About three more days to Chinese New Year, but my family has nearly finished our entire stash of festive goodies: pineapple tarts, cookies and our aunt’s cashew nuts! Only two pineapple tarts, a handful of love letters, and an unopened container of cookies are left…… oh and some bak kwa hidden deep in the freezer and safely away from the very hungry caterpillars!!! :D
Archive for the 'amusings' Category
On 29 January, my friend K wrote this on his Facebook wall:
Nangka is jackfruit.
Chempedak is _________ ?
Naturally, I replied, ‘jillfruit!!! :P’
At least half of Hong Kong movies today are co-produced with mainland organizations, and screenwriters here are also having to toe the Beijing line. “That’s why we usually make ‘ancient swordsman’ films, or stories that happen in the period before the founding of the New China,” the Hong Kong screenwriter explained. He meant that you can show something negative in mainland China only so long as it happened before the Communist revolution in 1949 — but be careful not to portray that period as a golden era, because for that you might get censored.
Can a good story be written under such conditions? It’s difficult. Some screenwriters have managed through cunning: One director squeaked a crime movie set in Hong Kong past the censors after claiming the action took place before the transfer in 1997, while the territory was still under the rule of those evil Brits.
I found this article on the Middle Kingdom’s film industry both sad and amusing. Click here to read ‘China’s Crime-Free Crime Films’!
Kang Hao, Ming Zhen and I decided to watch Into the Woods at Filmgarde in Bugis+ this afternoon. I volunteered to go slightly earlier to purchase tickets, but alas, when it was my turn, only front row seats were left.
So I quickly decided to switch to Birdman. However, it just so happened that it was rated M18, and the young Malay woman at the box office absolutely, obstinately and steadfastly refused to sell me the tickets until all my friends were present and could show her IDs. Goodness! In any case, we’re all almost a decade past 18! So I guess that’s saying something! :D
As for Birdman, I went into the cinema not knowing what to expect. The film was about a washed-up movie star who wanted to stage a comeback by directing and acting in a Broadway production, and he tensions between members of the crew. There were lighthearted moments, but it was not a comedy. To complicate matters, what was shown on screen was often not what it really seemed. Very postmodern and meta. Overall, I thought it was a bit too highbrow for my plebeian tastes, though I still can’t decide whether I like it or not!
One of my friends, B, who teaches at a top secondary school, posted this on Facebook on 6 January:
exasperatedly, I asked my class how come they’ve forgotten so many of the rhetorical devices we’ve taught them almost every year for three years now:
“Remember metaphors? Anaphora?”
Boy: “Huh? I only know Sephora.”
(Incidentally, while I did learn about metaphors in secondary school, I only learnt about anaphora in university……!)
The more things change, the more they stay the same…… this Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! (14 December 2014) comic strip says it all……
After lunch this afternoon, while walking back to the office, I passed the swimming pool. Noticed four mynahs frolicking happily in the water at a corner, while a fifth remained a short distance away, on the tiled border, resolutely staying on dry ground.
So the annual Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results were released last Friday. As expected, there was an explosion of PSLE and secondary school selection threads on the KiasuParents forum. Read some of them today, and this really amused me……
Someone, on choosing between Dunman High and Raffles Girls':
This is an easy one to me.
Being a Rafflesian is one of the best things that you can get as a Singaporean student. The only other comparable one is to be a HwaChongian. They are like the Shaolin and Wudang in Singapore’s education system.
Was at the MRT station near my house this afternoon, when I spotted a young man in a Tiffany blue tee emblazoned with these words in bold black:
Took the afternoon off to cut my hair. Went to my usual salon, the Kimage branch at Funan DigitaLife. The lady at the front counter asked me if I wanted a junior stylist ($23) or a senior one ($40). As I was feeling a bit broke, I naturally answered the former, but she informed me that there weren’t any available, and suggested I try the Kimage Hairdressing School a few floors above.
Israel is 以色列 (Yiselie) in Chinese. 以 (yi) can mean ‘by'; 色 (se), ‘colour'; and 列 (lie), ‘arrange’.
The very first time I encountered the term ‘以色列’ was in a cloze passage from a Chinese exam paper in primary school. I did not realize that it referred to a country and simply thought that it meant ‘arrange by colour’. Which did puzzle me a little bit, as that intepretation did not seem to fit into the context of the entire sentence. I only found out what it was quite some time later. :)
Hatred got his name the way millions of other children here have — as a means of recording an event, a circumstance or even the weather conditions that accompanied their births.
“For instance, if it was windy, the name may be Wind. If it was rainy, it may be Rain,” said Matole Motshekga, the founder of the Kara Heritage Institute, based in Pretoria. “If there are problems in the family, they will use the appropriate name. So you cannot just name someone out of the blue. It has to relate to something.”
Thus a Zimbabwean baby born to parents who had spent years trying to start a family might be named Tendai, which expresses thankfulness, and a child born in a time of troubles may be named Tambudzai, which literally means no rest.
Or, just as likely these days, a baby will be named Givethanks or Norest. If a Sotho-speaking girl becomes pregnant before marriage, her unhappy parents may name the baby Question or Answer — an answer to the question of why their daughter was behaving so strangely before the pregnancy became known.
Read about a man called Hatred and other intriguing Zimbabwean names here!
At the time of writing, the Grand Budapest Hotel was rated 1 of 1 hotels in The Republic of Zubrowka, having received 46 reviews which described it as “excellent” and only five that found it “terrible”.
Someone calling himself TheSamSolomon said: “My only complaint is the staff seem to be living in a different century- no one could find me an iPhone lightning cable nor did they know what an iPhone was. Also, the internet connection was almost non-existent. Zero was a great help though and he had many great ideas, he seemed a little bit deluded at time. But that must be the altitude.”
Devil. Whale. Chlorophyll, Violante, Treacle — you name it, Hong Kong probably has someone who goes by it. The former British colony is obsessed with weird English names.
Unusual appellations have been found on people of all kinds. The secretary for justice is Rimsky Yuen and the previous secretary for food and health was York Chow. Among celebrities, there is a Fanny Sit, Moses Chan, and Dodo Cheng. Models? We have a Vibeke, Bambi, Dada, and Vonnie. But lawyers take the prize. There is a Magnum, John Baptist, Ludwig, Ignatius, Bunny and four — yes, four — Benedicts.
Odd names make for odder situations. Last July, police arrested a woman named Ice Wong with 460 grams of ice — the drug, not frozen water. Months earlier, the law caught up with Devil Law when he was brought before a judge for drug possession and crashing his car into a bus. In 2010, a woman called Cash Leung was jailed for paying cabbies with fake cash.
I agree that most of the monikers that the writer mentioned are pretty peculiar, but why ‘Moses’ or ‘Benedict’? Anyhow, check out other unusual English names that Hong Kongers gives themselves here!