For months now I have been in Hong Kong teaching English at the same time「騎牛搵馬 ke4 ngau4 wan2 maa5」. After being constantly rejected due to non-perfect Cantonese in dozens of interviews (including American MNC); I successfully secured a position with a MNC where English is valued more than Cantonese and the job duties match my existing experience and university qualifications. Unexpectantly, the money is the same as an expat’s salary.

This interview still required me to speak about myself in Cantonese for a short-period to demonstrate my skill level. Though I don’t think this would have been a problem if I wasn’t able to speak it. Perhaps they wanted to see if I could fit in the team.

In the office, everyone speaks English to me 100% of the time and Cantonese to everyone else. I decided that if I use Cantonese and make a mistake, then its my problem. If I use English and they don’t understand, then its their problem. Even they know I can speak [so-so] Cantonese; one girl would take the opportunity to be my personal English translator even on basic Cantonese. I guess one day I will shock them when they realise how much I understood of their discussions.

Professionally speaking, I’m OK with it. I guess people are respecting me, and so I’m now finally happy.