Easter was wonderful this year. Good weather and a new restaurant opened on Pui O Beach, the beer was flowing and my recording device was working overtime!
A couple of weeks ago I interviewed the beautiful and delightful Zein Williams, mother of three and tireless champion for the Nepali people about her life and work – with the earthquake victims especially – before she rushed off to scale some summit or other.
Tune in to Radio Lantau to hear the interview on archive. As usual – scroll down until you jolly well see it!
尼泊爾 – Lei Bok Yi (Nepal)
地震 – Dei chan (earthquake)
你有幾多仔女？ – Lei yau gei do tsai leui? (You have how many children?)
一條路 (Yat tiu lou) (one stick of road.) Well, footpath really, but you get my little driftie. Yeah, I love 條。It’s the classifier for long and thin, bendable or bending things, like a river:
一條河 (Yat tiu ho) or a snake: 一條蛇 （yat tiu se), a pair of trousers: 一條褲 (yat tiu fu) or a towel! 一條毛巾 (yat tiu mou gan) (A stick of hair towel.)
A carton of fags, interestingly, also takes the classifier 條： 一條煙 (yat tiu yin) and then there’s my favourite way to introduce my friends, causing some people to laugh and others to frown (they are good friends so used to a lot) 呢條友 (Li tiu yao) (This stick of friend) which translates roughly as “this creature” or “this git.” I’m still waiting for the real explanation!
But apparently the 條 (tiu) rather than 個（go) which is the normal classifier for people, makes the “friend” less than human. A stick of person – yeah, that must be an insult.
I learnt a new verb today. A taxi driver asked me “有冇 搶香蕉呀？" Yau mou cheung heung chiu ah? (something like that) – Have you CHEUNG bananas?
I thought it meant ‘hoard’ but arriving at the character via an article in Apple Daily, I found that 搶 means rob or grab.
He also told me that HK people are cheung-ing rice, salt and oil like mad. ‘Make a run on the supermarket’ – one word! I like that.
But why? Just to be fashionable? I sauntered into my local Park’N’Shop and it was business as usual. According to the taxi driver the shelves in the rest of Hong Kong are robbed clean. 搶 baby 搶!