• 2022年5月21日 星期六
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又中又英|cast a pall - Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

Omicron has cast a pall over the Year of the Tiger.

The Lunar New Year is around the corner, which means it's very near. Normally, the New Year is when people have large family meals, pray for good fortune in temples, visit friends and relatives, and give laisee packets. Many Hong Kong people go on holidays abroad or visit relatives on the mainland. But these are not normal times. The coronavirus pandemic has cast a pall over the Lunar New Year in Hong Kong. To cast a pall over something means to take the enjoyment out of or spoil the mood of something. Omicron has taken the enjoyment out of the Lunar New Year. The government has closed bars, cinemas, gyms, flower fairs, and other places.

Restaurants must close by 6pm except for take-out food. Restaurant and bar owners have cried foul. To cry foul means to protest strongly about something that people believe is unfair. Bar and restaurant owners are crying foul because they believe it's unfair for the government to shut their businesses at the busiest time of year. A family evening meal on the eve of the New Year is a very important occasion. Many Hong Kong families book restaurant tables in advance for this meal with family members and relatives. Most restaurant owners depend on Lunar New Year business to put them in the black.

If a business is in the black, it means it is profitable and has no debt. If a business is in the red, it means it has debts because it is not profitable. Many small restaurant owners fear they will be in the red because the fast-spreading Omicron virus may mean the government will ban dine-in service indefinitely at 6pm even after the Lunar New Year. It is Hong Kong's bad luck that Omicron has cast a pall over the Year of the Tiger. Some believe Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is bad luck because so many bad things have happened during her time as chief executive. I don't know but I hope the Year of the Tiger will bring good fortune.










農曆新年是around the corner,意即它即將來臨。通常來說,新年都是人們有大型家族聚餐、到廟宇祈求好運、探訪親友以及派利是的時候。許多香港人都會到外地度假,或是到內地探親。然而,這已不再是正常的時期,全球大流行的新冠病毒疫情為香港的農曆新年蒙上了一層陰影(cast a pall)。To cast a pall over something的意思是令某件事情變得乏味,掃了大家的興致。Omicron病毒掃了大家度歲的興致,政府已關閉了酒吧、戲院、健身室、年宵花市和其他場所。

除了外賣,食肆在晚上六時後一律禁堂食。餐廳和酒吧東主都在喊冤(cried foul)。To cry foul意即公開叫屈,為他們認為不公之事表達強烈不滿。酒吧和餐廳東主都在鳴冤叫屈(crying foul),因為他們認為,政府要他們在年中最旺的時節停業是不公平的。新年除夕的團年飯是極其重要的活動,許多香港家庭都會預先訂好餐廳、酒樓的枱,去跟家人和親戚吃這頓飯。大部份餐廳東主都是靠農曆新年期間的生意去令餐廳有盈利(in the black)。

若一盤生意是in the black,意即它有盈餘而沒有負債;若一盤生意是in the red,意即它有赤字虧損,因為它並不賺錢。許多小餐館的店主都害怕生意出現赤字(in the red),因為Omicron病毒快速傳播,意味着即使過了農曆新年,政府或仍然無限期地禁止晚上六時後堂食。Omicron病毒給虎年蓋上了一層陰霾(cast a pall),實屬香港的不幸。有些人相信,特首林鄭月娥就是衰運,因為她上任特首以來,有太多壞事發生;這我就不知道了,我只希望虎年可以帶來好運。
中譯:七刻

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