Tom Legg's Frequently Asked Questions

or things you should know

Daai Tou Laam?


Dictionaries I've consulted suggested the Cantonese pronunciation should be daai tou naam, but I've always heard it spoken as "daai tou laam". The confusion of "l" and "n" is one of those peculiar Cantonese things, though it is duly noted on page xii of Sidney Lau's Elementary Cantonese (Vol. 1: Lessons 1-10). It means "big belly" kind of like the maitreya buddha pictured in the banner. And the buddha shown is actually in Macau, not Hong Kong, at the A-ma (Tin Hau) Temple. Photo credits are mine.

Underlying island?

I won't normally poke fun at the English on signs around Hong Kong, but this one made my Chinese wife laugh. Those in Central might think of Peng Chau (and the rest of the islands) as being underwater, but even if life out here is slower, more relaxed, and less paved, Peng Chau still has got a lot to offer.

--Tom's Suggested Reading--
The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
Remaking the Economic Institutions of Socialism: China and Eastern Europe edited by Victor Nee and David Stark
Understanding Peasant China: Case Studies in the Philosophy of Social Science by Daniel Little