Taiwan To Hong Kong: From “Why Gorran” to “Gwhy Low” in Two Years

Taiwan To Hong Kong: From “Why Gorran” to “Gwhy Low” in Two Years

Without doubt, the magical island of Taiwan gave me a new lease of life just a brace of years ago. It was thanks to Millwall Neil that I ended up enjoying life again and travelling – one of the hobbies that had always made me happy back in Europe (remember that place??).

Anyhow this blog just hasn’t been updated at all recently and it’s because I’ve been way too busy, again working overtime in the heat and humidity of Hong Kong. It’s a manic lifestyle here. I can’t say it’s similar to Taiwan, but there are tea shops similar on the streets here.

So there I was visiting Millwall Neil who at the time was teaching English to the residents of an unknown city called Shinying/Sinying/Xinying. Fast forward 2 years and I’m now in a Chinese style environment living myself, and teaching the kids in Tsuen Wan how to speak English. Funny world isn’t it?

There are many differences between Taiwan and Hong Kong, the main one being the language and the lifestyle. While the Taiwanese speak Mandarin, the Hong Kongese speak Cantonese. Apparently they are written very similar but spoken totally differently. I’m lost in both, though I’ve picked up a few words. Hong Kong is rich, fast paced, busy and non-stop. Taiwan was relaxed, enjoyable, unstressful and bouyant. Both are amazing places to either live or visit.
And there is racism and segregation to be seen in both places. But not the kind of “in your face racism” that causes a stir or starts war. Friendly racism in the same way as British people call a “chinky” a Chinese person. Here Hong Kong-ers might shout “Gwhy Low” at me, which roughly translates as “white ghost”, in fact it’s ironic they should dub me as such as sometimes my skin is less white than theirs. I’ve been dubbed a “Gwhy Low” especially out at Tsuen Wan in the New Territories, which is well out of Hong Kong City and attracts
a hell of a lot less foreigners. I’m a proper resident here at the moment, got my Hong Kong ID card, working in 2 jobs. 

One is enjoyable and out reaching – working in an Irish Pub in Tsim Sha Tsui. The only Northern Irishman working there of course – in amongst Chinese, Nepalese, Philipenos and English.

Two, the other is slightly more inward and hard work and something I’ve just got into – teaching over 700 kids at 2 different Kindergartens in Tsuen Wan. The only non-Hong Kong-er in sight. I certainly stand out. The job should be rewarding, holiday wise and money wise.

In Taiwan I was a “Why Gorran” that’s their word for foreigner/outcast/white ghost etc. So I’m still an outsider. I’ve gone from being the Tourist Why Gorran in soulful Shin Ying, Taiwan to the Resident Gwhy Low in the Kowloon suburb of Lam Tin. I live here with my fiance Yu Pan Yu.

I’m the white ghost of Hong Kong. Your life will go through many twists and turns, this one has merely led me to Hong Kong, never a place high on my “want to visit list.”
What is a Gwhy Low/Gweilo? (a “white ghost”/”foreign devil” in HONG KONG):
What is a Why Gorran?: this is all i could find online in English…
(an unfinished blog)

I’m not a ghost or a devil. But I am white. They were half right. 

Quote: “trade all your heroes in for ghosts” – Manic Street Preachers:
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