In my previous column I said I would tell you about something very annoying that happened to me the morning after I returned to Hong Kong last month. Construction noise woke me up at 7 in the morning. I arrived in Hong Kong late the previous night and wanted a sleep-in the next morning. But hammering and drilling noise ruined my sleep-in. I went to the tiny balcony of my Wanchai serviced apartment and saw at least six construction sites in different locations. They included construction of new buildings, buildings being demolished, and apartments being renovated. My heart sank.
To have a sleep-in means to sleep longer in the morning than you usually do. Many people sleep in on weekends and holidays. If your heart sinks, it means you are very disappointed or dismayed. I can hear loud construction noise while writing this column. It's driving me up the wall, which means making me very annoyed or angry. Hong Kong's noise law was enacted in 1989, well before reunification. Construction noise is allowed from 7am to 7pm, even on Saturdays. Other noises, such as loud music, are allowed from 7am to 11pm. Except for minor changes, the law remains a toothless tiger.
I have complained many times about loud music when I lived near Lan Kwai Fong but bar owners either ignore the police or pay fines rather than turn down the music. Hong Kong is a very noisy city. The government needs to get off its butt and overhaul the law. To get off your butt means to stop being lazy and start doing something.
在上一篇文章中，我說我會告訴大家，上個月我回港後的第一個早上，有件非常惱人的事發生在我身上。建築工程的噪音在早上七時就吵醒了我。我前一晚很夜才抵港，想在翌日早上多睡一會（sleep-in）。然而那些錘擊聲和電鑽的噪音破壞了我睡懶覺（sleep-in）的計劃。我走到我那灣仔服務式住宅的小露台，見到在不同的地點至少有六個建築地盤，當中包括建新樓、拆樓，以及維修中的單位。我的心頓時沉了下去（My heart sank）。
To have a sleep-in是指在早上比你平時睡久一點。許多人會在周末和假期晚些起床，睡個懶覺（sleep in）。若你的 heart sinks，意即你心內一沉，感到非常失望或驚愕。我在寫這一篇文章時，還能聽到很大聲的建築工程的噪音。這真是 driving me up the wall，意即要把我逼瘋了，令我非常煩惱或生氣。香港的噪音管制條例於一九八九年實施，遠遠早於香港回歸。條例容許建築工程於早上七時至晚上七時發出噪音，即使在星期六亦如是。至於其他噪音，例如喧鬧的音樂，則可於早上七時至晚上十一時發出。除了一些小修小改，條例多年來仍是一隻無牙老虎。
我從前住在蘭桂坊附近時，就曾多次投訴那些震耳欲聾的音樂聲，但酒吧東主不是無視警方，就是付罰款，也不會將音樂聲量校低一點。香港是個非常嘈吵的城市。政府應該 get off its butt，全面檢訂噪音條例。To get off your butt的意思是別再慵懶的坐着，開始着手做些事。