I knew I had done the right thing when I chose El Terreno as the headquarters of my life in exile. As I have mentioned many times in this blog, it's a beautiful neighbourhood with just the right amount of hovelage* and edge, it's close to the water and to a park so large it's a forest, and the people are friendly as hell. The streets are named after artists and restaurants and bars abound.
And as if I didn't need any more proof, don't you think I found a Cantonese speaker - from Hong Kong - only a few metres away from my gaff! Mister Lau, who has lived here 30 years and become Spanish. His three children don't speak a word of Cantonese and they have never been in Hong Kong. So a couple of weeks ago I had an idea. Why doesn't his son take Cantonese lessons from me, which I will teach in Spanish!
Explaining Cantonese grammar through a language I don't speak sounds a bit iffy, you probably think. No! Why? Because Cantonese doesn't have any grammar, innit!
But actually, I can easily explain the ins and outs of Cantonese in Spanish. I know words. I go into a zone and it just happens. It's fun! His name is 海傑， Sea Hero。
It was only after I started teaching online and now with Sea Hero that I realised how much I missed the dynamic of teaching Cantonese. In Hong Kong we had lessons in bars and restaurants and interaction with the waiters was part of the education.
Sigh. But now I feel better than I have for a long time! Immune, no more jab nonsense, no QR nonsense - I have my own restaurant, my own people and my own language.
I wonder if I would still have been me and been interested in the same things if I had been born in the year of the Ram, or Goat, as they call it on China Highlights? Ram, goat, sheep, ewe, lamb, of course it's just one word in Cantonese: YEUNG. I'm not a fan of the meat, but will take it in an emergency.
People born in a year of the Goat are generally believed to be gentle, mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice.
They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts.
Although they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending a lot of time in their own thoughts. Goats like to spend money on fashionable things that give them a first-class appearance. Although Goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.
I wonder how one has "delicate thoughts"? Must be Cantonese thoughts!
*Hovelage: Old, preferably a bit run down houses (hovels) excellent for photography