Our Digital Marketing Manager, Lindsay was recently in Hong Kong, where she met up with our local guy Danny. After doing the Story of Hong Kong tour in the morning, she grabbed a bite to eat with Danny, and it was easily one of her best local experiences in Hong Kong.
“After the tour, I was hankering for some local food. Yet another reason why I love travelling with local guides is because they often offer up the best restaurant recommendations. If you’re lucky, like I was, you’ll even get the offer of company, as well!
Danny and I headed over to Kowloon, where his afternoon market tour was set to take off from, and we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Tiffany restaurant and chatted about life in Hong Kong. I also got to try Hong Kong-style Western cuisine, the concept of which I found greatly amusing, as we, over here in Canada, typically have Western-style Chinese food! My dish was chicken with corn and beans and rice, and a delicious little mango dessert. The food was good, but what I loved most was that I was the only foreigner in the place.
Wanting to be as polite as possible, I asked Danny how to say thank you. Explaining that there are two ways to say thank you in Cantonese, he taught me that m goi is used in situations where the service is expected, for instance a restaurant or a taxi. Alternatively, do jeh is used to thank someone for a gift, or to express gratitude. It’s not entirely that simple, but I appreciated that Danny took the time and effort to explain it to me, because the contextual implications of each thank you were easier to understand when coming from a local.
I really enjoy striving to learn from locals and experience even the smallest part of life the way they do – even if it is just saying thank you the right way. My time with Danny was great in that sense – I got the opportunity to listen to stories of local life and history, sample local cuisine, and learn the basics in local manners. Next time you find yourself with a few spare hours in Hong Kong, go hang out with Danny, and please tell him I say hi and do jeh.”