up. Unlike New York, nobody in Hong Kong sings on the subway. In karaoke rooms, yes. In public, not so much.

A dad and a little girl on the escalator ahead of me prepared to jump as they reached the landing. I heard it again, “Ta-ho-ho-ho”. Then came the little-voice response, echoing the simple tune, “Ta-ho-ho-ho”.

The crowd and I moved past, heading towards the exits, on our way.

Now “Ta-hee-hee-hee”, the same four notes, followed by an innocent “Ta-hee-hee-hee”.

As I kept going, the call-and-response continued behind me. Variations on a theme. I couldn’t help but smile. And as I stepped out of the station, I kept smiling. Refreshed. Ready for the rest of the sunshiney-day.

Read more stories from the weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge


5 thoughts on “Call and Response Cheer

  1. This is great – put a smile on my face, too. I love how this small moment had such an impact on your mood and your spirit.
    I love the pacing of this piece, too. I was right there, walking along with you.

  2. Something so simple can make such a difference. I’ve been on the MRT, I could see the throngs of people moving on their own with no connection to anyone else.

  3. It’s it wonderful how something so simple can make our day. I’m happy that you were able to hear this little melody among all the noise and busyness of your commute. Thanks for sharing.

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