Sunday, July 04, 2010

Language II & HK Rambling

It has so TOTALLY happened again! Little kids speaking the the language that I would KILL to speak fluently: Choyknees (Cantonese AND Mandarin)! These kids (like their French counterparts) look up to their caring adult and respond fluently in the language that eludes me. They are SO CUTE! They are SO ANNOYING!

Mind you, I do have total command of a few phrases. Here are at least 50% of them:

"Good morning"
"Thank you"
"How are you(se)?"
"My very good friends"

See how I'm really getting on top of the language? No wonder I am continually thought of as a 'real McCoy' around here (I hear shop assistants remarking to each other as I leave a shop: "But surely he is a native-born Chinese!" "No, I heard him say he was an Australian ..."). But I have to acknowledge that these little kids - some as little as 4-y-o - have perfect command. It's a worry.

There is a policy on this blog that 'everyone's a winner'. And I intend to keep it that way. No slagging off at individuals, or making fun of cultural practices. There are only two groups of people I cannot abide, and one of them is those who are intolerant of other people's cultures.

However, here are a few observations that I need to make about sightings in and around Hong Kong. The first is that last night we had dinner at an establishment called "Cooking Restaurant"(!) Another was called "Giant Foot Restaurant" and, though taste-tempting in its nomenclature, we sadly resisted. One other small observation is the number of people on hand in shops to serve you. I bought a pair of sandles the other day and no fewer than four persons waited on me, offering suggestions as to style, colour and price. FOUR! Ally bought a handbag at a shop out at Shen Zhen and again another FOUR peeps to cater to her every whim (and she had a few, let me tell you).

The change in time-zone has been a trouble. At some time between 1:00 am and 3:00 am one wakes. Totally. Absolute consciousness! All around is dark, and it is not clear whether the other two personages who share the room are sharing a similar state. Yet there you are. Awake. Nothing to do but stare at the ceiling. Read your iPhone. Wait in vain for UNconsciousness. For hours. Then it comes. Right on 8:00 am, when one should be hopping up, one nods off to sleep and DOESN'T WAKE TILL 11:30 am! ... By which time the included (ie 'free') breakfast time is finished! THIS HAPPENED YESTERDAY MORNING! Imagine how we felt! It's just as well we are getting this awkwardness over before we get back home. Imagine if that happens on Dear Jude's first day back at work (next Wednesday). We'd better be back on our best routines by then! Fingers crossed ...

One more HUGE ramble tomorrow: Dears Jude and Ally are off to Hong Kong Disneyland. I'm off to the other side of Hong Kong Island for some 'nature' rambling. Should be a hoot!

Get those hugging arms ready, We're a-coming!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Jude and Grumbles
    Guess what I am watching? You guessed it Le Tour de France! I am looking for Buis les Baronnies but matbe I am too early and the road Jude and Jenna rode in Tour de France style! I feel also nostalgic that your ramblings have come to an end! You never did change your name to les Randonnes Roses. I am very hurt!!
    Hope you have closed the windows in Haute Waldara as it gets bloody cold at night by the looks of the weather map!
    Isn't it great to be back at work Jude???
    Speak soon