Hong Kong Conversations

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Do not speak Mandarin



Although this is not, so to speak, a libertarian post, I think it would be an interesting exercise to collect some of the random conversations I had in Hong Kong in the past weeks. For anyone familiar with the contents of this blog, they speak for themselves. Now, it is said by many people that you can move around Hong Kong without any knowledge of English. That may be true if you live all the other ex-pats in the city who have figured everything out already, get your food in a 7-Eleven or McDonald’s, and spend your nights cheating Filipina girls in LKF. But if you want to try some real local food, get the Minibus, go hiking to Sheung Shui’s Wa Shan, and pick up local girls who had not been sleeping around with 10 guys in the last 10 hours, Cantonese is rather useful. But hey, it’s your life. Enjoy!

Conversation A:

– Hongkonger: Oh, so you want to learn Cantonese?

– Me: Yes, I would like to…

– Hongkonger: But why? You should learn Mandarin instead!

– Me: My Mandarin is probably better than yours.

– Hongkonger: Then just use English.

Conversation B

– Hongkonger: Oh, so you want to learn Cantonese?

– Me: Yes…..

– Hongkonger: I can teach some swear words.

– Me: Yes, I am sure they would be so handy when I buy something in the 7-Eleven or have to take the Minibus.

Conversation C

– Hongkonger (this is actually a university teacher): I have checked your blog, and you know, you should not be that political.

– Me: Excuse me? (Thinking: “Oh, no… another leftard with a Ph.D.”).

– Hongkonger: Yes, you should not write about certain topics.

– Me:So… you are telling what I should write or not in my own website?

– Hongkonger: You can write about other things.

– Me: You mean like furry cats and cute kittens, rather than, I don´t know, journalists kidnapped by the Chinese government in foreign soil, Taiwanese illegally deported to China, massive destruction of cultural relics by the Chinese Communist Party, or executions of dissidents?

Conversation D

– Me: Do you know where I can print a Word document?

– Hongkonger: Hmm.. maybe in the hotel?

– Me: I’m living here, not staying in a hotel.

– Hongkonger: I don´t know, no idea… maybe you can ask your neightbor.

[I got this answer three times, I don´t know why asking a neighbor would make a difference. Just imagine the situarion, ringing your neighbor’s bell to ask him/her where to print a Word document… if it’s me, I would call the police.]

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