Yesterday, as I was walking to town, I saw a familiar car passed by. Instead of honking me, she wound down her car window and asked, 'You go to where?' which was a direct translation from Cantonese 'lei hei pintou?'
A retired teacher used to say 'I will come and carry you afterwards.' This reminds me of signs seen outside some Chinese take-away shops in Glasgow: 'Carry out' which sounds ominous indeed. Even in Cantonese, we have problems of different meanings of certain terms used in different countries. Eg. 'Tah pau' is a common term here for unfinished food to be packed to take home, but the same term if used in Hong Kong will upset the restaurant staff instead because it means a corpse wrapped up to be taken away!
The other day, I teased a friend that instead of him 'keeping an eye on the maid' charged with looking after a newborn baby, that he would 'keep eyeing the maid' instead! This morning, we noticed a new container outside a coffee-shop meant for collecting clothing for recycling. I read the sticker with amusement: 'This pin is for used clothing'.
A guy walks into a bar in Alabama and orders a white wine.
All the hillbillies sitting around the bar look up, expecting to see some pitiful Yankee from the north.
The bartender says, "You ain't from around here, are ya?"
The guy says, "No, I'm from Canada."
The bartender says, "What do you do in Canada?"
The guy says, "I'm a taxidermist....."
The bartender says, "A what? A taxidermist? What in tarnation is a taxidermist?
Do you drive a taxi?"
"No, a taxidermist doesn't drive a taxi. I mount animals...."
The bartender grins and hollers, "It's okay boys. He's one of us..."