Regus, which provides serviced and virtual offices, recently did a survey and found that an average commute for Hongkongers are 29.2 minutes. The global average is 29.
Only 13 percent -- those of us in the Outlying Islands I can imagine -- have to travel over 45 minutes each way. (Mine, by the way, takes one and a half hours each way).
The main stress of commuting are delays, service interruptions, pollution, overheating, loud mobile phone conversations, rude behavior from other passengers, dangerous drivers, and bad smells from other commuters.
They should add "small ferries" to that list.
Okay, you may say I am spoilt and that I should be grateful there even is a ferry to get me to Central in 25 minutes rather than the Mui Wo-Tung Chung-Central route which will take me an hour at least.
But I really really hate the small fast ferries.
What's wrong with them? They're cramped and claustrophobic, too small to take the regular commuters going to work. We all have to squeeze into every available seat (thus risking the other stresses like bad smells and loud mobile phone conversations).
Plus they're less stable than the big ones so, old hand though I am, I still end up seasick by the time we get into Central.
I suspect our regular big ferry has been given to the profitable Cheung Chau route as First Ferry is a ferry short after one collided with a pilot boat a week or so ago.
So the situation is only temporary, I hope.
In the meantime, it's back to accupressure bands and bottles of sour plum every morning for me. Bah!
When we first moved to Mui Wo, Buffalo Wilbur warned me to watch myself on the ferry during the daily commute. "You might find yourself sitting in unofficial reserved seats."
And I did. I got a few dirty looks from regulars who saw certain seats as "theirs". But I quickly learned the pecking order and now I have my favourite seats too.
It's quite simple, really.
The suits go for the centre rows, which are the most stable. Time is money so the moment they get in, they open their newspapers, iPads or laptops to squeeze in half an hour of useful work. This is the place for networking too.
The mothers and eaters take the aisle seats, which give easy access to the dustbins and the loos.
The sleepers make a beeline for the window seats. They plonk themselves in, close their eyes and grab a quick nap. Being by the window means no one will be disturbing their beauty sleep.
Occasionally, like today, though, we get the smaller ferry. Then all natural order is overturned as everyone rushes for whatever seat they can find.
I find it unsettling when that happens... which goes to show how much I have gotten into the routine already.
I have often maintained Mui Wo needs a shop for impulse buys -- like the ones you see lining Yung Shue Wan Main Street in Lamma. The kind where most things are below HK$100 so day trippers (and residents) can go in and feed their shopaholic tendencies with an accessory or two.
So I was absolutely ecstatic when Buffalo Wilbur told me of Renge House (Shop H, Sea View Building. Tel: 2406-8122) opposite Park N Shop.
The location isn't ideal. Impulse buyers normally stick to the McDonald's row or the cluster of stalls next to the public toilet. But hopefully, the range of cutesy stuff might tempt some to walk beyond the main street.
Run by a lovely couple (Aoso is from Japan, her husband is from Hong Kong and they have an adorable rosy-cheeked baby boy), the shop is full of stuff I want to buy: quirky T-shirts at two for HK$80, crinkly scarves for HK$38, Korean accessories at two for HK$100... I even managed to placate Buffalo Wilbur with a solar torch that fit on his keychain.
My worry now is earning fast enough to afford everything in the shop.
Mui Wo is made for sunny weather -- so much so that, when it rains, almost everything comes to a halt. Usually, the weekend ferries are packed with day-trippers eager to for a swim or barbecue on the beach but today, only a handful of hardy ones came off the ferry.
Shopkeepers say January and February are the quietest months of the year and I can see why. The sea is a flat grey and the mountains look quite gloomy. We have to switch on the lights as early as 4pm.
The weathermen call it a "replenishment" of the northeast monsoon and the cold-weather warning is up. Last week, they were saying the monsoon would ease and the cold-weather warning lifted. Now, it's 10C (colder in the New Territories yadda yadda), with mist and rain.
Buffalo Wilbur is humphing because he's been denied his usual Saturday hike. And I am humphing because I am stuck in our tiny flat with Grumplestiltskins.
On the plus side, we have two heaters going and our electric blanket. Buffalo Wilbur, the cat and I are all cuddled on the daybed watching movies, eating leftover Chinese New Year goodies and drinking lots of tea. It's all quite cosy.
There's cartoonist Larry Feign ( of The World of Lily Wong fame) who lives in a house I drool over in Wang Tong. There's Mok Kau Moon, also known as the Doufufah Uncle, who has been featured in CNN Go and also has his own video for sale.
And now, a little bird tells me Tom from Caffe Paradiso has been interviewed for a BBC documentary called Working Lives, to be screened on the weekend of February 26.
I am going to find out more. Will keep you posted.
Update: The screening times have been confirmed. It's Saturday 3.30pm and Sunday 4.30am and 9.30pm on BBC World. They are also screening it on BBC News in the UK. The schedule is here.
We were going out for our usual hike today when we heard the sounds of drums getting louder and louder. Turns out a lion dance troupe was going around Mui Wo bestowing Chinese New Year blessings on all the businesses (for a big fat lai see of course).
Told you there's always something happening in town.