..starts with a single pie.
"I was doing a lot of dead-end jobs - supermarkets, insurance companies that sort of thing - and I thought 'What could I do to improve myself?'" said Cox. (He) started learning Spanish, but after two weeks realised that everyone else in the room was a university graduate and would beat him to any job going.
"All of a sudden the thought came to me - Chinese, that is the language I should be doing.
"Two or three doors away from my home was a chip shop run by a Chinese family. I thought 'I need to find a way to get in there'. So I went and bought a pie."
And now he’s the world’s only Scouse Cantopop star, wowing them with syrupy choons in the clubs in Macau and Hong Kong. Cantonese is an absolute bugger. I could never get my head round the distinction between do jeh (thank you for an object) and m’goi (thank you for a service). I mean if someone gives you a present are you thanking them for the present or for them giving it to you? More on that vital subject here.
It’s interesting how chance affected Barry Cox’s career. Since he’s managed to make a go of singing for a living in Hong Kong, the variant of Cantonese he learned was probably taught him by a punti family from the New Territories. Yet a lot of Chinese in Liverpool are See Yip people, speaking the dialect of Cantonese originating in Taishan in Guangdong Province. If he’d gone elsewhere for one of Holland’s Pies finest he might have learned Hakka; and if he’d met one of the really old Liverpool Chinese families he could have ended up as a Shanghainese speaker.