Wednesday, 16 March 2011

gossips in broad daylight...

working in a place where there aren't many people from your country or those who speak your language is always the best... you get to gossip about people terang-terang (malay slang: straight/outright) right in front of them!

sweet sheila, a chinese national, and i speak cantonese in the office, especially when talking about stuff not related to work. so it's really convenient for us to gossip. we've even developed nicknames and cantonese-ized names for our colleagues, to make it easier for us to talk without having to mention anyone's real name. evil, right? :P

(conversation in cantonese)
sweet sheila: you know this Wai Lum*? (and Wai Lum was actually standing right in front of us!)
me: what about him?
sweet sheila: i heard that he's been trying to court Sau San* from the finance.
me: wah, Sau San is so pretty. you think she'll fall for him meh? everyday face black-black, like the whole world owes him money like that!
sweet sheila: that's y. dunno how true lar, that's what the Xiu Pei Shu** told me.
me: but Ah Pou*** told me Wai Lum is already married wor!
sweet sheila: aiya, so what? that Lou Shu**** is also married lar, and still he's going around with that Pak Hap*****!

* can you guess the english names for Wai Lum and Sau San? easy enough, right?
** cantonese for "lil secretary". the most junior (in age) of all the secretaries here, but obviously no junior in her connections where juicy stories are concerned!
*** her name means "gem or precious stone" in english, hence "pou", meaning "precious" in cantonese.
**** cantonese for "mouse". nothing to do with his name. just that he looks a lot like one! :P
***** her name is also the name of a flower. this is the cantonese name of that flower.

but today, we realized that sometimes we need to be careful with what we're saying, coz we'll never know who's listening (and actually understanding what was being said).

sweet sheila: (arranging some photos while doing the layout for a newsletter, with a few pics showing our gm posing with some vip guests - thinking aloud in cantonese) hmm... so many people here, but our gm is still the most leng-chai (cantonese: handsome) one.

at that very moment, our gm walked past us from behind... he stopped short, turned back and spoke to sweet sheila: ngo leng-chai? (cantonese: i'm handsome?) omg, how sweet sheila's face turned red! and i was trying so very hard not to laugh out too loud, in case the lou fatt yeh (cantonese: empress dowager) pokes her head out of her office!

we totally forgot that the gm, even though an angmoh (hokkien slang: caucasian), has worked in hongkong for a few years before! :D


Biow said...


gina said...

We do that too - my ex colleague and I would talk about our colleagues in front of other colleagues and yet, they don't have a single clue on who we were talking about.. fascinating! Haha!

Now in my office also - both San and I will talk about colleagues using nicknames.. like sausage-lips, TC lady (This colleague asked WHO is T&C - she read e-mail and a person wrote, depends on T&C - and she thought T&C is a person... LOL!!!! Hence, TC Lady and so ngam, she's also tam chiak!), psycho, etc. Haha! I wonder what nicknames others gave us!

stargal said...

hahaha... i know about TC! but forgot is from your blog or San yg cerita. hahaha... we're so evil, hor? :P