Ben in Hong Kong©

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cultural understanding

I sat in the bus and saw that my stop was coming up. I looked up to the front of the bus and said "Yeow Loc Mm Goi", in my best Cantonese accent.

The bus did not stop.

So I tried again "Yeow Loc Mm Goi"

Still the bus continued, and we sped past my stop.

I considered that the bus driver could be deaf so I shouted loudly. "YEOW LOC MM GOI!"

This got my first reaction, the bus driver looked up at me in the mirror. But carried on driving.

By this point I was 100 meters past my stop and going downhill. Perhaps I was saying the Cantonese words wrong. Maybe I was actually saying "Ignore me please". It was time to switch to English.

"COULD YOU STOP THE BUS PLEASE!"

This got a reaction "You want to stop the bus?" The driver asked.

"Yes!" I exclaimed, "stop the bus!" The bus driver nodded in reply.

But he could not stop the bus, we were on a busy road. Up ahead was a bus stop though, so no worries.

But we sped past that bus stop and continued on.

"STOP THE BUS I NEED TO GET OFF!"
"You want to get off?"
"YES STOP THE BUS PLEASE"
"OK!"

But we sped past the second bus stop on the road. This was the point where I totally lost my cultural sensibility.

"STOP THE BUS HERE! LIDOW MM GOI, YEOW LOC MM GOI, STOP THE BLOODY BUS!!!"

The bus stopped. I left in a flurry or angry brit abroad attitude.

I walked back 20 minutes to the meeting, uphill. Frustrated.

bx

1 comment:

bensdadsoot said...

you did not shout loud enough the first time perhaps the driver was deaf, you should know about that living with mutnjeff parents.