Bad Light

2018-09-20 Carrs Road Clouds 3

Steer clear when the light turns bad.

Avoid the rank smell small habit has —
“survival” is repetition.
Be as little the creature you’ve been so long:
untangle your life from the sad dragnets
and respond to the pull of the glad magnets
wherever attraction bees
and buzzes.
That buzz is your rule of thumb:
don’t settle too soon for comfortable numbness
and whatever you do
don’t stick your hands
in that dazzling, advertised wealth

of the willing dumb.

“When I Walk up the Footbridge” by Woo Sai Nga, translated by Audrey Heijns

Woo Moon & Footbridge Image

Please scroll down for the Chinese version!

“When I Walk up the Footbridge”

Sometimes I am inclined to
acceptance that vehicles driving along the road naturally
tend to get stuck in one direction
and refuelling is never a solution
susceptibility in extreme weather can only accelerate expansion or shrinkage
roads that are cracked open
people smashed to pieces
the world is supposed to be like this, full of defects
and we are fragile throughout

At other times, for example
in the face of headwinds, when my fringe is ruffled
it is easy to believe that
what I once accepted has already aged, and will eventually
be like the cracks in the road,
the people who repair the road,
will have to be us

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

〈當我走上天橋〉/ 胡世雅

有時我傾向接受
路上的車當然會向同一方向堵塞
加油永遠不能成為辦法
過份易感只會在極端天氣下加速膨脹或收縮
裂開的是路面
破碎是人
世界本應如此,充滿缺陷
而我們始終脆弱

也有一些時候,例如
逆風的日子,當瀏海翻動
便又輕易相信
曾經接受過的已經老去,終會
像路面斷裂
而修路的人
會是我們

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

● Woo Sai Nga, born in Hong Kong, is a member of Fannou Poetry Society. She graduated from the Chinese Department, Baptist University of Hong Kong in 2017 and is now teaching at a secondary school. She publishes poems in literary magazines in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and has won the Youth Literary Award (青年文學獎) and the Award for Creative Writing in Chinese (中文文學創作獎) in Hong Kong.

● Audrey Heijns, based in Hong Kong, is working at Shenzhen University. Her translations of Chinese literature have been published in literary magazines, including Het Trage Vuur, Twee Ronde, KortVerhaal, Terras, Renditions, Exchanges and Poetry International.

《新心界》:第一章

ButterfliesHK_Butterfly_3 APR 2019

• 「食蝴蝶嘅男人」

一聽到呢把帶有外國口音嘅聲音,阿綠就知道係屬於鐘意食蝴蝶但一啲都唔黐線嘅男仔。

突然諗翻五年前,一股衝動咁去鳳園蝴蝶保育區嘅情景。嗰日係十一月,天陰陰,所以遊客並唔算多,方便阿綠一個人慢慢欣賞飛嚟飛去、七彩繽紛嘅昆蟲。好好彩,佢一去到就真係可以同好多好多飛行中嘅珠寶打招呼,包括藍色搶眼嘅巴黎翠鳳蝶、小巧玲瓏嘅斗粒銀線灰蝶、四翼奪目嘅幻紫班蛺蝶、同埋身材脆弱嘅絹班蝶!除咗被昆蟲嘅外觀吸引之外,阿綠仲陶醉於佢哋廣東話嘅命名!蝴蝶嘅辭彙深深迷住佢。

因為專心投入觀賞鳳園中嘅自然景象,所以對於四圍一路未有特別注意,突然間靜謐嘅氣氛一下子遭受破壞。有個女人用著整蠱嘅口吻、半講半笑咁大聲提出疑問:「噉,你點解經常嚟呢度?」被問嘅男人毫無猶豫答:「當然因為好鐘意食蝴蝶!」。幾把女性聲好似合唱般哈哈大笑起嚟,無情咁嘲笑嗰個男人唔太標準嘅廣東話發音。不過奇怪嘅係,男人好似一啲都唔介意咁,繼續解釋佢食蝴蝶嘅怪癖,向住呢幾個仲未笑完嘅女人加一句:「其實,我覺得蝴蝶真係好好味!」跟住,女合唱團又一次哄然大笑,無情咁將鳳園嘅寧靜氣氛破壞。

阿綠聽到呢番對話之後,就覺得真係好攪笑。嗰個外國人今日太過黑仔,因為將「認識蝴蝶」講成「食蝴蝶」,所以令人誤會,另外,由於講歪音,將「蝴蝶好美麗」表達為「蝴蝶好好味」難免喺香港人面前「出盡洋相」。但係,阿綠繼續一面賞蝶,一面回想啱啱嗰場鬧劇。就算嗰個男人廣東話發音有問題,但係阿綠都好配服佢努力咁運用呢種一啲都唔易學嘅語言。香港有唔少外國人,長期安頓喺呢個城市,日日有數唔清嘅機會同本地人接觸,但係除咗日常生活最為基本嘅要求之外,譬如「幾多錢?」,「一碗雲吞麵」之類,就根本唔識點用粵語表達對世界嘅獨特諗法或者分析個人嘅感情。諗到呢一點,佢即刻覺得頭先表演嘅「戲劇」實際上唔係咁得意,甚至乎令到佢內心唔舒服,只好靜靜咁嘆一啖氣。

五年前嘅回憶又繼續湧入腦海中,到而家嗰把引人發笑嘅聲音再次迴響,阿綠覺得好有趣。一個五十歲嘅外國男人跑到佢面前,好冇禮貌咁話:「你唔好喐!你綠色嘅頭髮上有隻燕鳳蝶!」哇!眾所周知,燕鳳蝶係好少香港人見過嘅蝴蝶,除咗喺鳳園保育區之外,睇到佢嘅機會真係唔多。綠色頭髮嘅女人又驚訝又尷尬,趕唔切作出任何反應時,外國男人攞出部手提對住佢個頭部不停影相,影咗幾張之後就突然停止,望上天空自言自語咁話:「飛走啦」。嗰陣時,四圍就變得非常之寧靜,寜靜嘅程度同英文所講嘅「連大頭針跌落地上都可以聽到」幾乎一樣。

「你睇吓!」外國男人本意想將手機電話中嘅蝴蝶相片同阿綠分賞,但係話口未完就有另一意思,因為嗰隻啱啱飛走嘅燕鳳蝶突然飛返嚟,飛到佢哋隔離嘅開花植物上。好明顯,呢種蝴蝶同家燕一樣,唔單止係形態上相似,連飛行嘅速度都差唔多一樣,一樣咁快脆。平時,燕鳳蝶鐘意喺高處樹梢上面迅速飛旋,對於特登嚟鳳園睇佢嘅參觀者嚟講,蝴蝶好似故意整蠱佢哋咁。不過如果你運氣好嘅話,燕鳳蝶會忽然變乖,放慢飛行速度,仲有機會喺四圍嘅叢叢花朵上逗留,快速飛走嘅願望都已經忘記得一乾二淨啦!

「你睇吓。青+見=靚!」綠色頭髮嘅女人覺得呢種表達方式又奇怪又得意,佢當然唔知道呢個講法係男人向廣東話老師嚴太借嚟嘅。每次上堂介紹新嘅生字時,嚴太特別鐘意採用呢一種頗有數學味道嘅方法教學。譬如,目+言+川=瞓,火+局=焗,心+堅=慳,男+女+男=嬲等等,正因為嚴老師發明嘅呢種教字方式,男人已經學到好多中文字,所以睇報紙就冇乜問題,不過較罕見嘅字,包括綠色頭髮女人嘅名字 – 林若黛中嘅「黛」字,仍然會令到佢一頭霧水。

林若黛被被初次見到嘅燕鳳蝶徹底迷住,因為呢隻蝴蝶已經近在咫尺,所以可以清清楚楚咁觀察到呢種昆蟲嘅特徵。燕鳳蝶擁有各個吸引人嘅特質:最令人注目嘅係,佢對前翅上有一大部分係透明嘅,翅膀中間好似鑲嵌一塊小巧嘅玻璃,眼前呢隻蝴蝶向馬纓丹嘅花朵伸直口器,準備吸食花蜜,林若黛可以透過前翅膀嘅玻璃窗仔見到一粒粒黃色、紅色同埋粉紅色嘅馬纓丹花朵!更為突出嘅特點,係蝴蝶後翅上有一對細長嘅翅尾,而翅尾嘅長短同蝴蝶嘅軀體部分係一樣長嘅,樣子令人聯想到一個裝有兩條絲帶嘅小型纸鷂。而且,猶如絲帶一樣,呢兩對翅尾喺燕鳳蝶飛翔嘅情況下耐唔耐會颯颯作響,因此,通常係首先聽到,之後先至見到呢啲愛飛往高處嘅燕鳳蝶。能夠喺離大埔工業邨咁近嘅地方﹐見到如此美妙嘅蝴蝶,真算係一個奇蹟!

阿綠嘅注意力漸漸地由蝴蝶偷偷轉移到外國男人身上,佢嘅出現嚟得太突然,令到阿綠變得過份慌張,冇法冷靜從容咁望佢一眼。外國男人身材高高哋,所以容易令人有一種屹立於他人嘅印象。不過佢奀瘦嘅身材郤會為矮細嘅人士,帶嚟唔少精神上嘅安慰。外國男人顯然冇乜與眾不同嘅體力,身體嘅瘦削亦反映喺佢嘅面上,心情好嘅人會用「憨厚」或「腍善」嚟形容佢,殘忍嘅人或者選擇「戅直」,「烏𠿬𠿬」等褒義嘅辭彙。男人藍色嘅眼睛略略露出一線憂鬱嘅情緒。短短嘅頭髮已經有唔少地方變白變灰,亦都暗示出內心深處積累多年嘅個人哀傷。不過,林若黛睇得出佢肯定唔會食到蝴蝶!

外國男人意識到自己被仔細觀察嗰一刻,就向綠色頭髮嘅女人回以微笑。

「我姓陳,叫之一,陳之一,“之一”之“之”,“之一”之“一”,認識你好開心。」佢用啲古怪嘅方式嚟自我介紹,令到對方好難唔記得佢叫乜名。

「陳之一?」林若黛唔太相信自己對耳仔,食蝴蝶男人嘅表達習慣真係同講嘢一様咁好笑。

「香港姓陳嘅梗係好多,我只不過係其中一員,所以咁樣改名。你呢,你貴姓呀?」佢零舍認真咁為自己嘅稱呼加以解釋。

綠色頭髮嘅女人顯得有啲唔自在,好似唔太願意話俾佢知呢啲私人嘢,不過同時感到咁樣做對陳之一冇禮貌。經過一番猶豫之後,佢終於低聲回答話:「我呀?姓林,木+木嘅林,不過多數人叫我“阿綠”。」佢忍唔住摹仿外國男人特有嘅講法嚟解析自己個姓。

「真好!“綠”字嘅讀音同英文一個單詞都好接近,即係“好運”嘅意思。噉,你估自己算唔算係一個好有運氣嘅人?」

阿綠瞬間露出一種無以名狀嘅表情,目光像流星般出現一副拒人於外嘅顏色。片刻之後,佢以一種古怪嘅笑聲掩飾自己嘅感情。

忽然,呢兩個人同時決定離開鳳園,雖然佢哋之間未有協議,但係一齊行開,阿綠行喺前面並陷入沈思,陳之一跟隨後面並四週觀望。喺呢種罕有嘅半親暱嘅沈默之中,佢哋經過保育區入邊各個地區,包括裳鳳閣同薑花小俓,亦經過一個傳統墓穴,代表呢處嘅風水想必唔錯。對風水有興趣嘅阿綠心諗,如果自己死咗之後仲可以享受咁靚嘅環境,應該好幸福。接近出入口嘅時候,陳之一注意到一張指示牌,上面以大字印有“沙螺洞”呢個地名,令到佢聯想到大嶼山嘅沙螺灣,尤其係面對機場嗰間優美嘅天后廟,古廟裏邊又神聖又靜謐嘅氣氛,同飛機發出嘅巨聲嘈音構成明顯嘅對比。難道將來一日,又平靜又偏僻嘅沙螺洞會遭到同樣嘅毀壞?

行去小巴站方向嘅時候,喺一幢豪宅出面,阿綠忽然間企住腳,啤啤貢咁望住啱啱行過嚟嘅一個女人。陳之一簡單咁問一聲「邊個?」,阿綠同樣簡約回答:「明星。」男人聽到答案之後就覺得好攪笑,喃喃自語:「明星應該喺天黑之後先至見到。日頭睇佢好似唔對路。」阿綠一啲都冇理佢呢番騎呢嘅獨白。

冇耐,小巴就到站。上車嘟咭之後,佢哋喺小巴最孻屘兩個空位坐低,未幾,小巴就開出。呢排乘客好多,不過大多數都唔似拜訪蝴蝶保育區嘅遊客,而係住喺附近居民嘅工人姐姐。小巴離開屋苑後就經過鳳園路隔離嘅一條溪流。溪流雖然好細,但係溪水清澈無污,兩岸草木長得零舍茂盛。陳之一特別鐘意香港呢啲市鎮週邊被忽略嘅荒地。

忽然,阿綠開口話:「好奇怪!啱啱見到嘅燕鳳蝶中有啲後翅冇翅尾,一啲都唔似家燕。係咪有啲燕鳳蝶天生冇翅尾?真係好可惜!」

「唔係喎!我估應該係遭受雀仔襲擊㗎,鳥類可能喺食蝴蝶時,只咬到翅尾嗰一部分,因此蝴蝶僥幸脫逃,獲得活下去嘅機會。第二次被雀喙啄住時,就會犧牲剩翻嘅一尾,從此就變咗兩翅都冇嘅。真係好犀利,通過呢類方式,身體軟弱嘅蝴蝶可以迴避想吞下佢嘅雀仔,維持自己嘅生命!」

阿綠心諗呢個男人扮嗮昆蟲專家咁,演講式嘅口氣真係好討厭。雖然如此佢忍唔住自言自語:「係呀,我都係咁㗎啦,為咗維持生活,只好放棄兩條翅尾,我同呢啲燕鳳蝶完全一樣!」

陳之一感到莫名其妙,望住佢一陣,粒聲都唔出。

小巴好快就到達終點站。當時,大埔嘅街道到處都好迫,真係一個名副其實迫滿嗮人嘅禮拜六下晝。一時衝動之下,阿綠問陳之一係咪肚餓,不如陪佢去食嘢?平時鐘意出街食廣東菜嘅男人即刻答應,建議去就腳嘅街市揾食肆。兩人沿住南運路穿過一浪又一浪嘅人群,冇耐喺街市入邊,求其揾間舖頭坐低。點菜之後,就十分悠閒咁一面呷茶,一面睇吓四圍嘅其他顧客,雖然好熱鬧,但氣氛格外輕鬆。空氣中彌漫著茴香氣味、叉燒氣味,唔知點解令到陳之一覺得特別舒服。今日去鳳園真係玩得好開心。

兩人各顧心思咁食飯,阿綠忽然提出問題,問陳之一究竟係邊度人?聽佢嘅口音,想必係英國人,但係佢唔敢肯定。

「我係澳洲大金山人,」佢毫無猶豫回答。

「澳洲!咁啱得咁橋,我下個月打算去澳洲墨爾本過聖誕。」

「即係我湊大嘅地方!」

「你頭先係咪話你係“大金山”長大囉?我係咪攪錯?」

「一啲都冇犯錯。十九世紀,你啲祖先叫墨市做“大金山”,都係同一個地方。你一定知道,美國三藩市叫做舊金山。噉,你去澳洲做乜?渡假?」

「揾父親. . .」

「揾父親?」陳之一用一種充滿驚奇嘅目光凝望阿綠一眼。

「其實唔係“揾”佢,而係“探”佢。不過,我未去過澳洲,因此可以講係半揾半探,」阿綠匆忙加以解釋,以為陳之一對於“揾父”呢一講法冇法聽明。

食完飯俾錢之後,佢哋離開咗大埔墟就分手。為咗幫助阿綠進一步熟悉墨爾本,外國男人自動建議為佢搜集一啲資料,再度聯絡。

因為佢住喺沙田第一城附近,陳之一先搭車去大圍,然後轉車到沙田圍地鐵站落車。行過沙角邨時,進入沙田圍路上嘅嘉樂金沙餅店,順便買咗三個豆沙餅做為聽日上晝配茶嘅食物。嗰時嘅晚霞真係好靚,因此佢改變主意,唔即刻返屋企,決定行去城門河畔散散步,未見到條河佢已經聞到河水半鹹嘅氣味。河上偶爾會見到鱗片亮晶晶發光嘅魚,莫名其妙咁嘗試由水中跳入天空去。

河畔途徑行過一個疑似隱蔽青年嘅男仔(陳之一心諗呢類人係咪可以叫做“隱蔽青年”?),佢身穿一件蔚藍色嘅T恤,上面用大字寫有「寂寞是我最好的朋友」,令到陳之一一見難忘,永遠唔會忘記。男仔經過之後,陳之一又轉過身,唔捨得咁再望吓嗰個人,此刻竟然瞥到T恤背面亦都有字,今次係「我不再害怕」,呢次嘅震撼比第一次大得多,陳之一因此只好目送呢五個字,年輕人漸漸在眼中消失,但呢五個字依然烙低喺佢嘅雙眼上。

外國男人嗰陣時突然間諗翻阿綠有關燕鳳蝶嘅話:「我都係咁㗎啦,為咗維持生活,只好放棄兩條翅尾。」佢心諗阿綠講得啱,處於呢個世界好容易遭受破壞,受到損失。不過,從另一方面睇,損害有時可以保持生命,甚至乎為生命加深一層含義。由此可見,損失同埋生存好似係一個五蚊銀仔嘅兩面,密不可分。

真係好微妙:一隻蝴蝶,兩個人獨特嘅反應,三種截然唔同嘅生活模式!

 

攝影:butterflieshk.wordpress.com

 

 

Practice IS Perfect

Dam Flotsam Twigs RESIZED_13 AUG 2019

It’s no easy thing learning another language, perhaps especially when that “other language” happens to be Cantonese! Patience is really important.

On my last trip to Hong Kong, I went to see a language teacher one of whose textbooks I found (and am still finding) very useful. She told me about a student of hers who picked up the rudiments of Cantonese in two weeks! We all love a success story with talent winning out against the odds, but this particular anecdote was pretty deflating for me, I confess. In my case, Cantonese is a matter of years. Actually, I’m into my second decade already . . .

I have no great gift for languages: to me, language is the great gift, one that can never be exhausted. If you’ve ever read the Moomintroll books by Tove Jansson, you’ll recall there’s a character called Hemul who is a very conscientious kind of creature. For a time, his big passion is stamp-collecting, but then one day he is thrown into utter crisis when he manages to acquire the last remaining stamp his collection needs to be complete! What will he do now? Suddenly a huge emptiness gapes open in his life.

I’m sure in my case there will never ever be a Hemul moment! No matter how much I learn, there is always more to be learnt. As Thomas Sterner points out in The Practising Mind, practice itself has to be the focal point for any dedicated language-learner:

I understood that there was no point I could reach where I would feel that I had finally done it, that I was as good as I needed to be, and that there was no need to improve because I had arrived at my goal.

However, rather than sadden ourselves with goals we never seem to reach, we need to learn to enjoy the process itself, to find optimum joy in that and, as Sterner recommends, to experiment with ways “to build the stamina necessary to continue in an infinite study”.

When I first got my puppy, he was only eight weeks old and could fit inside a shoe-box. Six months later, he is nearly full-grown and takes all my energy to lift off the ground! The strange thing is, I could never see that growth from day to day: I guess it happens too close up to be appreciated. Maybe learning a language is like that, too: invisible to the naked eye. But trust in the pleasures of regular, heart-felt practice and perhaps the result will (more or less) take care of itself, a natural progression.

 

Photograph: Rocks & Flotsam down by the Dam

Phantom Memory

Moss, Quartz & Kangaroo Dung_RESIZED_AUG 2019

He was a sales rep,
he’d hit the road for weeks at a time
trying his best to flog carpets gadgets LP records —
god-knows-what! Once, he brought home for us
a sample volume full of the start
of a 100 illustrated stories
but not an ending in sight
despite my endless re-readings.
(I’m still waiting.) And then
there were the ukuleles, perhaps a swap
with some other travelling mate, their thin strings
strung as taut as the highest high-wire;
our fingers, however, they were
no tight-rope walkers.
Perhaps his head dreamed incessantly of Hawai’i
from our twanging Melbourne gloom.
You can’t blame him for trying, can you?
Now look at him, old salesman,
shadow of his former sell,
but after a lifetime, the story,
Hawai’i, these — undeniable —
stay true past us all.

 

Photograph: Moss, Quartz & Kangaroo Dung

Escalator Revery

Door at Kam Tin Tin Hau Temple 2016_RESIZED

Step out onto that silent grooved plate,
lay absent-minded fingers on the sleek handrail,
and wait for that memorable uplifting shift
to platform slats of flat metal
out into magical stairs.
As wide awareness of the world
drops away from attention, sink
as you stand motionless
in movement back into personal dream.
What goes on from this point
you have little idea, and when the everyday-conscious
re-asserts its lapsed claim,
there you are, red-faced,
hard-pressed to recall
where exactly you were all that time in between
this and that — spot-lit — mirror-blank —
shopping-centred — floor.

 

Photograph: 香港錦田天后廟 Kam Tin Tin Hau Temple, Hong Kong

Cantonese through News Stories: Simon Cheng Man-kit Held in Detention

Geng Shuang Mainland foreign Ministry_22 AUG 2019

If you were unsure why the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance has provoked such outrage in Hong Kong, the recent case of 鄭文傑 Simon Cheng Man-kit is a perfect instance of what is at stake. Cheng, trade and investment officer at the British consulate in Hong Kong, disappeared on the evening of the 8 August on his way back to Hong Kong from Shenzhen. Finally, on 22 August, 耿爽Gáng2 Sóng2 (Mandarin: Geng Shuang) informed the world that Cheng had been placed under “disciplinary detention” [行政拘留] by Shenzhen police for fifteen days and warned the British not to go on “fanning flames and lighting fires”, a reference to the 2019 Summer of Protest. To date, no one has been informed of Cheng’s whereabouts.

On 22 August, the Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times reported that Cheng was being held for a violation of article 66:

The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday that Cheng was under administrative detention in Shenzhen. On Thursday, police in Shenzhen’s Luohu district told Global Times that he was detained for violating article 66 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Penalties for Administration of Public Security. The article includes solicitation of prostitutes. 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

12 new words:

外交部 ngoih6 gāau1 bouh6 = Ministry of Foreign Affairs (PRC)
證實 jing3 saht6 = to confirm, to verify
行政拘留 hàhng4 jing3 kēui1 làuh4 = disciplinary detention
治安管理處罰法 jih6 ōn1 gwún2 léih5 chyu3 faht6 faat3 = public security administration punishment law
處罰 chyú2 faht6 = to punish; to penalize
僱員 gu3 yùhn4 = employee
香港公民 Hēung1 Góng2 gūng1 màhn4 = Hong Kong citizen
敦促 dēun1 chūk1 = to urge; to press
發表錯誤言論 faat3 bíu2 cho3 ngh6 yìhn4 leuhn6 = to air/express incorrection opinions/views
指手畫脚 jí2 sáu2 waahk6 geuk3 = to make indiscreet remarks or criticisms
煽風點火 sin3 fūng1 dím2 fó2 = to inflame and agitate people; to stir up trouble; to incite discord
失去聯絡 sāt1 heui3 lyùhn4 lok3 = to lose contact with sb.

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(Introduction)

外交部證實英國駐香港領事館一個港職員被深圳警方行政拘留。
The mainland Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that a Hong Kong employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong is being held in “disciplinary detention” by Shenzhen police.

(Main story)

  • 耿爽 Gáng2 Sóng2, spokesperson for the mainland Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Mandarin)

你提到的這個人因爲違反中華人民共和國治安管理處罰法,被深圳警方處以行政拘留15天的處罰。
The person you are referring to has been punished by Shenzhen police with disciplinary detention for 15 days for breaking the public security administration punishment law of the People’s Republic of China.

這名僱員他是香港公民。
This employee is a Hong Kong citizen

他不是英國公民。
He is not a British citizen.

他是中國人也就是說。
Which is to say, he is Chinese.

所以完全是中國自己的内部事務。
For this reason, this is in all respects [完全] China’s own internal matter.

外交部指,英方喺香港問題發表錯誤言論,敦促英方唔好再指手畫脚同煽風點火。
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the British has expressed incorrect opinions on the matter of the Hong Kong question, and urged Britain to refrain [唔好再 mh4 hóu joi3] from “making indiscreet remarks or criticisms” and from “inflaming and agitating people”.

英國外交部早前表示,高度關注駐港總領事館一個男職員由深圳返香港期間被拘留嘅事。
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office had earlier said that there was a high degree of concern for the detention of this male employee of the British consulate, detained by Shenzhen police on his way back to Hong Kong.

嗰個男職員本月八日晚坐高鐵由深圳返香港期間同親友失去聯絡。
Close friends lost all contact with that male employee on 8 August while he was travelling on the Express Rail Link from Shenzhen to Hong Kong.

2019年8月21日

Related reports:

+ Hong Kong Free Press (in English)

+ BBC (in Chinese)