Where Am I ?

Imagine being dropped blind-folded to a place, how do you find out where you are? You hear a foreign language, but cannot not identify it, no unique smells in the air and no local vibrations, pheromones or anything similarly esoteric is palpable.

The blindfold is removed and you see the following three signs decorating the walls of different buildings:
IMG_5535IMG_5534 IMG_5536 (1)

Clearly in an English speaking place, right? Maybe Australia, UK, US or sorts thereof. All wrong: the pictures were taken in China, more specifically in one of its Special Administrative Regions, namely Hong Kong, Wan Chai District. You will argue that HK was British, hence no wonder everything in English. 


You also might say that everybody has the right to name her or his shops in whichever language they prefer, if they think their clients are being attracted by signs in Aka-Bo (bet you have to google that) so be it. Lastly, you will argue that what I’m observing here is normal elsewhere for a long time already.

Fine fair enough, points all taken, but why is this happening in Hong Kong over the last 18 month only? English is not new or hip in this town (rather the contrary, actually); furthermore pretty much everything in Hong Kong has been either in Chinese or Chinese/English combined. So why on earth am I observing this gradual creep of English only over the recent past? Is this a silent protest against Beijing or somebody trying to preserve an English heritage that might never have existed or a weak shot at being global or some culturally ignorant shop owners pretending to set some kind of weird trend? Please add your conspiracy theory here…..

Am I making a mountain out a molehill or am I just surprised by this recent move away from Chinese language in Hong Kong?

just thinking….