Mainlanders simply too thin-skinned

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 September, 1999, 12:00am

In response to the article headlined 'Mainlanders describe daily humiliation' (South China Morning Post, September 7), I would like to offer some thoughts.

Regarding the immigrant who shied away from further job-hunting because she had been rejected twice previously, I wish to say that being so thin-skinned in any social environment would be considered too faint-hearted.

Perhaps in her case there is truly a lack of understanding of Hong Kong society if she feels that she should be hired in spite of her lack of experience and language skills. In Hong Kong jobs are not sinecures and basic skills are required. As for the demand for $30 to view a flat, such practice is not unknown. I too have experienced it and understand the 'justification' for it. It is an indication of genuine interest and the amount is refunded should a transaction be realised.

Regarding the complaint that vendors in the market place shout and are rude, this is a colourful aspect of Hong Kong's culture all of us locals have learned to live with and even boast about. Indeed, we often try to out-do each other in recounting our 'worst market experiences'.

I have shopped in Happy Valley market since my return to Hong Kong 20 years ago and let me assure you that my fluent Putonghua, Shanghainese, Sichuanese, English and indeed Cantonese does not make me privileged enough to pinch a peach or bargain over a catty of fish; lest my wrist be slapped or be told if I can't afford it to go somewhere else.

Perhaps it is our mainland compatriots who discriminate against us in our job-hiring standards and our cast-iron price structure which gives us no special guanxi privileges no matter who we may be.