8.15pm local time, 13°C (55°F), cool and overcast

TO HELL with Valentine’s Day — either you got lucky … or back to the Vaseline with your girlfriend whose name ends in .JPG. Massage your pain to the rhythm of our signature tunes.

This is the long-awaited follow-up to the post “Burn your bridges before arriving there” (27 Jan 2014).

By the way, I’m totally sloshed with IKEA Akavit Snaps (Swedish schnapps) so this post isn’t gonna make much sense to anybody…

Read the rest of this entry »

Hongkies get bum rap work-wise

Monday 6 September 2010, 9.00am HKT

Updated 26 Jan 2013 with pictures

HONG KONG people are decidedly not one of the better-liked groups of people in the world. Indeed, in a corporate or employer-employee setting, the average Hongkonger is as un-well-liked (i.e. discriminated against) as (say) the Jews or Gypsies or especially the half-castes dotted around the world.

love hate hong kongYou probably wouldn’t think this was the case, looking at Hong Kong and its people. You’d have thought a place 10 times more capitalist and capitalistic than the good ole’ US of A would be warmly received by capitalistic places like the good ole’ US of A.

Surveys or opinion polls are pretty much useless in this context. Not many polls or surveys have been done on the overseas likeability or employability of Hongkongers. The few that I have seen are woefully out of date and conducted by various chambers of commerce or business groups on its own members.

(And I can’t cite those surveys even on the basis of fair use: they are classified as proprietary materials that contain trade secrets. Go figure.)

It doesn’t matter anyway — practically all those surveys and opinion polls are misleading. Their muscle rankings are bunkum and made-up anyway. They all put the average Hongkonger in top positions on the likeability/employability scale, roughly equal to Americans, British, Japanese or Germans.

The knowledgeable knows the surveys are not worth toilet paper. The muscle rankings between Hong Kong and the various countries is claptrap anyway. Poll results are one thing, real life is quite another, thankyouverymuch.

Businesses in Hong Kong couldn’t survive without the patronage of the government or its quangos, which also subsidises trade and economic performance polls. The questions in most such surveys are more than a little loaded (because the polling companies want to get on with the job as quickly and painlessly as possible since the client pays the same regardless). The choice of responses offered is near brain-dead in their gist too. Either that, or the responses available are so thin on the ground that they could give any possible result looked for by the pollster. He who funds the game also gets first right of fudging the results.

The sad truth is, the Hongkonger gets a bum rap when it comes to getting hired abroad. And the bum rap gets bigger when the choice falls between a Hong Kong Chinese and a Chinese mainlander.


Let’s have some kind of ’empirical’ results — using diary entries and other records from my own papers as well as those of my long-gone parents and their senior managers.

Here’s a summary of those records (and you have take this on faith that I’m not making all this up as I go along):—

* * *


canada maple leaf meltingCANADA appears to be the top-ranking country that offers the lowest degree of employability for Hongkongers, especially the Hong Kong Chinese.

This is at odds with Canada being the country with the highest migratability for Hongkongers.

Many a Hongkonger who otherwise earned upwards of HK$100,000 (US$12,870) a month in top positions on home ground end up making a bloody pittance as an overnight milk deliveryman (if unlucky) or run his or her own laundromat (if lucky) once they emigrate there.

They get no sympathy from the local Canadian Chinese either. I’ve seen this literally happening with people I know. Baby seals with their heads smashed in by sealhunters are lucky by comparison.

* * *


muricaTHE UNITED STATES takes second place.

Overall, the worst places seem to be the southern parts of the Midwest and also down South where Billy Reb lives — places that are quite a bit religious and/or have a tradition of discriminating outsiders or coloured races (which comes to the same thing anyway).

Overall, the situation is better in the Eastern Seaboard, the big cities of the North or Northeast, New York City and couple of irregular spots in the New England area.

Also overall, if your English is shit (as is the case with most Hongkongers), then you’re outta luck — and better be outta town too.

* * *


european union mapMeanwhile in Europe, Italy is slightly ahead of France in actual Hong Kong aversion.

Spain couldn’t care less because it’s so sparsely populated that it hardly ever meets any Hongkongers.

Germany is okay with anyone so long as they’re not Turks, Romanians, Albanians, Transylvanians, ex-Yugoslavs, non-white Russians or Near Easterners.

Eastern Europe is long accustomed to the Chinese in their midst as cheap labour under the guise of socialist international cooperation since the days of communism.

Western Europe is accustomed to the Chinese as rash, brash but cash-rich tourists or ratty, bratty but high-consumption students paying EU-approved, grossly marked-up tuition fees.

* * *

LO STIVALE (e il bottino)

italian air force roundelITALY as a unitary culture reckons all Chinese are animals.

If you can speak some jerky Italian (even with a clearly faked Italian accent) or if your appearance contains some degree of cosmopolitan Italian looks, then you’re accepted most warmly as an Honorary Italian Sympathiser.

You have no choice — you have to be un fascista, even in the company of i comunisti. Italians are fearful of foreigners who work “for the outside”: Se avanzo, seguitemi; Se indietreggio, uccidetemi; Se muoio, vendicatemi.

Two reasons account for this mentality.

The Roman Empire (which Italy claims to have descended from but factually not so) was the greatest of all empires in the history of the world. It most certainly wouldn’t have liked a rival such as the Celestial Empire, what with a 5,000-year-long history and established administrative, legal, military and social networks right at the same time when the Sabines were (literally) getting raped and made pregnant by various ancient Roman, Venetic, genetic, frenetic and splenetic tribes while living in hovels in absolute squalor.

The other reason is that Italians, as a rule, consider everyone to be animals anyway. Quite rightly so, in their minds, since everyone else at one time or another came under Roman rule either by sheer force of arms or equally by sheer bloody stupidity. So there, as Augustus Caesar said. Who could question the success of the Roman Empire?

* * *


john bullThe UNITED KINGDOM is slightly unbalanced, which it has been mentally ever since it joined the EU in 1971 (then called the EEC) and converted its glorious fake-gold-standard £.s.d. money into the paper-thin fiat New Pound and New Pence under Teddy Heath (god bless his soul, for I still liked him the best).

It took in immigrants from its collapsing possessions in the the Caribbean and bits of Africa in the 1950s, hoping the “toasties” would provide manageable, docile near-slave-level labour to prop up the collapsing British economy.

The West Africans came first. Then the East Africans. The Caribs. The Indians, the Pakistanis, and then the Bangladeshis. The Ugandans. The Nigerians. Then the Iraqis and Iranians in the late 1970s. The National Front beat the be-jesus out of these wogs, clogs and dogs.

But the NF met its match with the Americans, who started muscling in and proceeded to establish American hegemony via TV violence, Greenham Common and other airbases, US-style education reforms and americanised entertainment values. Every British public policy, defence initiative or commercial endeavour costing more than a few quid had to have some kind of American involvement. In the end, the UK got thoroughly scared of all foreigners.

The UK enacted the British Nationality Act 1981 “to make fresh provisions for British nationality” under (secret) pressure by the French and Germans, both of whom discovered the legal backdoor that Hongkongers could work in those two countries as subjects of an EEC member state. So the British message to Hong Kong was, “Stay back! We’re still ruling you as a colony — why bother to come over?”

flag scotland

Scotland, because of its longstanding communalism and general friendliness to outsiders (mainly because they celebrate Hogmanay all year round), will hire Hongkongers so long as they ‘beheeve seensibly loirk one uf oos, and theey’llll beee one uf oos.’

England regions

In the north of England between the Borders and the latitude of Derbyshire and Nottingham, Hongkongers are okay on the proviso that they don’t bring Hong Kong ways into English life.

So no-no Hong Kong ways such as property speculation to drive up prices warp factor-style, Dickensian-style docking of wages (i.e. no pay for statutory rest days, Bank Holidays, mealtimes, fag breaks, use of aircon, etc, etc, etc, the bastards), or wearing Louis Vuitton or Burberry apparel or driving BMWs (which are reserved for homegrown chavs).

So Hongkongers will be quite safe and reasonably tolerated as 1½-class residents if they don’t go around stealing traditional English jobs like coalmining, steelworking, brewing, racketeering, throwing glass bottles inside and outside of pubs, stealing aggressive Geordie chicks in Sheffield or environs, having illicit sex with priests and nuns in County Durham, or live in nearly-all-white towns.

You’d be appreciated more and tolerated better if you live in towns like Bradford or Stockton — places that are practically recognised under the UN as overseas territories of India or Pakistan or Uganda.

Westmorland is a bit of land now part of the Orwellian republic of Cumbria. It doesn’t actually know that other lands exist beyond its borders. To Westmorlanders, the violence that sometimes spill over from Northern Ireland is only imaginary and are actually naughty boys doing a bunker from Merseyside. The handful of extraterrestrial aliens in Westmorland (otherwise known as British-born Indians and Pakistanis) have been placed there by Xenu or somesuch space race to prevent the destruction of the Earth by the Cylons.

South of the Leicester–Norfolk line we see England taking in Hongkongers so long as the capitalist scums speak pretty good English, say ‘please’ often enough — and the Hongkie women wear jewellery, heels, makeup and perhaps a short skirt that go ‘up to there’ and won’t mind the occasion threesome. Hongkie men are expected to wear fuddy-duddy gilt-rimmed spectacles with 1,000-dioptre lenses and stay working at all hours, while their anglicised, precocious 14-year-old daughters cavort with knackered middle-aged Englishmen in tweed jackets and dirty underwear.

london oxford street in 2006

London is a special case: it’s a mental case more often than not. Educated Londoners get mighty snooty about their foreigners. Londoners want only the highest quality of dregs of human life ‘from beyond the shores.’ Thirty or forty years of high influx of smelly foreigners (white and coloured) has seen to it that smelly, underpaid jobs are taken away from smelly English people with smelly perfume or aftershave while packed like sardines in smelly trains on the smelly Tube, a system converted from smelly Victorian-era sewers.

The last time London had a honest-to-goodness person of pure English stock was a prostitute (female kind) in Whitechapel … and she was killed off by some nutter called Jack or Jerk in the dead of night. Or was it the other way round?

* * *


ICELAND is the only country in the whole of Europe that actually likes Hongkongers.

The island nation is always in danger of being blown up to bits by some errant volcano or a cod war with Britain or over-lesbianisation, so Iceland needs to have a sufficient supply of victims in order to make it on the 9 o’clock news.

* * *



SCANDINAVIA, the Land of the Midnight Sun and Midnight Snogging, has no need for Hongkongers — or, indeed, anyone else. It has already franchised IKEA abroad, so that pretty much settles the matter.

The only foreigners living in Scandinavia are gormless Palestinian ex-terrorists living on state unemployment relief who are married to holy-schmoly-hotter-than-lava, scantily clad, bisexually inclined Scandinavian master-race blondes with an IQ marginally higher than a doughnut who prefers DP or DV.

Who the hell wouldn’t want to be a Palestinian there?

* * *


The RUSSIANS hate and detest the Chinese (any form) because, not without reason, the Chinese have:—

russia st basils worldatlas(a) killed off all the Siberian tigers for aphrodisiacs when the cats stray into ‘Chinese’ territory,

(b) taken all the universally slutty, white-skinned, blonde Russian chicks as cabaret dancers for the casinos of Macau, and

(c) the Chinese triads are more interested in making money from gambling, drugs and human trafficking than competing with the KGB-trained Russian mafia in world domination.

Perversely, the Russians adore the Chinese because:—

(d) still nothing ever works in Mother Russia so China is the country’s only supplier of basic necessities of life such as hypodermic needles, condoms, soap and toilet paper (in that order), and

(e) China is the only meaningful communist country left that any Russian insane enough to defect could defect to for plausibly pro-socialist altruistic reasons without actually having to give up thoroughly capitalist amenities like money, drugs, booze, chicks, the Intarwebz and electricity.

(Trust me on this, North Korea is how the world seems to the average Russian when he or she goes into the heebie-jeebies — alcohol withdrawal.)

* * *


rest of the worldIn the rest of the world, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean territories and the various little Pacific islands that are perennially in danger of being tsunami’d — they honestly don’t give a rat’s toss so long as Hongkies bring in the cash and “we wull f*ck yooo upp iff yooo komplain we arr layzee” — which explains why these places have very few Hongkies.

The FRANCOPHONE WORLD has almost nil Hongkongers: English is a bit much to handle for most Hongkies already, and trying to pronounce the supercilious French ‘u’ in un and the ironic ‘u’ in stupide is, well, frankly speaking, stupide et inutile. If you don’t speak French, you’re irrelephant (an irrelevant elephant) in l’espace francophone.

* * *


japan weird since 1952

JAPAN disarms all foreigners by being super polite and inscrutable. It only accepts 外人 (gaijin, foreigners) if they are lightish and speak pathetic Japanese.

In the eyes of the Japanese, all Americans are whoremongers or sluts or slut-rapists — just like the Japanese themselves. Russians are death sluts. Italians are gigolos or kitchen sluts. French are winos or bar sluts. Africans are sewer rats or bar sluts. Middle Easterners are labourers or, well, female toilet cleaners. Pakistanis and Indians are construction labourers that you don’t have to pay.

Yellow-skinned types are not even gaijin: they are non-entities. And if the non-entities speak Japanese, they are hated and despised like vermin, but in the politest of ways (i.e. ignored). To the Japs, living off the Japanese is a helluva small sin compared with pretending to be a Jap. Hongkongers are politely turned away because “our companee awready haz office in Hong Kong” and “yawr Japanese make difficurt for us to understand in Ingrish.”

* * *


korean jesusKOREANS have mixed feelings about the Chinese in the same way they have towards the Japanese.

They knew full well that Imperial China on and off annexed large tracts of the Chosen (Korean) peninsula, and they still don’t like that one bit.

They know that Japan was more successful doing the same, and they don’t like that one bit either.

They know they’re racially closer to the Chinese, and that appalls them.

They know they’re culturally closer to the Japanese, and that sort of appalls them.

All things being equal, Koreans collectively prefer to side with the Japanese because they find the Japs on the whole are more predictable: better to sleep with the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

It’s a good thing that South Koreans are forced to choose sides because of the existence and insane antics of North Korea.

* * *


singapore fine city

In SINGAPORE (formerly ‘The Little Red Dot’) they’ll brush off any and all Hongkongers as clowns.

Of course they do — it takes one to know one. Really.

If you happen to speak perfect, unaccented English and carry yourself like some sort of ‘banana expat’ (i.e. yellow-skinned whitey) from the UK, you’ll be fairly okay.

Until, that is, you say you’re from Hong Kong.

Where???!!” they’ll exclaim, with eyes bigger than your favourite anime character, and you would have lost your job right there and then.

* * *


china great wall by fotohunter

In CHINA, because we’re compatriots and ‘colonially separated’ mother and daughter, there’s no ambiguity:—

“F*ck off, WE ARE Chinese. You’re Hongkongers. The river water does not interfere with the well water.”

(In the art of Chinese cheap shots, “river water” is the innuendo for pollutant that has been polluted by and with foreign crap.)

In the face of a situation where one actually has to make an executive decision to hire an actual human being to work with as a colleague, it is the American who will actually make “the right choice.” As a rule rather than the exception, that “right choice” would be to hire a Chinese mainlander, not a Hongkonger.

Only an American would have the guts to hire a local Chinese (even a Hongkonger) for any position that involves decision-making powers greater than the Will it be one teabag or two? variety.

All the rest of the Eurofags just marry some seemly local Chinese girl so that it’s easier to exercise corporate control from both the office and the kitchen.

Be advised that mainland Chinese women who willingly associate themselves with a ‘gweilo’ (‘ghost fellow,’ i.e. foreign man) (or the older-fashioned and even more offensive ‘faan gweilo’) makes a gold-digging Jewess hammering a brain-damaged goyim seem like a virtuous virgin.

* * *


Even on home soil, the Hongkonger is not in his or her own element. The Hongkonger is despised and discriminated against by his or her own kind for being a local and a homey.

sign liftThe Hongkonger is a mixed bag of nuts that is high on hype and price, but low or questionable on net weight and best-before date. Just because he’s a homeboy on home turf in no way imparts any advantages on hitting paydirt.

You see, Hong Kong wants to have it both ways, and, unfortunately, gets the both ways.

If you’re a local boy, then everybody gives you the cold shoulder (or the finger) because you’re an unwashed piece of shite in the ways of a more cultured and/or Western world (which comes to the same thing to the Hong Kong mind). In other words, you don’t have what it takes to be different and [financially] successful. Your local university cowskins are practically wiping paper when seen next to overseas parchment. Local boys can’t handle the pressure (actually, they can). Local boys speak bad and eat wrong (and so do 99% of the expats in Hong Kong anyway: just look at the international schools for proof). In short, local boy always fall short.

If you’re an expat or a semi-expat (i.e. a local-born but overseas-bred Chinese), then you’re also outta luck too. Everybody gives you the cold shoulder because:—

— you don’t understand the local ways of doing things and getting things done in the business of making money (actually, you do)

— you probably don’t speak Cantonese, so everyone tells you you’re a jacking pain in the groin to deal with “because we’re Chinese and you’re Chinese, so why force everyone to speak in a foreign language like English?”

You also get complaints that:—

made in hong kong

you complain too much that home here is too different from your ‘other home’

you’re racist against the locals and shame on you for imagining you’re somehow white.

In other words, they hate you for being able to deal with Westerners like a Westerner. They envy you for your ability to live like a Westerner if you choose to live as one, and hate you even more if you’re able to live like a local despite having lived or grown up abroad.

* * *


hong kong matches

The average Hongkonger is extremely jealous of other Hongkongers who have CHOICE.

It was Chinese mainlanders who originally said Hongkongers had the “red-eye disease” (紅眼病). (‘Red eye’ is the euphemism for jealousy in Chinese, whereas it’s green in English). Of course, we turned the tables on the mainlanders double quick by accusing them of having red eyes: jealous of us. In truth, it’s a very characteristic way of Hong Kong people.

Which is exactly why the Hong Kong person is not well liked abroad. Or at home.

* * *

If you think all this is satire, it isn’t. It’s stark raving reality. It’s just that you don’t know it yet until now.


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2010.

Updated 26 Jan 2013 (images added)
Updated 03 Feb 2013 (extra tag added)
Updated 17 Feb 2014 (formatting fixes)

Images: Love Hate Hong Kong by littleolso.com via We Heart ItMelting Maple Leaf via Cultural Foundations Native ExpressionsMurica via funnyjunk.comEuropean Union map via WikipediaItalian Air Force Roundel via WikipediaJohn Bull via WikipediaScotland flag via Wikipedia ♦ Regions of England via Wikipedia ♦ London Oxford Street in author’s collection ♦ Icelandic Viking Boat via Iceland NaturallyViking via viking-mythology.comSt Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia by Allposters.com via WorldAtlas.comRest of the World via OldWhisky.net ♦ Korean Jesus via MemeGenerator.net ♦ Singapore Is A Fine City via Law Is GreekThe Great Wall of China at Badaling near Beijing by fotohunter via ShutterstockHong Kong lift/elevator sign via Fili’s World TravelMade in Hong Kong via ColourboxHong Kong matchbox label via Delcampe.com.

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