Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lamentations of a Jook-Sing

Today, I went to my church's Cantonese service, because HK pop star Jade Kwan was going to sing. That was kind of neat, but I didn't understand most of what was going on. Trying to grasp any significant speech in Cantonese requires a lot of attention on my part, and even then I miss most of it. If I don't pay attention, then my eyes glaze over and my brain just filters it out.

Where is the patient soul who will speak Cantonese with me and help me to hone my deficient language skills?

...

I ate lunch at Richmond Court, the quintissential cheap HK-style eatery. I spent the meal tracking the multiple means by which I could contract some kind of infection - the dirty chopsticks, the crusty bowl, the streaky window, the grumpy waitress...

4 comments:

brutalturtle.blogspot.com said...

did she sing yesterday? both?

sandlot said...

I picked up a Cantonese phrase book to brush up on the language in preparation for my trip in 3 weeks. While it does help a little, i think conversation with someone would be more helpful. Unfortunately, none of my friends have the patience to wait for me to complete a simple sentence and my parents are beginning to act this way too. The best thing i can do is go out for dinner at chinese restaurants and attempt to order food in chinese. At least waitresses have to listen. lol.

a_ndy said...

@brutalturtle: I think both... I believe yesterday was a concert ($5/ticket, 1500 tickets sold) and today she just gave a testimony and sang one song during the service.

@sandlot: I have the same problem, except that I'm scared to talk to waitresses in Cantonese often. In HK it's okay because you have no choice, in Canada I figure they will realize how broken my Chinese is and wonder why I don't just do it in English. My parents try to be helpful during the spurts where I really push for them to speak Cantonese with me, but often they end up inserting English words in lieu of the Chinese words that I actually don't know by force of habit.

sandlot said...

Now we talk together in Cantonese. Unfortunately, our vocab tends to be limited to "chun sai gai" and "ngor ho oi lei".

I don't think we can get by at a chinese restaurant with the way things are going.