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!








Happy Cantonese!

Body language/word battles, Entries, Learning Cantonese & Slang, 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!

Guess, what I am looking for…

Body language/word battles, 中国 Mainland China, 中文 Bilingual entry 4 Comments »

As I have mentioned I have been in Guangzhou during new year.  I was looking for CD in a CD-shop, but unfortunately I could not remember the singer’s name.  Well, in school I have learnt to describe things, if I do not know something. So I use this method to explain the shop assistant – she speaks only Putonghua – what I want. So I also do!

Can YOU guess, who I am looking for?

“我 找 一 张CD.
I am looking for a CD.
我忘了歌手的名字, 我忘了他的汉字.
I forgot the name of the singer, I forgot how to write his name.
但是我记得他是男人, 他是台湾人.
But I remember he is a man, he is Taiwanese.
His songs are in Putonghua.
他的名字有三个汉字. 一 个汉字是”绿”.
His name contains 3 Chinese Characters; one of them is “green”
My Friend told me his songs are good.”

The shop assistant did know immediately who I am looking for and offered me following CDs.  (-^〇^-) If you also want to know, please click here.

Putonghua at the hospital

Body language/word battles, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

Yesterday I went to specialized doctor. When I arrived there, I recognized that she does not speak English, only Cantonese and Putonghua. (;_______;) In my opinion it was quite difficult to communicate, since I did not know the vocabularies. So this doctor describes what she actually wants to say e.g. “Do you have a baby in you stomach now?” I mean physically it is not correct, but I DID understand now that she is talking about. Further on, “Does your body like everything?” = Do you have allergy?, “Does blood come out from your body?” = Do you have your menstruation?

I was quite “happy” when she told me that the result of the examination is going to be send to my general doctor. I guess otherwise I did not understand what’s going on, except I am ill. ~(>_<。)

Magic Hands [29th March]

Body language/word battles, 香港 HongKong 2 Comments »

After I went to the exhibition “Hong Kong Fashion Attitude” – which was unexpectedly  small – there were 3 hours left to my next appointment.

I was looking around in Tai Wai and finally decided to go the hair dresser. Here I have not a big choice as in Hung Hom, where I am living. Just 8 salons. I was wondering 「(ーヘー;) え~と, which is the best choice. First I have checked the price list – it was nearly the same, then I have checked the well visited one. 2 of them are quite busy, that mean they are good, but since I do not so much time, I did not go. I was thinking again. What kind of stuff I can check, too. Well, at the end I choosed a hair salon, with the most handsome guy(s). (o・∇・)o ヤッタ!

After a while I found out  that that this guy, as well as his colleague and the shop manager – all handsome (but not my type) – do not speak English at all. I was showing to my hair magazine, what kind of hairs I like and/or dislike by smiling, body languages and Putonghua. At that moment I was just thinking even the cut gets worst, hair will grew again, so “Don’t worry, be Happy!”

The guy was washing my hair and start cutting my hair carefully.  He touches my head softly and it was like a very comfortable massage – which makes me totally sleepy \(~o~)/ふぁ~. While he was cutting and highlighting for 3 ½ hours- which is normal -, he tried to correct my position, which was totally impossible, because I felt in a deep deep sleep and I was not able control my head and shoulder position any more. They fell down… (--)zzz.。ooOO○ Even I choose the salon with handsome guys, I was dreaming of Echizen, Komatsu Nana, Nobu, Shah Rukh Khan, Kimura Takuya and Ruroni Kenshin (a really weird mix!). And when I woke up (○_○)パチッ, I was slavering! What a shame! I hope I was not snoring, too. I apologized to all guys in the hair salon “I am really sorry for falling asleep (シ_ _)シ  ハハァーー…, but it was so comfortable!”, but all guys (?_?) did not understand what I am talking about, so I paid as fast as possible and left/run out  タタタタ ε=ε=ε=ヘ(;°∇°)ノ the hair salon.

“If you do not know the exact word, try to describe it.” Or The other way to say “withdraw money”

Body language/word battles, 香港 HongKong 3 Comments »

This is a good advice – which I have learnt in my first English Lesson in Secondary school and which I always remember in my every day life.
This way I can work and communicate independently, no need to have a translator. No matter if I have a dictionary on hand or not.

Well this is a story, which happened in reality, which happened to me, few weeks ago.

Before my friend and I went out for dinner, we were going to buy some candies in a 24 hours supermarket. Once I looked in my wallet, I had recognized that there is no money in my wallet any more. “OK” I thought, “In this case I need to withdraw some money.” So I have asked the woman behind the cashier “Excuse me, where is the next ATM?” “ATM?” I was wondering why she does not know ATM, since this is a popular word in Hong Kong. Anyway I explained her “Automatic Money Machine.” But she did not get me. Her English seems to be not very good. So I gave her more detailed information. “From Bank. This Machine has a lot of money. Do you know where I can find?” “No, we do not know. Nowhere, sorry.” This can’t be, we are in HK, there are a lot of ATMs, so how come that this big shopping mall, does not have one. – Impossible! This lady did not understand me at all. So I tried to explain the ATM again “ATM is a big box” I used my hands showing a big box. “You put a card inside.” And I made the movement for inserting a card into this box. “Then money comes out.” I pictured a drawer, which I have to open before getting money. Finally this woman got totally confused by my little small play. So she started to ignore me and continue selling goods. The buyer next to me bought a sandwich and was going to pay in cash. As soon the sales lady opened the cashier, I pointed on the money. “In the big box, in the ATM, a lot of money” I got every inpatient and nervous, because I felt that the lady will understand me now: I made the same movements as before again, point again on the money, point on the sales lady and then to me. I finish my movement with “This is money. I want money”

After I saw the scared face of the sales lady and ppl passing by stop at the shop and looked weird, I realized that my whole movement might look like “Give me Money! I want to rub you. Give me all the money in your cashier.”  Oh my gosh.. damn, what I have done? “No, I do not want to have the money from your cashier; I would like to take some money from the big box. No you cashier is not a big box. The ATM is a big box. Do not worry. Continue working!” Sigh… I was despaired… Damn I am not a thief. Believe me, please! But how can ppl believe me now?

In my imagination, the police had already arrested me, because they also did not understand my real purpose as well… I was in panic, so I ask my friend for help in German. “Please help me to explain this sales lady that I am looking for an ATM machine for withdrawing money!”  She also forgot how to say “Withdraw money in English. Since she had been waiting already for a while, she got inpatient, too. She shouted loud and aggressive “Hey, did you not get her?! SHE WANTS MONEY!?!!!!!!”

“I would like to book a …”

Body language/word battles, Entries, 香港 HongKong 3 Comments »

Lisa(L) makes a phone call to the travel agency(T) in order to book a train ticket to Guangzhou in China.

T: Wei? (Chinese greeting on phone)
L: Hello, I am Lisa. Do you speak English?
T: Yes.
L: Great, I would like to book a …
T: Yeah, I understand. You are applying for a Visa.
L: No. I would like to book a …
T: You do not want to apply for a Visa?
L: No. I would like to book a ..
T: But you said Visa.
L: No, that’s my name.
T: We do not have such Visa.
L: No, my name is Lisa. I do not want to apply for a Visa! I would like to book a ..
T: Pizza?

(;___;) Lisa hang up.

Being at the Chinese rock bottom

Body language/word battles, Entries, Learning Chinese & HSK, 中国 Mainland China, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

Nearly every day I am remembered that my communication skills mandarine are not enough at all. Frankly speaking I know it, but how can I improve?
I have learned Chinese for 4 months now: I am able to write, read, listen and understand. I am able to talk, but only short and simple sentences. Simple communication can be done. I could not discuss, my pronounciation is still bad, I often do not know the vocabularies.

  • Last time I was searching for the car parking place in Mainland China. Unfortunately I forgot the word “parking”. In school I learnt “if you do not know the word, describe it”.

So I tried, quite difficult due to my limited vocabularies:
“Excuse me, where are the cars sleeping?”
“Excuse me, where is the very big home for cars?”
“Excuse me, where are the cars stored in layers?”
Result: Nobody could understand me.-.-
In such case I ring up my friend Jean, who helps me immediately instead of laughing at me or teaching me wrong words.

  • The same situation when I pick my phone at work. How often I have already explained the supplier in Chinese (!) “Sorry, I am German. I do not speak any Chinese.”
But his/her reaction is always a loud laugh. Perhaps s/he is thinking if I can say this sentence, I must talk Chinese very well. If I start talking English, s/he will hang up immediately. -.- In such case I have to ask Ego or Wendy for help.
  • Another situation in China: I was screaming: “Help, help! My friend is missing!!!” Nobody helped me. Only one young man was coming and let me know that my Chinese pronounciation is wrong. -.-

I do not like these situations.
+ I feel helpless.
+ I would like to be independent.
= I am at the Chinese rock bottom.

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