As a young sailor in the early 70s I rolled into Hong Kong for the first time, it was a fine day for exploring. After hopping off the liberty skiff I paused on the pier to relish the site of so many fellow humans after floating at sea amongst familiar faces. I set off for the ferry spied in the distance as it seemed likely to be the best way to escape deeper into unknown territory. Sure enough Bang, right off the bat something weird to start my day! I walked into the side of a building, at noon, on a bright sunshiny day. Quite unique feeling accompanies the feat of automatically compensating for the roll of an absent ship and stepping into a wall. By the looks of the surrounding gawkers I was doing my part to add to the legend of drunken sailors, I’m sure my giggling did not hurt either.
Strolling up to the New Kowloon ferry queue I noticed the no spitting signs, their oddness enhancing the foreign. A couple blocks after disembarking the ferry I found a fancy tailor shop, whose suit is tucked away somewhere. Back in the sunlight, squinting at a splash of yellow with the words Yellow Submarine, huh, a Beatles reference, it beckoned. It’s a pub!
Hmm upscale, a grand wooden bar floating in the middle, stunning Chinese barmaid, works for me. As I approached the bar wishing I knew the Chinese word for a beer, she request my order speaking perfectly inflected Kings English… startled, wide open eyes I proceeded to blathering aaa Your British aa English aaa, at that point a voice emerged from the party of hee hawing Aussies requesting she point me and an empty glass their way.
Howdy, were up here for the month from Australia, like you blokes go to the Bahamas, same deal different location. Turns out the party contained a surplus of sheilas, glorious couple of days young and abroad.
To this day the most vividly memorable part of that whole experience is the stunning young lady's "Kings English" showing me the folly of preconceived notions.
So, yep it can be shocking as all get out to hear someone speak in an unexpected manner.