2012-01-04 fihk     Hello from Australia  

Hello from Australia where I’m on holidays for a few weeks.
I’m on the Gold Coast, about one hour by road south of Brisbane .
The weather here is fine and hot – very different from Hong Kong which had its coldest Christmas for 27 years.  

Everyone knows the number one joke about Australia :
people say “I came here today” and pronounce “today” to sound like “to die”.

Last year in HK I learnt another joke about
Australia . I was on the MTR from Tuen Mun to Austin, and met a very friendly couple from the Mainland. As soon as I said “I’m from Australia ” they made two comments:
Australia is a very beautiful country.
2. Australians call out “Aussie, Aussie” to support their sports teams.

Then the penny fell. “Aussie” sounds like Cantonese for “excrement” (粪便).
No wonder Chinese people laugh when they hear Australians at a sports event calling out “Aussie”, “Aussie” !

But Australian’s don’t know about this. Nor does President Obama. On his recent visit to
Australia he led 2,000 Australian soldiers in a chant of "Aussie Aussie Aussie". If only he knew what he was saying!  

A new year smile: usually at this time of the year I ask people, especially students,
”why is this year 2012?”.  In every group there’s a quick thinker who replies “because last year was 2011”. 
Then the real reason: because 2012 years ago, by common reckoning,
a most famous person was born….in a stable at

I wish all dear Ming Pao readers a Happy 2012!