阻住地球轉: Please move aside!
Cantonese has many weird sayings that make little sense to non-native speakers like, “阻住地球轉”. This roughly translates to “[you’re] blocking the Earth from rotating” and is generally used when you’re really bothered by someone who’s standing in the way or slowing things down. For example, when someone tries to board a train while you’re still trying to get off it or when two people with bulky shopping carts decide to have a conversation in the middle of a narrow aisle.
There are plenty of other situations that might give you the urge to shout at people. To learn more about these situations I decided to ask random people on the internet to list common “obstacles” in their daily lives. I quickly learned that a surprising number of respondents simply dislike brown(er) people.
Fortunately there were also a few non-racist suggestions. I incorporated a number of them in the first version of Please move aside, a tiny web app that visualises people or things that “阻住地球轉”. Head to please-move-aside.chuniversiteit.nl for a live demo and let me know what your biggest pet peeve is!