For one minute, take time out to listen to Tommy talk about his Halfway Coffee shop, where aromatic coffee is served in exquisite traditional Chinese tea-cups. That astonishing fusion between East and West at the heart of Hong Kong is the world’s most incredible and precious cultural heritage, reminding us of Elizabeth Chow’s provocative, thought-provoking words:
Look at us, and envy us, you poor, one-world people, riveted to your limitations. We are the future of the world!
And while you’re enjoying your imaginary drink, boost your stock of Cantonese vocabulary with a few new items: 巷 hohng6 = a lane; 隱約 yán2 yeuk3 = indistinct; 情懷 chìhng4 wàaih4 = feelings; 收藏 sāu1 chòhng4 = to collect; 沖茶 chūng1 chàah4 = to make tea; and of course that all-important 中西融合 Jūng1-Sāi1 yùhng4 hahp6 = roughly, “a fusion of Chinese & Western (elements)”. You can also pick-up some phrases to impress colleagues and friends, including 隱約充滿咗舊香港嘅情懷 = “filled with a faint feel of the old Hong Kong”, 成間咖啡店，我最鍾意厘個位 = “this is my favourite spot in the entire café” and, last but not least, 假如有人經過，我哋就會同佢微笑 = “if someone happens to be passing by, we smile at them” . . .
You can watch the video here.
摩羅街行落幾步呢 | 就會搵到我哋呢間咖啡店㗎喇 | 間鋪呢，成條巷咁樣嘅 ，前後都打通| 隱約充滿咗舊香港嘅情懷 | 我哋呢度收藏咗大約三百隻中式嘅茶杯 | 魚鱗紋呢，可以話係我最鍾意嘅一隻杯 | 唔好以爲依啲杯只係沖茶喎 | 其實我哋係可以攞嚟做咖啡架喎 | 中西融合沖起嚟嘅咖啡 | 飲落去都有香港嘅情懷 | 成間咖啡店，我最鍾意厘個位 | 喺度沖咖啡嘅時候，可以望到唔同嘅客人 | 假如有人經過，我哋就會同佢微笑 | 邀請佢哋入嚟飲杯咖啡、傾吓偈 | 感受吓舊香港嘅情懷 | 我叫 Tommy | 係一間咖啡店嘅隊長
● 摩羅街 mō1 lòh4 gāai1 = (?) Lascar Row | ● 巷 hohng6 = a lane; an alley | ● 打通 dáa2 tūng1 = to get through; to open up | ● 隱約 yán2 yeuk3 = indistinct; faint | ● 情懷 chìhng4 wàaih4 = feelings | ● 收藏 sāu1 chòhng4 = to collect; to store up | ● 魚鱗紋 yú4*2 lèuhn4 màhn4 = (?) a fish-scale pattern | ● 沖茶 chūng1 chàah4 = to make tea cf. 沖咖啡 | ● 中西融合 Jūng1-Sāi1 yùhng4 hahp6 = (?) a fusion of Chinese & Western (elements] | ● 假如 gáa2 yùh4 = if; supposing; in case | ● 邀請 yīu1 chíng2 = to invite | ● 感受 gám2 sauh6 = to experience; to feel | ● 隊長 deuih6 jéung2 = team leader
Just take a few steps along Lascar Row and you will find this coffee shop of ours. Now this shop is on a lane way — you can come in through the front and walk out through the back [前後都打通] and it is filled with a faint feel of the old Hong Kong. Here we have collected around three hundred Chinese-style tea-cups. The cup with the fish-scale pattern on it is probably my favourite. Don’t imagine [唔好以爲] that these cups are only used for tea; actually, we can use them to make coffee in, too. Fusing Chinese and Western elements, this way of drinking coffee has a Hong Kong feel [to it]. This is my favourite spot in the entire café: when I’m making coffee here, I can look at the various customers and, if someone happens to be passing by, we smile at them and invite them in for a cup of coffee and a chat, [so that, in the process, they can] experience something of the old Hong Kong. My name is Tommy, team leader of a coffee shop.