With all those snapshots of mainland tourists on the MTR circulating on social media, this one offers a welcome respite.
A Tai Po resident uploaded on a Facebook group account a photo of a young blonde sitting on the floor of an MTR train, and the picture immediately went viral.
No, netizens did not assail the Caucasian lady for her “inappropriate behavior” as they normally would if it was a mainlander who was caught by the camera. In fact, they took delight in the picture.
Using their Photoshop skills and creativity, they dressed up the accidental model who, they swear, looks like Keira Knightley or Natalie Portman, and came up with a pictorial worthy of an H&M commercial poster.
Why a goddess like her would travel on East Rail in Tai Po is anybody’s guess, but it’s been a long time since something welcome like this happened on the MTR, where passengers are normally focused on playing Candy Crush on their smartphones or trying to avoid being crushed by oversized luggage.
Probably not even an A-rated mainland movie star like Fan Bingbing or Li Bingbing would be able to draw such hot responses from Hong Kong netizens.
So is H&M behind all this?
If so, it would have been another instance of clever marketing not seen since A&F booked half a dozen hunks at W Hotel and asked them to travel around town to capture the city’s lonely hearts and promote the fashion brand.
And it would have been less explicit than Uniqlo, whose Beijing flagship store gained instant fame earlier this month after its fitting room served as a love hotel for a couple in heat.
Uniqlo denied that it was behind the video as it dismissed speculation that it was a ploy to attract shoppers.
If the blonde lady snapshot was part of some MTR marketing strategy, we are sure some ertswhile MTR critics would beg the train operator’s chairman Raymond Ch’ien to stay on after 11 long years in the company and forgive his ignorance about the ballooning costs of the high-speed rail project.
But for an international city like Hong Kong, a charming young lady sitting on the floor of an MTR train only manifests the city’s vibrancy and its people’s tolerant attitude towards different races.
The scene also gives people something pleasant to talk about on a rainy day of a listless summer.
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Double standard in Hong Kong? You be the judge (May 26, 2014)
Fitting-room sex video was no marketing stunt: Uniqlo (July 16, 2015)