Sampan boatperson


Ling (玲 - “chiming of jade pendants”)

Aberdeen (香港仔)

07:30 - 19:00


“I’ve been driving this sampan for 25 years - transporting people across the harbour, to their yachts, houseboats, to different piers. I get up at 5am every morning to make breakfast and pack my lunch. Usually I eat very simply and healthily - perhaps some oatmeal, vegetables or noodles. I am 73 years old and when you are this age you don’t have the appetite to eat anything too heavy. The busiest time of day for me is between 7-10am, when people are commuting to work from Aberdeen, Ap Lei Chau and the surrounding areas. I have a lot of regular customers and sometimes we have good chats during their journeys. I like my work - I love the sea and enjoy the fresh air.” 

「我揸咗呢架三板廿五年 - 帶啲人過海,去佢哋啲遊艇呀,船屋呀,去唔同碼頭。我每朝五點起身煮早餐同準備午餐。通常我食得好簡單好健康 - 食吓麥皮呀,又或者菜同麵咁。我今年七十三歲喇 - 到我呢個年紀就冇乜胃口,唔想食太多嘢。每日我最忙嘅時間係上午七點至十點 - 因為係香港仔,鴨脷洲同呢度附近嘅人要返工嘅時候。我好多熟客㗎,佢哋坐船嗰時會同我傾吓偈。我鍾意做呢行 - 因為鍾意個海同可以呼吸新鮮空氣。」 

I am originally from Macau and was born on a boat myself, but came to Hong Kong when I was very little. I grew up in a family of fishermen with 11 siblings, so I have always been accustomed to the sea. As kids we used to go to the beaches to learn to fix the boats, and to play. I never properly learnt how to swim but just picked it up from those times. I am on this boat all day but during the evening, I have a friend who sleeps here on the boat.  During the day he sells vegetables in the market, and at night he comes to sleep on this sampan. I’m not sure why, but he doesn’t like to go home.   Everyone has a choice and you cannot control what people choose or think. Even though I’m not educated I understand how important it is to be open-minded and to keep learning - especially from young people! ” 

「我係澳門人,喺隻船度出世,不過好細個就落咗嚟香港。我同十一個兄弟姊妹大,屋企人係渔民,所以由細就好熟識個海。我哋細路哥嗰時成日去海灘度學整船,同埋去玩。我冇正式學過游水,就係咁玩玩吓就學咗。我成日都喺隻三板度,不過夜晚我有個朋友會喺度瞓。佢日頭喺街市賣菜,到咗夜晚就嚟三板瞓。我唔知點解,不過佢唔鍾意返屋企。個個人都有自己嘅選擇,我哋冇得控制人哋點樣揀,點樣諗。雖然我冇讀過書,不過都明白做人要豁達啲,繼續聽吓人講乜學吓嘢 - 尤其是同啲後生仔學!」

“I met my husband when I was just a young girl. He used to walk up and down the pier all the time on his way to and from night school, sometimes just to pass by to see me. We got married when we were in our 20s and we never really argue, especially not about money. Sometimes we might disagree on how we raise and discipline our three kids, but that’s about it. We can eat, we can live, we have a home - what else do you need to argue about? I try to stay positive and to not take anything too personally. Life is a lot easier when you are less stubborn and calculative. It is important to learn to let go!”

「我好後生就識咗我老公。佢嗰時返夜學,成日行過經過碼頭,有時特登嚟望吓我。我哋廿幾歲就結婚,極少嗌交,從來都唔會為咗錢嗌交。可能有時會為咗我哋三個仔女嘈,因為管教方法唔同,不過至多就係咁。我哋有得食,有得住,有個屋企 - 仲有咩好嗌呀?我盡量樂觀啲同隨和啲。做人如果冇咁執着同唔好計較咁多就容易啲。最緊要係學識點樣放手!」