When you take a “Public Light Bus” or mini-bus around Hong Kong, you have to call out to the driver when you want to be let off.
And sure, you can just say in English “Next stop, please,” and the driver will acknowledge you and let you off the bus. But where is the fun in that when you could also memorize a simple Cantonese phrase to make the same thing happen. There are several ways to ask the driver to stop:
下 一 站 haah yat jhaam, m’goi (Next stop, please.)
有 落 yauh lohk (This stop. Literally: “fall down.”)
The trouble is that in my neighborhood there are loads of Western expats and maids from the Philippines who all just yell out in English.
So every time the bus approaches my stop, I start a mini-internal-debate:
“Should I call out in Cantonese?”
“Will I look like a tool if I do since the driver obviously understands the English phrase?”
“Do I care if I look like a tool?”
“Nah, screw it, I’ll say it in Cantonese.”
And then right when I’m ready to shout out, one of the maids calls out in English: “Next stop, please!”
(Photo from Wikipedia.)