Cantonese smalltalk @street market

Entries, Learning Cantonese, 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

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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!

Happy Cantonese!

Body language/ word battles, Entries, Learning Cantonese, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

15th May 2017

Today I am very happy, because I had my first “kind of proper” CANTONESE conversation with my landlady when I was going to pay the rent at her home.

My landlady is a typical Hakka lady in her 80ies. I used to communicate with her with the help of her daughter, the property agent and/or my friends. Although I know she does not understand Mandarin, I kept speaking with her in Mandarin, in the big desperate hope, she would understand one or two words.

Her house’s door is always open, when she is at home. She does not have a bell, the only way to ask her come out, is shouting.

Me: Po po! Po po! Jou san! Jou san! chin lai a!
Me: Old woman! Old woman! Good morning! Good morning! Money arrived!

She ( somewhere from the house): bin ghoh x x x  ngo a?
She: Who x x x  me?

Me: ngo hai a! Ngo hai Nobu!
Me: It is me! It is Nobu!

She: dang dang! Ngo lai x x x
She: Wait for a while! I come x x x

[…]

She: lei x x x  hoi sum
She: You x x x  happy!

Me (to be humble): m hai! Po po, lei sik jor fan mei a?
Me (to be humble): Nooooo, I am not! Old woman, have you eaten?

She: sik jor la! Lei le?
She: I have eaten already! What about you?

Me: dai sik jor la!
Me: I have already eaten, too.

Frankly, speaking I have not understand each word, but I think I got the key words. I also did not know the word for “rent” or “pay”, I just used words I have learned in my Cantonese class during the last 4 weeks so far.

The conversation was simple and yet so fruitful and so happy!

Everyone, have a happy Monday!

Wushu competition in Wan Chai 2017

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12th May 2017

我参加了我第三个武术比赛 (省港澳武術邀請賽 2017): 比赛对我来说,不是赢或者输的问题。比赛只是一个目的,通过比赛面对自己的弱点,不再抗拒。是一个会让我进步的办法。最大的对手是我自己的不自觉。
2年练习的结果是在比赛裁判看着的两分钟。活在当下。只有一次机会。
这次我最自豪的是打破自己的记录。得到了8.95分?!
我一定继续加油吧!

★〓★〓★

★〓★〓★

Last month I have participated at the Hong Kong Macao Wushu Competition in Wan Chai together with my Kung Fu sister Mariko, who is also a student of the Natural Energy Academy under Joe Lok. Our master, Jenny, Fanny and James came to support and assist us.

Compared to the Shatin competition, which I have mentioned earlier, this competition was much smaller (only half day!), more expensive (individual with one performance cost 250 HKD) and much more exciting! There have been more “rare” martial artists, which I have not seen before and they are so awesome!

For me, competition is not about WIN or LOOSE the game. It is about having a target. Through this target I am facing my weakness: there is no way to run away from difficulties and resistance. It is my way to improve my form. The biggest enemy in the competition is not my opponent, but my own unawareness.

This time I have performed “5 elements punching form” with slightly changes. (Coming to this point, I had the thought that I could add an video link here to invite you, to have a look at the competition. Let me think about it!)

Everything what I have learned, experienced in these 2 years, was squeezed into 2 minutes of my life during the competition. This made me so nervous, that I forgot my steps during the warming up! In fact, I only have this chance, there is no next time in this moment. NOW. Live the moment. Do not expect anything. I can do it!

I did it. And I enjoyed it! I felt powerful and calm! And you know what?  I broke my own record again! I got 8, 95 points (out of 10!). And not only that… I even got a gold medal! Wow!! It was my first time to win something and I could not believe for a while (^▽^;).

I will definitely continue to practice and improve! See you at the next competition!

The sound of Cantonese language

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11th May 2017

Recently I have started to learn Cantonese. Not just words here and there. And give up. And pick it up again. No, in a course with a teacher, classmates, on a regular basis, daily practice with strangers as well as friends.

I have been here so long time, and all these years I did not really need Cantonese. There was always a way to communicate with body language, English or Mandarin. In fact, I resisted learning Cantonese. First of all, I felt Cantonese is an aggressive language. It sounds like a machine gun. Every time when I listened to the news I had the feeling that the reporters were angry, and that they quarreled and shouted at each other. Not seldom I got headache by just listening the news. Secondly, I was afraid to mix up Cantonese and Mandarin.

So, why did I start learning Cantonese now?

I have a desire: I would like to communicate with my local friends, join more volunteer activities,  gain a deeper knowledge about the local life and be able to communicate with my landlord (without translator).
PLUS I am confident enough that I am not going to mix up Cantonese and Mandarin.

During the class, I have realized Cantonese is not an aggressive language, but an energetic one. It requires a lot of mouth and face movement. It is almost like a mouth+face yoga!

The Cantonese teacher encourages the students to write the sounds in our own languages, additionally to the Yale-System (= Cantonese Pinyin).  I found it quite helpful to use another language to learn a new language (without getting confused!). I am using now Japanese and German to remember the Cantonese word.  Can you recognize them in the picture?

Not only that, it is also fun! In this way, pronunciation is much easier and – in my case – also lowers the resistance level to talk. (P.S. Tones cannot be remembered by this method.)

Through the Cantonese lessons, I have discovered again the joy of learning a new language! There will be further entries about Cantonese! So, stay tuned!

Result of HSK 5, Chinese Exam

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13th February 2017

When I came back from my trip, a letter was waiting for me. A letter from the Yale-China Chinese Language Center/The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where I took the exam of HSK5 last December. It must be the score report!!!

I opened the letter calmly until I saw my score:

Wohooooo! I did it!! ✧*。٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و✧*。 I passed HSK5 (equal to C1) Chinese language proficiency!

I received a lot of encouragements and support from my friends and family! With their support I felt strong: I let go my expectations and fear. Be in present!! Learn, take a break, learn, play, learn! Thank you!!

还有进步的空间,我继续努力! There is still place for improvement, I will keep learning! \\\٩(๑•̀ㅂ•́)و////   Please keep on supporting me!! Next goal: HSK6 by latest 2018!

 

 

On FIRE: Energy bars

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13th of July 2015

Secret of PowerRecently I am into energy bars. I am currently on diet and doing workouts every week, my aim is too loose weight 10kg in total for this year!!!

Energy bars are a great snack between two meals. It makes me full and somehow powerful. I am having 5 meals. One meal is replaced by a piece of energy bar.

On the market there are a lot of energy bars, but most of them are too sweet for me.

Then my friend persuaded me to try energy bars from my trainer, who I am hiring for professional and sucessfull workout, also has his own food business. At the beginning, I could not get use to the texture,  as I was comparing with the other energy bars, I have eaten before. Time passes and I aten few of those he made. I love them now! I love those with nuts and cinnamon (!), which is rare to find in HKG!! For a lot of people here “cinnamon” tastes like Chinese medicine.

 

Self-Service Cutlery

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21st June 2015

Hidden cutleryIn Germany in the restaurant cutlery is usually served together with the dish or has been setted up on the table already once I enter the restaurant.

I found out in Hong Kong, most of the time cutlery is not prepared on the table upon arrival: Cutlery/Chop sticks are stored in a box on a table or hidden in the drawer under the table . Guests can take them upon their need.

I like this idea as only those chopsticks/cutlery will be taken which are in need, others will be not used. It is not necessary to wash them. Water can be saved ;)

My new instrument

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Review: My 2014

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This entry is almost a shame, because  this is my first and last entry of 2014!

One of my targets was writing regularly and post it to my blog. Well, this is not an excuse, but I WAS writing, just I did not post it to my blog… However, did you achieve all your targets of 2014?

As I am reviewing my 2014 currently, let me share with you some highlights:

JANUARY: I went back home to Germany and spent lovely time with my family and friends. This time I met my “old” friend Robert, who I met in HKG long time ago, in Belgium.

FEBRUARY: Although it was very cold, we continued praticising Taichi outside in the park. Well done!!

MARCH: My japanese friend Mit-chan, who I also met in HKG, got married! So happy for her!

APRIL: First time in my whole life I missed a flight! How? I have unexpectedly stuck  I stuck at the Chinese boarder!!! I have never ever seen such a crowded boarder during easter in China. Chinese people do not celebrate Easter at all!!

MAY: I have been invited to a casting of a very famous dating show in China after sucessful application, which includes an self introduction-essay. I have not invited to the show itself, but the whole procedure was very interesting and exciting. And all in Chinese! I am so proud of myself.

JUNE was a travelling month: I spent a wonderful amazing loooong weekend in Thailand. So relaxing and yummy food!!! One day later I flew to Shenyang to meet my dad there in order to go to Dandong together to attend my counsin’s wedding. Never ever thought to meet my dad in China one day! So happy!! Btw. Shenyang is a city full of memories. It is the first Chinese city I went in my 90’s. If I had not gone there, I would probably not be interested in Chineses culture that much and not be working in China and Hong Kong.

JULY was crazy, because I flew to Stockholm just for a weekend. Why? Well, a very good friend of mine – I met in HKG – got married there. And my mom came over!!! This year, I was able to see my parents more than one time!!!

AUGUST: Guess what happened..  I met my father again. And my brother. They were heading to Tibet and stayed in Beijing for few nights as a stop over. How can I not flew to Beijing to see them!!!

SEPTEMBER was my birthday month. I celebrated for a week with my friends!

In OCTOBER something horrible happened: The ceiling of the bathroom fell down. OMG!!!! Luckily nobody was hurted.

NOVEMBER was a busy month.

DECEMBER: First (and last entry for 2014)… and thank YOU beeing a loyal follower of my blog!

How was your 2014?

 

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