There goes the neighbourhood

This week my sister and family came back from Toronto for the summer, and one of the first couple of things she asked was whether Jet Li had moved into our mother’s neighbourhood yet.

I said I didn’t think so, because wild monkeys that roam the area haven’t been poached for medicinal purposes yet.

Lately, conversations around the house have veered dangerously into unharmonious territory, as we spoke about how it just isn’t right that sales staff at many shops now don’t speak anything but Mainland Chinese, and that when we Singaporeans exclaim, “wah lao, damn expensive, can?”, the same sales staff take it as a request and say, “can!” instead of commiserating and claiming “boss, best price already”.

The last Jet Li interview in English that I remember was the one where he speaks about his role in Lethal Weapon 4:

“The directurr. He teow me. Prease dong hurk Meow”.

In standard English, it means, “Because I am such a kung fu stud, I might hurt mere mortals with just the touch of a finger. The director of the movie was worried that I might accidentally injure what you people call an action movie star like Mel Gibson”.

Come on, man. If you want to be Singaporean and move here, at least mangle English like we do, can?

Dong take it personally and feel hurk, ok?

Jet Li as Emperor Qin Shi Huang
What they mean, “Jet Li no horse run”? I have horse what”.

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