Many private clubs around the world, including in Hong Kong, have house rules which forbid (ban, disallow) the use of mobile phones. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, of which I am a member, also has a house rule which forbids the use of mobile phones. But the club’s house rule is not as strict as some other clubs, which have stringent (very strict) rules against the use of mobile phones. A house rule is a rule that applies to a place, such as a club, or to people in a residential building. For example, the managements of some residential buildings have rules against keeping dogs. Casinos also have house rules that apply to how a game is played.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club allows members and guests to talk on mobile phones in the lobby and in corners outside the dining rooms and bars. Members and guests do not have to switch off their phones in the club’s dining rooms or bars but must put them on vibrate or silent mode. They are also allowed to take pictures with their phones. But the house rules in some Hong Kong private clubs require members and guests to switch off their phones. Some clubs even forbid members and guests to take pictures. Clubs have house rules against the use of mobile phones to prevent members disturbing other members. I am in two minds about such rules. If you are in two minds about something, it means you are unable to decide.
I can understand why members don’t want to be disturbed by others talking loudly on their mobile phones. But many private clubs have bars with loud music or live bands. How can someone talking on the phone disturb others in a noisy bar? This makes a mockery (joke, farce) of the house rule. Such house rules were set a long time ago when mobile phones could only be used as a phone. But nowadays, mobile phones are smart phones which can also be used for the internet, WhatsApp, and other things. Using the internet doesn’t disturb others. I think clubs should make house rules less strict.
世界各地，包括香港的許多私人會所，都設有禁止（forbid）使用手提電話的會所守則（house rules）。我是香港外國記者會的會員，它亦有禁止（forbids）使用手提電話的會所守則（house rule）。其他會所對於使用手機有非常嚴格（stringent）的規例，但記者會的規則（house rule）卻沒有那麼嚴謹。A house rule就是對一個地方如俱樂部又或住戶所實施的場地守則。譬如，一些住宅管理處會禁止住戶養狗。賭場也有賭場規例（house rules），訂明賭局該如何進行。
香港外國記者會容許會員及來賓在大堂以及宴會廳與酒吧外的角落講電話，會員和來賓在宴會廳或酒吧裏亦不須關掉電話，但一定要轉為震機或靜音模式。會所亦容許他們用手機拍照。然而，香港一些私人會所則有場地規定（house rules），要求會員及來賓關掉電話，一些會所甚至禁止會員和來賓拍照。會所有這些針對使用手機的會所守則（house rules），是為了防止會員騷擾到其他會員。我對這樣的規例不太肯定（in two minds）。若你是 in two minds about something，即是你對某事猶豫、舉棋不定。
我明白為甚麼會員不想被其他人高聲講電話的聲音滋擾，但許多私人會所的酒吧亦會播着響亮的音樂，或有樂隊現場演奏，在一個吵鬧的酒吧中，一個人講電話又怎能騷擾到其他人？這是對這條會所守則（house rule）的嘲諷（mockery）。這樣的會所守則（house rules）是很久以前訂下的，那時手提電話只能作通話用途；然而到了今天，手機都是智能電話，可用來上網、WhatsApp及其他用途。用手機上網可不會滋擾到其他人。我認為會所應該令這種會所守則（house rules）更為寬鬆。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧