Signs of Hong Kong

I forgot to mention that all the school children in Hong Kong who surveyed us spoke perfect English. At school they learn Chinese, English and often Mandarin as well. It’s shameful how Australian kids don’t learn a second language at school. We just head off around the world and expect everyone else to speak English. Not all of the older generations speak English though which is why you should pick up one of these handy little cards when you check into your Motel. That way when you jump in a taxi there’s no confusion about where you want to go. One night we didn’t have it with us and the taxi driver didn’t know where we wanted to go so he phoned a friend who spoke English and we told her where we wanted to go then she told the driver.


They certainly make it easy to get around though – every sign is written in English and everything is signed. It’s impossible to get lost or  feign ignorance when caught doing the wrong thing – smoking, spitting, climbing or whatever. Well actually it is easy to get lost but it’s easy enough to find your way back as well. In regard to the spitting – no one spits on the street which is pleasant – if they do feel the need then they spit in a bin. Mind you it’s not like you saw that happening all the time though. I didn’t notice before on the Door temporarily closed sign that they disinfect the door handle 4 times a day.

5 thoughts on “Signs of Hong Kong

  1. I’d think the Japanese would need those taxi cards more than English speakers, because, as you said, most people in Hong Kong speak or are familiar with English. The Japanese, from what I’ve seen, have dismal English and Chinese skills. (Which makes me wonder how they would write down the name of their destination if they didn’t know how to use the Roman alphabet and Japanese kanji is very different from Chinese characters.)

    The “No Spitting” sign was probably directed at Chinese tourists from the mainland, who have a nasty habit of spitting on the sidewalk. There’s been some controversy over that, and what Hong Kong natives regard as the general lack of manners by their northern compatriots. Last year, a little girl and her mother from the mainland were verbally attacked when the girl began eating noodles on a Hong Kong train where a large “No Food Allowed” sign was displayed. Mainland commentators said this proved people in Hong Kong were snobs and needed to be taken down a notch. Hong Kong commentators said mainland people have no respect for rules and think they can do whatever they like anywhere they pleased. It’s simmered down a bit, but bad feelings between the two still remain, sad to say.

    • None of our taxi drivers spoke English so we were glad we had the card. Even with it one guy pulled up outside the Motel then looked at us and said – this one??

  2. Oh wow you’re not required to learn another language in Australia? Is that how it still is? I think our school had a minimum of 2 years foreign language required. It’s offered though right? Anyway, as an Ugly American it makes me feel better. 😉

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