Sunbathing blankets

Entries, Village Life, 香港 HongKong 1 Comment »

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 & 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!

Wushu competition in Wan Chai 2017

Entries, Martial Art: Qigong, Tai Chi, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

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

Entries, Learning Cantonese & Slang, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

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!

Cantonese Slang (1): 掃街

Learning Cantonese & Slang, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

10th May 2017

I came across an interesting Cantonese word while I was reading a food magazine:

“掃街” (sou3 gaai1*)

What is that!?

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

掃 (sou3*)  = to sweep, to broom  &  街 (gaai1*) = street

So, it literally means “sweep the street”.

But why  “掃街” is mentioned in a food magazine and what is the relationship between “sweeping the street” and food?

Well, “掃街” describes the action of walking along the street and eating different street food and snacks e.g. egg waffle, stinky tofu, curry fish balls, sweet-sour soup, chicken wings, deep fried veggies, . All kinds of food-to-go!

In fact, “掃街” is a popular activity in Hong Kong. I also did it a lot, especially when I have just arrived in Hong Kong. Mong Kok, Prince Edward, Hung Hom etc. –  without knowing that this activity has a Cantonese word!

What is your favorite district/area/street to “掃街”ing?

 

* Cantonese Pinyin is based on “Yale system”.

Wushu competition Shatin district 2017

Martial Art: Qigong, Tai Chi, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

4th May 2017

With some delay, I would like to share with you my experience on the Wushu competition for Shatin District at the beginning of this year.

This competition is quite a big one in Hong Kong. In 2016 as well this year, it was held on 2 days from 9 am to 9pm!  It seems this competition is well known among Wushu and Chinese Martial Art Lovers. Last year and this year, a wide range of age groups – from 5 years to 80 years old – and various styles of Chinese martial artists gathered together to participate at this competition and to demonstrate their skills.

This year I attend the competition with 3 of my Kung Fu sisters. And other Kung Fu sisters came to support us! And our master also came!  We all are training in the Natural Energy Academy under master Joe Lok.

I performed “5 elements punching form”. And i broke my own record! I am so so happy! In the previous competition I have received only 7.xx points with almost the same form. This “5 elements punching form” was more powerful. But now I achieved 8.14 (out of 10) points!! What a progress!! Well done myself! So happy!

I am very proud of myself, that I decided to participate at this competition. I used to hate competitions. I had put down my fear to loose, to fail. Joining a competition means (for me) to set a target and practice and improve until the competition came and enjoying every little progress. What I have learned from this process was “Expect nothing and appreciate everything!”

The Shatin District Competition is usually held beginning of the year. And enrollment would start around 3 months before that. Participation costs are relatively low. It starts from 60 Hong Kong Dollar/per person/per form. It is reasonable. And even you do not do any martial art, watching the performance is pretty awesome! Some of the moves I have seen before just in one of those Jackie Chan movies. WOW! It is so exciting! So, maybe I see you there in 2018?

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