Contact me for custom written articles, blog posts, copywriting, proofreading, transIation, illustrations, cartoons and comic strips.


The cart is empty

Lydia-Tsingtao-Australia Reasons to Learn Spanish and Cantonese - PenAndWok.comI first started making films in 2007, on a suggestion by my excellent friend, then student, Lydia.

This is the first film we made together: 

(You can watch it by clicking on it, while I try to unravel YouTube's many threads)

I still have that camcorder, a Sony, repaired twice but still going strong. I dragged it along to Hong Kong in November last year, thinking I would make fun Cantonese videos with my trusty film star Linda. However, the depressing nature of that mask wearing city plus the fact that it rained almost every day, scuppered my not well made plans. 

(The third film we made, and the most watched. Lydia plays ah-Wai and a whore)

Not only that, the sound equipment, a wireless microphone with transmitter, was stolen out of my suitcase on my way from Hong Kong to Australia!!!! This vexed me no end, and it wasn't until January this year I simmered down enough to buy a new microphone on eBay. It was from Germany so I thought it would be okay. The stuff arrived two weeks later and I put it straight into my electronic equipment drawer. 

Imagine my unfathomable irateness when I took the microphone out on Sunday during a long-postponed clean-out session of the drawer, and found that it didn't work! First I changed the batteries. Nothing. Then I went out to buy another pair of batteries just in case. Nothing. I turned it on, I turned it off. I even tried to put the batteries in upside down, knowing full well that this wouldn't work.

(The second film we made, a parody on a Hong Kong marketing campaign for better service)

Then I contacted the guy on eBay, to be told "You should change the batteries and turn on the microphone" "It's too late to return the product" and "This is entirely your fault." Wow! Way to blame the customer! Yes, I should never have put the microphone in a drawer - that is the shortcut to breakage of all things.

I googled "Sony wireless microphone Palma" and it informed me that the Sony repair shop closed at 2pm, but there was a Sony shop that was open till 10pm. This should have set the alarm bells ringing but I was in a state, because I had two paid video jobs coming up soon and couldn't rest before I had the microphone. I darted to the Sony shop, a 45 minute walk, only to find an Indian guy behind a counter in an empty, cavernous hall that looked like a 1972 Lada workshop in Kyrgyzstan. 

IMG_5903_1 Reasons to Learn Spanish and Cantonese -

I couldn't control a huge, screaming laughter bursting forth. It was the shop (a money changing slash delivery pick-up place) that was called Sony! It was the funniest mistake I had made all year. And it became even funnier when, right next door, I found an electronics shop full of microphone looking objects! What are the chances?

I asked the guy behind the counter, slightly less scuffed than that of Sony's, if he had any Sony stuff, or if he could repair Sony stuff. I gave him the microphone, he turned it on and - it worked. 


This time my laughter was tinged with angry tears, for it's not the first time I have tried to use something and it didn't work, only to find that when a man did exactly the same thing, it did. This is why we need men more than ever, despite what the feminist "preferred pronoun" brigade says. 

IMG_5904_1 Reasons to Learn Spanish and Cantonese -

And on the bus home I met two people from Hong Kong who knew mr. Lau who lives in my street! We had a right old natter in Cantonese. 

Now I have to apologise to the damn German on eBay. But I didn't do anything wrong!

I really didn't. Moral dilemma. 

If you want to chat away in Cantonese on the number 20 bus getting admiring comments in Spanish from another passenger, you should Learn Cantonese the Natural Way - from  Norwegian. New classes start after Easter. 

Today's Cantonese: 男人好有用 - Laam yan hou yau yong - Male persons well have use (men are useful).