Yes, it’s true.
After sitting dormant in my head for years, my Cantonese has come out to play, and has been put to good use.
I can say a few words and phrases to make myself understood, but I’m not proficient enough to carry a long conversation. But I know enough to cuss if I need to, like everyone else.
It’s now halfway into my stay in Hong Kong, and I’m finding my comprehension of verbal Cantonese is steadily improving by the day. I can listen to Cantonese in conversation and I can get the gist of what’s being said. My reading and writing comprehension, however, need life support.
The important part is where my handling of Cantonese becomes particularly handy: the search for and the precise naming of food.
Here are three places in Hong Kong where I’ve adequately communicated my desire for food that “feels-like-home”:
- Mak’s Noodle (Central), for the wonton noodle soup
- Nathan Congee and Noodle (Kowloon), for congee
- Joy Hing Roasted Meat (Wan Chai), for the barbecue duck and pork