Time travelling: Our own language

香港 HongKong No Comments »

2010 / 06 / 22

Whenever I have notes, documents or tickets, which I do not tidy up immediately, I always put into my notes-collection-drawer. Once the drawer is full, I tidy up. Actually I know, it is more efficient if I tidy up those notes and documents immediately, instead of collecting them first and then tidy up. But frankly speaking, I am enjoying this kind of tiding up (and I would like to keep it!), since it is like a travelling through the past. Thus sometimes it takes few hours.

When I was tiding up my documents this time, a small passport photo fell down on the floor. The picture shows an Asian young man with black short hair, wearing a white shirt with a white T-shirt underneath, looking into the camera seriously and standing in front of a baby blue colored background. I picked it up from the floor, looked at the photo for a while and then turned it. At the back of the photo something was written by him, which I do not understand because of different languages. I can only recognize Thuong.

I met Thuong on my return flight from Germany to Hong Kong in January 2009. He was sleeping ( _ _ ).。oOグゥー・・・   by covering his eyes with an eye mask provided by the air line at the window’s side, when I arrived my seat at the aisle. Between us a nice looking young man from the UK was sitting. I started a conversation with this guy and I enjoyed so much that I refused the ultimate offer to sit in the business class for free. But it seems I was the only one enjoying this conversation, since this gentleman asked the stewardess whether he can sit in the business class instead of me. He wished me a nice trip, grabbed his small hand luggage and left a gap between the sleeping guy and me. (・_・、) グスン, I tried to think positive and kept saying to me  “Yeah, now I have more space!”. After a short while I fell asleep ( _ _ ).。oOグゥー・・・. Flying always makes me sleepy.

When I woke up, the light for the belt was switched off. Stewardess was offering juices to the guy at the window, but it seems they have some language problems. It seems the guy is not from Hong Kong since he do not  understand any Cantonese, also no English. I tried to help out by speaking German, Mandarin and Japanese, but I failed. At the end I drew a picture of an apple and orange in a glass to symbolize apple juice and orange juice. I called the stewardess and ordered one cup of orange juice for him. He did not say a word to me, but he smiled.  I smiled back and fell asleep again ( _ _ ).。oOグゥー・・・.

The next time I woke up was when I smelt food. Yeah, it’s lunch time! The same stewardess came and asked “Would you like to eat chicken or pork?” The guy at the window did not understand and obviously the stewardess felt helpless. So I drew him a picture of a pig and a chicken. He pointed on the chicken with a huge smile. The stewardess kept saying to me “Thank you, thank you for your translation.” And now I (!) felt helpless. I saw the guy did not even touch the meat, he only ate the vegetables. Maybe he is Vegetarian? I decided to draw him some vegetable pictures for the next meal.

After we finished our lunch, the guy at the window grabbed the air line magazine and opened the world map. He tapped on my shoulder. It seems he wanted to show/tell me something. First he pointed on himself and then took a ball pen and drew a big circle around Hanoi in Vietnam. Then he passed me the pen. I circled Germany and he looked very surprise. I knew I am not looking German, but I did not know how I can explain I am double of Japanese and German. He showed a photo of his family and expected I also show him my family. I shook my head, because I did not have a photo. But then I got an idea. I pointed on me, then on his father and drew a circle around Germany again, then I pointed on me again, then on his mother and then circled Japan [Translation: My father comes from Germany and my mother from Japan.]. He was thinking and then took out two rings of his bag, put them together first on the family photo, then on Vietnam on the map [Nobu’s understanding: His parents are married and living together in Vietnam]. He looked at me, pointed on me, on his father on the photo, then on Germany and placed one ring there. The other ring he put on Japan. Finally he looked sad. ( ̄△ ̄) !! Oh no! I guess we got a misunderstanding! My parents are not divorced! I shook my head again. I took my red eraser from my pencil case and put it on his mother’s face [symbolizing my mom] and placed the ruler on his father’s face [symbolizing my dad], then placed the eraser in Japan and the ruler on Germany. I took a pencil and drew a line from Germany to Japan, and placed the ruler next to the eraser [symbolizing my father met my mother in Japan], then I placed both rings in Japan [symbolizing they got married in Japan], then I drew a line from Japan to Germany and changed the position of the two rings to Germany [symbolizing my parents moved to Germany after marriage]. I guess he understood.
During the whole conversation he did not talk at all, we just communicated by drawings, map or what ever. When he wanted to drink coffee, he drew a coffee bean and I ordered the cup of coffee for him. It was a great conversation, it was a little bit tiring, but actually very interesting. We laughed a lot (^◇^) ケラケラ. The empty seat between us was full of our conversation’s equipment.
After dinner I fell asleep again( _ _ ).。oOグゥー・・・. I was too tired and powerless to continue our conversation. While I was sleeping, I sometimes opened my eyes for few seconds and felt asleep immediately again. Do you also have such moments? Well, I had a lot during this flight.  First when I opened my eyes, I realized that my blanket fell down from seat, the next moment the blanket was on my body, although I did not pick it up. Strange isn’t it? The next moment was stewardess was distributing mid night snack. A further moment was I saw a nose and two eyes…. In my dream I talked to myself: “Hey, common, Nobu. How come there is a nose and two eyes in front of you! You are definitely too tired! Go and sleep!” The next moment was much stranger: I saw a chocolate bar and two eyes! “Damn, Nobu. You are so tired! Open your eyes and have a second look and you will realize you are dreaming only!” In this moment I woke up. But there was still a chocolate bar – coming towards to my mouth and two dark brown eyes looking at me.(;° ロ°) ナンジャコリャI automatically press my lips together, because I did not want to that this mysterious chocolate bar entries my mouth. The chocolate bar did not stop and rebounds at my lips. THIS MUST BE A DREAM!! THIS CANNOT BE REAL!? Then I saw the chocolate disappeared… and I saw the face behind the chocolate bar: it was the guy… originally (!) sitting at the window, but now sitting right next to me, even removed the arm rest between us. THIS WAS NOT A DREAM, THIS WAS REALITY. Once I had realized (°_°) ぱちっ , I put back the arm rest immediately and I looked at him and I was going to blame him, that he went to far and that it is not ok…. I saw him eating the half of the chocolate bar and he nearly put the other half in my mouth again, but I pressed my lips together on time. I shook my head, looked at him and was going to remind him …. He was smiling (^_^) ニコッ, tapped my shoulder, pointed on my table. Wow! There was a huge chocolate bar collection and few cups of juice and water. I guess he collected all the mid night snacks while I was sleeping. Probably he could not sleep. Well, he slept all the time at the beginning (when I was talking to the UK guy). He pointed on the time of the boarding pass, his watch and on my table. There was only few hours left. My anger disappeared, because I did not feel any danger. I guess he wanted to wake me up on time for all the sweets and also for further conversation.  The only thing I did was put my arm onto the arm rest, so he could not remove the rest. This way we are able to keep distance. I just do not like (>_< )イヤッ to be squeezed by an unknown guy. 
He showed me his passport and I show him mine. We found out that we are in the same age. He showed me his China visa and I did know that he was heading to China. There was no chance to sleep any more, but it was ok, since we had a lot of fun (^_^).

It is amazing how we communicate, I am not familiar in sign language at all, but still we can communicate with a lot of fun! I am still not sure whether he was disabled or we just could not find our common speaking language. I do not care, because we could find our a way to communicate – our own language and it works. Don’ you think so?

When the plane arrived in HKIA, he gave me this photo, which I am currently holding in my hand.  He looked so serious on that. He left a message at the back of the photo, as well as his name: Thuong.

My mobile phone rang –  a call from my Japanese friend. I looked at the photo of Thuong holding in my hand, and I smiled and eventually I put it back to the notes-collection-drawer, where I actually took it out from. The reason is I do not where to put and … I would like to think about our conversation also next time when I need to tidy up the drawer.

Seeking for rain

香港 HongKong 3 Comments »

2010 / 06 / 21

Although temperature is not that high – it is about 30 Celsius degrees-, I feel it is very hot in Hong Kong recently へ(×_×;)へ ヘニョヘニョ. Humidity is high (around 80%). Actually I thought that I am already get to used it, but this year I nearly can’t stand this weather, which makes skin sticky all the time, but not sweating a lot and which let me breathing the heavy air. Well, the last one may also caused by air pollution. I am desperately seeking for natural freshness and coolness, but even under the fewer trees we have in Hong Kong, I cannot find any comfortable natural cool place. Even the water of the swimming pool or the sea is too warm (and dirty) AND there are so many people in the water. I cannot enjoy swimming, especially not when my swim mates have just finished the lunch and burping around, so everyone can smell what they have ate for lunch: garlic. Hong Kong people are burping a lot, I should get to use to it. But these days it drives me or my stomach crazy: I eventually nearly throw up. 

I was a bit released when I read the newspaper this morning. It is saying that today it will be a rainy day. Hopefully the rain can bring some freshness to Hong Kong and wipe away the humidity and also my bad mood (=_=).

Transformation to Ma’am

Thoughts, 香港 HongKong 14 Comments »

2010 / 06 / 07

Actually I do not care about my real age. From my point of view the most important is, how I feel and not what age is mentioned in my ID card or passport . Thus in the past it has happened several times already that I celebrated my wrong age birthday or told in the job interview my wrong age, just because I felt younger than I actually am (’-’*) フフ.

Few days ago, I bought a short pans. After cash payment the sales person hand over my short pans, and said with a smile “Miss, here is your exchange, your receipt and your bag.” This is quite normal. This ok. I answered happily “Thank you. Bye!” grab my bag and left the shop.
BUT then one day later, I bought some milk and bread. In my first time of my life the lady at the cashier said “Ma’am your exchange and the receipt.” Σ(Ο□Ο)    がーん!I was shocked. I even could not say thank you! I just took my exchange, and left the shop.

Hey, hey stop! How come, that I am “ma’am” now instead of “miss”? One day before I has been still called “miss” and nearly only 24 hours later, I have been called “ma’dam”(;___;)?! That’s a really fast transformation (+o+), isn’t it?!

I talked about my friend about this incident. She tried to calm me by “May be on that day you looks very young, like a girl, and the other day you looks old.” She might be correct. But it may also depend, what I am buying. What do you think?

Calm down, Miss Nobu, calm down! Well, the truth is: In future I will be probably called more often “Ma’am” (/–)/ オテアゲ. I will definetly appreciated more now, when a sales person will call me MISS.

Magic Day 55

4U!-Recommended, 香港 HongKong 2 Comments »

5th of May was magic day for me, and an incredible day for my close friends. On that day something happens, my friends hardly believe me until they saw me online skying at my home!
Ever since I have lived here, I never had my own internet at home. I used go to internet café nearby (very cheap 8HKD/60 minutes) in order to Skype, mail, chat, blog, face book or watch movies. Whenever I got some virus or PC problems, working staff fixed them immediately. Actually it is quite convenient and also reasonable. Most of the users in those cafes are playing war games (?). While everyone were shooting and killing each other, I used to sit in the small corner laughing very loud (-^O^-)アハハハ, just because some happy things happened or sometimes I was crying (o >_< o) えーん because I was so emotionally touched by a movie or dorama! It must be quite funny scene for every new user and … also a bit annoying for the shop owner.

Well, the reasons I have not had internet for such long time were
1. I suppose to be here only for 6 months. I did not want to sign a two-year-contract. Certainly HKG also have some short-term contract, but it is too expensive!
2. My notebook bought in Germany did not work well in HKG, although my very good friend repaired several times for me. *thank you echizen!*
3. All my flats I was and am living have not any telephone line. My landlords did not agree to drill holes in the flat for the cable.
4. Because of 3. my choice for internet providers was limited. Every district has one provider (monopoly). In my district it is Hutchison only.
5. I was afraid I am getting addicted to internet. This is very scary!

How come Nobu has internet @home now?
1. I suppose to be here for 6 months, I am already here for 4 years. I probably stay here for further (un)certain time.
2. My friend Prototype came to HKG in March and helped me to buy a notebook in HKG.
3. I still do not have a telephone line, but a lot of power sockets! So no need to bother the land lord!
4. Since because of 3. I was able to consider Vodafone as my in-future-provider.
5. My schedule is tied; I have not any time to get addicted to internet. So no need to be scary!

Actually I was considering to buy mobile internet from an “USB”stick (Vodafone,around 188HKD+tunnel fee/month) although I have heardt sometimes their reception is not nice, interruption might happen (T__T). But then my colleague told me that her husband has just signed an internet contract via power socket. The line is stable and safe AND it is reasonable. On the same day I went to Vodafone in my district and sign a contract. After one hour signing the contract I was able to use the internet!!! So easy, simple and uncomplicated- No installation by qualified person is necessary! My friend D. accompanied me to buy internet dated me for skype immediately for the same night.  I was extremely excited, so my friend. “Nobu, it is SO amazing, that YOU have internet! We should Skype!” ♪♪♪ ( ^^)人(^^ ) ♪♪♪ We both rushed homes in order to skype asap rather than talk now in real life…

5th of May is also a magic day for Mohamed! Happy Birthday!!

EDIT: I am sorry for such a delay. My right fracturd hand wrisk has still not recovered yet.

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