Mission Impossible

Since landing at HK International I have been observing the locals closely and attempting to impersonate and pass myself off as ‘one of them’; born and bred in HK.   Born in HK but bred in UK I have found it Mission Impossible.

They spot me a mile away.  Apparently it is the clothes I wear. Locals go for the casual look: T shirt and shorts and flip flops.  No cleavage shown but showing off shapely legs are ok.

My movements far too unhurried and not purposeful.  Hesitation in what to purchase.  Taking far too long to exit the taxi and grab shopping.  Having time to chat, interview locals on their situation and views.

My Cantonese which came as a shock.  After all it is my mother tongue and I never realised my version wasn’t ‘ the Queen’s English’.  I haven’t quite got the hang of the local slang yet;    Hong Kongers are fond of abbreviating everything.  Any extra word is deemed redundant; another split second lost to earning the illusive $ .

And across the border is the same   One sales assistant informed me that ‘they’ come rough and ready, her words not mine and I am much more ‘civilised’ and ‘gentle’.  I’ll settle for that.

But I shall continue pursuing my mission.  Never say never.  Today I will devote to walking faster in order to keep up with the flow of human traffic in the MTR and not get in the way.  By the way I am really impressed with how Hong Kongers fit into small gaps and spaces like  flowing water.  It is an automatic reaction like breathing.  They are programmed to protect their own personal space amongst the crowd by forming an invisible bubble.  Hence the obsession with their mobiles.


About cho wan yau

Teacher by day poet/writer by night. Words have been my first love and will be my last. As a child I locked myself into the toilet devouring books which transported me to distant lands. Poetry shared penned from 2009-2010 in a titanic struggle to stay sane at Heartbreak Hotel. Please check it out on chowanyau@wordpress.com. Any comments or feedback welcome. Why not share your story with me, because we all have one, don't we?

Posted on June 12, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I opts for the opposite. I live in a slower peace since returned from Edinburgh. Yes, one might say Hongkongers are efficient and waste no time but I was convinced that a lot of time they are going too ‘fast’ unnecessarily. And therefore pushing themselves too much for the sake of just having too fast, or at least not slower than the one walking next to them. What for?

  2. I opts for the opposite. Since returned from Edinburgh, I began living in a slower peace. One might say Hongkongers are efficient and waste no time but I was convinced that for a lot of time they are being fast just for the sake of being fast, which ends up putting on pressure and stress on themselves unnecessarily. I enjoy the room for able to ‘see’ more by being slow.

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