conservation begins at home

He was in the aquarium at Ocean Park in Hong Kong with his girlfriend from Taegu. They have the largest reef aquarium in the world, you should know if you want to see a corral reef up close without getting wet which is practically impossible everywhere else in the world.

He didn’t know any Chinese except “Y?” This is how people answer the phone in Hong Kong. It sounds just like the letter “Y.” Everyone in Asia has cell phones so he learned this before they even left the airport. They don’t answer the phone this way in Singapore or Beijing because Chinese is really about 10 different languages that are spelled the same. Hong Kong movies are often subtitled in Chinese for this reason. You’d think a movie in Chinese wouldn’t need Chinese subtitles but you would be mistaken. China has a lot of problems. It’s sometimes the second biggest country in the world and it only has one time zone. That’s not good.

At the aquarium there was an older Asian couple in front of them. They were looking at a big fat sedentary cuttlefish. On the glass was a red plaque that had printed in Chinese: “Do Not Hit the Glass.” It was in English also. It looked emphatic in red and white like that. The old woman commenced to bang on the glass to get the animal to move.

He liked animals and liked to follow signs so he said, “Chinese retards.” He didn’t want to say it in English because many people in Hong Kong speak English. He said it in Korean, “중국 병신,” something like, “Choong-gook byung-sheen.”

The couple moved on. His girlfriend said to him, “They were Korean.”

Well, at least they stopped bothering the fish.

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