MORE FUNNY REAL-LIFE TRANSCRIPTS
By Nury Vittachi
ALMOST EVERY time you pick up the phone in Hong Kong, you end up with a good laugh – as mentioned in part one of this series (see Feb 13 posting). Here are eight more real-life transcripts of conversations.
Philippa Robeson phoned KPS Video Express and a staff member answered.
“You would like to reserve a movie?”
“Yes, please. Jean de Florette. J. E. A. N., D. E—’’
“No. Please wait and listen. Jean de Florette. J.E.A.N. New word. D.E—’’
“Jane de Fonda!”
Simon Mok phoned a Wyndham Street restaurant to ask about its menu.
“You have an all-day breakfast?”
“When do you open?”
Colin Robertson called his own office at the Commission for Canada.
“This is Colin Robertson. I’d like to speak to—”
“Mr Robertson is not here.”
“No. THIS is Mr Robertson. I want—”
“Why are you calling yourself?”
Sarah Morris went to the Apple Camera Shop in Kowloon to follow up on a suspiciously cheap price she had been offered for a Canon EOS 10 camera. The staff member recognized her as soon as she walked in.
“Sorry. No camera.”
“What? Have you run out of stock?”
“No. They finished make. They no more make this model.”
“You’re telling me Canon does not make the EOS 10 any more?”
“Canon no make any cameras now.”
Writer Simon Winchester phoned the concierge at the Mandarin Oriental hotel to ask him for some Beethoven. The usual concierge was off so Simon spoke to a young staff member.
“Do you know who Beethoven is?”
“No. What room is he in?”
“No, no, he’s dead.”
“Oh. We’d better call security.”
A friend called the MTR Corp, Hong Kong’s main underground transit system, to ask the name of the melody that was playing in a loop on the station sound system.
“What is the music that is playing in the stations?”
“It’s a tape.”
“Yes, but what do you call it?”
“We call it ‘a tape’.”
A journalist called the Hong Kong office of Hawley and Hazel Chemical Co.
“Good morning. Do you have a public relations department?”
“No, we don’t.”
“Do you use an agency for your public relations?”
“Yes, we do.”
“Can I have their name and contact number?”
“No, I’m sorry. That information is confidential.”
If that firm’s PR agency is reading this, now you know why you never get any referrals.
Reporter Nick Griffin was weighed in a Hong Kong hospital. The reading showed he was underweight.
“It says 50 kilos.”
“This must be the ladies’ scales.”
[The nurse then goes to the male ward and returns with another weighing machine.]
“This is from a male ward.”
Nick said to me afterwards: “So there you have it. In Hong Kong, a kilo of male does not weigh the same as a kilo of female.”