中西式的復活節 – Western-Eastern Easter

wielkanoc_1680x1050_013_pisankiJust few moments ago I was writing about Polish Christmas traditions and now I’m already writing about Easter! It’s my second Easter in a row that pretty much suck – last year I spent it at the Moscow Airport, this year Sing made me sick and my wisdom tooth decided to go out. I think my wisdom tooth is synchronized with lunar calendar and just wants me to be on a diet during those days.

zajaczek z jajekFor Polish people food and meeting family is as important as the Lunar New Year for some Asians. But of course Sing’s Hong Kong and Shanghainese blood makes him picky about food – you will never satisfy him, it’s either not salty enough or too salty, not sweet enough, too sweet. Sometimes I think he makes this things up because the same dish he ate the day before now suddenly became ‘better’.

Anyway – to make Easter satisfying for everyone my family came up with ideas for dishes that will combine our traditional Polish taste with little bit of Far East flavor. Maybe some of that will help you and your partner to adapt more to culture and taste differences between West and East.

Check out the list of my family’s classic Easter dishes and see how we modified that for my husband’s pleasure.e850916962e7efb4dd3317fe6b9d1760-w602

  • Bigos – I already wrote about it last September (click click). Good for any occasion and doesn’t need to be modified because honestly, once you eat it you cannot like it. Although my mom thought about adding shiitake mushrooms instead of the one you can find in Polish forest during Autumn. Taste is really similar.
  • Kielbasa – white sausage. This one is classic and should not be modified. There’s one thing Poland makes the best and it’s sausage/meat. We’re so good in it we are called ‘The Land of Kielbasa‘ (you can Google that). Even my husband and MIL love it and when she likes something it has to be good. Try to argue with her about the food and she will constantly talk for 6h. With spicy horseradish it should satisfy any fan of spicy food. image (7)A friend of mine suggested giving wasabi instead of horseradish but somehow in my mind it just doesn’t match. If you try it, let me know!
  • Sour rye – soup made of  soured rye flour and meat that everyone in our family loves, often served with fresh bread on a side. But since European bread is much different from Asian or American one it used to hurt my husband’s gums  and he couldn’t enjoy the meal so instead of giving a fresh bread we buy a special bread shaped like a bowl so the soup will melt the bread a bit and it won’t be so hard for him. I must say I love it too!
  • Boiled eggs – I don’t know why but Sing is obsessed about eggs ‘don’t give me too many or I will die’. No, he’s not allergic, he’s just making things up. Normal boiled egg for him in his mind will bring him a heart attack and he won’t eat more than two. In Poland you have an egg fight, then you have to eat your eggs and to solve the problem of ‘egg-death’ we make few eggs as tea leaf egg and the lovely brown shell of the egg is perfect place to paint or craft. And no – tea leaf eggs somehow in his mind are more healthy and acceptable. f98e1a6a-3cb9-47a3-9078-64e397f76816_20100330031058_Lisovsaya-natalia-stol-wielkanocny63
  • Chicken or pork jelly – salty jelly made of meat, carrot, slice of egg, green beans and spices. It’s just delicious, quite popular in other countries like Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece. My family always serves it with white vinegar but special for my husband we got 镇江香醋 – Zhenjiang Vinegar. For me it’s like a sin, adding rice vinegar instead of white, distilled one since the taste is different but for him it made the dish ‘tastier’. Plus if you make gelatin out of chicken feet you can serve them as a side dish!
  • Cakes, cakes and more cakes. Poppy seed cake, mazurek, cheesecake, babka (spongy, brioche-like yeastcake), apple pie and many more. We just cannot spend Easter or Christmas without a dessert. OK, I cannot spend a day without a dessert. Let’s face it – I have a sweet tooth and I just love little bit of sweetness in my life. image (8)As for Sing if anyone of you can make up a onion-garlic-salty-spicy cake, please give me the recipe. I have no clue how I could marry someone reacting on cake like a little baby reacts on injection. This way we thought about making less sweet, cold cheesecake based on milk with raspberry jelly and fruits. Refreshing and perfect for anyone who doesn’t like too sweet desserts. 
  • Polish-style clay pot. Or kielbasa-pot. I found a recipe that allows you to make a Polish style clay pot that includes delicious white sausage, beans, tomato sauce, soy sauce, spices, wine (to make it even more Asian I go with Chinese cooking wine), onion and water. The taste cannot be wrong. If you’re interested I can translate the recipe for you! :)
  • That’s the ultimate favorite because it contains everything Sing loves – fish and onion. Herring in oil and onion spiced with salt and pepper goes perfect with veggie salad. Whenever my husband eats it my dad laughs he’s eating ‘Polish sushi‘ since the fish is served raw but that would make it more like a sashimi. So if your partner likes sashimi you should definitely let him try this dish!

0b289437-917f-4af0-a5ab-d0b1314e68f3Besides that there’s always famous Polish duck or other bird, pork, any meat on the side for main meal. Not all of this is acceptable for me since I like the original taste more but it makes my husband happy and more involved in celebration which is nice. It makes our family closer.

Is there any traditional dish you would never give up? Have you done something similar to anyone? How did it end? Share your stories and traditions from your hometown :) Happy Easter everyone!
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異國戀人之間的文化衝擊 – our tiny culture shock

076I’m often asked by my readers about culture differences between me and my husband and I always respond with ‘I probably have more culture differences between my mother in law and me than between us’. And every single time this question comes out we wonder: what was the most shocking to us?

Before being with me my husband dated a European girl as well, lived for few years in Australia then in America – I thought me, my family, environment I was raised in won’t be surprising. On the other hand, besides having few Asian friends, I got thrown in at the deep end. A friend is different than a partner, not to mention dealing with all family members. Sing is a Hongkonger after father and Shanghainese after his mother so on my first ever trip to Asia I was clashed with two cultures!

Finally, after hours of thinking we came up with the list of things that personally we weren’t prepared for visiting each other’s homes. It’s not only about culture, but mostly about our families, the way we got raised, the environment we grew up and all the other things that affected us. It’s all based on our personal experience and it doesn’t apply to everyone but it was nice to use our brains and share our thought with each other and now with you!

Surprising things for me:

  • Even thought Hong Kong and Mainland China are pretty different, my Shanghainese part of the family shanghaicould easily fit into Hong Kong. You would recognize them only from the accent. Their behavior is very westernized, I didn’t expect it at all – I was prepared for some good, old, stereotype burping and squatting, loud talking and it didn’t happen.
  • Welcome to China where planning is made up and invitations don’t matter. In Poland it’s a common courtesy to inform people about meetings at least some time before it happens, in Shanghai we tried to make some dates or fun time just for us but it always ended up with a phone call at random hour saying ‘Come eat’.
  • 88 year old superheroes. No, it’s not really a positive thing: ask anyone in Poland and they will tell you that elderly in my country have some super powers once they see an empty seat in the bus or tram. Usain Bolt cannot match them. That’s why I thought they were the strong ones, but once we went to China I noticed we are like less hardcore version of Chinese. An old man, looking like he has seen the opium wars with his own eyes, just crashed me trying to get into the public transportation. Then there’s even more shocking part: in Hong Kong EVERYONE lines up. Growing up in the place where everyone is fighting for a spot I went to the most crowded place in the world and those people politely lined up. That’s really amazing and I still think about it.010
  • Double standards, double standards everywhere. While writing this blog I often go to Hong Kong/Taiwanese/Chinese forums to get people’s opinions on some topics and t strikes me how people still have double standards. And it’s not only forums but opinions of people I know. Most common I’ve heard were ‘Asian girls date white guys because of love and Asian guys date white girls to show off/cannot handle an Asian girl’, as for guys it was ‘I can sleep with who I want, she cannot ask me about it but I can dig until I get an answer. The best answer is she’s a virgin’. I can see it by Sing – we are married for almost two years but he will keep asking me about a coffee I went with a guy-friend X years ago. Sadly, but it’s another case where Poland is similar to Asia – if a girl dates a foreigner it’s for his penis or money, but a guy dates foreign girl? Go get her, you lucky bastard! Just to be sure I don’t need to worry: has anyone of you seen Sing on RedTube or Forbes Richest People list?
  • Parents are too into their children, especially sons. First I thought it’s just my mother in law – she’s so in love with my husband that every message she writes to him on Whatsapp she starts with ‘小寶貝’ – little baby. If you don’t remember Sing turns 28 later this year. But then looking at my husband’s friends and even the Shanghainese family: all of the mothers are in love with their children much more than Western parents are. All of them are adults now, some of them are also married and I see their mommies putting straws in their drink for them, tying the shoes, peeling the 3000fruits and they don’t do anything in the return. For me it’s shameful to let almost 58 year old lady to carry heavy groceries but when I punch Sing to go with me and help her she will yell at him and run (!) with the groceries to home. Another freaking Usain Bolt. I could expect people being little bit spoiled but they made it to a whole new level. It also reminded me Sing’s first meal with my parents – for last meal we usually eat sandwiches, my mom put all the ingredients on the table (think of home version of Subway) he looked at the table, at me, again at the table and whispered to my ear ‘I never made a sandwich in my life‘. I had to make it for a guy that has 2 engineering degrees. How difficult can it be?
  • People serving food wear masks – you don’t see it in Poland, you can see them wearing gloves but I never seen anyone wearing a mask. Also in many places you can see your food being made and I just love it. In Poland places are hidden, if you’re lucky you can smell it or hear it but you don’t see delicious roasted duck hanging near you. I would love to see it more often back in Poland.

2577Not the longest list you could read. Now take a look on Sing’s list – as a Cantonese guy when I asked him about the culture shock the first few things he mentioned were connected to food and eating. What a surprise. I let myself make some comments on his thoughts.

  • Dessert is right after dinner and always sweet. Portions in Poland are smaller than the American one, but how can you handle another food right after you just ate? My mom always waited few hours and gave me fruits as a dessert, maybe some egg puffs but not a cake or cookies. Then you don’t know what you’ve missed. We have an extra stomach developed by mother nature only to get a cake. I actually married you just because I can eat your desserts *insert evil laugh*
  • Food is always creamy instead of solid discrete pieces. One piece of rice is one piece of rice, one veggie is one veggie, one piece of meat is one piece of meat. But Polish food has a lot of mashed things, creamy things. It’s tasty but for Asian people texture means a lot, it’s half of the taste from the meal and you’re taking it away. Excuse me, ever heard of congee? Doesn’t look so solid to me. 
  • Family day is very important for Polish people. My ex girlfriend comes from France and her family was never close to family timeeach other but Lina’s family was very close to me from the very first day I met them. Even thought as an Asian I’m not really touchy her mother greeted me with 3 kisses on the cheeks and a hug, her dad hugged me as well. Later meeting my family for the first time they were the same. I can even joke they have been more intimate with my parents than my parents been to each other in front of me. And every single time I visited Poland we just HAD to go there every single day, be with them for a while, eat a meal and play some games. My mom still remembers when you told your mom ‘Yellow’ in Shanghainese while playing UNO… Never forgive, never forget.
  • Holiday is very important. At least in my family we haven’t spend any holidays together for a long long time, birthdays don’t really matter but it’s a really big deal in Lina’s family. ANY HOLIDAY – birthday, name’s day, Easter, anniversaries, Christmas, child’s day.I don’t know who was more shocked – me knowing that you can celebrate so many things or her mom once I told her there’s no name’s day in Asia. Any occasion is a good occasion for some family time and cake. Do you know the joke: What’s the difference between a Polish wedding ceremony and a Polish funeral? There is one guy who doesn’t drink in the funeral.
  • Parents are much less sticky but also less willing to support financially. Some people might complain our parents love us and spoil us too much but who would complain about getting everything they want? But in the end you need to repay the debt and listen to them (or at least pretend you’re listening). Polish parents won’t let you starve or be homeless but they have a rule ‘once you’re married you belong to each other, you were old enough to get married and start adult life, you should be prepared’. Won’t work in Asia.
  • Very openly express willingness to split the bills and responsibilities. I think everyone have seen at least once in their life Chinese people fighting over the bill. I hate the wallet dance, two people faking they want to pay for the meal. In Poland if you want to pay you just pay, no ‘No, no, I pay – Don’t be silly, I will pay’. If you want to split you just split and no one gives you that weird look. Personally for me I hate if someone pays for me, I can pay for someone and it makes me feel good but the other way I just feel uncomfortable. 3124
  • Poland is more conservative than the West. It’s just my personal though but from my experience and experience of other people I know Poland is way more conservative. I don’t know the reason, maybe it’s because of the strong influence of church, way of raising, or personality but Eastern and Central European girls are closer to a conservative Eastern ladies than sexy Western wamps. More focused on the family than carrier and fun. My bullpoop detector just exploded. Do you even realize we had a ‘celebrity’ that showed her vagina on the red carpet? And the other one had sex in jacuzzi in the reality show. It’s all in people’s character.
  • ‘Face’ is not only Chinese thing – if you ever have a chance to see my wife with her father you will see how he always tell her to behave, to sit this way not that way, to do this, to do that in the end to make the best impression on people. As far as I know my father in law he’s the same, he cares so much about what other people will say about him. There’s even a Polish phrase ‘zastaw się a postaw się’ that is like English ‘keep up with the Joneses‘ so basically there may be no money to live on but there will always be enough money to dazzle your guests.
  • Older generations in Poland also eat chicken feet. Even Lina’s mom told me her outside grandma 阿婆 (yes, because remembering her name is just too much to do) really loved to make and eat them, usually in a jelly. For my face once I found the truth about chicken feet-love in my family click here 

013Besides those we couldn’t really think of more things. In the end the biggest shock to us was that actually we are very similar, raised in the similar ways and environments – I was brought up in a quite conservative family and Sing was abroad so long, it affected him the way he’s now little bit Western inside and that’s what made up so easy to get along. I think that mix of culture and personal experience is just wonderful.

What was the most shocking to you when you went abroad? Share your experience, I’m so curious! :)
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一起生活是一種學習 – lessons from living together

I don’t know if you have noticed but few days ago I posted on MHKH Facebook page pictures of our small celebration of my first year in the USA. I wish I could do it because of my first year in Hong Kong but I could eat a strawberry tiramisu so I got that going for me, which is nice.
image (1)
One year in America means also one year of living together, finally like husband and wife should. From long distance relationship with short periods of living together we went to 365 days of seeing each other. A lot of people say ‘How could you do that?’, ‘How can you be married not living with someone for real?’ or ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’. It’s funny because I would say the same thing to someone else, but since I am who I am I thought since we’re such a good match together, what living together could change? My parents didn’t living together until few months after the wedding, same with my husband’s parents. Maybe today is just a different reality but I believe there’s no pair of socks on the floor that cannot be overcome.

DSC_0923Of course I cannot disagree with the statement that you get to know your partner better by living with him/her, you cannot put your best face, sooner or later true you will show up. We were lucky to not be too shocked about who we really are, my husband already had seen my worst, moody behavior before and living with his mom for few months showed me a child he has inside. That doesn’t mean we haven’t learn anything new about each other living under one roof.

We made a list of things that we didn’t know about each other or tried to deny their existence, but now there’s no way we can do that. It’s our tiny personal list, you might disagree with the statements we made, it’s totally subjective but gave us a lot of joy thinking about all the tiny everyday things.

My thoughts 

  1. He will be the worst father ever. At least for next few years. He has some kind of extra sense that makes him ignore every2013-11-02 21.45.46 sound that our cat is making – Biscuit meows constantly for half an hour and he later tells me he haven’t heard a thing. When she’s meowing during the day he puts hair into another room and say ‘You go to jail, bad boy’. I cannot imagine I give a birth to a baby and he ignores crying or puts a baby to a jail-crib.
  2. For a really bad father he’s a great uncle. He’s an ‘uncle’ to our landlord’s son and I must say they have a lot of fun, baby boy loves him a lot and it just melts my heart when Sing plays with him. Maybe they get along because he’s still little bit a child.
  3. Not a little bit of a child. Big baby. I knew his mom spoiled him, let’s face it – no matter how tough Chinese mom is in the end she will spoil her little boy, but whenever we visit my MIL or she visits us I need to remind Sing he’s almost 28, not 12. Good now she needs a visa (I’m awful, I know).
  4. Since we’re in ‘in-laws’ topic I will quote a song by Celine Dion ‘Near far wherever you are’… your in laws will be there too. I didn’t expect our MIL will have such an impact on our married life – my parents are cool, they say we’re adults, we got married and it’s only our business. It’s really true what they say – marry a Chinese, you marry the whole family.
  5. Sing has bigger balls than I expected – no, not THAT you pervs. In my eyes he used to be a little mommy’s boy which I accepted, it’s his mom in the end and I prefer a guy who takes care of her mom than ignore her. There was period of time my in-laws were too into our business and it made me annoyed, but I tried to hold on. I didn’t want to put my husband in awkward situation or do those stupid ‘me or them’ and one day, he on his own, stood up and told them to give us more freedom. This is something I did not expect he will do.1ff387ed328c9eaceeceac67725a61e97eae51ee7ad3923ac95e502e9bec3a67
  6. 天才與白痴 – genius in engineering, retard in life. His knowledge is great, it’s really much more sexy than bunch of muscles. He can fix everything, he knows a lot about history, math, chemistry, physics etc., but leave him on his own for a while and he will collapse. I wonder how he survived in America all those years. I asked him to do the treasure haunting in the litter box, I moved it to another corner in the bathroom and he asked me ‘How should I run with all the poop to the garbage bin’ – he didn’t think it was much easier to just take the bin with him next to the litter box.
  7. Hide your snacks. I don’t know why but every single time I have my snack they disappear. Even if I share with him he will eat the last piece or take the last sip and whenever I ask why he didn’t ask me he replies with ‘I don’t know’. Last week I lost whole bag of Cheetos – Sing claimed it wasn’t him but the orange powder on his hands determined that was a lie.
  8. He’s a terrible liar so I can trust he won’t do anything against me, since he wouldn’t be able to lie about it. Although still he tries to lie to me in stupid cases like ‘I called’ when I know he didn’t. Later he smiles and kisses me. How can I be made about it? :-)

Sing’s thoughts

  1. Dr. Lina and Mrs. Period – when I thought it cannot be worse… it was. Days of complains, crying, laughing, hunger and mood changing. How someone so sweet become so bitchy/depressed and then moment later cry for being bad to me.2014-01-26 16.58.28
  2. For every male action there’s female overreaction. Try eating soup with fork, because you don’t want your girl to wash more dishes, and see how war begins. Don’t try it during the ‘sensitive days’ or you might end up single/homeless.
  3. If your partner says ‘Babe’ long enough, looking you in the eyes you will break so just don’t lie.
  4. Small surprises can change a lot. Never really cared about it but the joy you can see in partner’s eyes is priceless. Also food she makes tastes better.
  5. Even if I don’t celebrate birthdays or other holidays as long as they’re important for her I should do what I have to do. Multicultural relationships, no – any relationship, should be a mix of you and me and a person should not give up everything he/she is.
  6. Revenge is a part of daily routine. Her word is always the last one, her action is the ending action. I ate few Cheetos and the next day all my jelly beans in the tastiest color disappeared. I tickle her for a second, she will torture me for a minute.
  7. Having a girl that plays video games is not as fun as they say. Forget girl eating a controller, my wife stabs my Lego character because she’s upset my character collected more money. Should I be afraid?
  8. Hugging while sleeping exists only in the movies. There’s her side of the bed, cat’s side of the bed and a little bit of space for me not to fall down.

2013-12-31 20.09.15

Our conclusion after all? If you both really want you can make things work out or get used to other. There are good and bad sides in everyone, but most of those things can be solved with love, patience and understanding.
And remember – don’t eat your partner’s snacks.
Never.
No excuses.

What are your lessons from living with your significant other? Share your stories, memories and opinions! I love to read them! :)
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餐飲禮儀 – Chinese table manners

We had a little break in writing – you might not notice but I try to write once a week and this time it’s little bit late, all because of taxes. SSN, ITIN, federal taxes, applying for working visa – all those things are coming this week and I pretty much hate them. images (1)But that gives me a chance to eat out more often with my husband and I love eating. Not love, LOOOOOOVE.

As much as I love eating it’s always a lot of pressure for me – I’m stuck in our Western-Eastern relationship and when I’m eating in Western restaurants I have to remember all those savoir-vivre. When I go to Asian restaurants I have a need to do the same. Some of you might think ‘Why bother? They know you’re not local’, maybe it really doesn’t matter but my inner voice forces me to behave as proper as possible. I guess I was raised with that Chinese concept of ‘face’ (thank you, Dad) and I feel constantly judged, I really care about what people think of my behavior. Not to mention people close to me. Now you should realize how ‘fun’ family dinners are to me.

You think that family meetings are bad? Try dining out with my father in law. He is like a walking stereotype of Cantonese guy, especially when it goes to eating. That’s the type of a ‘rice man‘ – that’s how I call him because for him the center of the whole meal is rice. If rice is not tasty, no matter how good other dishes are, he will dislike that place. He has one restaurant he eats in because he trusts their rice.
4169324_211317077043_2Usually he’s very easy-going but mention food and you will see a different face. Even if he doesn’t say it out loud to you he will judge you. Everyone judges, but he is like supreme court of your Chinese table manners.
He knows the rules you cannot so easily Google and he used to beat my husband’s hand with the chopsticks if he didn’t behave. I’ve also noticed older my husband gets more he becomes like his father and he enjoys telling me how to behave. I guess I have a 3rd Daddy (after my real dad and father in law) to teach me some good manners.

To save you all the stress I had to go through and to give you a chance to surprise/impress your partner’s parents/landlord/friends etc. we made a list of things you should remember while dining with Chinese people but you might not know them.

We called it… WAHWAH’S LIST OF GOOD TABLE MANNERS:

  • First and the most important WahWah’s rule is do not put your hand above or below someone’s hand while taking the food – wait until the other person grabs his piece and takes his/her hand back. You’re not THAT hungry, you can wait. I hate it, I want my good nom NOW ;)
  • You know that you should not play with your chopsticks like it were drumsticks but you shouldn’t also spin them around. It’s not TWISTER game.
  • You share your food with others so instead of using your own chopsticks use ‘public chopsticks’ (beautiful phrase made up by WahWah) – they are mouth-water free and let’s keep it that way.
  • If you like only a part of the dish it’s more polite to grab a bigger part and look for your favorite meat (or any other part you like) while it’s on your plate than doing the treasure hunting on the ‘public plate’
  • Don’t shake your chopsticks if they are wet from soup. I never seen that thing happened in real life but WahWah is more experienced and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened to him.c_3_004
  • Make sure your chopsticks have exactly the same length. You probably heard about this before but I just wanted to mention it so you can realize why you shouldn’t – 三長兩短, traditional Chinese coffins are two short pieces of wood in front and 3 long on a side so basically having one longer and one shorter chopsticks means you’re having coffin. Seems legit.
  • Do not spin your table counterclockwise, always spin it to the left. I asked why and the answer was: most of the people use right hand so you can avoid hitting someone sitting next to you in the face.
  • If you have a whole piece of food – for example a fish – the front of it should be facing the ‘most respectable’ person, then the oldest, then teacher and the guest – in that order.
  • During toasting your cup should be lower than the host’s cup.
  • I don’t know if that’s true but all the loud slurp you hear… is actually impolite. It’s OK for ‘small slurp’ when the dish is very hot, but making a ‘big slurp’ and adding ‘aaaahhhh’ at the end is seen bad. Is there anyone who can confirm this?

That list is made with my FIL’s experience and advice – I cannot confirm if all of them are true, maybe something is consider polite in Cantonese part can be impolite at North, maybe it’s just what he sees as polite etc. If you disagree or have any comments feel free to post it!

Is any of those rules considered good/bad in your country? What are the good manners in a place you come from? Do you know any other important rules for Chinese table manners? Share with us, so we can all improve ourselves! :)
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廣東話教學apps – study Cantonese with apps

I love Cantonese as a language – it’s hard but also fun and emotional. It’s also a big part of my husband’s culture, but sadly it’s vanishing slowly from Hong Kong. In the past signs were written in Cantonese and English, in 1997 they added simplified Chinese. Now the order changed into Cantonese, Mandarin, English – works for me as long as Cantonese and Mandarin won’t flip. Cantonese is like a meat in the Hong Kong-dumpling.

And the sad thing is slowly I have a feeling it’s already started – I don’t say knowing both is bad, but when I wish when we go shopping people talked to us in Cantonese. We went to pick up our wedding rings and Cartier in TST greeted us with Mandarin. Maybe it’s because most of their clients are from Mainland China but I still believe the first greeting should be in Cantonese since we’re in Hong Kong, if my husband would respond in Mandarin (which is so broken even I have a better accent) and they know how to respond, then great. Local language should be displaced to a foreign one. 

That’s why I’m so happy more and more people and expats in Hong Kong are interested to actually continue the tradition of speaking Cantonese, which for a non-native speaker is a pain in the butt. Really painful. For me personally I swear so well while counting my husband jokes they should put me in front of the politicians.

I already wrote long time ago what methods I use to learn Cantonese (if you want to read it, click here) and I’ve been asked so many times do I use apps to learn Cantonese that I’ve decided to show you my favorite one and the one I didn’t really like. This part is for iPad free apps, if my dear readers want I can make another article for Android apps as well! Let’s get started!

Pocket Lingo
Very cute and simple app to use. As most of the apps it needs to be upgraded (or your iPhone/iPad should have a jailbreak) to give you 100% of it, but even if you have to spend 4.99$ it’s worth doing. You have a choice of flashcards with general conversation, numbers colors, food, shopping, places, transport, emergency or even relationship! And the thing I like the most of popping out ‘word of the day’ – you can start your day with Cantonese! Also what I like is that it doesn’t sound like made by computer, it’s more natural than what you hear on most of the Internet translator. You can also adjust the speed of speaking so you can spend more time to focus on the word or phrase. !

image_3image_2image_4Talk Cantonese
Even thought the name is ‘Talk Cantonese’ it has nothing to do with talking. You have the choice of only 3 categories: general, traveling and time. Technically you can upgrade to get the rest, but even thought I clicked upgrade to check the price the whole app just hung up and frozen my iPad. Every single time I tried to do it. Beside the male voice sounds so computer that it could be a Cantonese Hatsune Miku. Forget it. Do not bother downloading.

imageStudy Chat
Whoever made this app is a genius. It more like a game that consists a conversation and sentences to pick from while you’re introduced to a new vocabulary. When your character speaks you will see an English line of dialog you have to translate. When the other character speaks you listen to what they have to say and figure out what they wanted to tell you in English. You have a multiple option to choose. And it feels great when a handsome boy calls you beautiful – then you listen to what ‘you’ are saying and tap it on the screen. You also get and lose points but I still haven’t really figure it out what do you need them for. Again another app that makes the pronunciation sound real and for more difficult sentences you can adjust the speed of speaking as well. After finished game you see your result, what did you learn, how long it took, how correct you were and your level’s progress. Definitely must download.image_5image_6image_8image_7CN-Cantonese
You might noticed I like very colorful and ‘living’ programs. This one is white and soooo boring. No English, just signs so you cannot use it as a starter. And it’s uses simplified signs so if you’re trying to learn the traditional ones it’s not really helpful. Although it might be useful if you live in Cantonese part of China. Honestly it’s not bad, but it’s also not really worth to spend your time, the only plus I can see is that the voice sounds real to me. And that annoying commercial at the bottom. Not good, not bad – you might give it a try, but I wouldn’t recommend.
image_9Cantonese
There can be bunch of Cantonese apps so you need to look for one with a flower/mountain background. What’s important in Cantonese is proper pronunciation and how else you should practice it than singing some karaoke? It’s very lovely and simple app that contains 100 song including Cantonese version of 周華健-刀劍如夢 which made me pretty shocked and happy, since then my husband is forced to hear me ‘singing’ it almost every day. And I don’t even mind the commercial. If I really need to complain I just wish the signs were more in the middle, little bit bigger and sometimes I had a feeling the color changes too slow so lyrics don’t match the sound. But in general it’s fun, fun and entertaining – all you need to learn.image_11image_10WordPower Cantonese Dictionary
At first glance this app might seem ordinary, just like any other app to study language. It has a daily notification with a new word, really decent speaker but it has something I haven’t found in any other app – voice recorder. While practicing you can actually hear how you say things and compare them with the lector. You can also test yourself wish flashcards – the reader says the word and you pick if you think it’s right or wrong. The basic choice for flashcards is: expressions, calendar, drink, food, measurements, money, musicians, nature, place, tourist attractions. I just love this app, but there’s something that keeps me bothered and I mentioned it at the beginning about vanishing… Yup, at the top there’s Chinese flag instead of a Hong Kong one and when you go to ‘calendar’ section you can see a CPC Founding Day. From studying point of view it’s really helpful and that should be one of the first apps to download but I got quite upset seeing this.
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You can also try apps made for children since they start from the very basic things like cat, dog etc. but I’m not really big fan of those.
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Have you ever tried to study Cantonese? Or maybe you’re studying some other language right now? Share your favorite apps that could help others! :)

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香港波蘭結婚攻略 – how to get married in Hong Kong or Poland

I love to get e-mails from my readers, even if I’m not the fastest person in replying it’s just great to see someone asking me for advice or simply saying that they enjoy reading my blog. I also get in touch with Polish girls dating Asian guys and that makes me HK_TST_Marriage_Registry_office_name_sign_Culture_Centre_Administration_Building_visitors_5-Dec-2012so excited! I sometimes feel I’m more excited with their relationship than themselves.

From time to time I get asked is it hard to get married in Hong Kong or Poland so I decided to make a short guide how on this topic and how to register your international marriage at your local civil register.

Ceremony in Hong Kong

Getting married in Hong Kong cannot be easier. I have a feeling that as long as you pay, they don’t care. I asked my husband 58739734921 times ‘Should I have my birth certificate translated? Or a paper proving I’m not already married?‘ and my husband just told me ‘No and no. Just bring your passport’. Passport is a prove that you were born and if you’re already married you bring troubles to yourself, it’s non of their business. What if someone stole my passport? That is a question no one ever answered me. I really got scared because even Polish government sites say I need those documents, argh!
But not there, going to a marriage register in Hong Kong you only need his Hong Kong ID (or other document he can use as his ID), your passport (or any other document that you can use as ID in Hong Kong) and a receipt that you paid for a ceremony. It lasts around 15-20 minutes, has the worst ever vows written in old English and bam, you’re married.

  • Just to be clear – anyone can get married in Hong Kong – you don’t need to marry a Hong Kong citizen. But if the two of you are living outside Hong Kong and still are willing to get married there go to the official site ( click click ) because that is more complicated and I’m writing only about Hong Kong citizens marrying foreigners.
  • Before you get married you need to give a 15 days notice and in that time if there’s mean future mother in law or anyone that knows the reason why you two cannot get married.tsimshatsui3
  • To give a notice you can either book it online here ( click click ), call 24h booking service 3102 3883 or simply go in person – we went to Tsim Sha Tsui Marriage Registry with really nice, helpful ladies so I can surely recommend them! :)
  • A marriage notice is valid for three months, and becomes void upon expiry. It’s very important, you can change your booking but you need to hold your ceremony in three months since the day of notice. ( click click )
  • Legal age to get married in Hong Kong is 21 but if you have special papers that allow you to marry your partner it is also possible.
  • Fee to get married is 305HKD but then there’s additional 715HKD. That includes price of the ceremony and one Certificate of marriage. Other copy is paid extra, 280 HKD per copy . We had to get our duplicate thanks to the typhoon. Yay.
  • Check your documents carefully, especially Polish girls with their family names ending with ‘-ska’. Male form is ‘-ski’ but since the ladies in the register see ‘-ska’ at your and your mother’s surname they assume your father has it also and that’s how my dad almost change his gender, at least on the paper. You will have another chance to check the on the day of the wedding, before the ceremony they will ask you to come with your documents and the receipt, signs papers once again but it will save you a lot of trouble!

I told you it cannot be more simple for AMWF couples marrying a Hongkonger. The only one more advice I can give you is read your marriage oathsyou have to read it the day you go to give a notice and later during the wedding ceremony and since it’s such a stressful day it can be quite complicated, especially for a non native English speaker!

“I call upon all persons here present to witness that I, Paulina, do take thee, Sing, to be my lawful wedded husband.”.

How to register your Hong Kong marriage in Poland? You can either do it through Polish embassy (183 Queen’s Road HK marriageEast, Wanchai, Hong Kong) but it will cost you a lot of money and you need to ask them for it (they don’t do it for you just because you got married) or you can do it yourself back in Poland at your hometown civil register.
Remember to translate all the documents you have, including your husband’s birth certificate and his parents. We haven’t done that, we only translated my marriage certificate and because of that instead of full date of birth my husband has only how old he was when he got married to me and his mother has no surname. Since Chinese women don’t change their surname after marriage they claimed they couldn’t confirm her surname. Hello, it was on Hong Kong marriage certificate that you just took from me. With all the documents translated you should file a special form you will get at the civil register, pay 50PLN for a registration of foreign marriage and wait around a week to get 3 copies of your Polish marriage certificate. For any extra page you need to pay 22 PLN.

Getting married in Poland

Maybe registering your foreign marriage seems to be easy but when it comes to a wedding in Poland with a foreigner it much more complicated. First of all you need to decide if you and your partner want to get married as Christians or at least one of you wants. If yes then you need to go to her local church and ask them what do you need and how would ceremony look like. From what I found if you plan to have a Christian wedding you two should file:

  •  Certificate of baptism
  • Certificate of confirmation
  • Certificate of completing the pre-marital course114
  • ID
  • Best Man and Maid of Honour‘s personal details – they also should have their certificates of baptism

I’ll write only about civil registry marriage since I don’t know any interracial couple where one of them (or both) insisted to get married in Christian way.hen Hongkongers don’t care about your papers, we Polish people looooooove to have everything on paper. Or at least any government institution loves it. We’re not environmental friendly.
What documents you need?

  • any ID card that can prove your identity, for foreigners I always say it’s good to take a passport
  • birth certificates
  • if you ever been married before you need to show a proof that you’re divorced or that marriage has been ‘canceled’
  • you need to write and sign a paper where you claim that there is nothing that could stop you from getting married, for example: another wife/husband etc. – you can find the examples on the sites of Polish embassy (Polish and English version – click click )15-77-thickbox
  • proof of the place of residence
  • if a country of your foreign partner does not give a proof that he/she can get married (Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate of no impediment to marriage pursuant to the marriage with foreigners) you can file a petition to a family court in your living area. In Hong Kong you can do it here (click click)

Now go back again to receipt and two IDs. Now when you have all the documents needed and filed at your local civil register you need to wait at least 30 days until you can get married – twice as long as in Hong Kong. You also need to tell if your partner is not fluent in Polish language and ask for their list of translators to pick one for your wedding day.
On the day of the wedding your vows will be first said in this order: register -> translator -> partner, register -> you -> translator.
After that it should look pretty much the same – signing papers, claps and kisses. You can enjoy your life with your now husband!

But how to register your Polish marriage in Hong Kong? Go to a consulate in Warsaw or Krakow with your marriage license translated into English. That’s why I love it – no problems. But prepare your husband to see ‘Hong Kong, China’ at the documents. I applied writing just Hong Kong but picked up a document with Hong Kong, China.

Is it hard to marry a foreigner in your country? Or maybe you had two weddings, one in your country and the other one abroad? Any advice would give to AMXF couples that plan to get married? Share your experience and stories! :)
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亞裔人真的很小氣?Are Asians really cheap?

We all know the stereotypes about Asians – small men with a ‘toothpick’, nerds, eat weird things… and cheap-asses. Some people say stereotypes have to have some roots in real life but is that really true? Where is the line between good money management and being Scrooge McDuck20101215

Looking on my own Western-Eastern experience I  would rather say Asian people care so much about their face, especially in front of a girlfriend, that they would rather pay the whole bill than take out a calculator and divide it between them. You don’t see white people in a restaurant fighting over a bill, throwing their credit cards or giving back the cash and putting their own.
Of course there are exceptions like one of my husband’s ex roommates – he always asked Sing for a ride, including the time he moved out but never even said ‘Oh man, maybe you need money for gas?’. When Sing was at school he sneaked into his room and ate his snacks. The day he moved out he took toilet paper and a light bulb with himself from their landlord. And whenever my husband told him he doesn’t like it he used the same sentence ‘Your parents can send you more’. Good to know my parents in law can transform into ATM for his roommate.

Good money management is a part pf what makes Asian rich – I don’t say buying half a bun will make you next Li Ka-shing (if you don’t know who he is check out my last post about Hong Kong memes – he’s one of them) but why buy 2 potatoes in Jusco for 8 HKD when you can get them for half of the price why would you buy it there? If you can save up a tax or parking fee why would you do that? When white people do that it’s totally acceptable, people are smart by doing it but when Asians do that… sorry, they’re cheap-asses. I don’t talk about situations when there’s 13C in the house and landlord doesn’t turn on the heating because it saves 60 USD, but how to save up by just simply thinking. My husband is master in avoiding parking fees, tickets, bank fees and he’s really proud of that. If there was a degree he probably would have a PhD at the age of 18.

I keep writing about everyday ‘cheapness’ but now I finally get to the’meat of the dumpling – being cheap on a date. And here is the funny part – we did a research on 3 big Chinese and Hong Kong forums and the only complaints about cheap Asian men were because their MALE FRIEND did not pay for all 5 of GIRLS during karaoke. Friend to a friend, we couldn’t find a single example about a guy being cheap to his girlfriend.

If I have to compare, only by my own very small experience, I would say in my case Asian men are much more generous than white guys. My previous relationship wasn’t the best that ever happened to me, we never really go out, if so we sit on the bus stop and I was the one who always go see him because paying for 5PLN for a bus to see me was way too much, but when his friend called he would even find 10PLN so they could drink a beer. Then I have my husband – I asked him for a doughnut before Fat Thursday instead he bought me twelve. But that actually came from his cheapness ‘If I get one it’s 1.50 USD but for 12 I pay only 10USD’. Generosity coming out of cheapness. Only Sing can do it.
But that is only my private opinion based on my not so exciting love life, especially my dad is 100% Polish and he’s not cheap at all – he prefers to spend more for a better quality and he’s a generous man in general towards people he loves. To be fair when I googled ‘paying on the first date savoir vivre’ the first result was about Polish people with ‘First of all, you do have to behave no worse than Polish men do. Polish men are gentlemen’. I guess I was unlucky one. fd8ddfbcc86f45c3a8886bfc2674c7cd

But it makes me feel much better I wasn’t the only one. As I said I couldn’t find anything about cheap Asian guys – and by cheap I mean far more worse than splitting the bill on the first date so I just gathered the most funny and shocking stories from one of the most popular Polish forums. My fellow girls shared their stories in a topic called ‘The cheapest guy‘ (click here - for native Polish speakers).
Sit back, grab a drink and thank God/Buddha/your guts that you didn’t need to deal with guys like those or show it to your girlfriend if she ever complains about you! ;)

  • We decided to go for 3 days to Gdansk. Why bother with renting a room for two people when you can rent out for one? You can just throw me on a ground and sleep on your own in bed. At the same trip we went to a quite fancy restaurant and he pulled out a huge juice from Biedronka (one of the cheapest chain stores in Poland) and drinks it out of the bottle – my face was priceless.
  • My ex did shopping like this: we went to a shop, he made the shopping cart full and said ‘Sweetie, I’ll pay’ and after that he just disappeared and I was left there alone and angry. ‘Thank God’ I was always able to find him after paying when he ‘somehow’ found his way to the exit. It didn’t happen all the time, just few times. He worked and I was just a student. About his cheapness I could write really a lot.
  • My friend told me that she went out with her friends to eat pancakes. She ordered the one with sauce (they were more expensive) and her friend seeing it said that since they give so much of the sauce he will take some from her instead of paying extra. He took out a spoon from  a sugar-bowl and just poured sauce from her dish.
  • After a break up with my boyfriend – he cheated on me – I asked him him to give me back all the money he borrowed from me. It was around 5000PLN (~1640USD), I even told me he can pay me little by little, because it’s a big money he might not have right now. In return he told me that he counted all the time I ate dinner at his place – he lived with parents and they were the one to spend those money – and according to him it’s me who owes him the money. We’ve been together for 3 years.3275805778960356176
  • I was with my ex for 4 years, we lived together almost from the very beginning. We had our own toilet papers and he protected his as it was his own eye. When we drive his car he counted gas & parking fees so I can give him back the money. He used to walk 2km to the shop and to come back because he could save 1PLN. He even complained to my mom SHE bought me a new purse. Once I took a tea spoon of mustard from ‘his’ shelf in the fridge – he told me next time we go shopping I need to buy him a new one. Why go on holidays? It’s expensive! You need to take me to the doctor? Complain for next week how expensive it was. He wasn’t from poor family, his parents were fantastic. We gave each others a ride, give each other tiny gifts with no occasion, we had great time together. I don’t know what was wrong with him.
  • A guy is his 40′s, classy and a lot of money. He is a regular client in a shop I work. One day he came and bought a lot of things saying it’s for a girl he likes as a birthday gift. I suggested I can pack it for him. He said OK so I started to take off the price tags  and he said ‘NOOOOO! Please keep the price tags, so she can see it. She needs to buy me something in return and she needs to know how much I spent for her!’
  • My friend had a similar situation with counting for staying overnight when she stayed at his boyfriend’s place. He was closer to 30 than 20, but still lived with them. She came to see him from another city. During one morning his mother gave her the bill: used water – X, used electricity – Y, slices of bread – Z etc. Later she was coming there with her own groceries. I admire her, because in my case they wouldn’t see me again.
  • Our first date. He asked me to stay at his place – I suspect it was from his cheapness. I got hungry so I suggested we can order a pizza. He said he has tomatoes at home and I can eat one, his mom taught him not to spend unnecessary money. I said we can slip the bill and still he rejected. In the end I ordered and paid for myself but of course he ate it as well. He also said that he ate less so it’s normal that I paid. It was our last date.
  • Not my guy, just a friend. We’re in the club, it’s late, there’s no one sitting at the table and I hear him saying ‘Oh! Someone left so many beers and they are almost full’ and started to look as happy as a child in a candy shop. He took them and wanted to put it on our table, I told him ‘Eww, get real. I won’t drink beer after someone I don’t even know’ and then a security guy sitting next to the bar yelled at him ‘Hey, leave those beers’. I was so ashamed I thought I’ll die there. In the end he went to buy his own beer.
  • It was 3,4 years ago. My first date ever with a guy I knew for about half a year as a friend. He wanted to meet up, but I said I had no money at that time to even order a pizza. He calmed me down and said he will pay. I felt uncomfortable, I said I’m sorry and that I’ll give him the money back as soon as I get money. He ordered quite expensive one plus coke for yourself. We ate… more like he ate really fast like he was scared I’ll eat more than him. One slice was gone in two bites. He took another piece even if he still didn’t chew the previous one. In total I ate 2 slices, he ate 6. He stood up and said he’s going to pay… and he didn’t come back. I wait 15 minutes, I thought he went to use a restroom, but he wasn’t there so I wanted to go out but the lady stopped me that the bill is not paid.  I had to call my mom to bring me the money. The next day I got a text message ‘Sorry that I was gone but I had no money’.

There’s 94 pages of that kind of stories, it came to the point where people were writing not only about boyfriends or partners, but family, friends, mothers – in the end it’s all in people’s character and how they were raised rather than in ethnic background.

Have you even been on met a real cheap-ass? Or maybe been on a date with one? How do you feel about stereotype of ‘cheap Asian’? Share your experience and funny stories! :)
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地道港式惡搞 – know your Hong Kong Meme

Good Guy Greg, Scumbag Steve, Overly Attached Girlfriend, Annoying Facebook Girl and many more including my favorite First World Cat Problem – Internet is full of memes, I think anyone of you have seen them either on Facebook, on forums or anywhere else on the web. image (5)
Working on this blog makes me use the Internet much more than I wish to so I’m pretty aware of new trends online when it goes to memes, but for a really long time I had no idea that memes mine, 9GAG was actually founded by Hongkongers!

I also started to wonder: If 9GAG is based in Hong Kong how come there are literally no original Hong Kong memes?

Recently I spend a huge amount of time browsing sites like 環球膠報 and I could see many really good and hilarious memes Hongkongers can make. I think if their background wasn’t so connected to Hong Kong popculture and everyday life they could be next new trend! The memes Hongkongers use are much different than the one shown on pages like Hong Kong Memes where people use internationally known memes and adapt them to daily situations.

The memes I want to present you are my  favorite, you won’t find them on 9GAG or most English-written sites but they are so hilarious that I couldn’t resist to not write about them. If someone of you knows their background story better or know a better use of them, please don’t hesitate and tell us! Also you can use one of them as a respond to my post… Can you guess which one? :)

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This is just one of the versions of a meme that includes an actor Kenneth Chan (陳啟泰) - he is an actor and a TV host that used to work for TVB and ATV – station also known as ‘The Throwing Bun Show’ as my husband says. That show brought an old lady a heart attack and was so unpopular even people sitting in the background left in the middle of filming the anniversary show. Ken Chan was the only really famous actor in ATV and probably they put him anywhere they could. People made fun of it putting his face everywhere on every movie poster. Various memes including his face mean that your team, government, opinion has one good point, but the rest just sucks. So if you agree with someone at one point but the rest is just a bullpoop you can proudly present him The Ken Chan.

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Another meme includes Hacken Lee (李克勤)- singer, actor, lyrics and God knows who else he can be. Story behind the meme starts in 2005 when Manchester United visited Hong Kong. Hacken, as a big fan, gave a frame consist of his CD covers, photos to the team on field. He said Sir Alex Ferguson promised that the gift would be placed in Manchester United Museum. At the end, reporters found the gift left in the changing room. To be honest I felt sad for him but apparently I’m not Hong Kong enough because my Hong Kong husband had tears in his eyes and he almost pulled his muscles laughing seeing all the GIFs and photoshopped pictures of Lee’s gift you can find online. It’s hard to explain how you use it so I’ll just show you by a simple example: ‘I got my girlfriend flowers but she didn’t like them’ and someone responds with a picture of Hecken and his frame. So I guess we can say if you complain that someone didn’t appreciate you, you can end up seeing Mr. Lee on your screen. Doesn’t matter it happened 9 years ago – this meme is still alive.

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In my opinion one of the most popular memes you can find in Hong Kong. It doesn’t have such a story as the previous one but I think you can call it a Hong Kong version of Yao Ming and his ‘Bitch, please’ face. Lau Kong (劉江) said in one of TVB’s dramas he starred in ‘I know, that’s why I try not to make you mad’ but his face was just perfect for the meme now known as ‘Aya, you must be joking/not worth talking about‘ – it’s not a translation, but that’s how you usually use it. It doesn’t matter if the topic is good or bad, when you don’t want to continue it you post Lau’s picture with photoshopped subtitles. I hope some of Hongkongers can explain little bit more about the use of it since I’m not a native speaker.

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‘Successfully achieved’ came from a banner that a member of  Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (for people who are not aware of Hong Kong’s situation it’s as democratic as Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and called a shadow of Communist Party in Hong Kong) that said ‘Our party successfully achieved making green light for walking people 2 seconds longer’. Surely worth whole banner. Later it got photoshopped into ‘Our party successfully achieved catching 2 wild dogs on the street, putting ‘slow down’ sign and matching this and that celebrity. So if you show off with some with something that is not really worth the attention watch out – you can have your own banner.

image_3Some of you might heard of an incident that happened few years ago in Hong Kong – man was found with his penis stuck in a metal bench… If no then just google ‘Man humping a bench Hong Kong‘ and you surely will find a lot of result. Some people say it’s just a bad date with weird preferences, other say it was a revenge – he owed money to mafia so they made him put his penis inside a whole in the bench and gave him a medicine so he couldn’t get out. Guy himself claims he was doing sport and accidentally he slipped in. Maybe he should stop running with his underwear down so he won’t trip and fall right in the hole.
No matter what was the real reason he looked stupid. I feel sorry for him, but tell me – who of you didn’t have that tiny smile on your face thinking about a guy stuck while being intimate with a bench. So whenever someone says or does something dumb you can post this meme.
BTW. Did you noticed a crossover with Hanson and his frame?

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Honestly I have no idea what drama brought this meme to life but I cannot stop laughing seeing this face. Actress in one of the dramas is so terrible, she’s like Kristen Stewart of Asia. No matter what drama, she cries the same way and in this one she had the same face expression… like a stone showing up there as well! Some people claim she looks like 囧 which is also used as a meme ‘Do not want’. This one is slightly different – whenever you want to explain something to someone that picture is the right one to send. It has no special meaning beside ‘Let me explain it to you’ , no big connection to the drama but it can make anyone laugh!

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Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠爵士) is a Hong Kong’s most wealthiest man, he got money from sales, retails, real estate, technology, ports and many other things. Pretty good for someone who dropped out from school. Long story short: he own really a lot of places, businesses etc., so every hour when people don’t work is a waste for him. In Hong Kong summer time is a typhoon time. Strong typhoon means no work. No work, no money for Li. So as a joke people claim the existence of an artificial force shield over Hong Kong that prevents tropical cyclones from approaching the city during weekdays. It is implied that the field is invented and funded by Li. To make things worse there was a period of time when a typhoon 8 was not announced for more than 3 years. And then I went to Hong Kong – BAM, typhoon 10. Maybe I should get my own meme?
You will see bunch of Li’s shield online after strong typhoons. If you still don’t believe that man’s power check some of typhoons that couldn’t resist it: Lekima, Rosa, Parma, Super Typhoon Megi. 

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Last, but not the least. Very simple, very often used. Maybe some of you will start using it to your friends!
It came from another best acting scene – can you guess is the guy in the picture laughing or crying?
It’s so bad that people changed the subtitle into ‘So funny‘. Same case as the guy’s acting – you can use it when you find something that is funny for real or when you’re ironic. No one can tell from his bad acting anyway.

PS. He was crying.

What is your favorite (not only Hong Kong) meme? Have you seen any of them before? How popular are memes in your country? Share your experience!

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坊間的醫療傳說 – strange Chinese medicine

Winter time in Northern California is not what I expected – one day it’s extremely warm and I can go out wearing no-sleeve shirt, then the very next day the temperatures are so low that we have only 12C inside our flat. In Poland it might be -25C outside but you come back to a nice, heated room later you take a hot bath in your hot bathroom… In the end I got sickChinski_sposob_na_katar_1

Not really sick – I just wake up with a runny nose every single morning but besides that I’m 99.9% OK. Of course not to my husband. Whatever hurts me – it has to be a cancer or other disease. He even told me that since the time we started to date he actually thinks of me dying one day so he ‘can be prepared’ – same goes for our cat. Now you can judge who of us is more weird – him for saying that or me by my comment ‘Why do you assume I die before you? Everyday I’m still 5 years younger than you’.

Now you know how any sickness in our house looks like and it really bothered me WHY he behaves like that? Why his whole family is just obsessed by health, eating habits etc. I understand love and so on, but often it gets ridiculous. For me he and his mom are still quite easy-going but I don’t even want to imagine what will happen once I get pregnant. Already Ruth from China elevator stories (congratulations once again!) has to deal with all the believes about health – for example even thought being intimate during pregnancy is proven to be fine if there’s no other medical medical condition I read while preparing the article that it is forbidden because not only a man can ‘deform’ a child but also (that’s just my favourite) CHILD WILL REMEMBER IT. I cannot remember my lunch from last week, how on Earth I could remember this? Of course forget about brushing your hair and cleaning your teeth after delivering a baby – why? No one knows, but that’s the way it is.

I tried to find the answer why that kind of strange believes are still in Chinese culture – probably it has to be tradition, because ‘mom said it so it has to be true’ and some of those old Chinese medical rules can actually cure you. Don’t get me wrong – my country used to believe that tiny bugs with a black head are destroying your teeth. I really hope no one still thinks it’s true. And no matter what no one can deny how much old Chinese medicine influenced today’s world.

I want to share with you my favourite things I’ve read or heard from our family members. Don’t be shocked that most of that is connected to food or eating – food is important for Chinese people, at least most of them, and having a Cantonese man by my side makes food and cooking even more serious

  • Chinese people, especially older generation, really care about the body type and they match their diet to balance hot and cold, wet and dry. When I started to cook for my husband he didn’t say a word but once we got married he used to stand behind my back and making comments like ‘This veggie is cold, add some ginger – it’s hot’ or ‘Babe, I cannot eat tropical fruits – I’m hot and they are hot too’. 12350636082884318829After weeks of taking care of it and balancing his meals he doesn’t know that fried napa with a soy sauce has no ginger inside. His life was a lie but he is alive and somehow didn’t have any stomach problems. Is it true? Maybe, but for me as a main cook (only cook) it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Cold water is bad for you. Not even water – any cold dish is not healthy. Food should have at least room temperature (good luck with Hong Kong having 4C outside). Cold water on a period even thought it’s 40C outside? My husband and his mother had a fight in a restaurant about it – according to her I will not only damage my stomach but also I will damage my uterus and in the end cannot give my husband a Prince Perfect Jr. but I still take a risk. That is something I cannot get used to – summer, winter, I don’t care I love ice in my drink.
    I thought maybe it’s just my family but once our landlord’s wife saw me giving my cat food taken out from a fridge and asked me seriously do I want my cat to have a cancer. She told me back in China her 3 dogs NEVER ate a cold meal. Always same, warm meat as them. Biscuit fat belly doesn’t seem to complain about the food temperature.
  • Cold is bad but hot is bad as well. Perfect soup temperature is 60C – over that you will, again, damage your stomach. 60C is the most nutritious time for soup.
  • If your stomach is already destroyed you can start to think how to damage your kidneys. You don’t know how? Don’t worry, here’s the answer: to make your kidneys bad you should… eat a cold watermelon from the fridge before you sleep. Watermelon is cold and wet = KO, warm body.
  • That lovely charming man in the first photo claims that if you let a small snake go though your mouth and nose you will get rid of a runny nose. I’m afraid since Sing now knows how to cure my terminal disease I might wake up with my nose stuffed… with a snake. image
  • Once the snake is dead you can use it’s raw gut, cook it and have a very precious Chinese medicine ingredient. For what? I have no idea. Why? According to my husband there was one guy who wrote a really big book about medicine and he said so. I say chocolate and pizza can make you lose weight. Now I only need to wait until you start to believe in it, get fat and let me be the slimmest person around without a constant diet. Great, evil plan.
  • Have problems with getting an erection? Forget about blue pills. Also forget about hot food and food made from cold ingredients. You think there’s nothing you can eat? Of course you can – eat animal penises. If you eat a pig’s penis it will also help your kidneys damaged by that bastard, watermelon.
  • 以形補形 – since we`re in a topic of ‘exchanging’. If you have a problem with an organ… eat the organ! If you have problems with your ovary eat an avocado – it will increase your female hormones, cut tomato and it will fix your heart. Cannot see properly? Eat a fish eye, but don’t throw the fish away – use it’s gut to cure your blood pressure and breathing problems but it works only if you swallow a raw gut. Your bones hurt? Pork bone soup will be perfect. You wish to have bigger boobs? Drink milk… At this point I just can’t resist a comment – if it’s true then think about all those poor pornstars spending thousands on fake boobs… I seriously published that?
  • If you don’t really want to eat a soup made out of penises you can try a tea I found yesterday in a shop… HORNY GOAT WEED. I think the name doesn’t need a further comment.

Do you know any other interesting believes? Or maybe you can answer where did those one came from? Does people in your country still use traditional, but little bit crazy medicine? Share your stories! :)

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New project – The Real Asian style

Some of you might noticed on my facebook that I prepared a new project called ‘The Real Asian style‘. I love so called image_8Asian/Korean/Japanese style clothes and their price is usually so ridiculously cheap that my PC screams ‘buy it’. But with great price can come great disappointment.

How many of you got fooled, cloth you got was totally different from what you’ve expected, zipper didn’t want to move or threads were coming out of your new shirt? I’ve been there, we all have been there. And to help you and other buyers (but also satisfy my need of new, cute clothes) I finally started The Real Asian style.

I’m at the very beginning of my ‘fashion-reviewer career’ but I can already tell you what you can expect:

  • both women’s and men’s fashion reviews
  • price, cost of shipping, time it took for a package to be delivered
  • color, size, how similar it is with pictures provided by the seller
  • real photos

I’m not a professional photographer neither a writer but I will do my best to give you the best review and photos I can make so you know if you can give that clothing a shot or you should close your browser.image

For today I want to share with you my first thoughts about Korean style short sleeve heart printed chiffon top . For future reviews please click ‘The Real Asian style’ button on the top of My Hong Kong husband blog, next to ‘About’. In next couple of days I will divide the whole TRAS (sounds bad, haha) into different sections for different types of clothing.

Do you have any suggestions I could use? Please, leave them in the comment section and share my project with others! Thank you! :)

PS. If you still don’t know you can follow My Hong Kong husband along with The Real Asian style on:
http://www.facebook.com/myhongkonghusband
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http://www.twitter.com/my_hk_husband

Fast link to my reviews (updated 28/2/2014):