《新心界》:第三章

San Sam Gaai 3_Chinatown Pai Lau

• 「冇山冇金嘅大金山」

我哋每次搭飛機飛離地面嘅時候,總覺得似係一種為準備離開世界不再復返而進行嘅綵練,所以心情零舍特別,又不安又興奮,因為根本冇法預測「最後嘅離開」究竟隱藏著怎樣嘅神秘經驗?

去墨爾本嘅飛機係夜晚八點鐘起飛,呢個航班時間真係太合適阿綠,白天嘅活動唔會受到太多影響,搭機場巴士前都有充足嘅時間食飯,甚至睇一部電影。雖然飛機上嘅環境唔太舒服——周圍迫滿生埗人,而機艙座位亦極為狹窄——但係瞓著之後,呢啲不便嘅狀況都會一律消失。其實,呢排因著工作繁忙嘅關係,阿綠覺得身心超級疲倦,應該趁機好好唞吓,盡量放鬆自己,準備面對呢次旅行將會面對嘅挑戰。

飛機起飛前由閘門開始倒行嗰陣,坐窗口位嘅阿綠一路望著高聳入雲嘅鳳凰山,偶意諗起香港國際機場下面永遠無法回復原狀嘅兩個島仔:赤鱲角同埋欖洲。據稱,赤鱲角原先叫做「赤肋角」,起源於廣東話嘅「打赤肋」呢個意思。邊個會諗到,原來處處缺少植物遮蔽嘅赤肋角喺新世紀嘅開端時會被咁多石屎、瀝青、建築物、先進設備等所鋪蓋?唔知「赤鱲角」呢一個早已過時嘅名稱會唔會喺不久嘅將來被人忘記得一乾二淨,而以具有濃烈科技味道嘅「機場島」所代替?

唔知點解阿綠咁啱喺黎明之前由夢境突然間醒過嚟。成架飛機好似一條既長又幽嘅地下走廊,不過走廊毫無人跡,因此帶某種略略陰森嘅感覺俾女人。佢往窗口轉頭望過去:嗰刻見到嘅景色令到佢驚歎!飛機下面雖然依然陷於黑夜之中,但係飛機上面嘅天空已經轉為蔚藍色,係一種喺日頭時冇可能見到嘅微妙藍色,好似係單純、希望、復興、奧祕嘅象徵,令到阿綠只能凝神盯住,佢對於四圍環境已經冇嗮感覺,刹那間好似得到頓悟一樣。而且,喺藍色天空同黑夜之間懸浮一束橙黃色嘅光線,光線如絲般又細又幼又亮,係黎明嘅顏色,亦都係太陽嘅顏色,因此,又係微不足道嘅人類嘅徽章。「哦﹗」阿綠心裏面諗,「原來每日都可以睇到曙光喎!一生浪費咗咁多天亮時刻!為咗夜生活付出嘅代價究竟係咪值得?」

著陸後嘅墨爾本同窗外嘅印象啱啱相反。阿綠行出機場接機大堂門口嗰一刻,即係一冇冷氣保護時,就立刻被澳洲十二月嘅酷熱緊緊籠罩。雖然佢仍然覺得香港嘅夏天熱得好難受,縱使亞洲嘅潮濕熱浪會令到自己覺得皮膚上,好快就會冒出嫩葉,但畢竟係充滿水分嘅活力。反而而家,面對墨爾本沙漠般嘅乾熱,佢忍唔住感到絕望,好似自己嘅生命已經放棄佢:佢根本冇法適應枯燥至極嘅氣候!眈高個頭睇睇四圍嘅時候,刺眼嘅強光拮痛阿綠雙眼,而喺附近有一塊長滿枯草嘅正所謂「機場公園」,裏面有三五樖細長嘅桉樹被一陣陣乾風搖晃。

好彩,陳之一為佢提供嘅資料都非常有用,讓佢能夠避免夏季嘅殘忍虐待。喺接機大堂出面,步程唔使五分鐘就有一個巴士站,有一架紅噹噹嘅通天巴士停泊,好似特登喺度等佢咁,阿綠知道搭呢路巴士就可以直接去到墨市中心嘅南十字星火及巴士站。因為時間仲好早,加上係星期六,到達墨市都好順利,冇遇到塞車或慢駛嘅情況。巴士站就同沙田市中心好似,氣氛同停車場差唔多,但係阿綠行到火車站嗰邊,成個氣氛就突然熱鬧起嚟,而且覆蓋整個車站嘅波浪式屋頂,令佢聯想到舉世聞名嘅澳洲沙灘。阿綠嘅心情因此好翻少少。

不過,出門行到斯潘塞道時,熱浪又一次漂到佢身邊,而且城市入面嘅炎熱更加難受:四圍嘅摩天大樓以及鋪嗮瀝青嘅路面亦都散發熱氣,又有不斷駛嚟駛去嘅車流,帶嚟嘈音同埋電油味。儘管如此,阿綠唔使為此擔心,因為陳之一幫佢揾嘅酒店就好近車站,唔使十分鐘就可以喺自己間酒店房發呆。到酒店之後,阿綠本來打算先休息一下,再出門遊覽「大金山」,不過佢貪新鮮又唔想錯過行街嘅機會。沖咗涼、換咗衫,阿綠準備好,再冒著炎熱嘅天氣,去探索呢個完全唔熟悉嘅城市。

等交通燈過馬路時,一部電車經過阿綠身邊,轉彎駛入伯克道一刻,車上嘅集電桿由電纜刷出一啲火花,令到阿綠諗起佢童年鐘意玩嘅煙花棒。橫過馬路後,佢沿住伯克道慢慢上平緩斜路。呢條路好寬闊,兩邊都種滿參天大樹,加埋多幢巨大摩天大樓,就感覺遊走於峽谷中。阿綠注意到一群群麻雀尋覓街邊食物時冇乜特別反應,但就睇到一群群白雪雪海鷗為一盒抌下嘅薯條鬥爭嘅時候,就頗感到訝異:墨市嘅海鷗已經放棄海洋,嚟到呢度選擇執垃圾過活嘅日子。雀鳥嘅基本生活方式同伯克道嘅豪華建築物構成明顯嘅對比,阿綠耳邊響起一種無休止嘅低語,將做生意嘅精明、資深律師嘅雄辯、銀行老細對於金錢嘅睿智、同地產物業商嘅狡猾同耐心容納為一體。呢度早就冇嗮單純諗住餵海鷗或玩煙花棒嘅人士啦!

由於峽谷入邊處處都係陰涼嘅地方,阿綠可以暫時逃避好猛嘅太陽。到達斜坡上面,俯瞰下面嘅景色:山谷一直往前延展落去,最為吸引眼光嘅地方就係一個十九世紀嘅鐘樓。伊麗沙白道鐘樓上嘅鐘面雖然顯得特別吸引,但同時又提醒佢,置身於呢類城市中,冇人能夠避免時間無情嘅支配。阿綠知道,呢個鐘樓係墨爾本郵政總部嘅一部分,對於好多人嚟講,正正代表墨市中心嘅正中心。「咦﹗」阿綠突然間覺得唔對路。「我點解睇唔到墨爾本嘅山坡?」作為香港人,佢已經習慣隨地見山:除咗搭車穿入隧道時,甚至乎喺大樓之間嘅空隙,都偶爾可以瞥到山,而香港嘅山一般都好好睇,有起有伏嘅山脊所畫出嘅曲線真係充滿活力,似是無聲仿有聲咁話俾人知,人間嘅繁榮離唔開大地。難道「大金山」嘅土丘早被當年嘅淘金者都移開嗮?

到咗伊麗沙白道,阿綠又見到一部電車駛出,向左邊轉彎,一直行到一條叫做小伯克道。墨市街道命名有一個特點:幾乎每條大道「家姐」隔離都有一條平行嘅「妹妹」小街。正因為此,有條同科林斯道平行的小科林斯道,而倫斯戴爾道旁邊又有自己條妹妹路,即小倫斯戴爾道!呢種命名方式令到阿綠感到困惑:咁樣嘅情況係出於墨市人缺乏想像力,定係出於佢哋特別鐘意同一街道名而重復,等佢哋易記啲?無論如何,阿綠相信每條街應該都有自己嘅特點,獨一無二嘅性格,呢種改名嘅方式對阿綠而言係唔符合現實。

雖然如此,小伯克道深深吸引阿綠:接近十字路口嗰刻,對面豎起一個顏色奪目嘅牌坊,同四圍環境顯得零舍格格不入。牌坊上面嘅匾額寫有「墨爾本唐人街」六個字,宣佈呢度就係本地華人地區嘅大門,亦都係通往第二種文化嘅入口。同世界其他華埠一樣,多數舖頭都係酒樓,不過喺阿綠繼續向前行嘅時候,佢亦睇到有其他商業活動,包括賣澳洲特產嘅舖頭,便利店,同埋從事傳統中醫服務嘅診所。雖然大部分舖面嘅裝修都好現代商業化,但係抬頭一睇,即刻就可以辨認出其保留唔少舊樓嘅原先面目。喺十九世紀五十年代至八十年代,墨市基本上係依靠黃金興建嘅城市,隨著美國「舊金山」三藩市嘅衰退之後,唔少華人嚟呢度嘗試發財。少數人真係透過淘金發財,另外亦有一批人依靠為淘金者提供日常生活所須,都賺到唔少錢。阿綠一面行,一面諗翻一啲昔日嘅場景,同時又聯想到港島特有嘅蘭桂芳,將「老蘭」想像成一個「香港西人街」嘅文化避難所。

* * *

「葉公!你條龍跑到邊呀?」

陳之一每逢禮拜四放工後,都會去上廣東話堂,以提高水準。不過唔知點解,佢今日好難集中注意力,結果嚴太多次運用「葉公」這個花名嚟整蠱佢一番。陳之一開始上堂時,嚴太即刻意識到佢係一個十分勤力嘅學生,但係嚴太教其他學生一些好受歡迎嘅題材時,反而會令到「葉公」反感。譬如,有一次,喺介紹一篇有關去日本北海道滑雪嘅課文時,陳之一突然有病,臉色變得蒼白,只好停課休息兩個星期。另外一次,嚴太因為心情唔好就隨便攞出一篇題為《向上司匯報工作情況》嘅短文,唔到十分鐘,陳之一竟然暈落地下,幾乎嚇到嚴太都爭啲暈低!總之陳之一呢個學生嘅脾氣真係好古怪。

好彩,嚴太對於性格古怪嘅人士感到份外同情。佢本來係中學數學教師,一生致力於數學同埋教學事業,不過有一日,呢股熱情忽然徹底消失!當日有幾個同事請佢去沙田文化博物館參觀一次有關武俠巨星李小龍嘅展覽。佢睇緊展品嘅時候,莫名其妙地感到身心疲累,跟住以去廁所為藉口,離開展覽室出去唞吓。之後,毫無目的咁喺嗰度漫步亂行,行到另一間展覽室時,佢無意識咁單靠本能行入去。牆上展出嘅係一幅幅水墨畫,顏色特別艷麗,畫上嘅題材亦都令到嚴太特別感有趣:有蜻蜓,有蟬,有小鳥,有薑花,雖然都極為樸素,但令佢想起屬於自己細蚊女嘅時期。畫家趙少昂所描敘嘅境界震撼嚴太。其中有一幅畫特別吸引嚴太,佢對腳好似扎根入地咁,企喺呢幅畫前面發咗好耐吽哣,最後因為有位職員過嚟問佢有冇事,嚴太終於可以暫時脫離這種藝術性嘅魅力。不過,自從此刻,生活方式發生巨大嘅變化。

憑藉直感,嚴太改變了教學方式,認為陳之一同佢一樣係趨向藝術、文化、宗教各方面嘅性格,從而選擇一篇關於葉公嘅故事,激起呢個學生嘅興趣。陳之一唔止好鐘意葉公嘅故仔,仲明白其稍帶諷刺滋味嘅寓意,將課文改寫過嚟形容自己學廣東話嘅窘境:

「《陳公好廣東話》

陳公因為鐘意廣東話,所以家中嘅書檯上、書架上,連牆上都放滿有關廣東話同香港嘅課本、辭典、圖片。之後,附近有一位廣東話老師獲知陳公真係好鐘意廣東話,於是搭小巴去佢屋企拜訪佢。老師敲門入屋時,同陳公用廣東話講嘢,不過陳公一聽到有人同佢講自己熱愛嘅語言,突然間覺得不知所措,大叫一聲,嗱嗱聲匿埋起嚟。由此可知,陳公鐘意嘅唔係真正嘅廣東話,而係嗰啲介紹廣東話嘅課本教材,令到佢無法實現佢學識廣東話嘅夢想。」

讀完這篇文章之後,嚴太覺得自己教法係有譜嘅。不過,今日嘅陳之一難以集中注意力回答嚴太所提出嘅問題。而且,嚴太所揀嘅語言重點同自己嘅主要心事之間發生微妙嘅關係。譬如,嚴太想介紹吓「賣魚佬洗身」呢個歇後語,陳之一居然諗起佢喺索罟灣留低嘅嗰封信,又諗此後應唔應該繼續寫信俾父親?另外,提到「芝麻綠豆」又馬上聯想到阿綠同埋佢呢次去墨市見老豆嘅事!出於無奈,嚴太最後故意選用「釣魚」加以解釋,目的係提醒陳之一上堂時係應該認真留心老師嘅教學,可惜效果啱啱相反,唔聽話嘅澳洲學生,思維又回到索罟灣漁村同佢一直寫信而收尾「海底撈針一場空」嘅結果。嚴太只好宣佈落堂。

不過,見到陳之一準備離開嘅一刹那,佢就諗翻起一件事。

「葉公!你稍微等吓。有件急事差啲唔記得同你講!明年五月十八號,香港廣東話推廣協會要舉辦一次廣東話演講比賽,有一個項目專為外國人而設嘅。當然,我知你性格內斂,唔鐘意喺公開場合開口講話。不過,呢次活動一定會幫你嘅廣東話取得新嘅突破,加上我可以幫你提升你發音嘅準確性。你好好考慮!下次上堂我哋就再討論吓,好唔好?」

陳之一表面上冇乜大興趣,但係佢搭訕講一句,答應嚴太會考慮參唔參加這個「語言遊戲」,出門時向老師祝一聲聖誕快樂!就道別喇。

* * *

點樣形容阿綠同父親嘅關係?可以舉一個例子解釋。一直以來,父親會叫佢唯一女兒做「新界的士」,毫無禮貌咁嘲諷阿綠用綠色染頭髮嘅習慣。

因此,阿綠到達墨市之後就要抽空去將頭髮染翻其天生嘅黑色,以免再次遭受父親刻薄嘅諷刺說話。佢唔介意放棄寶貴嘅旅遊時間,只要改善同父親嘅關係,阿綠深知要採取一啲積極手段先至可以成功。佢爸爸性格牛頸,世界觀又特別窄,除咗做生意賺錢之外,佢堅信人生冇乜其他目標:金錢即係成功,成功即係擺佈他人,擺佈他人即係享受專制嘅快樂,享受專制嘅快樂亦都可以多賺錢。阿綠嘅母親曾經掙扎擺脫呢種惡性循環嘅生活模式,但係經過幾十年嘅努力,佢最終都揾唔到出路。阿綠到而家雖然曾未徹底獲得自由,但係仲未陷入絕望。雖然如此,佢暗暗意識到父親嗰種極端嘅狹隘思想對於佢嚟講,係會構成巨大威脅嘅。親戚之間嘅陰險敵意因為藏而不露,所以難以發現。

要同父親食晏嗰日好快就到。據稱,墨市嘅天氣好唔穩定,甚至乎連到盛夏都可以遇到「一日四季」嘅時刻!阿綠呢次行好運,這一日氣溫突然下降,變得格外舒服,因此阿綠決定由酒店一直行到父親住嘅嘉怡頓區住所。首先行到伯克道上一間咖啡吧,係陳之一推薦嘅,名字叫柏歷堅尼,係早喺二十世紀五十年代由意大利人開辦,能夠一直生存到而家,就足以證明係一家出色嘅咖啡吧。一入門口,第一個印象就係:長酒吧式嘅櫃台、一排高腳凳、整幅牆上都貼上玻璃鏡、同埋研磨機刺耳嘅摩擦聲。等到研磨機停止後,阿綠用一口流利嘅義大利語同服務員嗌一杯鮮奶咖啡,然後轉身坐低喺櫃台前嘅一張空凳上。隨便四週觀望時,佢無意瞥到對面有一個黑色頭髮嘅女仔,稍為怕醜咁望佢一眼。阿綠對於自己冇嗮綠髮嘅樣子反而覺得有少少尷尬,而家呢個樣嘅阿綠究竟係一個點樣嘅人:誠心定係懦怯?為自己目標而努力定係自我背叛?心裏面忽然響起一啲難以反駁嘅聲音。問父親借錢真好似要由石頭搾出血一樣咁艱難!

有一個愜意嘅途徑到達嘉怡頓。離柏歷堅尼唔算好遠,就可以行到規模廣大嘅嘉怡頓大公園。當阿綠行近公園嗰一刻,便見到幾塊翠綠嘅草坪,無疑係伊甸園嘅一個象徵,讓人聨想到天堂,一種逃避夏天酷熱嘅世外桃源。公園四圍都鋪有彎曲嘅沙面路徑,路邊種著一樖樖巨大嘅樹木,樹上嘅葉子冒得十分茂盛,好似特登帶來一團團有陰影嘅地方,為行人擋曬,令到阿綠覺得身心涼爽。公園入面亦設有花圃,盛開著五顏六色嘅歐式花朵,但係經過嘅時候,阿綠又認得出一種類似中國蓍草嘅植物。跟住,佢就經過外貌浮誇嘅皇家展覽大廈,維多利亞嘅博物館,同埋一個使任何細路仔都嚮往嘅遊樂場。嘉怡頓公園將阿綠已失去嘅綠色內心得以暫時恢復。佢一面行路,一面掛住暫時獨居嘅蛾鬼,又一面考慮點同阿爸提出辦展覽嘅事,而越諗越覺得呢個問題好撠手。

相約嘅地方就係另一間意大利咖啡室,名字令到阿綠忍唔住發出一陣苦笑,當然阿綠嘅父親應該唔知道,呢個意大利名就係「我愛你」嘅意思!不過,阿綠深深意識到佢阿爸咁樣選擇就係為咗滿足佢女,唔係嘅話佢絕對唔會接近如此不設實際嘅地方,肯定唔會㗎。

雖然早到二十分鐘,但係阿綠一入咖啡店就見到佢老豆,用著心急嘅眼神望佢:佢深知父親嘅脾氣,「準時係美德」就係老豆嘅口頭禪之一。阿綠坐低嗰一刻,對食物好講究嘅爸爸就即刻問佢想食咩?為咗盡快通過呢一關,阿綠就詐諦認真睇餐牌,然後以零舍果斷嘅口氣叫一個海鮮意粉同一杯意式起泡嘅檸檬汁。其實,呢間咖啡室嘅氣氛好啱阿綠嘅心水:特意暗淡嘅光線,令佢感到好舒服,加上牆上貼滿好多以戲劇表演為主題嘅海報,效果又簡單又活潑、又有濃烈藝術氣氛,而且冇播放任何音樂,適合鐘意傾計嘅人。

好不幸,阿綠父親係一個只識話事、唔識傾計嘅人,加上呢排佢哋之間嘅距離拉得越來越遠,因此阿綠好難同佢阿爸揾到共同話題,對住面前嘅父親格外吃力。父親提出嘅話題個個都針對阿綠嘅種種敏感弱點。第一,佢阿爸問佢工作嘅情況,跟住埋怨自己個囡冇野心,冇路數賺取高薪,永遠係一個冇鬼用嘅「一碌葛」,講到「碌」呢個字時,仲故意發出接近“綠”嘅發音,令到阿綠稍微𤷪𤺧。第二,佢父親打聽佢前夫嘅現狀。阿綠同佢前夫離婚已經有四年多喇,但係因為呢個男人生意做得相當出色,父親總係好似好掛住佢,到而家仲係將佢視為理想嘅女婿。另外,呢個人早就去咗瑞典斯德哥爾摩做嘢,好似同香港冇乜聯係,真係同阿綠嘅阿爸一個餅印咁!父親唔鐘意唔結婚嘅女人,亦都唔贊成離婚嘅婦女,因此現時滿意於一個人過日子嘅阿綠,對佢阿爸嚟講係一擧犯兩次錯嘅!第三,問起阿綠嘅女兒,孚翠,她過去幾年一路同阿綠嘅前夫一齊住喺瑞典,兩父女同樣對於國際金融服務業有興趣,假如阿翠將來返到香港安頓嘅話啦,佢唯一嘅目標只不過係喺銀行揾份工,一步一步咁行向累積財富嘅方向。正因如此,阿綠同阿翠嘅關係呢排搞得好唔順利。

食完飯之後,兩人各嗌一杯齋啡,大家都冇開聲講嘢。阿綠已經察覺到父親嘅脾氣好唔適合借錢,但係因為冇其他辦法,而且因為佢好唔想再拖延,只好單刀直入咁同佢提出母親展覽會嘅計劃。

「阿爸,有一件事想同你傾吓. . . . . .」佢小心翼翼開始講,但是父親立刻就插嘴打斷佢。

「阿綠,我絕對唔會借錢俾你為你阿媽攪展覽會,絕對唔會㗎!」

阿綠即刻感到驚呆,瞬間粒聲都唔出,然後怒氣突然間一浪浪咁湧入心內。

「你,你點知呢件事?係邊個話你知嘅?」阿綠連忙提問,此時全身嬲到震。

「阿綠,定啲嚟!當然係阿翠,佢同我講過幾次。其實,佢好關心你,好擔心你今次嘅計劃純屬浪費,白白咁嘥曬啲錢,唔留啲錢喺身邊就太危險,萬一將來中美貿易戰影響到你自己身上,公司只好裁員,到時你點算?老實講,我個人覺得你個囡講得啱,對於現實生活嘅種種問題,認識得比你更清楚。我真係好佩服阿翠思考人生問題嘅睿智!」

遭受第二次青天霹靂嘅打擊之後,阿綠只好承認自己被阿爸、阿翠徹底咁打敗,佢深知無話可說啦。於是慢慢企起身,執好自己嘅東西,就離開嗰間名叫「我愛你」嘅咖啡室,絕冇回頭望佢阿爸一眼。

Cantonese through News Stories: Joshua Wong Disqualified from November Elections

Joshua Wong Speech_29 OCT 2019

Introduction

District council elections are (at the time of writing) still expected to go ahead in Hong Kong this Sunday, on 24 November. Joshua Wong Chi-fung, the young politician who has played an important role in the advocacy of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in America has, not surprisingly, been prevented from contesting. The reason for his exclusion? Perhaps the Orwellian word 思想警察 sī1 séung2 gíng2 chaat3 is a hint to us all . . .

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

13 new words:

裁定 chòih4 dihng6  = to rule (in a legal sense); ruling
曲解 kūk1 gáai2 = to misinterpret
政治理念 jing3 jih6 léih5 nihm6 = political belief(s)
審查 sám2 chàah4 = to investigate; to examine
政治篩選 jing3 jih6 sāi1 syún2 = political screening
理據 léih5 geui3 = argument
摒棄 bing3 hei3 = to discard; to reject; to abandon
綱領 gōng1líhng5 = programme
提倡 tàih4 chēung1 = to advocate; to promote
迫不得已 bīk1 bāt1 dāk1 yíh5 = have no other choice; have no alternative
詮釋 chyùhn4 sīk1 = to elucidate
擁護 yúng2 wuh6 = to endorse; to support

效忠 haauh6 jūng1 = to devote oneself heart & soul to; to pledge oneself to

*For correct jyutping romanization, you can cut and paste any Cantonese vocabulary in this post onto the Sheik Cantonese website.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(Opening)

參選區議會南區海怡西嘅黃之鋒被選舉主任裁定提名無效,係今屆去選唯一因爲政治主張被裁定提名無效嘅參選人。
Joshua Wong, a candidate in the district council elections for South Horizons West has had his nomination ruled as invalid by the returning officer. He is the only person running in this round of elections to have had his nomination ruled as being invalid on account of [his] political position.
Note: 屆 gaai3 is a measure word used with activities that occur on a regular basis. It is reminiscent of the English word “round”. In Cantonese 今屆 gām1 gaai3 = “this round”. It is also used in the sense of “this year’s . . .”, as in 今屆嘅香港小姐 = “this year’s Miss Hong Kong” and 今屆「狀元」 = “this year’s [crop of] ‘number one scholars’”.

黃之鋒質疑係政治審查,認爲選舉主任曲解佢嘅政治理念。
Wong said he suspected it was political examination (? = witch-hunt), and was of the opinion that the returning officer had misinterpreted his political beliefs.
Continue reading “Cantonese through News Stories: Joshua Wong Disqualified from November Elections”

Hong Kong Footpath: Interview in Cantonese with Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee (Part 1)

Professor Chan Siu Chee IMAGE RESIZED

“Hong Kong Footpath” or 舊日的足跡 Gauh6 Yaht6 Dīk1 Jūk1 Jīk1 is a weekly interview program broadcast on Sunday mornings on RTHK Radio 1. Featuring outstanding people from all walks of life, the interviews are a fabulous source for spoken Cantonese: spontaneous, lively, and often dealing with those crucial make-or-break points in an individual’s pursuit of a chosen career. The downside is that they also feature all those typical difficulties encountered by learners of the language: rapid speech, difficult accents, and unfamiliar vocabulary as well as hesitations, interruptions, two or more people speaking at once and a slurring of words (I believe the technical term favoured by linguistics is “apocopation”).

For this reason, I have begun to transcribe some of the interviews with the help of a native speaker. The first interview is with 陳肇始 Chàhn4 Siuh6 Chí2 Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee, current Secretary [局長 gūk1 jéung2] for Food and Health, and was aired on 10 March 2019 to celebrate International Women’s Day. She speaks fairly clearly for most of the interview, but is very fond of sentence particles: so far, I have counted 43 uses of 噉 and 79 uses of 呢!

Here, I present approximately a quarter of Part 1, but will continue to add further instalments as we complete them (as well as correct any mistakes or gaps!). Note that the podcast version of the interview begins with part of the news broadcast, followed by some ads as well as interview highlights; the interview proper doesn’t get underway till just after the three-minute mark. The interviews are also broken up with songs: you’ll be overjoyed to learn that the transcript omits these.

For the podcast of this interview, please visit Hong Kong Footpath.

 


 

三月婦女節。佢係食物及衛生局局長陳肇始教授。

Part 1a【3:12】

車淑梅:早晨!今日呢係三月十號吓。噉前日呢係婦女節。噉唔知道呢,今日呢一位嘅局長,嘉賓,會唔會好重視呢一次節日呢,係我哋食物及衛生局局長陳肇始教授。早晨!

婦女節  fuh6 léuih5 jit3 = International Women’s Day

嘉賓 gāa1 bān1 = distinguished guest; special guest

陳肇始:早晨,淑梅姐。

Note: Adding 姐 jē1 after a woman’s name, as Betty Hung points out in Speak to Me in Cantonese, is to show respect. For a man, the title 哥 gō1 is used (p.116).

車淑梅:早晨,你好!

陳肇始:你好。

車淑梅:重唔重視婦女節㗎?

陳肇始:重視,當然重視呢,作為即係一個婦女呢。我諗每一年三 • 八呢,大家都有好多唔同嘅活動嘅。噉,都係尤其是係一啲嘅女性團體呀、組織呀咁。噉,都係興祝翻即係女性,我諗,對嗰個社會嘅貢獻。噉呢都係好重要嘅,亦都係令大家去即係記得呢個日子呢。噉但係呢我諗即係每一次三 • 八呢,都會諗一諗【4:00】一啲即係女性嘅問題㗎。我諗喺香港呢,我哋自己婦女人口呢,同男士都係差唔多吓,咁呀多少少咁一樣。噉有時候會衍生帶嚟啲乜問題呢咁?噉都係諗嚟諗去又諗翻啲工作, 例如我哋好多時而家醫生,女醫生嘅數目有開始多喇咁樣,好好呢,我哋而家讀大學喇,其實呢,女性學生呢,都係多過男仔嘅 . . .

三 • 八 is the date 8 March, on which International Women’s Day is celebrated

Note: 興祝 hīng1 jūk1 means “to celebrate (a particular occasion”). In Lesson 1 of Current Cantonese Colloquialisms, it crops up in 母親節嗰日,你哋點同阿媽興祝呀? = On Mother’s day, how will you celebrate with your mum? (p.11). The adding of the aspect marker 翻 fāan1 suggests that something is brought back or recalled on that day (for example, the contribution women have made to society).

衍生 hín2 sāng1 = to derive; to come out; to flow from

Note: In 諗嚟諗去又諗翻啲工作, the aspect marker 翻 fāan1 suggests a kind of return: roughly, “I think about this and I think about that and I link things back to work in my thoughts”.

車淑梅:[unclear]

陳肇始:噉所以呢,就會諗諗吓就會諗咁遲啲咁樣如果係即係多咗女醫生嘅時候,噉其實我哋工作上有冇特別嘅需要,有一啲唔同一啲嘅安排呀、配套呀,吓,咁樣樣喇。噉因爲好多女性嘅員工呢,都係可能去做到一個位嘅時候呢,噉或者都係想係會照顧吓家庭呀咁樣樣。【5:00】噉所以呢,就變咗要全面兼顧嘅時候呢,我哋喺即係工作上呀、配套呀、其實都係要去有啲唔同嘅安排嘅,吓,例如好似呀我最推廣嘅母乳餵哺啦,吓,咁呀係咪喺我哋嘅工作間嗰度要多啲呢啲嘅設施喇等等。

配套 pui3 tou3 = package; support (I often hear government officials using this term. Perhaps “support” is the closest translation here. Something less definite than concrete “arrangements” [安排] seems to be the main implication).

兼顧 gīm1 gu3 = to give consideration to two or more things. Perhaps the implication here is that most doctors in future will only work part-time.

母乳餵哺 móuh5 yúh5 wai3 bouh6 = breast-feeding

車淑梅:都要呵。

陳肇始:係呀,所以呢,呢啲就諗諗吓就諗呢啲嘢喇。

車淑梅:好呀。咁呀即係唔怪得呢我哋香港呢係一個真係非常之咁令人羡慕城市呀,譬如話呢,就喺醫療服務方面呢,就係全世界最平最靚最正架吓,即係各方面都係細心去照顧到。唔怪得喇, 我哋成爲全球最長壽嘅嗰個地方咁樣。咁既然女嘅即係醫生越來越多呢,但唔知點解局長就即係嗱啱啱上任局長嘅時間 2017年 7月1號呢,你當時嘅全個班子裏邊,得一個女士嘅啫。你當時嘅心情係點樣樣呀?

全球最長壽嘅嗰個地方 = that place with the longest life-spans on earth. The noun 長壽 chèuhng4 sauh6 = longevity

班子 bāan1 jí2 = “organized group”, according to Sheik Cantonese. Here, it seems to refer to what Carrie Lam now calls her 問責團隊 mahn6 jaak3 tyùhn4 déui6*2 or “accountability team”, a group comprising senior officials in charge of a whole department.

陳肇始:其實,當時嘅心情【6:00】,亦都冇乜好特別嘅,因爲呢,我都習慣咗,即係過去我做副局長嘅時候呢,就多啲即係女性嘅副局長啦 咁。噉但係其實有好多同事都係男男女女都有嘅,所以我又冇一個好特別嘅話,呀作爲女性,咁又有冇咩特別呢咁。噉當然而家就我特別呢,多一啲婦女嘅團體呀、組織呀咁,都係好希望呢,我哋去支持佢哋。噉所以呢,我亦都即係特別呢,係因爲我係第一個女性嘅局長呢,我都覺得呢,佢哋嘅工作呢,係可以俾多啲支持、多啲鼓勵佢哋囉。

車淑梅:係。有冇諗過自己係一個政府嘅架構裏邊係做得咁高層呢,即係 細個嘅時候會唔會諗呢啲呀?

架構 gaa3 kau3 = ① infrastructure, framework; ② architecture (Sheik Cantonese). In this context, perhaps “within a government structure” or even “within the make-up of a (particular) government” (?).

陳肇始:細個嗰陣時冇嘅,其實真係冇,我其實喺我嘅 . . . 即係 . . . 一路人生嘅每一個部分呢吓,我嘅工作呢,尤其是其實都冇特別安排嘅 【7:00】。基本上都係我非常之努力去做。噉亦都係 . . . 有一啲唔同嘅機會就出現咗。噉於是乎,噉我又去嘗試。噉,呢個又亦都係 . . . 盡 . . . 我覺得係 . . . 即係 . . . 最緊要係盡力呀,出盡我嘅全力吓,一百嘅 percent,二百嘅 percent 咁去應對,吓,我每一日嘅工作。噉我覺得呢個係最緊要。 其實嗰個做咗出嚟呢,嗰個效果呀、結果呀,嗰啲呢,其實呀 . . . 當然我哋都有個目標嘅,噉但係呢,我覺得唔係咁 . . . 唔係最重要嘅。對我嚟講呢,盡全力,吓,去做呢,係最重要呢。

Note: Chan Siu-chee at first uses 盡 jeuhn6 on its own (which sounds a bit incomplete), before going on to use the expressions 盡力 jeuhn6 lihk6 and 出盡我嘅全力 chēut1 jeuhn6 ngóh5 ge3 chyùhn4 lihk6, both of which mean something “to give one’s all; to do one’s best”.

車淑梅:噉實在呢,少年志願係乜嘢嚟架呢?

Note: The question 少年志願係乜嘢嚟架呢 is basically equivalent to “What did you want to be when you grew up?” The key word in Cantonese 志願 ji3 yuhn6 = aspiration; goal; ideal; desire. I get the impression that the host Chē1 Suhk6 Mùih4 likes to ask her guests this question!

陳肇始:少年志願?其實呢,我諗唔同嘅時間都有啲唔同嘅志願嘅。好奇怪嘅,即係 . . . 好細嗰陣時候【8:00】我媽咪係醫生呢,噉我都就係想做醫生嘅。噉細個屋企有好多聽筒嗰啲咁呀都係同我妹妹玩嗰啲嘢。噉就亦都 . . .

聽筒 tēng1 túng4*2 usually means “earphones, headset, headphones”, but in this medical context, “stethoscope” is clearly indicated.

車淑梅:. . . 爸爸呢?

陳肇始:爸爸係做生意。

車淑梅:哦!

陳肇始:係呀,係呀。噉但係呢,亦都係有一個階段好鐘意做先生嘅,因爲呢,就開始返學嘅時候呢,我覺得呀,先生改簿嗰啲都好得意嘅。噉呀係 成日自己係攞啲公仔書呀嗰啲嚟度改呀嘗試咁樣。噉所以即係唔同嘅時間都會想做唔同嘅嘢咁樣囉。

Note: 改簿 gói2 bóu6*2 literally means “to mark a notebook”. In this context of teachers [先生] and schoolwork, I am guessing that Chan is referring to the marking of student work written out in exercise books.

車淑梅:係。噉點解又唔行即係醫生嘅道路,又會成爲一個醉心護士一個人呢?

醉心 jeui3 sām1 = to be engrossed in; to be infatuated with

陳肇始:呀,其實呢,呢個都係好特別嘅。我媽咪個診所呢,其實其中一個護士呢,佢個女呢,係同我都係,大家都係一齊玩呢咁一樣咁。噉佢嘅媽咪呢,好想佢嘅女會做護士嘅咁。【9:00】噉我同佢好好朋友。噉大家都傾,你做乜,你做乜咁樣。噉於是乎就一齊去,嗰陣時候,一齊去考喇咁樣。噉就一路一路咁樣樣。

車淑梅:哦,咁樣嘅。其實,我聽聞你呢就麻麻哋你自己名「陳肇始」,其實個名係幾特別㗎喎。點樣你會話麻麻哋呢?

Note: 麻麻哋 màah4 máa4*2 déi6*2 is commonly used as an adjective meaning “so-so”, indicating a less-than-enthusiastic response to something. Here, intriguingly, it is used as a verb meaning “to regard something as being so-so”. What Chē1 Suhk6 Mùih4 says can therefore be translated as “Actually, someone told me that you regarded your own name ‘Chan Siu-chee’ as only being so-so”. She then goes on to ask: “How is it that you could say ‘so-so’ (about your personal name)?”

陳肇始:其實 . . . 又 . . . 都唔係麻麻哋,只不過細個陣時候呢,讀小學呢,噉我哋讀小學嘅時候呢,小學中學都係,我哋用英文名嘅。噉所以呢,大家都其實基本上唔係咁知道大家啲同學嘅中文名。噉先生呢,就 尤其是小學嘅時候呢,就耐唔時呢,會叫每一個同學企起身,就講你嘅中文名俾大家聽吓啦咁。噉但係每一次當我講嗰陣時候呢,噉我先生呢,一定「吓?」咁「吓」我一次。噉,我就覺得,咦,係咪有好怪,係唔係有乜問題呢?【10:00】其他同學都冇「吓」,但係呢,我講完又吓, 我要再講多一次。噉呢個感覺呢,就好似覺得我個名點解咁嘅,點解先生好似有啲懷疑嘅咁。噉點解我又唔好似其他同學改嗰啲名。點解我媽媽又改呢個名嘅。噉其實有少少呢個咁樣嘅感覺嘅。

耐唔時 noih6 mh4 4*2 = now and then; from time to time

Note: 吓 háa2 is equivalent to “huh?” in English and is used to express the sense of being puzzled by something. Here, with creativity, Chan Siu-chee turns it into a verb, with the approximate meaning of “to respond to something by saying ‘huh?’”!

Note: Don’t forget that 改嗰啲名 just means “the names given to (other students)”. 改名 gói2 méng2 means “to name (a child); to give (a child) a name”.

(To be continued . . .)

Cantonese through News Stories: Hundreds of Dead Fish in Kwun Tong

 

Kwun Tong Dead Fish Image Two_19 OCT 2019

Introduction

Most of the news in recent months has been pre-occupied with the human realm. Here is an environmental story concerning the fish of Hong Kong and a recent incident in Kwun Tong, where hundred of dead fish appeared in mysterious circumstances.

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

12 new words:

對出 deui3 chēut = on the outside of; next to the outside of
漂浮 pīu1 fàuh4 = to float
烏頭 wū1 táu4*2 = grey mullet (fish)
嚟㗎 lèih4 gaa3 = a final double particle
承辦商 sìhng4 baahn6 sēung1 = contractor
跟進 gān1 jeun3 = to follow up
每逢 múih5 fùhng4 = every time; whenever
換季 wuhn6 gwai3 = change of season
水質 séui2 jāt = water quality
魚類  yùh4 leuih6 = fish (a general term)
排除 pàaih4 chèuih4 = to exclude; to rule out (the possibility of . . .)
惡劣 ok3 lyut3 = vile (in this context = hazardous to fish)

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

觀塘海面出現大批死魚。
A large number of dead fish appeared on the surface of the sea at Kwun Tong.
Note: 大批 daaih6 pai1 is commonly used to refer to a large number or a large amount of something. You occasionally also hear 分批 fān1 pāi1 = “in batches”.

Continue reading “Cantonese through News Stories: Hundreds of Dead Fish in Kwun Tong”

《新心界》:第二章

San Sam Gaai 2_Sok Kwu Wan Rocks

•「二千七百九十四封信」

有一位美國詩人曾經寫過一首詩篇,問咗一個有趣嘅問題:非洲斑馬究竟係一種身帶白色條紋嘅黑馬,定係身帶黑色條紋嘅白馬?陳之一屬於帶有黑色條紋嘅白馬,佢鐘意大清早,熱愛黎明擁有嘅粉紅色,每朝起身起得好早,夜晚九點鐘就開始打喊露。正正喺呢一點,陳之一好唔適合香港嘅夜生活,經常令到佢嘅朋友、同事都好失望。

香港十二月嘅天氣已經開始轉凍,令到陳之一心情麻麻。忍受完漫長夏天既炎熱又潮濕嘅天氣之後,佢期盼涼爽舒服嘅日子,以為有足夠時間慢慢迎接冬天嘅降臨。不過香港冬天難得會有咁理想嘅天氣,由酷熱到寒冬嘅距離實在太短,季節嘅輪換雖然會帶嚟變化同埋趣味俾人間,但係同樣會為我哋帶嚟種種不便。

令陳之一抱怨更多嘅卻係聖誕節,雖然佢唔反對基督教,但商場裏所有浮誇嘅聖誕樹同埋聖誕裝飾都係乞佢憎嘅。有啲平時好鐘意去嘅咖啡室,十一月尾就開始播放佢覺得好難聽嘅聖誕歌,令佢暫時敬而遠之,寧願留喺屋企飲自己沖嘅飲品。連佢日日經過嘅瀝源橋,今年亦都遭到聖誕化,成條橋都裝滿無數嘅聖誕小燈串,同埋各式各樣象徵消費主義嘅小擺設。天黑之後就為市民播輕聲嘅爵士音樂。為咗唔想被呢類音樂污染,影響心情,陳之一喺夜晚出街時,一定會用耳機塞住對耳仔,避免聽到咁無趣嘅音樂。

或者冬天嘅到來會令到陳之一覺得格外孤獨。感到寂寞嘅時候,佢會諗起坪洲嘅天后廟。雖然冇乜特別嘅印象,但佢第一次去呢間廟宇時就好鐘意。隨後,曾經有一個本地人指出一個佢曾未注意到嘅特點:廟入面一個陰暗嘅角落,擺放住一樣好長好細嘅東西,而呢樣嘢居然係鯨魚嘅肋骨!從此,陳之一心裏感到超級孤單時,就鐘意想像自己係嗰條孤獨嘅鯨魚肋骨,咁樣就能為佢帶嚟幾分安慰、鼓勵,減少佢嘅孤獨感。

自從陳之一定居香港以來,即係大約十年前,佢已經寫過好多封信俾佢爸爸 —— 一個佢從未見過嘅老豆;一個佢出世時已經遠離自己嘅爹哋:一個佢可以話係百分之百陌生嘅父親。至於寫咗幾多封,按照佢喺封面帶有粉嶺天后廟相片嘅筆記簿中嘅記載,到而家已經寫咗二千七百九十封。所有信嘅內容都差唔多,如下:

我親愛嘅父親:

老實講,每次用「親愛」呢個詞寫信俾你,我心裏都會覺得好唔舒服。你離開我同阿媽嘅時候,我同你嘅關係只不過係微妙嘅血脈聯繫。因為喺你離開時,我仲未出世,仲未有獲得「人」嘅基本形態,所以喺呢種情況下,我哋之間難以用「親愛」嚟形容。話雖如此,我已經用咗好多年時間考慮究竟應該用邊種形容詞,可惜到而家都仲未有答案,令我不知所措。

語言本身難以處理呢類事情。連「你離開我」都顯得太唔準確:對於兩個唔認識嘅人,用「離開」來表達,好似唔太妥當。四十幾歲時,我阿媽先至話俾我知,佢親愛嘅丈夫並唔係我嘅生父,邁入中年嘅我突然間擁有兩個所謂「父親」。其中一個真係好慘,儘然佢盡量扮演父親角色,但係結果只能令到佢個「唔三唔四嘅繼子」變得又害怕、對佢又冇嗮感情。而另外一個只不過係一個黑洞:除咗一個名字,一個地址,一個工作崗位,就冇其他細節。零存在感嘅人真係能叫做「父親」咩?

不過,我唔想怪你。我阿媽懷孕時,你兩個人都太年輕,二十幾歲嘅你無疑仲未有心理準備成家立室;生命啱啱開始嘅時候,你肯定無法承擔咁重大嘅責任。雖然覺得好可惜,但係永遠唔怪你,甚至乎好希望你離開我哋之後嘅日子過得特別有趣,充滿生活嘅味道。

雖然如此,有時我真希望你偶爾會想想你未曾見過、連名都唔知嘅兒子。你會唔會?

你嘅仔:

約翰˙文森特

差唔多每日,尤其是係週末,陳之一都會清早五點鐘起身寫信俾父親,日積月累已經寫咗好多封。因為無法確定父親喺香港嘅地址,所以佢通常會喺各種公眾場所,譬如佈告牌,咖啡室,酒吧,辦公嘅地方「寄」出去,信封入邊亦都會加一個簡單嘅中文解釋,希望識佢父親嘅本地人可以幫忙揾揾可能早就離開香港嘅約翰˙弗蘭克。不過,到而家佢都未收過回信。

*   *   *

呢個禮拜日,陳之一喺佢間陰暗書房入邊寫信。貪睡嘅阿綠喺佢大埔廣褔道嘅唐樓單位度仍未起身,仲喺度瞓覺。好明顯,阿綠就係屬於身帶白色條紋嘅黑馬。同外國男人相反,佢特別鐘意夜晚如黑色絲綢嘅氣氛,大埔無數燈光嘅夜景令到佢著迷,一方面為佢帶來無限靈感,增添本已極為豐富嘅想像力;另一方面使到日頭嘅種種麻煩暫時變得非常之遙遠。

鬧鐘八點鐘就響起,打破阿綠甜蜜嘅夢。佢即刻由床上跳出嚟,緩慢行到廚房去,一面沖咖啡、餵貓,一面沈陷心事。貓貓蛾鬼嘅貓糧,係阿綠親手煮嘅,絕無任何添加劑,貓貓特別鐘意食,次次都食得津津有味。不過,蛾鬼食嘢都食得好污糟,食到滿地都係貓糧嘅渣滓,阿綠每次都要用海綿抹乾淨地下。

「哎吔,蛾蛾,真係冇你符呀!你咁樣做,係咪收咗曱甴嘅賄賂,方便佢偷食屋企啲食物?」不過,話口未完,阿綠就意識到曱甴冇乜嘢可以用嚟賄賂貓貓,真係太荒謬啦!

廚房彌漫住新鮮咖啡嘅氣味,帶來一種零舍濃烈嘅安全咁俾阿綠。喺等緊咖啡逐漸沖好嘅同時,佢開始諗吓今日要做啲乜。好多年前佢就初步計劃為突然去世嘅母親,組織一次紀念展覽會,將阿媽短暫生命中所創造嘅油畫同埋黑白照片一齊展出,用綜合模式嘅展覽來肯定阿媽嘅成就,同時又想鼓勵自己有勇氣投身藝術家嘅生活,唔再浪費時間做佢毫無興趣嘅設計工作。

其實,去過佢屋企嘅同事、朋友一般都認為阿綠無疑有藝術家嘅天賦。無論係佢嘅衣著打扮,屋企擺設嘅傢俬,或者牆上點綴嘅藝術品,一切都顯露出阿綠本人嘅獨特氣質。呢種個人質素冇太多耀眼奪目嘅地方,連半點浮誇嘅都冇,不過客人見到佢為自己營造嘅個人生活環境,即刻會感覺到阿綠獨有美麗又寧靜嘅人生質素。喺公眾場合見到阿綠時會好容易忽視呢種質素,人心隔肚皮,嚟到佢住所之後,親眼睇到佢嘅安樂窩,就一定會另眼相看。

可惜,阿綠缺乏信心,一直唔相信自己會有藝術天分,日子亦無需過得咁複雜,唔需要攞苦嚟辛﹗重要嘅唔係佢本人嘅徒勞幻想,而係佢母親嘅心血,安排展覽已經拖延咗太耐,出年過年之後一定要舉辦,唔係嘅話啦,佢真係會認定自己冇鬼用,枉食人間米!其實,到而家已經攪掂唔少基本工作:大部分作品已經裝裱好,展覽嘅地點亦都安排妥當,但係展覽小冊子仲未開始設計,而其中嘅內容佢唔知點寫:如果寫有關自己阿媽嘅嘢,會令到佢覺得無法面對,好似同過去嘅痛楚仍然存在某種無法穿過嘅黑暗。另外,因為裱畫嘅費用已經非常昂貴,所以佢唔知由何方借到足夠嘅金錢印刷小冊子。今次去墨爾本(佢此刻諗起陳之一叫墨爾本做「大金山」嘅新奇講法)父親會唔會同意幫幫手?思路達到呢一點,佢只好抬頭望住母親嘅自畫像,忍唔住長歎一啖氣。

阿綠發咗好耐呆先至恢復心機,繼續做同展覽有關嘅工作。當時,食完早餐嘅蛾鬼一面用脷仔細咁「沖貓涼」,一面觀察阿綠所有嘅表情動作。蛾鬼一身密黃色嘅貓毛充滿光澤,同其下巴及喉部嘅白色短毛配襯得特別好睇,令人一見鐘情。不過,外貌美麗嘅蛾鬼好鐘意玩,而且一開始玩,就變得非常之曵。名副其實係隻「百厭」貓,但係用「千厭」甚至乎「萬厭」形容呢隻曵貓一啲都唔誇張。

嘭﹗嘭﹗嘭﹗敲門聲忽然響起,令到蛾鬼嗱嗱聲匿埋去張檯下面,睇吓客人係咪可以整蠱嘅新「事主」。蛾鬼見到入門嘅阿奇就特別開心:「好嘢!阿奇嚟啦!」

阿奇係阿綠一個鄰居嚟㗎,因為係紐西蘭人,紐西蘭人嘅英文俗稱做「奇偉」,所以大家已經好習慣用“阿奇”稱呼佢。阿奇人品好好,樂於助人,而且因為係動物專家,喺嘉道理農場做咗好多年,所以特別熟悉各種各樣嘅野生動物。不過,美中不足係佢講英文時,一般本地人好難聽得明佢講嘅紐西蘭口音,為咗方便溝通,阿奇只好採取一種好似舊時電報咁嘅簡單表達方式。

「早晨,阿綠!早餐 … 你食 … 已經?」阿奇一入屋就好體貼咁問。

「食咗啦!你飲唔飲杯咖啡?」

阿奇用其特有電報式嘅廣東話回答:「咖啡 …一杯 … 我要而家!」

阿綠一面為佢沖咖啡,一面執好書房裡裏張書檯,讓佢坐低等吓。

蛾鬼即刻出嚟同佢打招呼。

飲品準備好,佢哋兩個討論阿綠去澳洲時嘅具體安排。

「你去澳洲 … 幾時 … 幾時餵貓?」阿奇好認真咁問。

「我十二月二十三日離開香港,一月三月先至返嚟,請你幫我照顧貓貓!」

呢刻,蛾鬼忽然間好以老虎仔咁一跳,跳到張書檯上,令到阿綠阿奇兩個人都好驚訝。

「哎吔!蛾鬼,你做乜?」

「哈哈!」阿奇大聲笑起嚟。「貓貓,你 … 冇問題 … 我日日嚟 … 幫你食嘢 … 冇問題!」

蛾鬼好似聽得明佢講乜,即刻開始發出開心咕咕聲,仲好樂意俾阿奇不停咁摸。不過,當咕咕聲去到最大聲嘅時候,蛾鬼嘅眼色突然變得好古惑,跟住用一隻前爪搲咗阿奇嘅手腕,之後就跳落地下,好似甩繩馬騮咁亂跑亂跳。

「哎吔!」阿奇尖叫一聲,睇吓手上嘅幾滴鮮血。

「阿奇,真係對唔住!我隻衰貓有時好曵,真係狗咬呂洞賓!你一定要留意!」

阿奇恢復得好快,勉強笑眯眯咁話:「唔緊要 … 冇事 … 曵貓 … 我唔怕。」

其實,阿奇真係好好人。雖然受到蛾鬼貓式惡作劇嘅對待,但係一啲都唔介意。阿綠為佢又沖多杯咖啡,配上幾粒自己焗嘅核桃酥,再次為貓貓道歉,然後就交待蛾鬼嘅貓糧放喺邊度,又將一條鎖匙同佢私人聯絡細節遞俾阿奇,萬一遇到問題,都可以打電話俾佢。

阿奇準備出門時,蛾鬼發出一系列好似餓鬼般嘅喵喵聲,應係佢用咗超級萬厭嘅聲音同阿奇講 “拜拜”。

*   *   *

一個禮拜之後,陳之一打算一個人過生日。寫完信俾父親之後,佢六點鐘出門,行路到城門河畔,當時已經有唔少晨運人仕喺度跑步、踩單車、或者練習健美操,同陳之一一齊享受早起嘅樂趣。接近瀝源橋時,佢又一次被橋嘅優美所感動,雖然冇太多嘅歷史,但卻能逹到天人合一嘅美麗效果。

過橋後,陳之一就一直行到沙田好運中心嘅德興粥麵店,餐廳啱啱開門,員工都仲拖緊地板清潔,亦有廚師十分嫻熟咁準備各種各樣嘅食物。陳之一第一次嚟呢度食早餐係喺九十年代末,當時佢廣東話好差,只能用普通話同侍應溝通,因為佢已經識讀中文字,睇餐牌冇乜大問題,不過佢總會覺得好慚愧:喺香港應該盡量用廣東話,唔係嘅話啦,就對本地人好似好冇禮貌。不過,德興粥麵店當時真有「道德」,完全唔介意佢講普通話,同時好歡迎陳之一慢慢學識用「白話」嗌嘢食,無論佢講到幾唔清楚,侍應都會以忍耐同埋鼓勵嘅態度對待呢個外國人。

佢每次喺德興食早餐都會選擇「醒神早餐:A」,即係一碗瘦肉粥、一條油炸鬼、一杯豆漿。點菜後冇幾分鐘,一碗新鮮滾熱辣嘅粥就出現喺佢面前。過去經驗已經教識陳之一應該先飲幾啖甜豆漿,再稍微等等,先至可以開始食粥,以免焫嚫條脷!其實,佢已經唔記得自己條脷被焫嚫過幾多次!

兩個鐘頭之後,佢到達今日嘅目的地:南丫島嘅索罟灣。一落船,佢就跟隨大家、沿住第一街行往去到榕樹灣嘅小徑,當時大部分海鮮酒樓仲未開門,早晨嘅寧靜仲未完全消失。喺第一街尾嘅天后宮前面,陳之一靜靜雞停步。抬頭睇睇大門上嘅匾額,寫著「神光普照」呢四個字,同時心裏希望自己過生日亦都可以享受幾線神光。呢間廟宇2003年不幸遭受火災,之後村民捐款重新裝修,面目煥然一新,天后宮每一個細節都非常之精緻。另外,廟宇入面居然擺放一個灌滿褔爾馬林嘅玻璃魚缸,裡面住著一條叫做「銀龍魚」嘅巨魚,樣子又長又白,令到陳之一覺得自然界擁有嘅創造力太豐富,遠遠超過人間裏面嘅任何大藝術家、思想家。

教堂平時令人有犯錯誤嘅感覺,因而會變得十分虔誠,陳之一好唔鐘意跪地認罪嗰種感情。人雖然喺天后面前望而生畏,但係廟中基調就係平易近人,而其中設備,包括門神、木板、香案、祭品、古鼓、古鐘等等都悅目怡人。對陳之一而言,拜訪天后而感受其寺廟中嘅濃厚肅敬係佢香港生活重要嘅一部分,寺廟亦俾到日常生活需要嘅嗰種片刻神秘感。

拜訪天后宮係今日第一個項目。第二係行行圍繞菱角山嘅山徑。好彩,今日嚟索罟灣嘅遊客全部都懷有到達目的地嘅熱情,一直向前行,只有陳之一毫無猶豫咁往左邊嘅路仔轉,逐漸上山坡進入山麓嘅林木。雖然間唔中見到人住嘅山屋,但係呢度嘅山墳畢竟比人多好多。喺經過山坡嘅墓地時,陳之一忽然發現山徑上有一大隻長尾水青蛾嘅屍體,成個腹部都已經被襲擊者食咗,不過最美麗嘅雙翼就完好無損,上面嘅眼狀斑紋,莫名其妙咁同陳之一嘅目光對視。「真奇怪,」陳之一自言自語咁低聲話,「唔好唔記得每個生日亦都係其他生命嘅死忌。」

行出山坡樹林嘅時候,陳之一眼前四周都係天空同埋東澳灣嘅碧綠海水。佢停下腳步,確定方向就仔細觀察周圍環境,見到幾塊巨石時,佢就即刻向嗰個方向行。到達巨石附近,佢又一次停下嚟,揾吓嗰條連接巨石地嘅羊腸小道,因為好少人行,所以好難睇清楚,有時幾乎全部被植物遮蔽。不過,陳之一嚟過呢度好多次,佢冇耐就辨認出土路嘅開端。於是一面用手推開路旁嘅草叢,另一面小心翼翼行過去。話咁快,佢就竄入一種由幾個巨石構成嘅空洞,三邊都有庇佑嘅石牆,冇牆嘅一邊就見到天空。呢度係一個大自然造成嘅匿埋處,同時又係本地人常用嘅避難所。

陳之一由背囊度攞出暖水壺,打開瓶蓋就為自己倒出一杯奶茶,喺呢種十分安靜嘅環境中,慢慢飲茶。飲完茶之後,就放翻好水壺,再由背囊入邊攞出一個淺藍色嘅信封。信封上面寫有「約翰˙弗蘭克收」嘅字樣,係陳之一親手書寫嘅。陳之一心諗,如果父親嘅性格同自己有相似之處嘅話啦,佢可能會鐘意嚟咁偏僻嘅地方。睇吓洞內嘅周圍,佢就將封信放喺地下一個遮風擋雨嘅地方,跟住用一快石片放喺上面壓住,以免信封被山風海風吹走。呢塊石片完全遮蔽信封上寫嘅名字,但係依然略略可以辨別出信封下左邊用阿拉伯數字寫嘅號碼:2794。

 

照片:香港南丫島菱角山 Ling Kok Shan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong

Cantonese through News Stories: Hong Kong’s Latest Number One Scholars

Capture_Outstanding Students_10 JUL 2019

In the book Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong, Edward Stokes writes “Old rural virtues — self-reliance, hardiness, and an abiding respect for learning . . . — characterized the countryside” and these same virtues continue to inspire the extensive media coverage given on a regular basis to the results of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, as well as those 狀元 johng6 yùhn4 or “Number One Scholars” who manage to achieve outstanding results. This report by TVB’s 陳逸思 Chàhn4 Yaht6 Sī1 is also interesting for its frequent use of the modal verb 會 wúih5, in addition to the solid array of educational terms. I find it intriguing that Hong Kong’s most intelligent students are all keen to become doctors: perhaps these are the people who might be able to provide a solution to Hong Kong’s current difficulties . . .

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

12 new words:

文憑試 màhn4 pàhng4 si3 = 香港中學文憑考試 or Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE)
放榜 fong3 bóng2 = publish the results; publish a list of successful candidates/applicants
佳績 gāai1 jīk1 = good result; success
修讀 sāu1 duhk6 = to study (at university level); to do further study
養育 yéuhng5 yuhk6 = to bring up (a child)
摘星嘅決心 jaahk6 sīng1 ge3 kyut3 sām1 = the determination to reach for the stars
狀元 johng6 yùhn4 = Number One Scholar
屬意 suhk6 yi3 = to fix one’s mind on; to have one’s heart set on
立志 lahp6 ji3 = to resolve; to be determined
劍橋大學 gim3 kìuh4 daaih6 hohk6 = Cambridge University
固有 gu3 yáuh5 = usu. intrinsic; inherent; innate; in this context = “fixed” (?)
熱誠 yiht6 sìhng4 = sincere; sincerity

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

(Introduction)

中學文憑試放榜。
The results of the HKDSE have been published.

十二個人至少考獲七科5**,嚟自九間學校。
Twelve people, from nine [different] schools, obtained [a grade of] Level 5** in at least seven subjects.

其中觀塘瑪利諾書院同聖馬可中學首次有學生考到呢個佳績。
Of these, a student from the Kwun Tong Maryknoll College and a student from St Mark’s School obtained this excellent result for the first time ever.

而大部份會修讀醫科。
The majority of them will study [修讀] medicine.
Note: Here, 會 wúih5 is a modal indicating high likelihood: the students will definitely do this.

Continue reading “Cantonese through News Stories: Hong Kong’s Latest Number One Scholars”

Cantonese through News Stories: Demonstrators Break Into Legislative Council Complex

Capture_Wire-mesh Trolley_1 JUL 2019

Here is one version of events that led to the so-called “storming” of the Legislative Council Complex. I recently came across the quote “There are years that ask questions and years that answer” (Zora Neale Hurston). Perhaps this is just such a question-asking year for Hong Kong. In several parts of this report, it is impossible to hear what people are actually saying. I have provided a translation based on the subtitles, but these are in Standard Written Chinese rather than Cantonese. Watch out for the use of the verb 撞 johng6 = “to strike” and its use in various compounds: 撞爛, 撞擊, 撞裂 and 撞破.

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

12 new words:

露面 louh6 mihn6 = to make an appearance
汲取教訓 kāp1 chéui2 gaau3 fan3 = to learn a lesson; to assimilate; to imbibe
民情民意 màhn chìhng màhn yi3 = public feeling & the will of the people
平息 pìhng4 sīk1 = to calm down; to blow over
鐵籠車 tit3 lùhng4 chē1 = wire-mesh trolley (?)
勸阻 hyun3 jó2 = to dissuade sb. from; to advise sb. not to
防毒面罩 fòhng4 duhk6 mihn6 jaau3 = gas mask
石灰粉 sehk6 fūi1 fán2 = powdered lime (?)
調停 tìuh4 tìhng4 = to mediate; to intervene
角力 gok3 lihk6 = to have a trial of strength; to wrestle
上彈 seuhng6 dáan6*2 = to load (a gun with bullets)
對峙 deui3 sih6/chíh5 = to stand facing each other; to confront

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

(Introduction)

香港回歸22週年,行政長官林鄭月娥,近兩個星期以嚟首次公開露面。
[On the occasion of] the twenty-second anniversary of the Handover of Hong Kong, the Chief Executive Carrie Lam made her first public appearance in two weeks.

佢話會汲取教訓,日後施政更加貼近民情民意。
She said that she had learned from what had happened, and that from now on the management of government affairs would adhere more closely [貼近 tip3 gahn6] to public feeling and the will of the people.

不過示威者嘅抗議未有平息。
However, the protests of the demonstrators have not yet stopped [平息 pìhng4 sīk1].

Continue reading “Cantonese through News Stories: Demonstrators Break Into Legislative Council Complex”