Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I'd like to buy the world a Coke, and make it chicken soup

Buy an assorted pack of Coca-Cola products and get chicken broth free!

Because Hong Kong.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What's black and white and bad all over?

So, I tried the new Black and White burgers from McDonald's.  I give my very highest recommendation to never do so yourself.

The Black: mashed potatoes, truffle sauce, two beef patties, bacon, squid ink bun

The White: mashed potatoes, pepper mushroom sauce, fried chicken patty, bacon, light bun

And both contain sadness.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Mona Lisa and puppies

Dafen Oil Painting Village is in a suburb of Shenzhen, and it's where pretty much every "artwork" you've ever seen in a hotel comes from.  Founded in the early 90s, it's populated by artists who make their living churning out paintings - replicas of classics and a few original works.  A lot of them are trained at art academies and are highly-skilled, and it's the place to go for all of your high midbrow needs.


Artists work in studios the size of closets -

Or on the street -

Works display various skill levels.

Steve Jobs taking his rightful place in the Chinese canon -

Bring a photo and have portraits done!

Some of the gallery owners are quite young -

Pick a pop culture icon - ANY pop culture icon! 

The art form has evolved - this place leveled up and was selling paintings with built-in aquariums.

And miscellaneous other photos from the village -

And finally, a naked Bruce Lee about to have his way with... something.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Being "nervous" in Hong Kong

While dealing with the cat situation the other day I ran across a word I've heard several times in several different situations in Hong Kong - "nervous".  

When dropping Hoggie at the vet she went berserk and raced around the office leaving a trail of destruction in her wake.  The vet tech said she was just nervous.

Calling yesterday to see how she's recovering, the vet said she's doing well but a bit nervous.

The other times I've heard this word were last year when in the hospital, sobbing after a miscarriage (the nurse told me "Don't be so nervous") and more recently being admitted to the hospital for a broken bone and being irritated I had to stay overnight (again, "Don't be nervous").

What's the meaning of the word "nervous" in Cantonese and what's the word it's being translated from?  In English, you're nervous before a job interview or a first date.  It indicates a lesser level of upset - something akin to being jumpy, easily startled, or worried.  The level of distress indicated when native Cantonese speakers use "nervous" seems to widely vary from "slightly agitated" to "panicked" to "inconsolable".

Any native speakers care to weigh in on this?

EDIT:  Got some interesting feedback when I posted this on another message board.  See below for comments - 

Native speaker here 緊張: nervous, anxiety, fast-paced
It actually does mean a lot. A few examples (colliqual):
我好緊張 (Ngo Ho Gan Jeung) - "I am very nervous" also can mean different things if you say:
我緊張你多過自己 (Ngo Gan Jeung Ni Doh Gwo Ji Gei) - "I care more about you than myself" so it could mean you really care about some one (expression of love) as well.
劇情好緊張 (Kek Ching Ho Gan Jeung) - The drama is very fast-paced, exciting, edge of the seat feeling
唔好緊張 (Ng Ho Gan Jeung) - Nurses would say that, as in "Don't feel anxious" and relax your muscles, usually. Sometimes its 唔洗緊張 (Ng Sai Gan Jeung) in a way it means don't be over-anxious on the issue, just relax it will be fine sort-of statement.

Another responder commented this:

I'm not a native Canto speaker but I do speak Canto with my folks when I'm home so my insight may be incorrect. From my comprehension and from the way I usually use "nervous" or "gan zeong", I usually use it in situations that cause stress, worry, or fear. But yeah, it's a much more comprehensive term than it's English counterpart.