1st July, 2017.

Old people often say that time passes by like the blink of an eye. I must have somehow turned into an old person, because twenty years just… flew by. I don’t remember where I was twenty years ago today. I do remember watching the ceremony on TV. The one where Chris Patten and his family left Hong Kong in the pouring rain. I remember the uncertainty in my heart – I wasn’t a full-fledged HKer yet (and it turns out I missed the boat on that one – should’ve gotten a Hong Kong passport, or at least that damned return home card before ’97) – the uncertainty that would highlight our future.

It’s strange that now looking back, I don’t think much of the change actually happened until about 3 or 4 years ago (although by 2003, I already couldn’t get that damned return home card) – that could well be my own ignorance though. I don’t know. There are pros and cons to living in every single city in the world, so I chose to see the pros. I am still trying to choose to see the pros – Hong Kong is still a fucking awesome city. But in addition to the inability to ever purchase your own flat or house, the ever-increasing wealth gap, the ridiculous stagnation of income despite inflation year after year, it’s also the fear of Tiananmen, the fear of a non-transparent justice system, the fear of eroding freedoms, the fear of an all out communist dictatorship that’s boiling over into this political turmoil that is Hong Kong right now.

It’s so weird to look at this place that I call home and wonder about the future. It’s not the first time there has been civil unrest in Hong Kong. It happened in the 60s when people rioted against British colonial rule…. Hong Kong people seem to have forgotten that colonial rule wasn’t always great. But I suppose that’s because we had some really good governors right before the end… Sigh. I don’t know. What will the next twenty years bring?

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(untitled)

so;

hey; you up?

can’t sleep again; and i wanted to tell you that

you’re nothing but

molten dust and bacteria; just

moon formation; oxygen breathing;

ice ages; feet on solid ground;

fire; asteroid impacts; mass extinction;
pangea’s demise; war; renaissance;
discovery; exploration; landfall revolutions;
railroads; light bulbs; photography; a great
depression; a world at war; atomic
explosions; footprints on the moon; ethernet
cables; digital highways;

and poetry; and chance encounters;

i wanted to tell you that

you’re everything; and

before me, it was always you; and

before you, it was always you; and

it was always you; it was always you…

— owen lindley

(you should follow him on instagram if you have instagram… he makes magic with his words…)

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Home – eat to live.

So… as M put it, I think we live to eat… and not the other way around. Haha.

A bit of background info first – M is a super connected person in the food & beverage industry. She’s Japanese but grew up in Scandinavia, and currently lives in Singapore. She works in f&b and eating with M in Singapore means that you never know how good or bad a restaurant is because you will always get incredible food and exemplary service when she’s around.

So when M turned up in Hong Kong, and said, Are you free for lunch today? and then after I said yes thinking that she would ask me to join wherever and whoever she was hanging with, asked, Where shall we go? Casual is good… I underwent an incredibly stressful 20 minutes while I tried to figure out where to bring her. The thought process kinda went like this: Shit, I never eat lunch, what is a good lunch? What does casual mean? Cha chaan teng? No wait, she’s doesn’t eat meat… Shit, what’s open on a Sunday? Okay, where has she been already, no wrong question, where hasn’t she been already… argh!!!

Luckily for me, Home was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that M swiped a menu and put it into her purse hahaha. Most of the items on the menu are named after beautiful animals – from the Quagga to the Northern White Rhino to the Indian Elephant and the Hawaiian Monk Seal – all vegetarian, and many of them vegan / gluten free / dairy free. M had the Manta Ray, which is a spinach salad with roasted pumpkin and quinoa and pickled beets, her husband (a meat eater!) had the Polar Bear, a burger with a beet, mushroom & oat patty, (and which I had wanted to order myself haha!), and I had the Siberian Tiger, which is a (purple!) rice bowl with mushrooms and tofu and the most ridiculously delicious beetroots. We also had some cauliflower mash (not my cup of tea, never has been my cup of tea – I love cauliflower but as a mash, it’s just not my thing), and sweet potato fries with classic aioli which were the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.

Drinks-wise, we all started with juices – I had a sweet green one (kale juice with apple makes me happy, it also had peppers and other things that are green haha), M had a proper green one, and her husband had a scarlet one (beets and other things…) and then we ended with a double espresso for him, a rooibos tea for her, and an almond mylk for me. I chose the mylk – spelt with a y because it has no dairy in it – because the ingredients list just looked incredible – tumeric (I need more tumeric in my life!), almond mylk, coconut, etcetc – and it was sooo yummy :D

So yes. I had a great lunch. And despite it being “bird and rabbity food”, the meat-loving husband enjoyed it too… and M loved it. So much so that she wanted to buy the hot sauce and bring it home, and she wanted dessert even though she was so full, and she complained that there’s nothing like it in Singapore. So… yeah. Phewf. Hahaha.

 

Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things.

As I sit in the living room watching this film, I’m surrounded by all my stuff that has been in boxes for a year. And I find it quite pathetic and incredibly ironic, and while I’m watching these two guys talk about stuff (physical, material stuff), my mind is wandering and I’m like… I need to get rid of all this… stuff.

On the other hand, I do think these thoughts often. I just don’t act upon them. And then in a couple of days (or hours), I’ll have managed to compartmentalise and put it away in some room in my brain and not feel guilty about all the effing stuff.

It’s interesting, their philosophy that less stuff = less stress = happier life. It’s probably true. It’s also true that a lot of people buy things to fill a certain void, but that that void can never actually be filled with material goods. I suppose I learnt that young, because I was brought up Christian (God fills the void, nothing else) and so I’ve pretty much known it all my life. Doesn’t stop me from being a hoarder though. It’s not the fact that I want more, it’s just that when I have to get rid of things, it’s not a nice feeling. I suppose it’s partly why, as a child, I never used to like to share – it’s mine, don’t touch it.

But also the thought that less stuff = less distractions = more time to spend on relationships, with people, that’s a good one. Community has often been left behind in the chase for success, but more often than not, community is the thing that provides contentment and peace over the new fashion trend or gadget or whatever it is.

It’s currently 5:30am. I’m very curious to know after I shower and sleep and wake up, whether I’ll actually make any real change to my life now…

To be continued, then… I guess…

Housewarming-ness

Went to a BBQ housewarming in Cheung Sha Wan today. There’s a very small part of me that thinks that maybe, if I had to leave my current place, I could deal with living in CSW. Maybe. Sometimes I think about things like that. Days when I don’t want to deal with 6 minutes of hot water during the winter. Days when I don’t want to carry my suitcase(s) up the stairs. Days when the stairs are filled with food wrappings and cigarette butts etc.

It’s been a while since I’ve been in a situation where I get to meet new people outside of work. It was nice. Even though I basically just stuck with the first person I met, as opposed to actually properly meeting everyone. He’s a professor of English, and he teaches critical discourse analysis. To which my initial reaction was… wait… undergrad or postgrad? And when he answered both, I was like… how?! And that is a bias, an awful gut reaction, because I don’t think students in HK can handle a course like that. Sigh.

Anyway. Back to the BBQ… it was nice. To meet people. To have conversations. I quite enjoyed it, actually. Must try to get out more… Try. Haha.

Tombow Fudenosuke ‘Hard Tip’

For the past year or so, I’ve been following more and more typographers – some people are designers, they make amazing logos and create beautiful fonts, others are hand letterers. I am in love with beautiful script, and am incredibly jealous of people who write menus and wedding invites and random quotes in their distinctive scripts, each a little different from the other.

Anyway. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had nothing interesting on, so I decided I would embark on my own lettering journey. Let’s just say that I’m still in the practice makes progress part (yeah, no where close to practice makes perfect omg)… But part of the reason (or maybe I just like to place blame) is because I can’t find the right pen. Sigh. I can’t find these bloody Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tips anywhere in Hong Kong. I’ve tried CN Square (one of the largest stationery stores in the city, complete with one whole floor – out of four – dedicated to art supplies), I’ve tried Eslite, I’ve tried Log-on, I’ve tried Loft. I’m currently using a Tombow Fudenosuke Dual Tip, but I don’t know. I think the tip is too soft. But that might just be me whinging.

In any case, maybe one of these days I’ll post my progress here. For now, I’m a a bit embarrassed at how incredibly bad my hand control is hahaha… And in the meantime, anyone know where I can get hold of those bloody pens here in Hong Kong?