Q: How do you say “excuse me” in Cantonese?

Posted in Uncategorized on Thursday 16 September 2010 by derlei

(When you’re trying to move past someone)

A: Depends if you’re a man or a woman.

If you’re a man, you push your large protruding gut, sheathed in a sweat-stained t-shirt, into the target person. Apply a double force of springy physical pressure from your belly and sharp olfactory pressure from your body stench to shove the target aside. If all this fails, make skin-to-skin contact (e.g. wipe your arm against target’s, push your damp hair into target’s face) to transfer your sour-salty fluid to the other person – he/she should recoil in disgust and allow you to pass.

If you’re a woman, you may use your fake Gucci bag as a ram, taking care to wipe any residue from the bottom of the bag onto the clothing of your target. Your heels also come in handy for piercing the foot, and you may also broadcast your movement into the target’s personal space via shrill noises into your mobile phone. You may also employ the pushing practice suggested for men (see above), but women commonly use their misshapen hips and behinds.

Never directly ask the target to pass or tap them on the shoulder, these are not accepted practice in Hong Kong.

Why do people here stink?

Posted in Uncategorized on Monday 13 September 2010 by derlei

I wonder if whoever named this place “Fragrant Harbour” had a clairvoyant nose and was able to somehow forecast the range of human stench that fills the city: the rank body odors that range from acrid sourness of sweat to moldy greasiness of unwashed skin; the sharp ammonia of urine in random corners; the choking rot of sewage rising up from the gutters; the rancid funk of garbage from overflowing dumpsters wafting through the streets.

Sometimes it’s just unbelievable how dirty people allow themselves to be in public – there are public restrooms everywhere, you can at least wash off your reeking bodily fluids before you get on the subway, where there are at least a dozen or more people within a meter radius and quickly suffocating to death.

P.S. Did you know the literal translation of “athlete’s foot” in Chinese (香港腳) is “Hong Kong foot”? I wonder why … actually, no I don’t.

Amusing article from The Onion

Posted in Uncategorized on Friday 3 September 2010 by derlei

It’s about New York and how terrible it is as a place to live, but NY is an absolute paradise compared to Hong Kong, especially in terms of culture – film, music, fashion, food, fine arts, history, you name it, in every category it destroys Hong Kong. In my personal experience, New Yorkers are much nicer and willing to lend a hand than the good-for-nothing self-preserving people of Hong Kong. And pollution? HK’s “air is three times more polluted than New York’s and more than twice as bad as London’s”.

I leave you with some choice quotes that easily describe my sentiments about this place:

  • “Well, fuck that. I don’t need to pay $2,000 a month to share a doghouse-sized apartment with some random Craigslist dipshit to prove my worth. I want to live like a goddamn human being.”
  • Other incidents that prompted citizens to pick up and leave included the sight of garbage bags stacked 5 feet high on the sidewalk; the realization that being alone among millions of anonymous people is actually quite horrifying; a blaring siren that droned on and fucking on; muddy, refuse-filled puddles that have inexplicably not dried in three years; the thought of growing into a person whose meanness and cynicism is cloaked in a kind of holier-than-thou brand of sarcasm that the rest of the world finds nauseating; and all the goddamn people.
  • “This is no place to raise a kid, that’s for sure. I grew up here and I turned into a giant asshole. Why would I want that for my son?””
  • “It smells like shit here, and I’m not exaggerating. You’ll just be walking around and it starts smelling like human shit, and it just fills your nostrils and you breathe in shit for like 20 seconds.”

Lady gets stabbed in MTR

Posted in Uncategorized on Saturday 17 July 2010 by derlei

This happened a few days ago, apparently some woman thought this other woman was insulting her, so she whipped out her kitchen knife and commenced stabbing. Hong Kong media outlets love to recreate events using comics/animations – the true mark of world-class journalism – and Apple Daily presents us with the following masterpiece:

My reactions:

  • By the 1:10 mark in the video, they’ve gone through one round of stabbing and not one single passenger has reacted, everyone’s still seated nicely and avoiding eye contact. Maybe laziness on the animator’s part, but this is actually pretty representative of Hong Kong’s spineless population.
  • (On Monday, I was punched by a dirty old man outside of Causeway Bay MTR station, and not one single person responded to my yells of “Police!” It basically confirmed for me how self-serving and good-for-nothing the Hong Kong population is, and I ended up chasing the man down and calling the cops myself. … I wish the guy punched me more than once, because I would have used it as an excuse to throw down.)
  • What is with the music??? Then again, considering how terrible Cantopop is, what do you expect.
  • I’m not at all surprised about this incident. People here are on a short fuse, it must be the pollution and the food and the crowds and the prices and the smells and the incessant noise and …
  • Or it’s probably because Cantonese inherently sounds like angry subhuman yelling, anyone hearing it is likely to get offended.

You can read more about it here (Chinese).

Hong Kong tourism slogans

Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday 13 July 2010 by derlei

I was trying to think of some that describe the actual reality of this place.

  • Hong Kong – Asia’s most overrated city
  • Hong Kong – Spitting distance from Chinese
  • Hong Kong – First World City, Third World Citizens
  • Hong Kong – One Country, Two Names
  • Hong Kong – Money doesn’t buy class
  • Hong Kong – Aroma of the Masses
  • Hong Kong – Hygiene-free
  • Hong Kong – Self-preservation, inconsideration, and the pursuit of money
  • Hong Kong – Reach out and touch at least five people
  • Hong Kong – Don’t wear your nice clothes outdoors
  • Hong Kong – Taxi driver, take me to Lan Kwai Fong
  • Hong Kong – Completely devoid of art, culture, music
  • Hong Kong – 90% off your next visit, please come back
  • Hong Kong – Where nobody knows your name, nor wants to
  • Hong Kong – Culinary delicacy or random animal entrails?
  • Hong Kong – Domestic help wanted
  • Hong Kong – Pick your nose, clean your ears, clip your nails – anywhere!
  • Hong Kong – Disease free since 2003 2009

Submissions are welcome.

P.S. True story: Hong Kong’s actual tourism slogan used to be “Hong Kong will take your breath away!” Then SARS came along, killed 30 people and infected over 1,000, and the Hong Kong Tourism Board quickly changed it to “There’s no place like Hong Kong.”

Always brightens my morning

Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday 22 June 2010 by derlei

15 minutes ago asshole downstairs made eye contact with me and then pressed the ‘door close’ button for the lift.

On manners

Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday 22 June 2010 by derlei

Is there a single aspect of Hong Kong culture where people observe etiquette at a first-world level?

I’m mainly comparing with Taiwan-Korea-Japan, for example:

  • Speaking softly instead of yelling in every situation – but perhaps that’s inherent to Cantonese, one of the ugliest and most guttural Asian languages (I classify them into “clean” and “dirty”, and Cantonese is firmly in the latter)
  • Asking to pass (“excuse me”, “借過”) instead of squeezing your unwashed body through a crowd like a dead fish being dragged through a pipe – involves a lot of uncomfortable friction, and sharp traces of odor are left everywhere
  • Conducting personal hygiene business at home rather than in full public view – clipping your nails while waiting for the train, popping your pimples on the bus, picking your nose while crossing the street

Maybe these are prerequisites for being a Hong Kong citizen. I’ll soon be putting out a guide regarding this, suggestions are welcome.

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