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  • 《神婆通靈解鎖》__ 陳柏齡 (71)

    《神婆通靈解鎖》

    廣州有神婆可以通靈。信者花費百多元人民幣,便可聽到仙逝父母講話,神婆是媒介,為生離死別的人傳音信。

    友人喪母。據她說,慈母行落地府時,落到第九層被鎖住,不上不下,動彈不得。友人悲傷不已,請來神婆,為娘親「解鎖」。

    神婆穿著光鮮整齊,樣子有點兒像老牌香港演員陶三姑。嘴巴翹起,一雙眼睛戚戚焉。

    神婆在死者房間點香燭作法,眼睛微合。頃刻之間,她的儀表翩翩有禮,舉手投足十足友人娘親風度,就像是一位斯文的老太太。霎然間,神婆如跑馬上山坡,身體抖動。

    不久,嘴巴出聲,噴出地府之音。

    如何驗證來者是娘親呢?

    友人問:「你個乖孫喜歡吃什麼啊?」

    神婆回答:「他喜歡吃雞仔餅。」

    友人問:「你個女喜歡穿什麼衣服啊?」

    神婆回答:「她愛著迷你裙。」

    奇準確,驗證通過。來者確是娘親。

    友人神經緊張,靜聽娘親吩咐。

    最後,神婆咕嚕咕嚕的說話,語音似國語,又似順德話,更似南海話,隱約中說,多謝乖女,現在媽媽身體鬆綁,可自由飛翔。娘親臨走時更說,將會保佑子孫云云。

    友人也成身鬆綁。

    神婆精神平淡,飲茶解渴。收費 120 人民幣。

    另外一朋友父親去世,也被鎖住。找神婆幫忙,不靈,驗證失敗,至今

    仍然未曾解鎖。

    吾友才子研究玄學多年,陰陽五行;紫微斗數;穿道袍道冠驅魔捉鬼;無所不精。但這「解鎖」事情,確是頭一回聽到。通貨膨脹令美元失去往日威力,才子為了在大陸退休生活寬b裕點,決定活到老學到老,要去學做 "神公" ,幫死人解鎖。

    正是:
    歌唱胭脂扣
    筆書解鎖人
    神公腳撲朔
    神婆眼迷離
    孝子賢孫意
    休言怪力神

    Don
     
  • 《Mini Reunion in The Big Apple》__ Fred Yip (71)

    Mini Reunion in The Big Apple

    Edmond Wong and I drove down to New York City from Toronto this past week. We spent five days there, from Monday to Friday. Our purpose was mainly twofold. First and foremost, we wanted to reconnect with our fellow classmates in the Big Apple – Don Chen (陳栢齡) from Los Angeles, Dr. Pancras Wong (黄楚賓) from New Jersey and Peter Wei (魏徵旦) from New York City itself. Second, we hadn’t driven down to New York City in quite a while, though each of us has been there a few times before. We intended to go to a couple of museums and perhaps see some shows on Broadway too.

    ny 1We started early on Monday morning and by the time we got to our hotel in the Queens Borough in New York City, it was already 6 pm. We had dinner together in a Malaysian restaurant as previously arranged by Peter, our fellow classmate who resides in New York City. Don and his wife Amy, who had just flown in from Los Angeles on a delayed flight, joined us later in the evening. They had to come to New York to board a 12-day cruise bound for Bermuda and some coastal towns and cities along the Atlantic Coast. Early the next morning, we drove Don to the Willow Creek Golf & Country Club in Long Island to have a game of golf with some of his friends before dropping him off at the ocean terminal in Manhattan for the cruise.

    ny 3Don, as we all know, is one of the most prolific writers on our alumni website, and has recently completed his 100tharticles that have been posted in the Features column. Now that his wife Amy has also retired, they plan to do as much travel together as possible.After this cruise, Don will take his family to Europe in October. Thus even though Don has retired from full-time work for a few years now, he maintains a very busy and 

    ny 2

    active schedule – writing, golfing, travelling and playing tennis.

    ny 4Pancras could not come for dinner on Monday evening as it would be too late for him to get back home. He did, however, join us on Wednesday evening in an Italian restaurant in Queens after a 3-hour drive. Pancras lives in New Jersey, and works at the big ny 5 pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb near Princeton University as a Senior Research Fellow. After years of study, dedication and hard work, Pancras has turned himself into a world-class researcher in the field of pharmacology. Among his other drug inventions, Pancras is the lead discoverer in Eliquis, one of the best-selling prescription drugs in the US and around the world these days. Ever since this blood-thinner came to the market a few years ago, it has been a major money-maker for Bristol-Myers Squibb, topping sales of over US$5 billion in 2017 alone.

    In recognition of his outstanding contributions to drug research and discoveries, the British Pharmacology Society will present Pancras with the prestigious Sir James Black (a Nobel prize-winner in medicine himself in 1988) Award in London England later this year. To Pancras, this award is just another icing on the cake, as he has already received some of the highest accolades of his profession as well as from his peers. Forever humble and self-deprecating, Pancras frankly admits that he has not reached the very top, which represents real breakthroughs, at least not yet. Whatever achievements and success that he may have now, he always attributes them in part to the good teammates that he is fortunate enough to work with, and to the fine education and solid grounding that he received at Wah Yan as a young student.

    ny 6It was Peter, however, who knows how to jazz up our mini-reunion and make it all the more delectable and enjoyable for all of us. He is, no doubt, one of the most thoughtful and generous hosts that one can find anywhere. Peter has lived in New York City and the neighbouring New Jersey for over forty years after graduating from the University of Texas in marketing. Peter likes his job so much that he is still working as a senior executive for the same international carrier in the cargo services department after 38 years. Knowing that we would be in town, Peter booked in advance several restaurants, each with a different ethnic theme and unique blend of tasty cuisines and delicacies - Malaysian, Italian and Chinese. Furthermore, being a connoisseur in red wine, he brought along several bottles of fine wine from his vast vintage collections at home to entertain us at the dinner table.

    We never knew until now that Peter actually came from a legendary family, originally based in Shanghai China. His grandfather, Mr. Francis Wei Ting-Rong (魏廷榮)was one of the most powerful men in Shanghai in the 1920-30s – he was the commander-in-chief of the Shanghai French Concession. He owned vast amounts of invaluable works of art and numerous properties in and around the Shanghai Bund. It was reputed that only his influence, power and wealth could rival those of the underworld kingpin Du Yuesheng (月笙) at the time. When the head of WYK school administration learned that Peter was the grandson of the elder Wei in Shanghai, Peter was admitted into Wah Yan right away without having to write the mandatory Secondary School Entrance Examinations as the rest of us had to do. This was probably due to the fact the Wei family had helped the Jesuit cause in Shanghai before. The elder Wei was a Catholic himself and the Shanghai French Concession was a major centre of Catholicism in China.

    Another thing that impresses us most about Peter is that he has single-handedly raised his son, Scott, ever since the kid was only 10-years old when his wife passed away. Scott is now a fine handsome young man, and has become the youngest director at a large international technology consulting firm. Peter is mighty proud of him. We are all very happy for Peter and deeply appreciative of what he has done for us during this get-together.

    ny 7Other than meeting with our old boys, we did find time to go to a couple of museums and walk around the iconic Times Square. The landmark that we enjoyed most was the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art located on the east side of Central Park. Whatny 8b we saw at the Met was an absolute delight both to the mind as well as to the eye. No wonder it is the third most-visited art museum in the world, after Louvre in Paris and the National Museum of Art in Beijing. On our way back, we made a pit-stop at the brandnew Catskills Casino Resorts in Monticello off Highway 17. This casino is so new that one can almost smell the freshness of it all.

    All in all, this driving trip to New York City - the Big Apple, has been a very pleasant one. We certainly hope that we will do something similar again in the not too distant future.

    Please click here to enjoy the visit.

    August 13-17, 2018

  • 《Stroke amongst Chinese Canadians with Diabetes》 __ Joseph Chu (71)

    Hereis a recently published article in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes by my student and me on the subject:
     
    Although it is a peer-reviewed scientific article, I trust the conclusions and recommendations are easy for non-medical people to understand.
     
    It looks like that Chinese with stroke have a higher frequency of Diabetes and their prognosis fair worst even if their blood pressure severity is not as bad.
  • 《懷念譚志成老師》__ 陳瑞文 (71)

    翻開舊報紙枯黃
    懷念恩師淚兩行
    四十年前如昨日
    音容親切說畫藏
     
     
    【一九七七年我在華僑日報做記者,當時譚志成老師是香港藝術館館長。
    以下的獨家報道是我向譚老師採訪關於藝術館展出的清代扇面畫展。】
     
     


    《譚志成老師創新教學水墨國畫》
     
    國畫倡興不臨摹
    譚師鼓勵多創新
    昔日無知難解意
    今時領悟銘深恩
    自愧才疏未成器
    祈望繼者承精神
    融會貫通啓後學
    去蕪存菁志傳薪

    【譚志成老師(1933一2013),由1956年至1971年任教於九龍華仁書院,後歷任香港博物美術館副館長,香港藝術館館長,香港藝術館總館長,畢生致力於藝術創作、教學、和推廣工作。於1993年獲頒授英帝國員佐勳章(MBE)
    譚老師對藝術教育的一大貢獻,是以創新的方法教授水墨國畫。他以九華為「搖籃」,實踐其創新教學,並羅集學生的優秀作品,於香港大會堂展出,之後更在世界各地七大城市展覽。於2006年他以這批作品為題材出版專書《新水墨畫運動的搖籃》。】
     
  • '71 -- 讀書偶拾 【君子息焉】 __ 岑建成. 梁梓堅

    炳兄榮休 

    記得多年前我在這平台憶述炳兄在華仁與弟預科同窗時,給我一個" serious scholar " (原文)的印象,這個形象維持至今不變。

    梓堅兄曰:「君子息焉」,這可能非取子貢「君子息焉,小人休焉」之義;也可能非取 "學記"  「君子之于學也...藏焉修焉,息焉游焉」之義,而是取  "德高望重,有口皆碑,君子息焉"之義焉。

    John兄曰: hard earned retirement,我補充: well deserved

    勤奮工作多年,也應是"退"出職場,""哉游哉的時候了。

    退休後,"而今何事最相宜?宜醉、宜游、宜睡?"(辛棄疾西江月),當然我也認為"管竹、管山、管水 " (出處同上)最相宜了。

    諸葛亮誡子篇云:"君子....靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠 " (弟取其靜、儉、淡泊、寧靜之意,與孔明訓誠兒子的原意略有出入)。

    元王冕"墨梅"詩:"不要人誇顏色好,只留淸氣滿乾坤 " 

    奉賀炳鑫兄  榮休之喜

    岑建成于洛杉磯

    =============================

    讀書偶拾 [君子息焉] 

    岑兄,

    『荀子·大略篇』記了一個故事:

    子貢有一天對孔子說:做學問太辛苦了,我去做官吧,就可以有閑暇休息休息。

    孔子對他說:做官事君時刻都要溫良恭順,辦事謹慎,準確,是不可以偷閑休息的。

    子貢又提出做別的事,求得休息。孔子一一回答,都說不能休息。最後子貢悟出一個道理:

    大哉乎死也,君子息焉,小人休焉。”只有死了,才能得到休息。

    孔子籍此故事說明了“惟死乃息”的精神。

    此就是中華民族傳統的立世精神之一自強不息

    在儒家經典『六經』之首,『周易』裡面,排在最前的乾卦,『象傳』說:天行健,君子以自強不息。人們要效法天之剛健有為,不甘心落後,努力向上。

    梁梓堅(香港)

    ============================

    梁兄,

    這也見於"孔子家語"子貢覺累,孔子曉以大義。他又問孔子:那麼我就永不得休息嗎?孔子答道:有,墳墓就是你將來休息的地方了。(言下之意:等你死了再休息吧。)子貢悲欣交集道:死亡真偉大,君子可以憑此安息,小人也可賴以休恬。

    我就是很表面並粗淺的根據這而大膽假設,梁兄給炳兄的的退休贈言也許不太恰當。現在知道梁兄意之所指了,謝謝賜教。

    其實,從孔子家語這裏可看出孔門對己的嚴苛:學無止境,道行不休,至死方息。套後人話,這叫做"鞠躬盡瘁,死而後已" 

    =============================== 

    岑兄,

    中華民族立世精神之“剛健有為,自強不息”可體現在個人生活方面,強調人格獨立,追求正義,真理。

    孔子說:“三軍可奪帥也,匹夫不可奪志也。”

    孟子說:“富貴不能淫,貧賤不能移,威武不能屈。”

    都表現出上古代儒家強調培養偉大人格。

    屈原在『離騷』中道:“路漫漫其修遠兮,吾將上下而求索。”亦余心之所善兮,雖九死其猶未悔!”

    正表現他追求正義,追求真理的堅定信念。

    還有如兄提及的諸葛亮一生“鞠躬盡瘁,死而後已。”

    及范仲淹的“先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂。”都表現出個人盡職盡責,為社會長遠利益着想的偉大襟懷。

    但太強調剛健有為,自強不息,就容易發展出自尊自大,排外,與大自然不協調,妄想征服大自然的種種行為。

    因此易經第二卦『坤卦』『象傳』說“地勢坤,君子以厚德載物”。厚德載物是一種比喻的説法。傳統哲學認為,大地的德性是博大寛厚,能負截萬物,生養萬物。人也應效法大地,寛厚對待天下萬物。愛護鳥獸草木。對人類自己,更要友好相處。

    宋代張載把這種思想凝煉地慨括為:“民吾同胞,物吾與也。⋯

    就是說,天地萬物是一個統一體,人民是我的同胞,萬物是我的朋友和夥伴。強調不單人際關係的和諧統一,也強調人與自然界的和諧統一。

    ============================== 

    梁兄,

    「自強不息,厚德載物」是淸華大學校訓,也是中國傳統文化的重要內涵。「君子應該剛毅自勵,猶天之運行不息。」君子接物度量要像大地一樣,沒有任何東西不能承載。這體現了一種健全的人格,它集剛健和柔順兩種不同特質於一身,標誌着人格發展的一種全面性。

    老子道德經說:「上善若水,水利萬物而不爭。」最高境界的善行就像水的品性一樣,澤被萬物而不爭名利。

    儒道兩家,殊途同歸,異曲同工,兩者所蘊含的意義是一樣的,所以亦常常相提並論。上善若水,厚德載物,就是以美好的品德,高尚的情操,寬廣的胸來承載、滋養、包容和造福萬物,是中華民族精神的一種象徵。 

    梁兄勤修國學,求學有了心得就會切磋琢磨,與人分享,分享便會讓學習更快樂。旁人見你智慧圓融,也會不遠千里,前來求教。孟子盡心篇說君子有三樂,其中「得天下英才而教育之」為人生至樂之一;這與孔子有朋之樂相當,從容論道,教學相長,獨樂不如衆樂。弟乃後知後學,也絶非英才,與兄相距何止千里(這有雙重意義),請多指教。

    ===============================

  • "Happy Birthday, Son"__Rose Ho

    Thirty years ago this day, I gave birth to my son, the youngest of my children.

    Today, it’s his 30th birthday, a turn of another decade for him.  I wish him health and wisdom.

    I might have written some of the following before, but I do like to write again….

    • The day before his birth, my womb was so big that I couldn’t reach the faucet in the sink to wash the dishes.  I had to ask my husband’s school-mate and wife who were visiting from Vancouver, to help me do the dishes after dinner.  They were the first guests to visit me the next day upon my delivery. 
    • My househelper asked to resign upon my son’s birth since she said three kids and a house were too much for her to handle.  This lady learnt the living the hard way after she left me and she was the one who eventually accompanied me when I returned to Hong Kong to help in my household.  We treated each other like family members.  I considered her as my househelper, not a maid.  But like before, she left me after a few years of work in Hong Kong to return to her home town of Penang.  She said the living standard was too high for her in Hong Kong.  I couldn’t locate her the last three times I visited Penang. 
    • One morning, my son woke up, finished the bottle of milk, stepped on the trash can and threw the bottle into it.  That’s it….he weaned himself away from the bottle….that simple.  He never asked for it again.  In fact, that morning, my mom and I watched what he did and we picked the bottle up from the trash bin when he was not watching lest he wanted it back some time later.  But he didn’t!  Bravo, my son. 
    • We were in Disneyland.  I told my son he was way too heavy for me to carry.  That was a time when he was three or less.  Ever since, he hadn’t asked me to carry him again.  Thank you, my son! 
    • The Chinese lady!    People thought Chinese like to have big families and with four kids, they still want a fifth one.  That’s what happened when all the strange eyes stared at me when I stepped into the clinic for my maternity checkup, taking four girls along.   The four girls….A, B, C, D….Doh, Ray, Me, Fa….they looked so much alike and differed in height only by one or two inches each.  Two were mine; two were my friend’s who asked me to care for their daughters that day.    I would never forget those stares at this Chinese lady in the gynae’s clinic.

    30 years…

    Another 30 years, I would be 94 and my son 60!   Imagine….an old old woman and an old man!

    Son, cheer up….don’t think about that for now.  It’s another 30 years to go!   Have a happy Birthday for now...for today!

  • "The Spirit of Wah Yan" 1932__Father Gallagher, S.J.


    An alternate version of Chinese translation

    The Spirit of Wah Yan

  • "夠鐘啦" (Time Out) __ Rose Ho

     "夠鐘啦" (English to follow) 

    朱杏梅、小時的鄰居。她家是台山人、男丁可以上學、女丁不值錢、長大是嫁出家門的。所以杏梅沒有書讀、要留在家煮飯、做家務、照顧四個弟弟和外婆。

    短短的直髮、杏杏的眼睛、白白的皮膚、粉紅的臉色。有空總喜歡到我家看我們姊妹玩、看我們演大戲。今年抱著「大鼻」來、過得一年左右又抱「軟骨烔」來。面上常掛笑容、看我們玩已十分開心滿足。

    「夠鐘啦、我要返屋企煮飯、一陣返來」。當杏梅看見時鐘上某個時間就要說暫別。

       ***
    星期天我寄出一個電郵說道:「後日再談、今晚要讀書及看 60 Minutes、明天交功課:學生的功課」、告知我朋友要暫停討論。現在看到這電郵就令我聯想杏梅的話、不禁笑起來。

    我們不是同樣的說:「暫停!有要事做、遲些再續」嗎?

      *** 
    1964年我們搬了。少時不懂得珍惜小時的朋友、沒有聯絡。

    朱杏梅、是否被嫁作過埠新娘?如果她還在、應該亦是六旬以上了。 

    "Time out"

    Sunday, I sent an email saying “Time out!  Need to read a book and watch 60 Minutes tonight.  Have to hand in homework tomorrow….student’s homework” to notify my friends that we had to time out on our discussion over the cyberspace.

    When I saw this email today, I couldn't stop but chuckle.

    It reminded me of a girl living next door when we were small and the same timeout she would say when she had to go home and cook.

       ***

    Heng-Mui was the girl living next door.  Born in a Toi-San family that only values males, Heng-Mui, like one of those unfortunate females, could not attend school, but had to stay home to handle all housework and look after her four younger brothers as well as her grandmother.

    Heng-Mui was a lovely girl…with short straight hair, almond-shaped eyes, fair complexion and pink cheeks.  She loved to come to our place to watch us siblings play or perform Chinese opera.  She was always beaming with smiles and always felt happy and contented just to watch us play and talk to us.

    The baby she carried over with her changed every other year.  This year, it’s “Big Nose”, a year or so later, it’s “Amoeba Quing”.

    “Oh, it’s time for me to go home and cook already,” she would utter when she spotted a certain time on the table clock.  “Will come back later.”

      *****

    Aren’t Heng-Mui and I saying the same thing: “Time out!   Need to get to work.   Resume later.”?

      *****

    In 1964, we moved.  We, siblings, did not have the intellect to keep contact with our friends of childhood days.  We lost touch with her since.

    Heng-Mui….could she also be one of those Toi-San girls who got married to an overseas Chinese? 

    If Heng-Mui is still alive today, she certainly is in her 60s too.

    2014 Jan 14

  • [華仁的「兩校三舍」時期:1941年9-12月

    [華仁的「兩校三舍」時期:1941年9-12月]

    相信大家都清楚,徐仁壽先生在1919年創立華仁(港華),及後在1924年開辦九龍分校(九華)。耶穌會在1932年接手港華,1946年接手九華。林海瀾先生從1932年出任九華校長直至1952年。

    根據校史資料,在1940年代初,位於旺角奶路臣街的九華只提供初中課程。林海瀾校長乃邀請港華的耶穌會神父到九龍開辦一所華仁分校,提供高中課程,好讓九華學生升讀。

    在維基百科,關於《九龍華仁書院》有這個描述:「在教育司伍德的協助下,九龍華仁書院被納入政府的資助名單。雖然有新設施,高年級學生依然需要渡過維多利亞港到香港華仁書院上實驗課。學生人數日益增加,校舍設施不足,有必要設立分校。1941年9月8日,九龍佐敦柯士甸道103號的校舍正式成為九龍華仁的分校*。」

    這所高中學校在1941年9月8日開辦,位於柯士甸道103號(即德信學校現在的位置),是為「華仁柯士甸道高中分校」(Wah Yan Austin Road Senior Branch)。

    「華仁柯士甸道高中分校」的獨特之處,在於她雖位處九龍,編制上是九華的分校*,但卻是由港華開辦,由耶穌會主理,並以港華前校長嘉利華神父(Fr Richard Gallagher SJ)為校長。

    當時的華仁可以說是處於一個「兩校三舍」的時期:「兩校」指港華、九華兩校;「三舍」指羅便臣道、奶路臣街和柯士甸道三個校舍。

    很可惜,「華仁柯士甸道高中分校」只營運了三個月,就因爲日軍侵略香港的緣故,在同年12月9日停辦。嘉利華神父和張光導神父(Fr Joseph McAsey SJ;他當時未當神父)就是在九龍被日軍拘禁的。

    * 也有一論指「華仁柯士甸道高中分校」編制上是港華的分校,而非九華。

    參考資料: 1. Father Thomas J Morrissey SJ,《Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and beyond: Irish Jesuit mission: its development 1926-2006》 2.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wah_Yan_College,_Kowloon

  • 《"二十" 的聯想》__ 余晃英 (61)

        

    今年,位於溫哥華的香港理工大學(加西)員生會成立二十週年。
     

    "二十"這個數字,頗引起我的一些聯想。配合人生,二十歲是少年;下一個二十,四十歲是中年;再下一個二十,六十歲是開始步入晚年了。根據古人說:男二十弱冠,女二十桃李年華,都是成人。四十而不惑,六十而耳順(有一解解作聽得進不同的意見或清楚理解聽到的話,見《維基詞典》,八十則到耋耄之年了。二十年不長也不短。人生多少個二十年呢?以現在醫學推算,也只是四、五個吧。

    回首自己的經歷,我二十歲才進入大學,比一般同學遲了些。四十歲時在理工學院,已經鬥了四年多,慢慢向事業高峰攀援而上。六十歲時則已移民了十年,還工作多十年才決定退休,亦即是說在加拿大謀生工作了二十年。以今年計算,移民已經二十一年了。和香港藕斷絲連在加拿大落地生根。香港理工大學加西員生會一成立,我便加入成為會員。與子相始,亦與子偕老。

    瀏覽香港理工大學的歷史,二十年也可說是一個有意義的成長階段。最早的前身,香港官立高級工業學院在1937年成立,校舍位於灣仔活道。十年後改稱香港工業專門學院 (1947),但1957年才有紅磡工專新校舍,兩所校舍建成相距二十年。由工專擴展到理工學院(1972)費時二十五年,而由理工學院全面轉變至理工大學(1994)則需時二十二年。亦即是說,香港理工技術教育循序漸進,約莫經過三個二十年或六十年便達到大學水平,這與人一生成熟的過程也有點相似。香港回歸中國時,理大年滿整整一個甲子(1937-1997)。回歸後,明年剛好年屆二十歲。

    人與人力所創的事業或機構可以有一點極大的分別。年壽有時而盡,榮樂止乎其 (曹丕《典論,論文》),人都不可避免,五個二十已經不多見。但是,因人注入心血而孕育成形的事業或機構可以有長久的連續性。一代一代的後繼者增添新血,煥發新顏 ,教育或聯誼機構得以長存下去,有限的人生可以化作無限的影響。香港理工大學加西員生會成立二十週年,與人相比,是成年人了,願它也向三十而立、四十不惑等成長道路不斷前進。

    二〇一六年三月二十四日溫哥華市

    (為理大加西員生會會慶作,刊載於會的《會員通訊》2016年春季號。)

  • 《“Much Ado About Nothing” __ A Quintessential Case of干卿底事》__ Henry Ku(56)

    Dave’s is what Americans euphemistically call a family restaurant, meaning to which you could take the family without having to renegotiate with your banker about the next mortgage payment.  It was where one could order basic fares at a price not too far above McDonald’s. Needless to say, one also had to adjust one’s culinary expectations, south. 

    Last Saturday I spent the whole day by myself and went to vigil mass at 5. After that I went home and found it dark and quiet. Then I remembered my wife had told me to take care of my own dinner. She had gone to a class of some sort on the use of her new toy -- the iPhone 6S.

    I had to circle round the block twice before I found a parking spot at Dave’s. I could have parked in the adjacent lot, but it was a part of a funeral home. True to my Chinese culture, I liked to keep a polite distance from death and associated unpleasantness.  

    As I was a regular I simply seated myself; (unfortunately this also betrayed my standing in the great American financial hierarchy.) I always sat by the long row of windows looking out to the street.  Bright and clear and plenty of trees. I looked around the place and found the usual crowd, retired couples and others, all obviously not in the 1% of the population so viciously demonized by Bernie Sanders and his Democrat cohorts.  I ordered breakfast, eggs and things. If you could order such things at 7:00 p.m. you should be sure that the place was not your neighborhood fine dining palace. As usual, I brought my dinner companion – a book.  In this case, however, it was a magazine that educated me about American political undercurrents.  It was about a hearty crowd who had fun demolishing the Clintons’ claim that there had always been a vast right-wing conspiracy against them.  I have no strong hatred toward the Clintons; I only think that they are not particularly truthful people To be fair, Bill did leave his job with plenty of surplus in the kitty whereas we are now 19 trillion in the hock.

    I suddenly noticed that there was a couple sitting across the aisle from me, a few feet away. Their booth was not aligned with mine but was about three feet to my front.  So, I was looking at them at a 45° angle from behind. I could only see the man’s back but not his face.  His companion, a woman, was facing me. To me, the man’s presence was auditory, but the woman was clearly visible. She was oriental, Chinese, Korean, Japanese or even Filipina, who cared? She was not your glamorous beauty, but pretty and fair. With the right make-over she would be very attractive. She had just a hint of make-up which gave her a youthful innocence. The man was talking all the time. From an angle I could see his gray hair. He was also oriental. His attire was what we locals favored, T-shirt, shorts and slippers.  The woman had a white shirt, a pair of pale gray slacks and comfortable sandals. She was listening attentively, almost respectfully. My bet on his age would be from early to the mid-60s. I would be surprised if she was a day older than 28.

    At first, I put them down to be members of a family. Then I began to take note. Were they a married couple?  Father and daughter?  No. Daughters would be putting forth their two-cents.  Have you ever met a daughter who would listen without debating every point?   Grandfather and granddaughter?  I took my granddaughter out to lunch whenever she was home from California. But, not to this type of cheapie place.  And, my granddaughter would be talking to me about her life, never a one-sided sermon from Gung-gung.   

                  I soon winnowed the possibilities down to one of two things, a boss taking his assistant out for a meal after working overtime.  Or, a man trying to convince a woman for some purpose of his own. 

                  Here, the fact that the man was a voice without a face reminded me of the movie大紅燈籠高高掛in which an educated young woman from a poor family was sent off to become No. 4 concubine to a man who treated his women with a humiliating routine.  His servants would hang a pair of big red Chinese lanterns outside the apartment of the woman to be favored by him that night. It was like, hey, honey let’s send out for sushi tonight. A regular rotation. The director, very cleverly, never showed his face, thus making him all the more callous and unfeeling.  There was no ugly man to be reviled by the audience, just disembodied cruelty. 

                  My dinner came and I finished it in no time, two eggs, a bit of corned beef hash and a toast needed no great effort to polish off.Well, it was also not the healthiest of fares for an old man whose state of well-being was under the regular monitoring of a bevy of four physicians.  

    I tried to keep my head down to my magazine to learn about the subterranean political world of the left and the right.  However, I could not help stealing glances at the woman again and, uncontrollably, again.  If it was a case of a man wooing a woman then the disparity in ages would be hard to bridge.  And, it was also irreconcilably incongruent.  There was nothing in common between a man who was obviously on a steady slide to decrepitude and a woman blooming soon to her most enchanting maturity. Please spare us, Lord, of any imagery of physical contact between them, for it certainly would induce a rush to the legendary Romanvomitorium

    Then, why brought her to such an eatery? Wasn’t she worthy of more pampering? Anyone who hoped to impress a girl with Dave’s would either be the ultimate optimist or a damned fool. The sin was utterly unforgivable. If it were me, I would certainly make sure she had a dinner to tell others when she woke up tomorrow.

    Could it have been a case of a mail ordered bride? No more wooing was necessary, cheapie or not. The poor woman might be adjusting to a disappointing reality, hence so quiet. Such things did happen in Hawaii. I had known at least two cases, one man brought a young woman from the Philippines and the other Vietnam.  Hopeless poverty was enough to sap a woman’s will to fight for long and deprivation would push her to take a chance with a strange man, any man, however unworthy of her.  I tried to recall stories I had read before and pictured Simon Hink’s* surprise when he heard who the husband of his new prey was. His original utterance is in the footnote. This young lady’s character, for all I knew, was way above Simon’s “new prey”.  

    I must stand up and declare to my readers that I was merely a curious bystander without any ulterior intentions.

    Their food came and I could see they were basic fares. Two scoops of rice and some nondescript okazu^ for her. And, they began wading into it. Hmm, separate dishes and no sharing.  It indicated a degree of distance in relationship. Was I, perhaps, dabbing sordid shades onto an innocentportrait? 

    Then, another man came up from somewhere. He was a Caucasian, also old and dressed in the local male attire. He stood by their table and talked to the man. An initial hail-fellow-well-met was followed by a long spiel. I would say the standing man was trying to sell something or curry favor. The fact that he was not invited to sit down should have told him that he was rapidly wearing thin his welcome.  Some people just wouldn’t take a hint.  Only when he was leaving was introduction made. The woman appeared to be a little embarrassed, bravely trying to be sociable and stretched out her hand and there was some hesitation for the man to shake it.  I did not know what to make of it. 

                  Why was I watching all these?   It was none of my business, and here I was, imagining a whole movie script. Was there something that was eating me? Was it envy? Was there a damsel in distress waiting for a knight on a white charger? Couldn’t it be just two persons having dinner?  What business was mine at all anyway? 

    干卿底事,莫非是癢在心頭?

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    *西門慶聽了,叫起苦來,說道: [好一塊羊肉,怎生落在狗口裏!] --金瓶梅,第二回

    ^Japanese for

  • 《“西成東就”— 從英文猜漢字》 __ 余晃英 (61)

    《“西成東就”— 從英文猜漢字》 

    我曾經遇到一個字謎 , 謎面是 Good morning, 猜一個漢字。謎底是“譚”字。“譚”字組成部份是“言”、“西“、“早”, 整理次序一下, 可以成為“西言早”-- 就是 Good morning。這個字謎, 憑英文猜漢字, 頗為少見, 給我留下深刻的印象。我按圖索驥, 弄了一個字謎遊戲, 在本年度的理工大學加西員生會新春聚餐, 筵開十多席時 ,每一桌十人合作猜玩競賽。

    現請你先試猜, 答案在本頁內。我還會稍稍報告結果和提出一些思考, 跟有興趣用這方法擬題的人分享。

    I. “西成東就”— 從英文猜漢字

    請看以下英文句子短語,猜猜它們暗示什麼漢字,一題一字, 全是繁體, 部首也包括在內。(聲明:與文字學無關,或有多於一個答案, 最好的答案由工作人員決定。)

    例子: Competitive market = 鬧(鬥市); Take away = 趣(取走); My daughter = 娥(我女)
    1 Peter, Paul & Mary
    2 The Himalayas
    3 Good morning
    4 Someone with a hat and two joined mouths
    5 The dwarf said, “I’m only one inch tall.”
    6 It's a horse! (提示: 不是“馬”字)
    7 A calm heart
    8 What happens at dawn
    9 Home where instead of one pig they have eight
    10 Humpty Dumpty was up then down; Humpty Dumpty was neither up nor down.
    11 Lonely heart
    12 Boat is turned over.
    13 Grain enough for three persons
    14 Kung fu with neither fighter nor strength
    15 Leather clothing
    16 Walk and walk
    17 The Olympic athlete got three firsts.
    18 Heart transplant
    19 The BC wildfire in 2017 burned for a long time.
    20 An ancient moon beside a pool
    21 Where grass outgrows trees and the world
    22 A white feather

    II. 結果和意見

    起初很多朋友碰到題目時, 覺得困難。數桌的正確答案只得6至8題, 漏空的題目不少。
    另一個極端是十多圍中兩桌分別有19 和 18題答對了。這個兩極的現象我想原因至少有二: 第一是某桌有中文根底佳的人士。第二是當猜者明白了擬題的方法後, 舉一反三, 答案便易猜中。譬如說, 掌握了“心”、”衣”的部首, 其餘部件(components) 便易估到。相反,未找到竅門時, 雙語的相連關係不易看出。

    這個遊戲,如在熱鬧行樂的氣氛下進行,不宜艱深 ,不宜牽涉文字學。不是常見易解的部首最好不用。還有,集體智慧往往會產生一些亦佳或次佳的答案。第一題可接納次佳的仨” 的答案 (三人, 男女不分)。但如時間短,沒有討論的空間,那麼工作人員便得當下決定怎樣處理。例如第六題, ”騠”算正確嗎? (“ 駃騠”, 古代駿馬名。應該接受。) 此外,英文提示可能指涉多於一個漢字,“譚“和”晏“都可以用 Good morning 表達。”譚”較轉接和雋永。

    漢字多有部首加聲符的組合, 聲符又往往帶有意思,即是說一字如果有兩部件, 每個都會有自身意義,譯成英文有可能成為一個有意義的詞語, 拿來當作謎面 , 這對擬題來說是方便得很。試想想,“心”字成為部首 “忄”, 能配多少帶義的部件! 不過, 巧妙之處是, 英文謎面本身要是地道英語,盡量接近英語文化、英語慣用語, 才含英咀華, 引起猜者的興趣, 否則流為硬譯或過淺。用 Humpty Dumpty; Peter, Paul & Mary 就是循這思路走出來。

    == == == == ==

    答案:
    1- 嬲 (兩男一女) 2- 嵩 (山高)3- 譚 (西言早)/晏4- 官/倌 5-謝 (言身寸) /射 6- 馳 (馬也)7- 怦 (心平) 8- 昇 (日升)/星 (日生) 9- 穴 (“家”減去“豕”加“八”) 10- 卡 (不“上”不“下”,亦“上”亦“下“ 11- 憚(單心) 12- 舨 (舟反) /返 13- 秦 (三人禾) 14- 工 (“功夫”去掉”夫” 和“力”) 15- 被 (皮衣) 16- 衝 (重行) 17- 鑫 (三金) 18 - 愛(受心)/ 惕 19- 灸(久火) 20- 湖(水古月) 21- 葉 (草世木) (草部首在上) 22習 (羽、白)

    == == == == ==

    作者的初稿, 先交多位朋友試猜, 不一一道謝了。理大加西員生會幹事黃李偉端和趙曾藝群兩位提出不少有用意見, 又負責校對、印製字謎及改卷, 謹此致謝。2018年3月20日

  • 《[虎爺] _“一生兒女債,半世老婆奴” 的移民故事》__陳柏齡(71)

    前言

    移民異國他鄉, 際遇各不相同。一路走來,少有一帆風順者,大多數人都捱過艱苦。但是要落到這種田地,而且一捱就二三十年,看不到喜色,是百中無一。

    虎爺的遭遇,從雞同鴨講的情緣開始,到今天身陷囹圄,堕入網中,令人感慨。

    每人都有自己對事情的看法。有人批評這文章是種族歧視,又有人覺得,這是在鼓勵分妻,干卿何事!  

    作者認為,這是一個活生生的,一生兒女債,半世老婆奴的移民故事,他心有不甘,不吐不快。

    僅以此一文,為虎爺祝福,也為自己能有今天的生活感到幸運。 

    多年心願 

    如夢令 - 憶友人」: 

    「怒海投奔風骤,半生異域杯酒朱萸少一人,友朋思故舊,知否?知否?雖非花人亦瘦。 

    深秋之夜,在L城的高尚區,四人圍爐話舊。主人「建設王」拿出白切雞,鹹碎花生佐酒。他是專業舊屋翻新的實幹派。其餘三人,一乃「舊時王謝堂前燕」,人稱「詩人」的梁先生。另外一年齡較長者,對哲學大有研究,渾號「思想家」。最後一人,姓波名王,波王,人稱波少。

    波少六十出頭,神采飛揚。他的料最少,話最多。

    波少:「虎爺近日怎樣了?有見他嗎?」

    建設王:「沒有,我已有一年未曾見他了。」

    夜晚九點半,大家坐下之後,四人都惦記到虎爺,這是他下班的時間,能否參加幾個舊朋友的深夜談呢?建設王拿起電話,懷著七上八下的心情邀請虎爺,講完一輪之後,答案是可以的,但他沒車,要朋友去接。眾人大喜望外,詩人帶路,波少開車,立刻起程。

    虎爺的外賣餐廳離建設王的家不遠,波少沿著二街一直開。那夜晚冰涼如水,月黑風高,烏鴉都回巢了。大國小城镇的街道夜晚,用機關槍也掃不死人。波少一邊小心地開車,一邊盤算著虎爺條命,為什麼如此坎坷?今晚名醫會診,朋友能否為他指點謎津,對他當頭棒喝,為虎爺力挽狂瀾於既倒。波少的精神為之一振。

    同學少年

    蕭瑟的秋夜,黃葉飄零。這A镇邊緣的小商場燈光幽暗,能租出的店舖多已打烊。波少遠遠望見一矮小老頭站在餐館門口,抽著煙,背微驼。波少知道這人是虎爺,是他四五十年的朋友。一瞬間,某種莫明的悲涼湧上心頭。走近,波少看到了一張飽經風霜的脸,虎爺瘦骨嶙峋,目光涣散,深陷的眼睛带着憂愁,戴着天使隊棒球帽,帽子遮蓋不住滿頭蒼蒼白髮。怎麼了,怎麼一下子就老去了。

    波你好。虎爺緊緊地握著波少的手,盡在不言中。

    在那同學少年,風華正茂的日子,這虎爺,全身散着音樂藝術胞,虎爺能唱一曲好歌,能拉一手好琴。在大陸的時候,被選入了廣州市紅領巾合唱團。在香港,他終日與音樂人為伍。香港管弦樂團的首席小提琴手是他的至交,他還差点進入了樂團。波少不懂音律,不敢評論虎爺音樂造。但波少懂體育,虎爺打籃球彈跳力強,腳步靈活。他更是體操好手,因為他身材均匀,不高,五肢結實有力,正是體操運動員身段。在小學時候上體育課,同學們排隊翻跟斗,波少敢肯定,虎爺可以凌空翻滚而落地無聲。

    波少認識的虎爺,是一個性格外向,活潑開朗的人。他真誠,助人為樂,成熟中有幽默,穩重中有頑皮。虎爺愛吃,愛吃沒甚麼特別,有那一個廣州人不愛吃呢?波少想說的是,虎爺和他們一樣,凡夫俗子一名,波少問自己,怎樣了?虎爺還像當年嗎?他是波少所有同期朋友中最潦倒的,他還能保持自己嗎?很快就會知道,讓在下把故事細細道来。 

    墨國情緣

    這故事要從墨西哥姑娘維珍利亞說起。

    天外有天,國外有國。四十年前,當虎爺剛剛踏入這異國它鄉的土地,腳步還沒站穩,就萍水相逢,邂逅了這異國情人,而這異國確不是美國,而是美國旁邊的墨國,異上加異!

    名曲有唱:”South of the border, down Mexico way, that is where I fell In love, when stars came out to play....”那時候L城的downtown,還沒有被墨國人淪陷,年輕漂亮的墨國姑娘不多。桃花時節,虎爺頭頂的桃花星,星光閃耀,毋須跑到墨西哥,就獲天賜佳人,他們在downtown相遇。維珍利亞姑娘少女情懷,含苞欲放,他年輕力壮,大愛無疆。朋友羡慕虎爺,因為維珍利亞長得豐乳肥臀,兩片薄薄的紅唇溫潤,一對西洋大眼睛像水蜜桃般甜蜜。

    波少聽不懂維珍利亞的說話,只是常常聽到她溫柔地喊虎爺:“huhu.”,有點兒像說捲舌頭的北京話。

    波少的記憶模糊,但對虎爺說這話很清楚:虎,你的英文是有限公司,她比你更差,你倆雞同鴨講,如何溝通?

    虎爺回答:波,情人要用眼睛溝通,我現在比任何時候都幸福,放工之後坐下,拖鞋就擺在面前,維珍利亞我脱鞋袜,穿拖鞋,跟著調水溫洗澡。"

    現在想起来,虎爺當時已經被荷爾蒙侵略全身,浪漫的愛情烈火在延燒。假如有人問虎爺父親貴姓?是姓虎還是叫荷西?他可能不大了了。

    他們都是第一代移民,父母多希望,兒女能在他鄉,找到同文同種的伴侶,他們這班人都能做到了。大家也知道,這事情輪到下一代,就很難說了,屬非戰之罪。有道:兒婚女嫁神庇佑,配錯生番淚兩行。但這虎爺,第一代已經堅守不住,舉起白旗,和番去了。
     

    共偕連理

    他們結婚了。歲月如流四十年,在這四十年,波少和虎爺生活在同一城市,各自奔波,見面次數寥寥可數。幾年前,聽別人講,虎爺的兒子可以飛身扣籃,朋友輩不可想像,大家為他開心。老子能跳,兒子超越老子了。墨國文化多生養,維珍利亞虎爺生下的二男一女,不算多。孩子長得像虎爺,人們可以從他們臉型看到虎爺的影子,也是唯一影子。他們墨語流利,中國話一句不通,他們身上流着墨人的血,中國血僅有點滴。

    多年前在KMART,波少遇到虎爺一家和他的一大班墨西哥親朋好友,男的頭戴sombrero,腳踏尖嘴皮靴,女的穿著五顏六色,節日打扮。匆忙中他告訴波少,現在要去Danny’s午飯.

    波少問:為什麼不去飲茶?” 

    他回答:“我好久沒飲茶了,他們不喜歡。

    愛自己兒女是人的天性,虎爺喜歡小孩子是出了名的,自己的兒女那就更不用說了。他為兒子買最貴的喬丹籃球鞋,為兒子的汽車安裝四條大車轆。虎爺是十四孝父親,一切都是兒女行先,自己衣衫襤褸就不計較了。波少知道之後,心裡感到微微不妥,墨國先用未來錢,多少花多少的文化在腐蝕虎爺,遲早出事。
     

    苦幹夫妻

    虎爺的外賣餐館起名筷子,夫妻俩一腳踢,開雞切肉斬瓜菜,聽電話送外賣,洗盆碗搞衛生,他是大廚兼打雜,虎爺煮的東西,尖嘴中國人不大吃,所以客人是鬼多人少。每星期做六天半,從早到晚,打風下雨未停過,剩下半天在自家花園割草。就這樣,虎爺一做就十七年,還沒有一絲絲停下來的跡象。

    有一次,波少路經虎爺的餐館,衝入廚房,找不到人,結果他從爐頭下爬出來,篷頭膩臉,他正在通坑渠。

    波少對他說:為何這樣辛苦?”

    我不是你,沒有生意,自己不做找誰做?

    餐館請不起人,繁忙的時候,孩子也會來幫手,但要出人工,這是大國文化。

    壞消息來了。餐館捱不住,交不起租,業主要封鋪。波少做過餐飲生意,深知不容易,精神上的壓力比體力的支出更辛苦。波少從來沒有問他如何度過難關。虎爺是一個驕傲的人,也是一個堅強的人。
     

    隔絕中國

    人誰不老,如花美艷的墨國姑娘漸漸喪失往日風姿,變得臃腫肥胖,這樣的墨國中年婦人,在L城的跳蚤市場處處可見。維珍利亞也受生活的折磨,她也為兒女擔憂,不老才怪。

    不知道是什麼原因,也不知道從何時開始,維珍利亞逐漸把虎爺隔離於中國人的圈子外,請虎爺入,入墨西哥

    首先,虎爺慢慢地失去了他的餐飲同行朋友,然後,他的兒時朋友也開始疏遠,大家都不敢和他見面,因為怕看到他老婆的眼色。

    虎爺喪失了自己,他生活在另外的世界裡。被維珍利亞網著。有人說,虎爺爺把一張一百元紙幣放在鞋底,怕她看到。

    两年前的一晚上,建設王約好了他下班之後喝咖啡,因為夫婦倆只有一部車,波少到餐館接他。

    九點半,虎爺走出來跟波少說:很對不起,我不知道為什麼老婆是這樣的人,下次吧。"

    去年,詩人生日。他一早和虎爺說好,在他的餐館聚會一次,詩人準備斬料,請波少,建設王和思想家三個家庭,帶孩子們一起聯絡感情,慶祝生日。到時叫虎爺煲個湯,做個咕嚕肉,炒個菜,幫襯他,也可讓虎爺和他的孩子們有機會一起參加,可謂用心良苦。生日前两天,接電話,不成了,老婆不准,計劃告吹。

    波少最後一次進入虎爺的餐館,是在最近,波少安排朋友的汽車放在他家裡,虎爺很熱情地幫忙。波少看到了維珍利亞,她見波少如見盜賊,趕緊把銀櫃的現金拿進口袋,返回廚房。波少是不敢再進入虎爺的餐館了.

    波少感嘆,此墨婆是使用甚麼法術,把虎爺網住。也許也許,這網中人,能從夢魔中醒來,逃出生天。
     

    名醫會診

    一碟白切雞,一盒鹹碎花生,虎爺自酌自飲,吃得津津有味。寒喧過後,波少開門見山,首先發言:今晚好難得和虎爺坐下來聊天,我們不要浪費時間講飲講食,大家都是幾十年好朋友,有什麼不能說的。虎爺,你有什麼困難,擺出來,讓朋友幫你出下主意,或分擔一些你的憂愁,吐下苦水,儘管解決不了問題,也許會令你放開下,我們幾個都不是蠢人,一兩條好計可能點條生路你行。"

    虎爺用冰冷的眼神看著老友們,眼是紅色的,泛泛淚光,他站起來,手裡拿著酒杯,輕飄瘦削的身體在微微抖動,他出聲了,聲音激動:

    唉!#%@#$xyz,總之一命二運三風水,四積陰德五讀書。路是自己選擇的,偷渡是自己選的,來美國是自己選的,從三藩市跑到L城是自己選的,老婆也是自己選的。我找了個野人,現在是啞子食黃蓮,好痛苦。唉!冇x辦法,還有個女兒要我供,馬死落地行,條命就是這樣。

    虎爺攤開雙手,悲憤陳情,大家都不插嘴,讓他喘了下氣,慢慢地繼續講。

    虎爺的兒女都長大了,大兒子廿八歲,小的也廿四歲。他們都在工作,大的做政府工,搬出家住,小的在小學教體育。女兒在UCSF讀藥劑師第三年。

    他繼續說:"我的女兒還要我幫忙,她在SF要交租,借錢讀書又借不夠。餐館生意好差,下降30%,以前租金八百,現在千六,我兩公婆賺不到二份人工…”

    建設王是最切實際的人,他對虎爺說,有甚麼可能借不到錢,又不是學唱歌,讀藥劑師專業,要幾多有幾多,一定借到,他還舉例說明。

    詩人沒有講話,他做人穩重,想得一清二楚再發言。他是很了解虎爺的,因為詩人跟他聯絡最多。

    思想家出聲,他永遠有入世和出世兩方面。

    先講入世:虎,你已經還了兒女債,美國社會,尤其是經濟拮据的家庭,孩子到了十八九歲就應該讓他們自己幫助自己,中國人不同,但讀完大學也就應該自己照顧自己了,虎,你已經完成做父親的責任,你已經盡了力。

    再講出世,思想家數下數下手指:廿多年前,我無意中跟你算過命,你條命是七煞入申宮,我一生僅認識二位朋友是這樣的命,都算,算辛苦,所以我後來把紫微斗數扔掉,不再算命,太可怕。

    思想家繼續說不停,某某哲學家講過,人會很自然地尋找自己本身認為最舒服,最安全的環境生活。一切都是命運注定,冥冥之中,走來走去,都會行回原地。思想家言下之意,虎爺跳不出墨,也不想跳出墨,因為在裡面最舒服安全。這位大悲派,總愛發表人生下來就在苦海裡游泳,游到死了那天為止的言論。

    波少不同意思想家出世之說,波少想到下象棋,一子錯,滿盤皆落索。

    詩人終於發言了,他說來有條有理,八點意見,聽者折服。

    一,同意建設王說法,六十歲到七十歲是最寶貴時光,如果可以,留一些時間給自己。

    二,捱下去,對你健康沒有好處,你不是在辦公室,你是在廚房,萬一跌低病倒,你不單幫不了你家人,還會連累他們。

    三,從經濟角度來說,把餐館賣掉, 你夫妻倆出來幫人打份工,更化算。

    四,如思想家講,你還了兒女債,兩個兒子已經自立,屋應該由他們供,一頭家,燈油火蠟,還要地稅保險,好難支撐,你應把屋送給他們,讓他們維持。

    五,如果你是痛愛老婆,不說。但你又不是,又說她野人,又啞子食黃蓮,你不解決這問題,好難。帶回廣州,請她入廣州,騰籠換鳥,如果不跟去,你自己走人。

    六,講到拆數,在美國最怕你有錢。你現在一條身,有四個車轆,最多給她二個。

    七,你不是沒有出路,你唯一的親姐姐剛從委內瑞拉打電話給我,她廣州有屋,你可以回去住,你現在有能力給你女兒多少錢一個月?一百,二百?一條數,還有兩年,我擔保,你如果出聲,你姐姐二三萬沒有問題。但長貧難顧,你要斬纜。

    八,你有過千元社會保障金,大陸豐儉由人,還有班老友,你為何要弄成這樣子。

    詩人说完,大家都不哼聲。

    詩人:「前陣子我寫了首詩給你虎爺。」

    建設王:「念來聽聽。」

    詩云:「情陷難知所以然,逝水韶華血汗錢,靈心付託繫兒女,坐困愁城避忠言。

    殘軀苦幹高危路,善得餘生了孽緣,  家鄉魚米湖光色,召汝回歸享晚年。」

    波少暗想,好詩!思想家則不置可否,他少贊人。

    波少心裡有點氣憤:虎爺,你要作反,不能夠被她關在籠子裡。

    怎樣作反?,虎爺問,他是被關久,人變馴服。

    慢慢來,首先每月放工之後出來同班兄弟飲一次咖啡。波少不敢要求他出來二次。  

    他們講了很多各人的近況和活動,例如去年一班朋友到阿拉斯加遊船河,還有大陸香港的見聞,講廣州吃新鮮土綾魚,聽到虎爺蠢蠢欲動,眉飛色舞,好像解放了。到底不是墨人,他是中國的廣州人。

    講不多久,虎爺又平靜下來:,   你們不明白我,我要把我的家好好收場,再等二年,女兒畢業了,我才放心。我個死鬼老豆教過我,做男人要有能耐,一命二運三風水,四積陰德五讀書,你們有心,好多謝。"

    哈!杜牧詩勝敗兵家事不期,包羞忍辱是男兒,江東子弟多才俊,卷土重來未可知。

    他的思想混亂,有點語無倫次,一些東西,還停留在那個非常年代,喜歡用舊時術語說話,什麼又紅又專,兩條腿走路等。

    波少對他說:虎爺,你腦亂。” 

    你說得對,我的腦亂了。

    波少和建設王走出門口抽煙,這次輪到波少嘆氣。

    他對建設王說:你有沒有注意,四積陰德五讀書,虎爺把讀書二字說得特別重,好像是遺憾當年沒有好好地再讀書。"

    波少想了想再說:假如虎爺像你,多了些你的衝勁,或像其他人,少了一點責任感,那就好了。"

    建設王瞪著大眼睛回答:很對。

    晚上一點半,散會。波少義氣仔女之情猶然而生:虎爺,如果你想返去玩下,那張飛機票是我的。"
     

    虎爺再見

    再見!詩人開車送虎爺回家。波少和思想家一部車,波少突然之間把自己的層次提高,對思想家說:虎爺的情操夠高尚。思想家不加思索:對!"

    夜更深沉,波少把汽車的收音機關掉,不自覺地哼起一首八十年代的歌,那是香港電視劇網中人的主題曲

    「回望我一生                                                                                                            
    歷遍幾番責備和恨怨
    無懼世間萬重浪
    獨怕今生陷網中。

    誰料到今朝
    為了知心我自投入網
    人在網中獨回望
    世間悲歡盡疑惑........

    太久了,波少忘記了整首歌,他只能重複地唱這幾句。

    在那段日子裡,虎爺經常和他們在一起。人過中年,這些歌詞特別有味道。

     

    塵噹   2011年十月 

  • 《「南海之龍」網球隊沙漠紀行》__ 陳柏齡(71)

     「南海之龍」網球隊沙漠紀行 

    “History repeats itself”  多是講大事情,但也可以發生在小小的網球場上。 

    連續三年,「南海之龍」老人家華人網球隊都殺入「元老杯」決賽,連續三年,都是在與對手各勝一場之後,在第一雙打的 10 分 super tiebreaker 中決定出冠亞軍。世事也真奇妙,網球場上歷史可以重複。

    從2013 年開始,每年的三月底,我必領隊參加這在加州棕櫚泉舉辦的「元老杯」比賽。「南海之龍」是賽事唯一的亚裔隊伍。

    從星期一開始打預賽,星期四決賽。預賽場地在棕櫚泉的各個鄉村俱樂部進行,每天享受不同的一流網球場。比賽分組別, 有六十五歲以上的超級老人隊,也有五十歲以上的。不許用假身分證。 

    2013

    2013 年,「南海之龍」第一次參加比賽。3/22/13 我寫下一些筆記給校長與同學:

    南海塵噹帶領「南海之龍」老人家網球隊,在加州棕櫚泉沙漠大戰三天,艱難進入決賽。
    今日,三月廿日 high noon, 與加拿大 「White Rock」 白人軍團狹路相逢。 黃沙渺渺,艷陽高照。「南海之龍」決戰「White Rock」於世界十星級大酒店 Desert Spring JW  Marriott resort & Spa。
    「南海之龍」隊員來自五湖四海。塵噹成軍, 不論階級,不談政治,不講宗教。只看球技。Equal Opportunity Employer.

    隊伍有陳水鞭同門兄弟綠菅大佬; 有口號派「一定要解放台湾」過氣國防科大解放軍; 有不慬三民主義為何物只識上教堂香港喇沙仔; 有香港大學退休醫生;有壽星公鍊奶除了講錢乜都唔講生意人; 有越南漂洋過海到金山難民; 有純血統德國裔五十二歲「年輕人」;更有哈佛出身英國佬紳士大律師。

    個個意見多多, 自以為是。塵噹領隊,沒有民主。
    今日與加拿大白人軍團在加州沙漠決一死戰。求事在人,成事在天矣! 

    海峽兩岸同胞,愛喊口號:「dragon,dragon, go,go,go!」華仁神父培養出來的學生,會寫打油詩,不喊口號。 

    南海之龍    沙漠稱雄    生擒白石    拜祭先賢
    噹領隊    和諧社會    明年舉刀    沙漠之狐. 

    今日沙漠之戰,南海之龍金缐釣白芙蓉,絕地反擊。one match all 之後每人眼睛聚焦「解放軍」與「陳水鞭細佬」的第三雙打配搭。结果他們在Super tie-breaker 落後4:7,5:8 之下,咸魚翻生,反超前11:9 拿下冠軍。[解放軍] 與 [陳水鞭細佬] 擁抱慶祝。噹偷笑:夠運。 

    2014

    2014 年三月,「南海之龍」再度進入決賽。

    打油詩:

    南海之龍,再闖虎穴。/ 廉頗未老,問鼎稱雄。

    沙漠衛冕,汗灑嬌陽。/ 明朝決戰,天佑英豪

    也是在各勝一場,第一雙打one set all 之後的 super tiebreaker. 這次我們輸了,9:11。「明年舉刀    沙漠之狐」失敗,那有心情寫筆記呢。 

    2015

    2015 年,興趣來了。3/26/15首先一篇「南海之龍殺入決賽」筆記送給校長與同學:

    甲骨文老板Larry Ellison  熱愛玩帆船,也熱愛網球。近年他全力支持BNP Indian Wells Open, 要把這ATP1000 賽事升級成第五大满貫。 

    Larry 觀賞球賽,必有年輕漂亮仙姑相隨。Seniors 觀賞球賽,多有老伴同行。 

    費天王決賽不敵小德。賽後曲終人散,輪到到830 位老人家打比赛。這是世界上最大的老人家網球賽,朋友來自全國各地,也有從加拿大來的。大家來沙漠渡假看網球,然後自己打比賽。 

    我巳經是第三年做隊長參加五十歲以上的「高級組」。2013 年拿下冠军,2014 年拿亞軍。 

    2015 年呢?同樣驚險,我們艱難地進入了決賽。今天正午十二時對陣加拿大「白石」兵團。 

    加拿大今年有兩隊球隊參加,妄想自己人打自己人,把決賽與奬杯搬回溫哥華自己玩。 

    怎知道美國有沙塵噹。有沙塵噹領隊的「南海之龍」。你過關斬將,過一過我這關先。昨天我們2:1 險勝,讓他們失去自己決賽機會。 

    打油詩一首鼓勵士氣: 

    南海之龍,天神之龍。加國強隊,襲棕櫚泉。

    妄想二隊,決賽稱雄。沙塵噹王,橫刀立馬。

    開壇作法,排陣英明。三條行頭,同花順尾。

    放棄中路,誓奪二盤。眼噴火焰,老馬迴光。

    将士用命,淚灑沙場。無言感激,各位隊員。

    來之不易,珍惜今天。渺渺黃沙,決一死戰。

    求事在人,成事在天。盡力而為,今生無悔。

    「決賽日」! 

    艷陽高照。沙漠今天正午的溫度超過一百度。 

    兄妹情深,吾妹陳珊珊開二小時車捧場哥哥。 

    我們贏了第三雙打: 

    台灣大總管/ 解放軍 6:4, 6:3.  

    輸了第二雙打:自己睡/古銅色人 6:7, 1:6. 

    我在第一雙打,one set all,7:6,3:6. 拍擋是五十二歲的白人 ”年輕人” Russ ,他背著我爬山,邊背邊唱,”He ain't heavy, he is a Chinese....” 。

    Playing a 10 points tiebreaker. 比分咬著上,我們領先10:9。 

    全部人圍觀,為自己的隊伍打氣喝采。 

    珊妹形容最後一分給會友:「Donald won the deciding championship match point with the backhand slice, untouchable by his opponent. 」 

    所以說她不夠哥哥鬼馬。同一件事,我會這樣寫: 

    對手一僧一道,一肥一瘦,一高一矮。最後一分,我們領先10:9。四耆英上網短兵格劍幾回合。突然間,塵噹單邊救主(賭牌九?),猶如士碌架打中袋,一招「慢流」,反手volley把網球輕輕一托,只見那球兒不快不慢地徐徐斜落小角。兩只鬼似老僧入定。網球不知去向。廣東話:摸都冇得摸。

    五秒,僧道相顧而笑,上網握手:「Good play. It is a pleasure playing with you, Don」。

    作謙虛狀:「Lucky. Yeah, still have a few shots left.」 

    「年輕人」Russ 跳高用胸膛與我 high five, 差點把我弄到跌倒。其實日照焚香爐,把我的頭髮都燒焦了,多打幾分也會跌倒。如果不幸,人生時間表可能更改,提早拜見 Fin 神父,與他談網球去。 

    全場雷動喝采。慶祝「南海之龍」再度奪冠。 

    怎會是如此巧合,連續三年,毎次都是各勝一場之後眼光聚焦在第一雙打的 tiebreaker. 而且都是 11:9 或者 9:11。History repeats itself! 

    加拿大人在寫「嘔血譜」,「南海之龍」在奏「凱旋曲」。 

    這玩意是西方人發明的。在人家地頭, 連續三年非冠則亞,殊不容易。我明年不玩了,老氣橫秋,急流勇退,見好即收。

  • 《100 Or So Favorite 20th Century Poems of Britain》__BBC

    After a successful polling of the British people’s favorite poems in 1995, in which twelve thousand people participated, the BBC continued to conduct polls to find out Britain’s most favorite poems of different kinds, for example, love poems, poems of celebration, children’s poems. Below is a list of Britain’s favorite twentieth century poems, polled and collected in an anthology in 1999.“Gathered together,” the editor says, is “a comprehensive selection of the finest verse of the last hundred years.” The list is not presented in order of popularity, i.e. highest number of votes; instead, the poems are grouped together by their affinity to themes suggested by quotes chosen by the editor from one of the poems in a group. The most popular poem in the 1995 collection, Kipling’s “If”, was not among the favorite poems named. The editor surmised that people polled might not realize that it was written in 1912 and therefore a 20th century poem. He included it anyway, and commissioned a new modern ironic poem “What If” to go with it. He also mentioned that “Warning” was the most voted for poem.

    The list can serve as a guide for readers interested in knowing more about 20th century poems in English, largely those from Britain. Many of the poems are available online. See also the links 100 Favorite Poems of Britain, 100 Favorite Love Poems of Britain.

    The Poems

    Benjamin Zephaniah,What If (commissioned by the BBC)

    Rudyard Kipling,If (the most popular poem in the 1995 poll) 

    ‘His look was a lion’s,

    Full of rage, defiance’

    Dylan Thomas,Do not go gentle into the good night

    Jenny Joseph,Warning

    Edmund Blunden,The Midnight Skaters

    Sylvia Plath,Lady Lazarus

    W.B. Yeats,An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

    Maya Angelou,Phenomenal Woman

    Wilfred Owen,Dulce et Decorum Est

    Sylvia Plath,Daddy

    John Hegley,Autumn Verses

    Hal Summers,My Old Cat

    Maya Angelou,Still I Rise

                                                ‘What will survive us is love’

    Philip Larkin,An Arundel Tomb

    E.E. Cummings,somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

    Sir John Betjeman,A Subaltern’s Love-song

    W.H. Auden,Carry Her Over the Water

    Jon Stallworthy,The Almond Tree

    Louis Macneice,Meeting Point

    Adrian Henri,Without You

    Anon,Footprints

    Dylan Thomas, fromUnder Milk Wood

    Stevie Smith,The Singing Cat

    Edwin Morgan,Strawberries

    Roger McGough,Vinegar

    Sir John Betjeman,Myfanwy

    W.B. Yeats,He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven                                                           

    ‘… we have no hope of better

                                                Happiness than this, …’

    Hugo Williams,Tides

    Wendy Cope,Loss

    Roger McGough,Comecolse and Sleepnow

    Brian Patten,Portrait of a Young Girl Raped at a Suburban Party

    Douglas Dunn,Modern Love

    Alice Walker,Did this Happen to Your Mother? Did Your Sister Throw Up a Lot?

    Philip Larkin,Deceptions

    Brian Patten,A Blade of Grass

    Wendy Cope,A Christmas Poem

                                                ‘In labour-saving homes, with care

                                                Their wives frizz out peroxide hair’

    Craig Raine,A Martian Sends a Postcard Home

    Philip Larkin,Toads

    W.H. Auden,Night Mail

    Philip Larkin,Going, Going

    Robert Graves,Welsh Incident

    Philip Larkin,The Whitsun Weddings

    Sir John Betjeman,Slough

                                                ‘For human beings only do

                                                What their religion tells them to’

    Sir John Betjeman,In Westminster Abbey

    Seamus Heaney,Follower

    Charles Causley,Timothy Winters

    Philip Larkin,This Be the Verse

    A.E. Housman,In Valleys Green and Still

    George Macbeth,The Miner’s Helmet

    Charles Causley,Ballad of the Bread Man

    Sir John Betjeman,Diary of a Church Mouse

                                                ‘Between the streams and the red clouds, hearing curlews’

    Laurie Lee,April Rise

    Vernon Watkins,Peace in the Welsh Hills

    D.H. Lawrence,Bavarian Gentians

    R.S. Thomas,A Peasant

    Ted Hughes,Wind

    Robert Frost,Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

    Ted Hughes,The Horses

    Laurence Binyon,The Burning of the Leaves                                            

    ‘I believe life ends with death, and that is all’

    Roger McGough,Let Me Die a Youngman’s Death

    John McCrae,In Flanders Fields

    Charles Causley,I saw a Jolly Hunter

    Sir John Betjeman,Death in Leamington

    Seamus Heaney,Mid-Term Break

    Siegfried Sassoon,The Death-Bed

    Stevie Smith,Not Waving but Drowning

    Ted Hughes,View of a Pig

    Philip Larkin,Ambulances

    Tony Harrison,Long Distance II

    Jon Silkin,Death of a Son

    Siegfried Sassoon,Base Details

    Wilfred Own,The Send-off

    W.H. Auden,Stop all the clocks (IX from Twelve Songs)                             

    ‘For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen’

    R.S. Thomas,The Bright Field

    Sheenagh Pugh,Sometimes

    Sir John Betjeman,Christmas

    Philip Larkin,Church Going

    Carol Ann Duffy,Prayer

    W.B. Yeats,Sailing to Byzantium

    Ted Hughes,The Thought-Fox

    Benjamin Zephaniah,Dis Poetry

    Seamus Heaney,Digging

    T.S. Eliot,Little Gidding (I)

    G.K. Chesterton,The Rolling English Road

    Laurie Lee,Christmas Landscape

    Stephen Spender,I think continually of those who were truly great                             

                                               ‘Time held me green and dying’

    Dylan Thomas,Fern Hill

    Seamus Heaney,Blackberry-Picking

    Thomas Hardy,‘If It’s Ever Spring Again’

    Dylan Thomas,The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

    Gavin Ewart,A 14-Year-Old Convalescent Cat in the Winter

    Dylan Thomas,Poem in October

    A.E. Housman,Into My Heart An Air That Kills 

                                                ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

                                                Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world’

    Edwin Muir,The Horses

    Roger McGough,At Lunchtime

    Walter de la Mare,The Listeners

    Adrian Mitchell,Fifteen Million Plastic Bags

    T.S. Eliot,The Waste Land (II. A Game of Chess)

    W.B. Yeats,The Second Coming

    (The list is taken from the table of contents ofThe Nation’s Favorite Twentieth Century Poems, edited by Griff Rhys Jones, BBC Books, 1999, reprinted seven times by 2003. There are 99 poems in all.)

  • 《2016 Kia Dental Mission in Peru__Final》__ Vincent Lee (65)

    This is somewhat of a delayed mailing as my staff and I enjoyed the great hospitality offered us by my long-time patients who had immigrated to Panama.  There were lots to see and learn about the history, people and the Canal itself.
     
    First, we want to thank our team leader Rodger Jackson (and his right-hand lady Joanne) for their excellent leadership and organizational skills, efforts, work put into planning this very successful dental mission and tour of the highlands of Peru.  I am sure I can (somewhat presumptuously if I may) speak for our entire Sacred Valley Brigade of 2016 KIA Dental Mission in expressing our most sincere and deep appreciation to our "Principal".
     
    What I loved and admired most was his tremendous tact and patience, as on more than one occasion, he would say: "...... If I were your Principal, I would...; but I'm not your Principal...", then we immediately got the drift, and we behaved! 
     
    He did not send me to detention on occasions that I got a little lost (It happened once in a while at my age) and he had to dispatch one of the angels to retrieve me from the rock jungle.
     
    Next we must thank is of course Linda, our host lady - whether she likes to consider herself in that role or not; she was our fairy Godmother, and our most gracious host.  She has done so much for us and for the local Peruvians over the years, which is simply amazing and admirable.  Her constant smile on her face; we should learn to imitate.
     
    I should write to her to show our appreciation and to George, our handy helper and interpreter, and to the staff at The Sacred Dream Lodge.
     
    Finally, we have each other to thank for this very memorable mission and tour.  The memories and friendship will stay with us, young and old alike, for life.  I hope we will meet again in another KIA or other volunteering mission trips, dental meetings etc. 
     
    One note on the side: Production, money.....etc. is of no great concern in our work at Sacred Valley.  However, just for the sake of information, and for some an additional sense of satisfaction, using the Alberta dental fee "guide", my very rough guesstimate for the amount of work accomplished would be worth in the neighbourhood of C$210,000.  In any event, the final number is of far less importance than our experience and satisfaction of helping those in dire need of urgent help that the abscesses, suppurations, swellings, pain and suffering were relieved, especially for the lovely children.
     
  • 《2016 Kia Dental Mission in Peru_I & II》__ Vincent Lee (65)

                                                                                       
     
    I
    After a gruelling flight Edmonton-Toronto-Lima-Cusco with >12-hour layover total in between flights, our group of 20 dental volunteers finally arrived Cusco in the early afternoon of March 19. A bus ride of about 2-hour through the most incredibly beautiful but steep and curvy mountainous countryside road took us to our lodging place called "The Sacred Dream Lodge" run by a family of Spanish descent from San Francisco, at a town in the Sacred Valley called Urebamba, an absolute out of this world place hidden in the midst of very high mountains, with lush green trees and flowers.
     
    To allow us time to acclimatize to the high altitude >10,000-ft, we are taking things easy today and tomorrow. After supper at 7:30, the young crowd went to town to roam around, accompanied by a few hotel staff. Tomorrow we go to the school to set up our work site. The school principal and superintendent had phoned our team leader a few times lining up helpers and interpreters for us, to help us unload the boxes of supplies we brought over from Canada (drugs, anaesthetics, instruments and portable dental units...). It will be a busy morning, but no heavy physical exertion.
     
    I feel fine, no light headedness, no headache, heart rate slightly on the high side, but no shortness of breath. A few people have mild symptoms.
    The school principal told us there will be lots and lots of school children coming from all over the surrounding villages, registered to be seen by us, so we will be busy, as none of these kids had regular dental care due to the remoteness of this region of Peru.
     
    We have 5 dentists, 2 dental hygienists (1 from my clinic), 2 University of Alberta 3rd-year students I am teaching in pedodontics clinics, who will be following me, each for at least one full day, to get their very first serious exposure to surgery without the benefit of dental X-rays and a drill. Normally at school, they do not start independent hands-on oral surgery till their 4th dental year. After this mission, when they get to their 4th-year surgery rotation, it will be a piece of cake, while their classmates will struggle with where or how to make their first cut to release the gum, or how to loosen up the tooth to be extracted..., so I was told repeatedly by previous students who had gone to these mission trips in their 3rd-year. It is excellent learning experience, on top of learning to do humanitarian work for those far less fortunate than us. Remaining team members are mostly dental assistants including my own. Our team leader is not a dentist. He is a retired school principal and speaks Spanish, leading our team with his wife as administrator. I am helping him with some dental part of his administrative work. He is experienced and had been to many KIA missions.
     
    I should stop now and get some good rest. Tomorrow don't need to be up too early. Breakfast at 8:30, nice!
     
    *********************** 
    II
     
    Glad to report that health wise, I suffer no ill effects whatsoever after being here for 4 full days, other than tiring a little easier on long walks uphill.  I noticed that on Sunday, March 20, when the group visited one of the ruins in the mountains.  I simply dropped behind with the other older members of the team to enjoy the scenery; PO2 (oxygen saturation) was >92%, pulse rate also ~92, slightly up, but no shortness of breath or headache.
     
    By today, I think most of us are well adapted to the thinner oxygenated air.
     
    Our lodging is located near Urebamba, a gem of a place hidden inside a steep valley with high rocky mountains on all four sides.  The name of our work site is an elementary school called "La Merced pall cara qui".  Instead of going every day to different villages and schools, we are stationed in this school for the entire mission, saving us a lot of time carrying all the equipment and supplies, to set up and dismantle at different sites every day like in previous missions in Cambodia and Guatemala.
     
    Our lodging is called "The Sacred Dream Lodge", a beautiful place.
     
    The owner provides us with very good food.  The clean water is from the glacier, lots of it, like parts of Yunnan, with wild and farmed trout in the streams.
     
    We have 2 portable dental operating units (tie up 2 dentists and assistants) for fillings. One dentist and a dental assistant (DA) do triage to decide what needs to be done on a particular patient. Myself and one other dentist will do surgery for un-savable teeth, infections and abscesses - lots of them!  I am also teaching and supervising my 2 U of A 3rd-year dental students, who had no hands-on surgical experience whatsoever at school up to this point of their training. (They start their surgical clinic with life patients in their 4th-year, September 2016).  The surgical room ties up 3 DAs, the 2 dental hygienists work on their own (1 from my own office), sharing the same classroom where oral surgery is done (where I work).  A lot of kids get their fillings done next door, and then get ushered to our room to see the hygienists.  This keeps the two ladies very busy.
     
    The rest of the team look after instrument supplies, washing, cleaning, sterilization, redistribution to the operating classrooms, and helping the kids in and out of treatment rooms.   Meanwhile, classes go on as normal.  Students not being seen are not allowed to peek in through the windows, a rule very strictly enforced by the principal.
     
    No formal lunch-break time, between 1 and 2:30. Whenever you can take a break, you go to the designated lunch room and take a nicely prepared lunch, often with exotic local fruits.  Today we had cactus (fruit?), sweet and tasty!
     
    Work was very BUSY!  Yesterday was mostly kids from the school.  Today we had kids from other schools and many of their parents.  Tomorrow on, we will see patients from town and from surrounding villages.  It is easy to work up a sweat under the high altitude sun, not terribly hot like Central America, but still hot towards closing time.
     
    Ready for bed for another busy day ahead, we had been warned.
     
    *********************************
  • 《2016 Spring Dinner》__ Fred Yip (71)

     The WYKAAO Spring Banquet was held on Saturday, April 9 at a restaurant in Richmond Hill, Ontario, attended by sixty people, including our former vice-principal, Mr. Anthony Ho and several alumni from other schools.

     Jeff Mah, our President, started the opening remarks by giving a quick run-down on past activities since the Annual General Meeting last October and the future events in the next several months. Recent past happenings included a Memorial Mass for Father Anthony Farren, S.J., a Joint-School Valentine Ball, the Table Tennis Team Tournaments and the Wino Gatherings. Upcoming events comprize a Summer Outing (location to be decided), the Student Ambassador Programme (Toronto Host), Joint-School Golf and Fun Day, Terry Fox Charity Run, and a free, private viewing of a new Hong Kong movie on June 26 (She Remembers/He Forgets:哪一天我們會飛 ), which was shot on location at our Waterloo Road campus. For those who would like to watch the movie, early booking is advisable as seating is limited and would be done on a first-come, first-served basis.

     At the dinner break, John Fung introduced his fellow classmate as the mystery guest speaker of the night. He was Dr. Bonbon Hu (65), a Vancouver dentist who has recently retired. Other than a dentist, Dr. Hu is also a Taekwondo black-belt holder, long-time practitioner In Tai Chi and Qigong, a whiskey connoisseur and a motor-bike aficionado all rolled into one. Dr. Hu has ridden his beloved BMW motorcycle across Asia, Europe and North America. This time Dr. Hu would like to share his experience with Qigong and try to demystify it in a few words.  As one of his mentors told him before, Qigong was like acupuncture without the needle. By drawing energy from nature and the air around us, one could internalize and retain it within the body. At an advanced level, one could even direct and amass energy to any part of the body.  That, of course, as reminded by Dr. Hu, required proper guidance and lots of practice. At the end, Dr. Hu did a simple demonstration with the audience.

    After that, there was a quiz on some poems from Tang Dynasty that we learned at school. Prizes were awarded to those who could provide the right answers. As usual, a lot more door prizes were drawn for the lucky guests before the happy evening came to an end.

  • 《2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas》__ Ricardo di California (65)

    2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

    Our friend Henry Zee (now residing in Las Vegas who just attended the Consumer Electronics Show) is excited that 2017 will be the Year of Technology. It may well be true that technology will shape the narrative of not only 2017 but many more years to come. But instead of sharing his excitement, I am fearful. Having lived and worked in the Silicon Valley virtually all my adult life, I have turned from being a cheerleader to a critic (or at least a skeptic) of technology.

    Take for example the Amazon Echo, analways-on digital assistant that on surface only begins responding to voice commands when it hears the wake word, "Alexa." My understanding is, since the device is constantly listening for the wake word, it records and sends ALL data back to the Amazon cloud server. This is Amazon digitally spying on you! (Worse, under pressure, Amazon will turn over all that data to any requesting Intelligence agency.)

    The Amazon Echo is only one of the ever-growing numbers of smart devices that constantly listens and record data about your every movement, habit, conversation and who knows what else. Any exception to your pattern being monitored will result in those who spy on you tojudge andinterfere,without verification against misinterpretation. Remember the last time your credit card was blocked when you try to purchase a big ticket item like a major appliance (because it doesn't fit your daily pattern)? Things will get much worse.

    But it isn't just the “tech overlords” like Amazons and Microsofts, or Big Brother; criminals obviously are also interested in such a gold mine of information on your habits and movements, with motives from the mundane (burglary, blackmailing) to the insidious (use your hacked "smart" appliances for Distributed Denial of Service attacks, spamming, and other malicious purposes:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3126362/security/iot-malware-behind-record-ddos-attack-is-now-available-to-all-hackers.html)

    Automation of the factories (by “dumb” robotics) was barely news when it was, whose social consequences (the bottom half of the middle class was permanently decimated) were/are hardly discussed. Michigan (and other regions like the Appalachian) are still in depression conditions today but do we get a lot of coverage on that by mainstream media? Of course not. Automation of the white collar workforce is just beginning (via “smarter” AI), and will render a much larger portion of the global populace financially destitute. The top half of the middle class will be permanently decimated, once again quietly. In the end, there will only be the 1% left with all the wealth transferred to them. 99% will be turned into (my previously mentioned) “Precariats” and “Daddy Government's beggars” living on food stamps.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/05/japanese-company-replaces-office-workers-artificial-intelligence-ai-fukoku-mutual-life-insurance

    And what about those life-like sex robots with near-perfect semblance of human faces, bodies, and intelligence? Why would humans bother with all the troubles in developing and maintaining human relationships?

    Finally, the scariest technology of them all: CRISPR Genetic Engineering. Yes, cure for HIV and cancer is something to rejoice over.  But when humans can be “manufactured” at will, we have entered the age of Frankensteins (the evil among them surely have other objectives than "cure for cancer" in mind).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAhjPd4uNFY

    The Ruling Elite have already stated on more than one occasion their desire to depopulate an over-populated world. We just don't know when or how. Are we really indispensable?  Will 2017 be a year of Technology Renaissance which brings us renewed economic vigor and EVEN HIGHER asset prices?  Or will it, on the heel of political divide and social unrest in 2016, bring us one step closer to Orwellian existence (and eventual non-existence)?

  • 《A Career in the Mining Industry》__ Michael Sung

    《A Career in the Mining Industry》

    [About the Author

    MICHAEL SUNG was born in China, educated in Hong Kong and emigrated to Canada in 1966, a year after graduation from Hong Kong Technical College, Department of Building, Surveying and Structural Engineering (1962-65). He became a civil engineer in Canada and served the engineering/construction industry for 48 years before retiring from SNC-Lavalin Inc. Industrial Division as Senior Project Manager. His career covered civil engineering designs, heavy construction and project management on international industrial projects. His footprints covered North and South Americas, Greenland, West Africa, Middle-East, South-East Asia and China. Through his work, he had witnessed human lives in both rich and poor countries. These experiences galvanized his faith that God had a plan for him to do good work for human kind as part of his calling.]

    Many people have asked me the question: How did you end up in mining? My answer to them is: I fell in love with it.

    The image of mining actually started when I was a student at the Department of Building, Surveying and Structural Engineering, Hong Kong Technical College. One of the class lecturers told us that there used to be an old tungsten (wolframite) mine located in the New Territories, operated by the Japanese. I kept that in the back of my mind and focused on working towards the Structural Engineering stream.

    In 1964, the signing of the Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada, to build hydro-electric dams and flood control facilities in the Columbia River Basin, resulted in a shortage of engineers in the Province of British Columbia. Canada invited applicants from Hong Kong to come to Canada with the promise of Canadian citizenship and professional registration. I was lucky enough to be chosen and landed in Vancouver in April 1966. Within 10 days, I got a job with a local Engineering Consultant as a junior Civil Engineering Designer. My first encounter with mining was in the spring of 1967, when I was assigned to work as a field engineer on the construction of the concentrator at the Granduc Copper Mine in Stewart, BC. As I flew up the Nass Valley, I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape I saw. It was so different from working in an urban office. While working on site, curiosity caught my attention as to how the minerals were discovered, mined and processed into concentrates for shipping to market. I recorded what I had learned for my future reference, especially on the construction of the infrastructures.

    My second encounter with mining was a few years later, when I switched from engineering to construction (with the intention to learn to improve my engineering skills from the constructability aspects). I went to work for a major Industrial General Contractor that specialized in heavy construction works. During that period, I worked on the expansion of the asbestos mine in Cassiar, BC, a green-field silver mine near Houston, BC, re-opened the molybdenum mine in Kitsault, BC, and managed a few shutdowns in between.

    In 1988, when the Provincial Government changed the rules of engagement in the construction industry and forced me to shut down my own construction company in Vancouver under Bill 19, I was badly hurt both in pride and spirit of entrepreneurship. I decided to return to the practicing of engineering. I reached out to an old friend, a Senior Vice President with the leading Canadian Engineering Construction Company operating on an international basis. He loved to have me on board with my qualifications and experiences, and appointed me as a Senior Project Manager in Mining and Metallurgy within their Industrial Division. My first project was to manage a green-field gold mine development in Elko, Nevada, followed by upgrading an existing gold mine in Eureka, Nevada, USA. From then on, I travelled from country to country where the projects were located. My footprintscovered landscapes from the old ice-field in Greenland to the hot Arabian Desert; from the Arctic Circle in Nunavut to the equatorial mountains in West Africa; from the highland in Peru to the swampy lowland in Indonesia, and several other countries in between. I worked on surface mines as well as underground mines 5,000 feet deep below the surface of the earth. Each project taught me different skill sets that helped me with my career growth. The projects were never easy and the risks were very high. Besides the normal risks that existed in every project, I had to learn to tackle “unique risks” such as: political, financial, cultural, language, natural, human resources, logistics, etc. etc., which were common, and yet different, in all international projects. Life was hard and difficult, but the rewards for the accomplishments were most satisfying. I saw some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes on earth. I came face to face with some exotic wildlife I had never known, because we infringed their natural habitats. For 25 years, I learned to lead in inter-cultural environments that required patience and understanding, and to project strong visions to make the team believe in me and followme, as we journeyed on in a single team, to meet the challenges and to achieve project objectives. I fell in love with my work and would not have it any other way in my career path.

    I firmly believe that a career in mining is worthy of the efforts. As I look back, mining projects were always the most complex by their nature. Their scopes were huge, their locations were always remote and the weather was always harsh. They involved teams in scores of multi-professional disciplines and specialists to come together to make them work. Strong planning skills by lead engineers and managers were definitely required to make the project a success, simply because the challenges never ended until the project was commissioned and met all the Business Objectives set forth by the Developer.

    Canada is a resource-rich country. Mining companies here manage more than 60% of the world’s mining operations. Opportunities are, therefore, limitless and open to willing hands.

    I hope my little story will encourage young engineers and students to choose mining as an area in which to grow their career. Mining is not a dirty business as some would have usperceive. We do include stringent environmental protections in all projects, both in design and in execution. Working on mining projects allows you to be directly in touch with Mother Nature and to experience a wealth of knowledge that no desktop design will ever teach you. The challenges to engineering skills are always there and the successful achievements of project objectives are something to be proud of.

    I credit my beloved mother school for teaching me solid basic engineering/construction skills and logical thinking, thusallowing me to fulfill my calling through further studies with a lifelong learning goal and positive attitude towards choosing a career path.

    I wish to thank POLYUWCA for accepting me as a member and offer me a place in the family. On this special anniversary issue, I would like to take the opportunity to say to all Board Members and volunteers, who worked tirelessly organizing activities and events for us to enjoy in the past 20 years:Thank you and congratulations for a job well done!

    (This article was first published inThe Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Western Canada) Association, A Commemorative Publication, compiled by an editorial group of the association to mark the 20th anniversary of the Association (1996-2016). Slightly edited, it is reprinted here with the author’s permission. “About the Author” was written by the writer himself. – F.Y. Yu (‘61))

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