Lost in Translation


There are many things about living in Hong Kong I will not miss one bit. The pollution. The taxi drivers who give their passengers real life Grand Theft Auto driving experiences complete with liberal and generous brake-pumping (can we say vomit?). T10 Typhoons. Having to tape your windows to keep them from exploding is pretty scary stuff.

But there are many things I will miss.

The fabulously innovative restaurants (Mexican Japanese fusion! Nouveau Korean! Modern Taiwan-fusion street food! Oh man. More on that another day).

Citysuper, my absolutely favourite supermarket ever. They have everything I love under one roof. Korean sweet potato noodles? Yup. Hokkaido melons? Sure. American Reeses Peanut Butter Cups? Absolutely. Italian Amedei chocolate? Certo! French epoisses? Mais bien sur. Spanish Iberico ham? Si! Canadian organic milk? Oh yeah. Random Japanese treats? Hai! And they give you neat gifts on your birthday.

Log-on, the Citysuper lifestyle store attached to some of Citysuper’s bigger branches. It’s like falling down the rabbit hole into a whole new world of strange and wonderful delights. Snail-slime face mask anyone? German organic bath paint? Coloured contacts to make your irises look bigger? And a stationery shop that makes my knees tremble and my heart quiver with excitement.

Some people are all about shoes. Others, big bad motorbikes. And still others, shiny, sparkly jewels. Me, it’s Japanese and Korean stationery. Pens. Paper. Stamps. Glittering highlighters. *swoon* We’re headed to Tokyo in September so I’ll tell you all about my crazy addiction then.

Anyways, something else I will miss in Hong Kong are the signs. The ones that make absolute sense and at the same time make no sense at all.

This sign was in a mini-bus (a type of express Hong Kong bus which has only 16 seats). I can only imagine the driver must have gotten annoyed with particularly pungent passengers and had this sign made.


No fart in car. Clear. Concise. And to the point.

This sign was in a small lift. It wasn’t a particularly rough neighbourhood, but I did make sure no one else was in the lift when I got in. Just in case.

no hitting

Not a translation issue, the Chinese says the same thing!

This sign was in a rather nice office building where you need a key to use the bathroom. Made me want to turn around and leave right away. Maybe it’s a clever ruse to make people not want to use their bathrooms thereby saving on water, electricity and toilet paper? At least, I’d much rather think that than why else a professional building might need to make a sign like that. Ugh. Grody to the max.


Um, okay.