Hurt feelings

Sunday 11 March 2012, 8.01pm HKT

5.30pm local time / 12°C (54°F) cold and rainy

ABOUT THE ONLY THING siding with my miserable life this week has been the cold, dreary, English-like weather. Otherwise this past week must have been Tread On The Naked Listener Week, and I didn’t the memo.

Just this afternoon, I got told off at a shop for unscrewing a pen. I wasn’t — I was actually tightening the thing out of the kindness of my heart.

There are two specific things that really get my temper burning white hot:—

  1. yelling into my left ear
  2. being told off by Cantonese people (rightly or wrongly)

I’m actually a particularly easy person to offend, even if I say so myself. But I’m also a person who lets things pass 99% of the time. Which is also why others say I’m a particularly hard person to anger.

Boy, but was I livid at that retailer’s remarks. It really stung. So I told him, “I wasn’t unscrewing your precious pen. I was tigtening it up for you.”

“Well, thank you for your concern,” he said.

“Are you sure about that?” I shot back. “Are you quite sure? I’ve been patronising your store for a long time on a regular basis, you know. Are you going to tell me off like that next time?”

I just kungfu-gripped my banknote so he had to tug on it.

Oh, I’m sorry, did my purchasing interrupt your business? Did my browsing interrupt your sitting on your fat arse hollering at people? Did my speaking in the middle of my sentence interrupt the start of your sentence?

Better wash your mouth, boy.

This retailer have always had a bad fothermucking attitude to customers. He behaves as if he’s got on a monopoly on running a business.

He also has an unlovely habit of dissing people based on outward appearances (Chinese English: ‘outlook’) — so you could imagine what he thought about me with my ponytailed hair, semi-homoerotic whiskers, leather biker jacket (this one without the fringes), denim trousers and tan cowboy boots.


I’ll take my business elsewhere from now on.

So much for Chinese desire to have a harmonious society.

* * *

You should know that anger in no way affects my ability to write coherently. You might take a different opinion, considering the general incoherence of all my writing anyway. *Smack*

* * *

Don’t yell into my left ear

Yelling into my left ear is definitely the way to go to get my temper burning white hot. It usually results in I.A. (‘Immediate Action,’ for those who’ve had some kind of training in skill-at-arms), which in my case is (and has been often enough) a belt around the mouth**.

My left ear, folks, and the finger that goes with it

** For our non-English cousins, ‘a belt around the mouth’ is a quick right jab to the face, just above the mouth and under the nostrils.

Down the years, I’ve unknowingly managed to condition myself (like a kind of operant conditioning) to react that way. I reckon it’s become too much of a second nature now for me to change that.

For some strange reason, I’ve never had my arse hauled by the police for belting someone in the mouth.

I suppose there has to be first time for everything, so maybe it’ll happen some time in the future for me.

(But I have once been hauled into the police station for beating the crap out of someone, who royally deserved it, but let go by the cops.)

* * *

The Cantonese: shut your gob

Another thing that gets me going is being told off by the Cantonese, who make up 90% of Hongkongers.

For those unwashed in Chinese matters, the Cantonese have long been described by other Chinese Hans as the hotheads of China. Guangdong (formerly Canton) province is the Texas of China.

(No disrespect to Texans, whom I admire greatly, especially General Robert E. Lee, who was actually a Virginian, but we’ll let that small detail go.)

I am particularly (over-)sensitive to bollocking at me by the Cantonese — but not to the point of carrying out I.A. (above). This one kicks in my own other I.A. of yelling back into their left ears in high-velocity Cantonese foul language in high decibels.

Just like how the Japanese and Mandrin-speakers see it, Cantonese is an ugly, grunting language that’s actually Khmer-Thai in origin. It’s also the only Chinese I know as mother tongue.

(By the way, I don’t have a drop of Cantonese blood in me, so you could infer the possible reasons for my Cantonese sensitivity. Yeah, I know — a non-Cantonese whose native tongue is Cantonese. Having said that, I am definitely not anti-Cantonese people, and I’ll friggin’ smack anyone who even remotely suggests that I am.)

“How would you like to pick up your teeth
from the floor with broken fingers?”

(heard in the late 1970s or early 1980s)

* * *

Oh, yes, there ARE good bits

On a much, much happier note, the distemper of this past week have more than made up for by these two events:—

You're not supposed to look at this

1. A casual chitchat encounter with Canadian-Chinese Dionne at the local stationery store, who was really, really, really cute and nice. Gee-whiz, the cleavage was amazingballs. I have her contact details. Tee-hee-hee.

2. Last night, those two Mandarin-speaking 北菇 buck gwu (‘northern mushrooms,’ i.e. mainland Chinese chicks) in the lift (AmE: elevator) both of whom had legs and skirts that went ‘up to there’ and bodices ‘down to there’ as they made their way back to the mainland. It was 15°C (59°F) last night and was I ever srsly hot under the collar.

The buck gwu, I don’t want to tell you how ‘friendly’ they were. Honestly I don’t. And they’re not even ‘working girls.’

Who says I don’t like Chinese cuisine? Whoarr!

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: Told off via NewsBiscuit | Left ear by the author | Mainland Chinese chicks via Wicked Fire.

2 Responses to “Hurt feelings”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    I wish I could afford to come visit. In times past when I traveled at government expense a good bit, I often gained so much entertainment simply walking in the subordinate position (one step behind on one side) some acquaintance, pretending to be a gruff bodyguard. One in particular was easily a more serious threat hand-to-hand than I. Still, people treated him differently when I was there.


Comments are closed.

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