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.
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