Reader, we didn’t go to Canterbury. We went to Brighton
instead. There, we saw the ocean. The beach reminded us of some nicer Hong Kong beaches, where we went on occasion.
The seagulls flew freely. The lovely chubby kids fell on the pebbles, and stood up again, chasing colourful soap bubbles.
It was great to have the sun on our faces. When I was living in Hong Kong, I hated the sun, especially in Summer. I was called by some friends ‘the least sun-loving person’ they have ever known. In Winter, I am more accommodating to outdoor activities.
Is the sun different here? Yes and no. We know we have the same sun (unless some of you are living in science fiction) but of course because we are further North, the sun is weaker. There is a Chinese saying: ‘The moon in my hometown is the brightest’ (‘家鄉的月光特別明亮’). But I am unaware of a similar comment on the sun. If you were to invent one, what would it be?
[The title of this post is something the partner said. We went to Salisbury and Oxford previously and this time he wanted to go to a city that has a different atmosphere.]
This post was originally written on February 28, 2009.
20 Responses “’I want to see the ocean.’” →
This post was originally written on 15th February, 2009.
My favourite scarf is long, long enough to be an afternoon blanket for two babies, and the remaining length draping all over the floor.
I only wear it when I care whom I am spending time with. Of course also when it is suitably cold.
I bought it in a second-hand shop in Oxford when I was studying there in the Summer of 2000. Yesterday I brought it back to its foster home for a short visit. It saw a few of its less attractive friends still hanging around, looking available.
J and I were walking lexisurely (and aimlessly) around Oxford, stopping every now and then for a coffee or a drink. He had hoped that I would show him the classrooms I studied in; and the places, shops and pubs I went to as a teenager. The best I could do was to keep saying, ‘hmmm this looks really familiar!’ and ‘hey I think I was here before!’
But it was with certainty when I saw this shop (pictured below) that I knew it was the shop. The partner urged me to take a picture this time, so I will always remember. We opened the door and the smell was distinctively Summer 2000.
|Have you been?
Many things are unchanged: the postcard racks are still pushed to the same wall, the candy and chocolate bar close to the door, the second-hand fancy costumes taking up most of the space at the back of the shop. Big and small earrings, rings and bracelets covering the table.
Touching these small things, I felt that I was back to Oxford again, after all these years.
Updated on Wednesday 15 April 2009 at 11:40am: The extremely awesome Mike told me that the students’ hall we stayed in was called Warnock House – I’ll remember when I go to Oxford again and visit there!
A CONVERSATION HEARD in October 2007.
YANG: He said something about lusting after.
BURDETTE: Lusting over. Lusting after is more the nostalgia of bad sex. Nostalgia for bad sex.
YANG: Do you think he knew? That I would hear? That it was impossible I would not hear?
BURDETTE: A vicious old man. But younger than me.
YANG: I cried. But perhaps I cried to demonstrate I am not shameless.
BURDETTE: A man who deliberately hurts a woman is not a man.
YANG: Somebody who deliberately hurts a woman could be a definition.
BURDETTE: My friend, I would not be judged by my desires.
YANG: He judged me by his own desires.
BURDETTE: And condemned you.
YANG: For his desire? Or for the failure of his desire?
BURDETTE: He condemned you so you became worthy, worthless, enough for him.
YANG: He is not a metaphysician.
BURDETTE: And you are not made of stone.
This post was originally written on 23-06-2007 (Sat)
這些是從我家窗外拍得的窗照．還記得最初搬進這位於上環荷李活道的小房子時,感覺自己像進駐了驚嚇大師希治閣的電影 Rear Window
《後窗》的片場．但這裡亦同時點綴著一點點東歐的情懷, 因為這些窗讓我記起在波蘭克拉 科夫的短暫住處．我能清楚看到對面各家的一動一靜,卻怕自己的舉動也給全然窺探．日子久了才發覺對家的四口子早己習慣這種坦然的生活方式,只是有時會不覺意的看到我在把弄電視機的開關按鈕或是在書櫃中拿出一本本陳舊的詩集．
最近窗戶對面的其中一間房子搬進了一男一女, 他們可真讓我感到不自在. 男的總愛赤膊的站在窗前假裝整理著曬在窗旁的衣服． 我可不是特意在找不對勁的事宜,只是好幾次我的男朋友看到他時,他便猛然的把頭縮下, 露出烏黑的髮頂．女的也是動不動便把頭探出窗外東張西望, 似乎在密謀些甚麼要緊事．
我住的大厦有五層, 每層有兩個住戶． 我的neighbour是一個法國男人,有個我不能發音的名字．住在一二樓的全是老人家及他們的草根家人,夏天的時候走過他們的樓層都會聞到一陣異味．老人是這樣子的了．或許他們夏天都不會使用冷氣機,只會任由汗在流, 說他們環保也可以．其中一家的婆婆常會帶孫兒在街上吃白飯．她捧著白飯的雙手滿是深深的歲月印記．我老是跟自己說要把這情境寫進詩裡．
八月當我不在香港的時候, ‘包租婆’ 會給我的天台來個大翻新．這種唐樓真的需要不時維修! 聽傳聞說這一區域可能會給政府收買重建．千萬不要! 難道香港這小城市就容不下一點點的舊港風貌麼？