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31st October

Typhoon Hato, T10 & Pakhar, T8 & Mawar

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1st September 2017

Typhoon Hato from last week was not that peaceful like pigeon as expected. In my point of view, the typhoon became stronger in a very short time. In the morning of 23rd August at 5:20 am, the typhoon signal of T8 has been issued, at 8:10am it became T9 and then one hour later T10! Hato’s speed reached up a speed of 175 km/h!! T10?! That’s the hurricane signal! There is not often such a strong hurricane in Hong Kong. The last time T10 was issued was back in 2012. At that time the typhoon, called Vicente, reached up to a speed of 140 km/h “only”.

Due to safety issues, we have been advised to stay at home and not go to office or school. My friend called me up and asked whether I was fine. Yes, I was fine. But I was scared! Hato brought a lot of rain, and I was worried whether my windows can resist the power of the rain. PLUS I was worried that the flying elements in the air can hit my windows as well.  I saw the trees in front of my window bending in the wind.

The next day, I truly did know the consequences of Hato: Flooding, landscaped trees, flight cancellations, broken windows…

Not only that, Hato moved further to Macau. It hits Macau even worse…

3 days after Hato left Hong Kong, typhoon Pakhar (T8) was raging in Hong Kong.  That day I had hard time to open the door to kitchen due to the high wind pressure!

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong is expecting another typhoon (T8), called Mawar, today. So many typhoons in such a short time!

Everyone, please stay safe and remove or fix all removable things from balcony/roof tops in sake of safety!

Typhoon Hato, T3

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24th August 2017

By the time I was getting off work in the evening of 22nd August 2017, the strong wind signal had been increased to no. 3. At that time,  Hato became significantly stronger and reached the speed of 120 km/h measured by the Hong Kong Observatory. 120 km/h! In Germany I am driving the car in this speed on the highway!

On my way home, I spotted several windows of office buildings and shopping malls had been already taped with masking tape to prepare for the stronger typhoon. This is to release partially the pressure of the wind and/or in case the window glass is broken, to keep the shattered glass together.

Since I have not had my dinner yet, I went to a shopping mall to buy some Japanese fermented beans  Natto (納豆).  The shopping mall was full of people, running between the racks and  buying lots of instant noodles or food. Some racks had been already emptied when I arrived at the shopping mall?! Is our situation really that bad?!  I have totally forgotten! Usually during typhoon, the “apocalypse buyers” get suddenly awaken to store food at home. If the typhoon signal is higher than 8, the shops and restaurants would be closed. Hence, there was a huge queue at the cashier. Seldom there is such a long queue!

After my shopping, I rushed home, as I saw a lot (!!!) of cockroaches on the street. That is usually a sign, that a big rain is coming very soon! Amber rain signal had been issued, but luckily had not effected my  going-home-area yet.

I was not sure how strong Hato would become, therefore I moved my plants, detergent bottles from the balcony to the living room, laid the hanging clothes rack flat to the floor, closed all the windows and locked the balcony door. Just in case.

Typhoon Hato, T1

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22nd August 2017

Typhoon Hato (90km/h) is currently approaching Hong Kong. Since this morning typhoon signal No. 1 is in force.  And probably tonight it will be increased to typhoon signal No. 3.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory’s forecast, Hato will be closest tomorrow morning.

Typhoon-happenings during weekdays is something very exciting as colleagues would speculate whether the typhoon signal will be increased to No. 8. Why? Because during no. 8, due to safety, we will be released from work and should stay in safe area e.g. like our home.

Beside having an extra time off, I am a bit worried about the what typhoon Hato may cause. Let’s pray for the best!

Until then, everyone keep focusing on work! Add oil la!

Oh, one more thing! Hato means in the Japanese language “Pigeon”. I am not very sure why this tropical storm is called Hato, but tt seems the name is not related to Japan, as Hato first appeared in Taiwan only. However, I feel very excited about the name Hato! In Germany, pigeons are symbols for peace. I hope, Hato will be peaceful!


Please feel free to check out my other typhoon related entry e.g. How Koppu influences our (working-)life

Cantonese Slang (2) : 雞同鴨講

Learning Cantonese & Slang, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

21st August 2017

Chicken speaks to a duck. — Is that possible?!  Yes!

My Cantonese teacher William and I are facing a communication issue. It happens quite often, that when he talks, I simply do not get it. And when I share a 爛gag (flat joke), he does not get it either.  We are talking at cross-purposes. It seems we are simply not on the same wave-length.

Because of all these incidents, he taught us following Cantonese slang.

“雞同鴨講 (gai1 tung4 aap3 gong2)”

Ok, let me breakdown this word first. It consists of four words

“雞 (gai1) = chicken,  同 (tung4) = same/with,
鴨 (aap3) = duck, 講 (gong2) = to speak”

So, it literally means “Chicken speaks to a duck” = The chicken and the duck are “talking” in their own language, but just do not get each other, because in this case they are talking two different languages.

Again can the chicken speak to a duck? — Yes! The chicken can speak to a duck, BUT they cannot communicate and understand each other!

There are few things I feel amazed of

  • The incident, that my teacher and me are talking at cross-purposes. This Cantonese slang is out of our learning topic. If we had not all these accumulating incidents, we would not learn it. This incident gave us the opportunity to learn another Cantonese slang!
  • Expression based on animals. Cantonese language contains  a lot of animal expressions!  It makes learning Cantonese (for me) much more fun!
  • The source of this slang. “雞同鴨講” is also a title of a Hong Kong movie directed by the comedian Michael Hui and is exactly about talking at cross-purposes. Sounds fun! Let me share with you  more after I watch this movie!

Want to learn more about Cantonese Slang? Please feel free to check out my entry “Cantonese Slang (1): 掃街” and/or future entries!

Graduated from Basic Cantonese Class

Learning Cantonese & Slang, 香港 HongKong 6 Comments »

18th August 2017

How time flies! I cannot imagine that I have been now learning Cantonese for 4 months! Amazing!

Recently I have graduated from the basic class (50 hours).
\\( ⌒▽⌒ )// Yippie yippie yeh!

It was an awesome class! I did not only learn the Cantonese language, but also more about HKG itself, its festivals, got to know new friends. And I re-discovered my love for learning languages.

Because of our heung hong jeui leng jai ge lou c (most handsome teacher in HKG), called William,  and his teaching style,  I was  able to pick up the Cantonese language easy and quick. He was indeed demanding and encouraging at the same time.  Moreover, after class, I was able to apply the new Cantonese knowledge into my present life with my landlord, the vegetable hawker, my colleagues and friends. It makes life so much easier! AND there is no greater joy than speaking newly learned Cantonese sentences in daily life!

Therefore, I am going to keep learning in the intermediate class. In future, there will be further posts about Cantonese to share my experience and thoughts with you. (∩_∩) As you may have recognized already, I have added a new category:  “Learning Cantonese“.  楽しみに しててね! Join my journey of learning, practising, speaking Cantonese!


Happy Harvesting & Cantonese

Body language/word battles, Learning Cantonese & Slang, Village Life, 香港 HongKong 3 Comments »

7th June 2017

Yesterday morning I was super super happy! And I cannot stop beeing happy, when I am looking back.

So, what happened?

I was looking for my landlady in order to pay my rent. My landlady is typical Hakka lady in her 80ies and she is my neighbor, too! Knowing she is an early bird, I went to her home at around 7am in the morning. The door of her house was open, but all the lights are off. So, I knew she must be at home, but not IN the house. Finally, I found her in the backyard, where she was harvesting something with a long pole.

Me: Po po! Po po! Jou san! Jou san!
Me: Old woman! Old woman! Good morning! Good morning!

She: Jou san, Nobu!
She: Good morning, Nobu!

She (pointed on the tree, stopped harvesting): Lei sik m sik a? Lei jung m jung yi?
She (pointed on the tree, stopped harvesting): Do you eat it? Do you like it?

My thought: Awesome, myself! I CAN understand two sentences in a row! Wow!

Me: Ghoh di hai m hai man go?
Me: Are those Mangoes?

She: … hai ya!
She: … yes!

Me: M sik! M jung yi!
Me: I eat! I like!

The landlady turned the back to me. She took the long pole and kicked the mangoes. One mango fell down from the tree to the ground. “Boong”, when it fell down to the the ground. “Boong” a second one fell down. A third one. I got very excited! I witnessed a mango harvesting! Wow!

She bent down to pick two mangoes, washed them and was going to give me a bag.

Me: Doi, m sai!
Me: Bag, I do not need!

She handed over the freshly harvested mangoes to me.

Me: Dor je!!! Ngo hou hou hoi sum! Hou heung!
Me: Thank you! I am so so happy! So good smelling.

That was the moment, when I realized, it was not a mango. It was a green papaya… So fragnant and so sweet!! How much have they grown in the garden?

The landlady – I call her Popo – then used her hand to inform me how to eat and how to cook it.

She took her flat hand and slide over the surface of the papaya.
(my interpretation: I need to peel it)
Then she pretended to bite into the Papaya and then cross her two index fingers.
(my interpretation: Do not eat the papaya as it is).

Then she pointed on her arm, accompanied with the word “Jyu”, which means pork. Then she put her hands continuously up and down.
(my interpretation: cook the papaya with pork in a pot with fire – probably in a soup?).

Followed by her smile. And my smile, accompanied with my nodding head.

This made my day! I love my village life! I love her kindness! I love our smiles! I love the way of our communication! And I love the papaya!






The long white pole was the tool for harvesting the papaya. Popo’s eye must be good, that she can see them clearly!








Good morning today!

Sunrise/-set, Village Life, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

6th June 2017

I did not sleep well last night. It was too hot, too humid and I had some nightmares. My mood was not good at all … until I opened the curtain and the window: I spotted how the sky was colorfully changing.

Instantly, I grabbed my breakfast from the kitchen, rushed to my roof top, find a comfortable position! And watched the lovely start of a sunrise at 5:26 am,  accompanied with happily singing birds and a mild refreshing breeze of wind. The “show” can start!

I ♥ the pastel colors, I ♥ how the sun-rays break through the clouds, I ♥ how the clouds are dancing with the sunrays!

Wait… Do you also see that? The the longer I watched it, the more I witnessed (in my mind):  The moment when the dog says “Good morning!” to the dragon.
What a wonderful moment! Good morning dog! Good morning dragon! Good morning myself!

What do YOU see?

Good morning everyone!

Cantonese smalltalk @street market

Entries, Learning Cantonese & Slang, Village Life, 香港 HongKong 2 Comments »

5th June 2017

From time to time I see an old lady selling vegetables on a footbridge. Her skin is well tanned from the sun, her fingertips’ skin is hard, her fingers are crooked and her back is round. She refused to be on a photo, so, I will describe her in words as much as possible. We hardly talk as she is talking  Hakka-Cantonese (which is much different than the “standard” Cantonese). Nevertheless, she smiles, when she sees me (maybe because I am her customer ?) and speaks extra slowly Cantonese to me.

I am not sure, but I guess she has grown these vegetables in her own garden/field/farm and she has harvested it.  So far, I bought three times at her little hand made booth, presenting vegetables on a huge plastic mat. The vegetables are per-weighted and she is selling it by “bunches”.

“E ghoh, gei chin?” [How much is this?] I pointed on the garlic leaves. She looked up – she is much smaller than me.  She smiled at me, took my hand and with the other fingers’ of the other hand, she showed me how much it is.  Additionally, she answered with a rough voice “Ng mon!” [5 dollar]. “Ngo yiu liang ghoh!” [I need two of these!] I answered. I love garlic leaves!

In fact, I love her vegetables. They are crunchy, juicy, full of flavor … and there are turning bad naturally after few days. It sounds weird, hm? For me this is a sign, that these vegetables are natural. Some of the veggies in HKG are just not that natural (from my own experience).

Beside her vegetables, I love that lady. She is adorable! I wish one day I could talk more with her!! e.g. when she will be back (^▽^喜), so I will not miss her and her yummy vegetables! Joi kin! [See you next time!]

My “harvest” at her booth. –>

Yeah!~♪ (★^▽^)V

I am looking forward to my dinner!


Sunbathing blankets

Entries, Village Life, 香港 HongKong 3 Comments »

29th May 2017

I love walking along the light rail in the New Territories. Firstly, I will not get lost. Secondly, I will walk along streets I usually would not walk. Thirdly I can discover the HKG’s local life! Along the light there are a lot of villages! The atmosphere is different than in the city. I can see the sky, the people hardly speak English, no sky scrapers and less people, which makes going for walk much comfortable.

This time I discovered: Sunbathing blankets!

Huge blankets in different colors and size  are hanging on the public rails or (probably self-installed) string between trees. Some of them are wet. Some of them are drying in the warm sunrays, some of them just do “sunbathing”.

I have been told by a friend that those people (hanging blankets in the public) do not have the space to hang the blankets in their own living area. Probably too small home, no balcony or no rooftop. So, they found their own way to dry or sunbath blankets. I was wondering whether they would not be afraid that someone would stole their blankets as I also could not spot someone who was guarding the blankets. Obviously, it is all based on TRUST! WOW!!!

I wish I could have a nap now one those by sunrays warmed blankets!

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