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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stormy Weather

The Arrival

"Welcome to Hong Kong, Madam!" he said cheerfully.

"Thank you", I replied, glad that he could speak reasonably good English.

"Be aware Madam, they have issued No 8 storm signal!" he added.

"Uh? No 8 storm signal?", I asked, puzzled.

"Yes.. you know the typhoon that hit Philipines, that killed thousands of people? It may be coming here to Hong Kong."

Hurraaaahhhh ..... I said to myself.

"But don't worry Madam, the wind now not so strong. Low, low. Last time in Philipines, high, high. If you need any transport, just ask the hotel to arrange for you. Don't take taxi."

"I see, ok, thank you".

I think he meant well. But what a way to welcome and break the ice with a visitor!


The Settling In

"Hello housekeeping?"

"Yes, how may I 'hep' you, Madam?"

"Do you by any chance have a compass that I can borrow?"

"I beg your pardon, Madam?"

"A compass?"

"Err... sorry Madam, I don't understand you. Can you repeat please?"

"A compass. Do you have a compass?"

"You mean Condom?"

"NOOOO!! No! No! Not condom! C o m p a s s !"


" Yes, compass? You know compass? The thing that shows the direction of North South, East West?"

"Err... sorry Madam, I don't understand. Can you speak Mandarin?"

"Uh uh. I can't speak Mandarin."

"Should I send someone to your room to help you?"

"No, it's okay. I will call the reception desk. Thank you for your help"

"I'm very sorry Madam, I cannot help."

"It's ok, thank you."

Hmmm.... nice going. I have the prayer schedule, the direction of the qiblat, but no compass. Of course I don't have a condom either. Won't be needing that as much as I need the compass.

I called the reception desk shortly after and sort of got some basic help to start with.

As it is, the window is directly facing West and the wall on the right hand side is North. I have to estimate 286 degrees from North. Hmm.... I know it may not be spot on but I have to be 'yakin'. Semoga diterimaNYA.

Oh well.... at least there's a reason for me to hop outside later this evening (weather permitting) to the shops across the street to look for a simple gadget that I shouldn't have left home without.



wanshana said...


It's like, "We believe you will have a pleasant flight with us. Now, please fasten your seat-belts as we are going through a turbulence. Thank you."

Hey, here's wishing you a great time (SHOPPING) in Hong Kong.

(Errrr... Do you think you'd walk all the way to that shop/house atas bukit kat entah mana ceruk dunia, with a total stranger again this time?!)

ninuk said...

consider you are pre-warned :) at least they tell you the truth, may be due to lack of vocabulary the sentences doesn't come out quite right.
selamat kembali ...

hazyr said...

ooohhhh... Hotels provide condom gak eh? hehehe...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Hi Ibu..
OmiGod! Compass and Condom don't even rhyme! It must be frustrating trying to communicate with someone who doesn't have the same vocab as we do... Maybe you should try sign language.. he..he..
Anyway, that day at Tony Roma's, we ordered the ribs.. and I was telling this guy (I think a Bangladeshi) that I wanted it well done. He went on saying no-no... we cook it STANDARD. I repeated that I wanted it WELL DONE, not 'standard'(whatever 'standard' is). And he said - cannot, we cook it standard... Last-last this local guy came and asked what the fuss was all about...Then dia baru explain... oh... Standard tu dah macam well-done sebab ribs tak ada rare or medium rare... Aiyoo..
Ibu, I awedy linked your blog to mine.. boleh kan??

MrsNordin said...

Which hotel are you staying in ni? Shopping, ayy?? Cool!

dewa said...

Mati aku mati!

Raden Galoh said...


Compass becomes condom??? Hahahaha

have a great time there...

Spena said...

Sist! This reminds me to 'teach' my girls not to say the wrong things when trying to create small talks :-)

Kmar said...


Sakit perut I dok gelak!!!.. Ini macam my experience flight to New Delhi. "Welcome to New Delhi Airport, the weather nice, the people are nice.. bla..bla.. We will have a good landing ... " Then, bila tengok kat luar... tersadai dua, tiga bangkai kapalterbang yang tak dipakai!!!!.. laaa...

Lepas tu naik bas (saje nak experience).. tertulis kat belakang kerusi.. "Please check under your seat, if there is any BOMB, please warn the driver"...!!! tak mengucap panjang!! I did have that phrase in a photo sebab terkejut sesangat!!

Btw, have a nice time in HK and boleh le polish up your Mandarin skill..he.he.he..

wanshana said...


I tak habis gelakkan condom/compass punya hal, lepas tu baca pulak si Kmar punya comment - sesak napas I ketawa woiiii!!!


Kmar!!! Serious???!!!

pakpayne said...

hehehe..:-) memang gelak nie baca entry ibu nie..syyy tak leh bagitau tang mana yang saya dok gelak tu...hehehehe.

stay dry ibu!!
and stay ell oriented, with or without compass...hehehe.


Akmal said...

What the??? Hahahaha

U.Lee said...

Hi Ibu, love your sense of humour, ha ha.
You have a wonderful time in HK, a shopping paradise, for women....have fun, Lee.

chinta said...

salam ibu,

very funny, compass and condom doesn't even ryhmes! Maybe condom is the popular request in Hong Kong's hotel? Just a wild guess..hehhehehhe

Enjoy your holiday there!

ADIEJIN said...

condom and compass tak sama ek ? owhh..saya ingat sama. bukan dua dua boleh buat tunjuk arah ker ?

Kak Teh said...

Ibu, that is so funny. This reminds me of my trip to seam reap last year. I was with Chef Wan who was down with cirit birit throughout our stay there. He phoned the reception to ask them to get a doctor - and explained at length his problems and stressed many times he needed a doctor. Five minutes later, someone knocked on his door - Sir, your adapter!!

Jauhnya doctor dengan adapter!

kc said...

ahh, the exasperation on yr face must be priceless...LOL!

Kerp (Ph.D) said... funny. i think learning mandarin/cantonese would come handier. traveling to countries like HK, China, Taiwan and Mongolia (?) will not be bothered by such language barrier. and always remeber that every major city has its own china town. 'no pork, me muslim'...boleh paham ke diorang?

*why in the world he had condom in mind i wonder.

Anonymous said...

salam ibu,

sorry this is late!

happy belated birthday!!!

hope you had a good one :)

take care and hugs to your boys ...

wassalam ...

:o) me

ps: sorry wish kat sini ... everytime i sent e-card ... it bounce la ...

Helena said...

HAHAHA i really had a good laugh there..... jauh betul compass and condom......

Kak teh's doctor and adapter is hillarious too!....

You guys really make my day la.... hehe

IBU said...

Dear All,

Thank you for hopping by. I was in Hong Kong for work, and I thought - dah menyelam, might as well minum air. hahaha... But due to the storm signal, the shops were closed the first 2 days I was there. Which was okay - coz I was not feeling well anyway. It was only on the third day that I managed to hop outside with some of my colleagues from the other countries. And happily hopping around I must say.... hahaha..... ( the credit card bill has yet to arrive! )

As for "Compass" vs "Condom" - yeah, they don't rhyme at all. Maybe the sound of "ass" at the end tu la kot that confuse them? LOL!!!

Thanks again for hopping by!

IBU said...


MOTLEY? MOTLEY WHOO???!!! And you know my bday too? Heh... bagi la access your blog and profile tu....

Thank you for your kind wish. Happy indeed....

MA & Brood said...

Ibu - I read you were in HK, I emailed you just before I left. Maybe you tak dpt email I kot...(I guna email kat yr profile tu..)

Waterlily said...

Salam Ibu...

I baru terbaca your entry ni...hahahaha..its hillarious! Compass and condom! Good for you, you still managed to sound so calm and collected...kalau I dah pecah perut gelak dalam talipon tu jugak..!

Anyway cheers. I've linked your blog to mine..hope you dont mind...

Aida Kasuma