I've been so busy with work that I haven't done many "tourist" things to tell you about--however, I have made some time to befriend some Brits. Considering my family's severe and intense Anglophile history, I expect my kin would approve. Things got off to a great start with Mike, Daisy, and Katy, when the 4 of us plus several other Dramatic English people (native Chinese and gweilos, what they call Westerners--it means "ghost person") went out to a restaurant that had some sort of dice game--everyone had been eliminated but Mike, Daisy, Wendi, and myself. Someone pointed out that it was the Americans versus the British; Mike made a boastful remark and I retorted with something like, "I think we all remember who won the Revolutionary War." Our relationship really just skyrocketed from there. The loser had to sing the winner's national anthem. I won and Mike stood up and sang the Banner---in his own words. If he were American, he could have been arrested for treason. To reconcile our great nations, joined in for a rendition of "God Save the Queen" which I knew better than the Brits. And it didn't end there...Mike is actually Scottish and informed us that Scotland has their own song--two songs, in fact--with which he graced us.
The above has absolutely nothing to do with Hong Kong, I suppose, except that it happened there.
As for the happenings at Dramatic English, we have auditions today for "The Jungle Book"--I filled in for Matty and auditioned a few kids the other day. Cantonese children, in general, are so reserved and quiet--afraid to take risks unless pushed and told that it's ok. It may be because they are required to do so much academically that their imaginations are never allowed any use.
"Imagine you could be anywhere in the world--where would you be?" long pause...."here." "Oh, come on, anywhere outside of here, where would you go?"....."home?"
And one last thing--an interesting language tid-bit. When I asked the kids what they had done on vacation (we do this just to hear how they speak) every single one of them said something like, "Last week, I go...or we go..." Then I learned from Eric that Cantonese doesn't have any past or future tenses and tense is inferred by words such as "yesterday, tomorrow, this morning", etc. Man also told me that Cantonese doesn't have equivalents to words like, "would have, could have, should have" and so on. Things either are or they are not. It's fascinating how language reflects a culture. We can wind the English language around anything and distort it to suit our own purposes. We have loopholes and euphemistic ways to address touchy issues--an infinite number of shades of grey. China is black and white. Mike, Tim, and I are starting Cantonese lessons this week------God Save the gweilos.
Stop answering emails and truly relax
2 months ago