“Mm hou yi si, hai bin dou?”

“Mm goi, hai bin dou?” – our Cantonese Phrase of the Week, meaning “Please/excuse me, where is it?” or “Please/excuse me, where at?” was extremely useful during a week when we vowed to eschew riding cabs and instead, use the efficient Guangzhou public transport system (buses and the subway) for our appointments and errands around the city.

A formidable task and one which I am proud to announce that I bravely accomplished with flying colours…well, except for one instance, when the 40C degree heat and almost 90% humidity finally got to me after a bout of sightseeing in one of Guangzhou’s prettiest spots: Shamian Island (more about this charming historical destination next week). Dizzy, I flagged down the first cab I spotted and sank back with eyes closed as we drove home.

” Mm hou yi si, tsing mun, dim heui Shamian Dao?” – Excuse me, may I ask, how to go to Shamian Island?

Sometimes, a girl has to know when to surrender to airconditioning. And how’s YOUR summer going???

– our Cantonese Phrase for the Week: “Delicious!” or literally, “very good taste”. These were probably the very first words I learned in Cantonese! Which gives you a very good idea about Guangzhou…at the end of the day, this city is really all about food.

Very appropriate considering as it feels like we’ve literally been eating our way through Guangzhou these past couple of weeks. With Cantonese cuisine reigning as one of the four legendary regional Chinese cuisines – and with our penchant for “yumcha” (Cantonese dimsum) on weekends – we’re constantly surrounded by food that’s all “hou hou” (very good) but not very flattering for one’s waistline.

It’s time to apply some much-needed self-discipline and just say “Ngaw bau laa” (I’m full) to all that delicious food and get up early during these summer mornings and exercise. Ouch. But what’s a girl to do? LET’S JUST DO IT!!!

– our Cantonese Phrase for the Week…”Gay daw tsin?” is probably one of the most useful phrases one can learn in this part of China.

Literally meaning “How much money?” and more often used to say “How much is it?”, with all the gajillion markets that we’re getting to discover and explore in Guangzhou these past couple of weeks, this phrase is definitely getting a lot of mileage!

And with so many, many tempting things to buy, probably a more useful phrase would then be: “Peng di laaaaa!” (and be sure to make the “laaaa” as dramatically whiney  as possible), as in “Cheaper!” Hahahaaa, let’s all learn this one, Stiletto-istas…STAT!