If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I couldn't stand the heat, so I got out of the kitchen. But only for three days. The expression "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" means if you cannot handle the pressure or stress, you should remove yourself from the situation. In Hong Kong, the expression has been shortened in Cantonese to just "hot kitchen". Hong Kong has become a hot kitchen for many people, especially Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, Security Secretary John Lee Kah-chiu, and Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung. Millions of Hong Kong people have protested against the government's proposed extradition agreement with mainland China.
They want the chief executive to withdraw the proposed law, not just suspend it. And they have accused the police of brutality (cruel and violent behaviour) against protesters. Hong Kong has become a hot kitchen for me too because of the huge protests and clashes with the police. Every day I have to think of new ways to write about the ongoing protests in my columns in English and Chinese newspapers. I also have to think very hard about who I should invite to my TV show. I have to make sure I invite guests with different opinions. If I always only invite people from one side, viewers will feel my show is not balanced. My columns and TV shows have put a lot of pressure on me.
That's why I went to Penang last week for some R&R (rest and recreation). I like Penang's relaxed lifestyle. When the airport taxi driver asked where I was from and I said Hong Kong, he immediately told me he had seen TV news about the huge protests. He said he supported Hong Kong people defending their freedoms. Almost everyone I talked to in Penang had heard about the protests. I was surprised that most of them said Hong Kong people were right to oppose an extradition agreement with mainland China. My R&R in Penang became work because everyone asked me about Hong Kong!
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若你承受不了那種熱度，就別待在廚房吧（If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen）。我忍受不了那熱度（couldn't stand the heat），因此我還是離開廚房去了（got out of the kitchen）——但只是離開三天。習語if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen的意思是，若你未能承受壓力，你應該從那環境中離開。在香港，這個習語在廣東話中已簡化成「熱廚房」。香港已經變成許多人的熱廚房，尤其是特首林鄭月娥、律政司司長鄭若驊、保安局局長李家超，以及警務處處長盧偉聰。數以百萬計的香港人抗議政府提出修例將罪犯引渡至內地。
因此，我上星期去了檳城，來一點R&R（rest and recreation，休息與娛樂）。我喜歡檳城悠閒的生活模式。當機場的士司機問我從哪兒來，我答了香港之後，他隨即跟我說他看了電視有關大型示威的新聞。他說他支持香港人捍衞自己的自由。我在檳城交談過的人中，差不多所有人都聽過那些抗議示威。我感到頗意外，他們大部份人都說香港人有權利反對與內地制訂引渡協議。我在檳城的 R&R倒變成工作了，因為所有人都在問我香港的事！ 中譯：七刻
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧