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英語文法學堂:MR CHEUNG

【明報專訊】Mr Cheung has been making and selling mahjong tiles for more than 40 years. He learned the trade from his father and grandfather in the family shop, where his first job was painting the tiles. But ironically, between work and his personal life, he has never learned the game. And to be frank, he says he would rather not. Mr Cheung mostly replaces lost or damaged tiles and sells machine-made sets from the mainland for about HK$600. But occasionally he makes a set from scratch, which he personally engraves and paints. These sets cost about HK$4,000 and take months to complete. His hours are long and he only takes one day off every year, but his smile and chirpy(活潑的)nature keep his business afloat. However, reflecting on his life and the ever-shrinking number of tile-making shops, he admits his business will retire with him. He does not want his children to take up the trade because there is simply not enough work, and says the rise of machine-made tiles will spell the end of the craft within a decade.

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