Thursday, November 12, 2009


I always wonder why there is this assumption of making cakes for men/boyfriend = sweet. I wonder if men even like cakes that much at all? Or is it cuz modern girls realize that cooking a (good) proper meal is too difficult, and therefore started making cakes to disguise herself as a great potential housewife?

There are always girl-friends who invite me to cafes to have a piece of cake or worse, suggest "Let's bake together!"
It's not that I dislike cakes or baking, but frankly speaking, since Aries closed down, there aren't any cakes in Hong Kong that I like anymore. (Apart from Sweet Secrets and their ability to make very pretty and special cakes) And if you have ever made your own cakes, you know how much sugar, butter and cheese is required to make that tiny piece of cake, in that light, I think we shouldn't have cakes unless they are extremely amazing, since HK no longer have any amazing cakes, therefore my usual excuse these days = I don't eat cakes anymore.

HOWEVER! Last weekend, I have this urge to "create" a cake. On our walk last week, we saw a magpie, quite a common bird in Hong Kong and other places as well. They have a very distinct IRON BLUE coloured feather, and look extremely beautiful. I also love the name magpie.
Mag-pie magpie, sounds very much like a pie.
Then I have this idea of making a tiny cake/pie, palm size, similar to a marble cheesecake, but in the colour of blue and white, just like a magpie. Then I will name the pie - Magpie!

Today is my mom's birthday : ) I remember the days when we were in Canada, she prepares great birthday party for me..
Now I know who would like cakes! I will probably make one for my kids in the future, on their birthday. Perfect!

Let me know next time u spot a magpie ;)

Friday, June 26, 2009



想起La riviere a l'envers . hannah中的情節

Thursday, June 25, 2009

At Last

This morning, two Santa Fe trucks parked downstairs, moving many boxes of toys and red wine away, each box was labelled with "Sea Shipment - Hong Kong/Germany" The lift stopped at 22/F for a long time, I was really excited wondering if it's the family above us moving away, we were so eager to know - we asked the moving company ppl whether it's 22A moving, unfortunately, they said it's 22B.

The flat above us has taught me it's important to buy a flat below the "refuge floor" so you won't get bombarded by noise 24/7. With two very young kids in their flat, there's constant knocking, tapping and jumping sound from the ceiling starting from 5 am everyday! I was so devastated during the time when i had to write theory essay at home - once I went up to complain at 6:30 am, their flat was filled with coffee fragrant and sausages/cereals everywhere, plus huge antiques/statues...... they claimed that "IT'S NOT US" - so it's some ghost or something?

When I was a kid, the flat below complained about me as well - cuz I always jump from the sofa to pretend I was diving.

Both me and mom were really disappointed that it's 22B, but it's German, and it's 22/F, so I insisted going back into the lift to see if it's really 22B! Luckily we went back to see!!! It's acutally 22A, the flat above us moving!!!! ohohohohohohoh

Welcome tranquility!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Storytelling in Laos and other Asian Countries

Suddenly thought of the chants in the orphanage in Laos. 2006 Spring, I wonder if anyone's got those videos.
Most of the time, I miss the children from Lipa more, but I have a sudden urge of revisitng Laos, it would be better if there is a translator, back then, each of us were sent into one family for dinner every night, just one of us, with nine kids who don't speak English (and a "mum").
Body language naturally became the main means of communication, but drawings were also very useful when interacting with young kids.

I am curious in their folktales, their story-telling culture, in a place that is so isolated culturally - with no tall glass blocks, air con or McDonald's, they must have some interesting stories - related to spirits, animals or the nature. Picture story books are many young children's first encounter with books, most of the time, they don't understand the words, they learn the story through their parents' voice and intepreting the pictures. I guess, the first book LEDC children get in contact with might be textbooks, luckily they have those stories that were passed on verbally, or chants, from thousand of years ago.
I wonder why I don't remember everything clearly, the details - I remember their rice, sticky rice in bamboo, where we had to use our hands to roll them into a ball; the really interesting latasoy, the kids picking sour fruits from the tree... oh... distant memories...
I miss the peaceful chant, such interesting moments, when all children take off their shoes, kneel on the icy marble floor and chant together... pure innocent voices...

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Continuing my moleskin collection, from the time in Beijing. 

Moleskin sketchbook 3.5 x 5.5 inch

Boarding Life

(Message to a friend)
P.S. I was randomly talking with Holing about my boarding life back in SSC, it's so weird, it really feels so long ago, especially back when i was in martin (i.e. u in east wing) 
The life when prep time still exists, when sometimes the air con was not cold at all, and when there were prefects that stop us from talking, when we had to rush to the dining hall for dinner, and being punished to stand outside for being late even I was a prefect.

And my memories of boarding was always attached to my memories of Muso. I had little memories of pre-muso life! Form one, I think we sometimes went lie on the sand pit of big field (with Joey) and watch sunset, we also played hide and seek during exam times.
it's so mysterious......
I remember we used to hate going back to school on Sundays, and we would go out for McDonald's at Stanley seaside with Betty before dinner time. hahaha, and asked "Eggplant" to bring us mocha from Delifrance!
When we still sleep on those bunk beds in Martin Hostel, people would hang half of their uniform (with half as their pajamas) on the door of the wardrobe, so that they can get dressed up quickly before the warden-on-duty comes and inspect at 7:30a.m.
It's just so surreal, that we used to live in rooms with six people, but in reality, the corridors were very open, not very much a room. I remember that when we were in form one, they always say that room 15 has ghosts! hahaha.
Before Christmas time, we went around the campus singing carols at teachers' home, it was really fun!
I miss times of typhoon, one year, it was so windy that Mrs. yeung couldn't get off her car outside West Wing. There were so many more regulations in the girls dorm than the guys dorm, and I always feel worried during room check! We will be brought to our rooms with a prefect, which they will check all your stuff thoroughly - make sure you didn't bring things like phone or unapproved books or many more...
It's all very surreal...... The so-called good OLD days, but it's not THAT long ago is it? Why does it feels soooo long?

Friday, May 1, 2009


I miss my flatmate from Edinburgh last semester.

Even though we are very different in terms of personality, and I always complain her for being too hardworking and stuff, but in terms of sharing a flat, it's great. Perhaps it's because we have both been boarding since form one, and in fact, we have both been head prefects during our secondary school times.

We were very clear about our expectations before sharing a flat - we both desire privacy, dislike the typical girly-girly flats, (when one cries, the other would comfort kind of thing), no talking of "oh let's go somewhere together this weekend...." ( I LOATHE planning ahead) No annoying socialization.......

Things just happen very naturally, everything seems nice and simple, even like throwing rubbish together, carrying heavy tesco bags, cooking Indo Mie, spontaneously eating out all the time... 

I also dislike 8 gua flatmates, who would sit in my room and inspect all the new stuff I've bought, or look at my lovely books strangely. Everyone sense the difference between my room and vb's room, when she's stressing on her two computers, with cardboard all over the room, I would be illustrating my storybook, even though she's stressed, she would still spend time looking at my stuff, and give comments, probably cuz she love art? 

Oh, and as much as we loved to complain about the workload of our course, we both spent a lot of time watching "The Gem of Life", a TVB drama,  everytime we talked we would confess guiltily the number of episodes we just watched in the past afternoon! I very enjoy having dinner with her as well, but most of the time either one of us is done eating when the other just done cooking, so we never managed to eat together. We always talked about buying bailey's too, and she always say that I am an "alcohol-ghost" 

We are very very different, even though we are great flatmates, but it doesn't necessarily make us very close friends, not that we're not, but our lives seems to only intersect when we are in Edinburgh, whenever away, we don't chat much at all. 

I must still conclude that we are very different and have very different attitudes toward work and life in general, but it was fun sharing a flat with her. (And we also spend a lot of time missing Hong Kong and Japan; exploring when Edinburgh will collapse due to mice invasion; think when to have breakfast together and admiring our pretty flat) 

AND I think eventually I would enjoy living alone the most - you know how much I enjoy the art of being alone - dining alone, being in cafe alone, travelling alone............... even though some of my friends thought it's weird to dine alone ....... there's not much to argue here, probably just a personality thing!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Living. Fairytale

我喜歡輕井駅和自由x丘,夕陽的陽光下,在寧靜的街道上行走。還意外地遇到一間Studio Ghibli 店和Wachifield 店。


Wednesday, April 29, 2009




Monday, April 27, 2009


"A guy friend of mine has been in a stable relationship for a few years, but there's another girl who really liked him. People all adviced her not to do anything when he already has a stable girlfriend. But she thought if he loves her so much, than he won't be shook but her seduction. So later on, the guy did started getting really close with this girl, he decided to maintain both relationships.
A few days earlier, he posted a very long article on the internal-web of their uni (equivalent to facebook) - apologizing for what he did wrong. What made him changed all of a sudden - on her original girlfriend's fourth abortion, she realized that she couldn't get pregnant anymore. He felt sorry, and promised to marry her once they graduate"

Relationship-wise, I wonder if we are fossils.
Last night, I had another great cultural lesson on modern Chinese relationships. Many of those people involved in the stories are not fictional, not internet stories, not MK kids, but real friends of my friend, in one of the top universities in China.

"Another girl from a reowned school from Hong Kong, now studying University here, really liked a homosexual guy, she liked him so much that she made him drunk deliberately so he would have sex with her, and hoping that it could turn in a relationship. But the guy was too drunk and didn't know what happened the night before, so nothing happened following the event. Knowing that she couldn't win his heart, she thought having him physically is good enough."

Match-making is very common among my friends and C's friends here in the universities. It's alright to ditch a friend if a potential guy dates you for dinner, and it might happen like monthly or weekly.

There are internal websites, where people post their own pictures, searching for girl/boyfriends. One of C's pretty friend posted her pic, and got more than 1000 replies, INCLUDING a young professor. But that girl just got accepted by Harvard grad school, the professor suggested that he could apply to be a visiting lecturer there.

When Deborah was here, she pointed out how people are so CRAZY about getting married here in China, but it's not only in China, also in Hong Kong, people have very elaborate celebration for their weddings. Here, the biggest shops in shopping malls are those like "I DO"

PDA (Public Demonstration of Affection) is also serious, The other day i was on a bus- on the second floor, there were three couples, among them, two pairs were hugging very tightly, with the girl lying on the guys' legs throughout the bus ride, the remaining pair had the girl sitting on the guy's lap even there were SO MANY empty seats.....

According to both Miranda and my observation in our architecture firms in Shanghai and Beijing, almost all guys are married, and all young pretty girls ranging from e.g. 20 - 40 are single! How amazing. The girl next to me, looks like... 26? but she's actually 32, she's very eager to get a boyfriend, mostly cuz it's a norm, she's dating randomly, doesn't really like her boyfriend. But she felt scared cuz everyone in her University class are married - some even divorced already! hark.

Yes naturally, people all around the world seems to do things like this, we might be surprised because they are Chinese, I wonder... how are Chinese perceived, and how are they actually like?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Living in Art

Today I have found a close-to-perfect cafe, under nice sunlight, and stayed for a whole afternoon on the second floor on comfy chairs. With my drawing board, listening to stuff on laptop, soft pencils.. Cecilia even came visit me in the afternoon ! :)
Went to 北京美術用品街 yesterday, I love being surrounded by art tools and also books, I remember I really loved the smell of the art equipments room when I was back in St. Stephen's. Miss my seaside studio, creating art is such a therapeutic activity. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hatsune 隱泉

I am starving, but I guess I deserve it, I have less than RMB500 now, and had spent a few hundred on lunch today
Finally get around to trying some high-end jap food on the East side of Beijing today! Hatsune was repeatedly elected as the best Japanese food in town.
I must say that it's too good, the atmosphere is great, no door signs - look as if it's not opened yet from outside, after the stone door, it's an electrical water door, beyond are comfy sofas, abundant natural daylight, and fish installation in the double ceiling height space. 
I ordered a Hotate sushi and another dish withs hotate in, but later on the waitress said that the hotate is not fresh today, I told her that i really want it, but she said it's 真的不行.
So I had to change them to something else! Wishing for a surprise, and surprise surprise, it's really a surprise!!!!
ohohohohohohhohohohohohoh IT'S too good...................................

In search of a perfect cafe

You know how much time we spend in cafes. And of course in some periods of time in Edinburgh "when you can't find me in my room, I must be in a cafe"
But a good cafe is so difficult to find.
Ideally it should be above the street level, so you don't get people and cars roaming in front of you, and also allows more natural sunlight in.
Pacific Coffee Stanley and Starbucks Happy Valley
If not, it should be isolated from the street
E.g. Pacific Coffee Repulse Bay
They should also have a lot of comfy seats and is spacious. Mysteriously there are some that doesn't fit all the above criteria, but still won my heart,
Sift in Graham Street - probably because of it's unique atmosphere, the so squished steep street filled with old building and of course it's amazing food.
It should also be quiet enough, of course, it's often difficult to get that, so one should always visit a cafe early in the morning, and avoid the time when school kids get off school (if it's near a school)
There are also some other with nice memory like
Starbucks in Hysan Road, the old Starbucks of LKF...

In Beijing, I still haven't found one cafe that I always want to revisit.
Sculpting in Time in Fragrant Hills is quite close, as it has good food, friendly waitress who know me already, free wireless, sunlight, and open view, and cats, but the sofa is not very comfortable, and as noon approaches, it gets crowded and you see disturbing scenes of people forcing cats to be near them!
The cafes I have tried in
798 either has good food but boring view, or no view and bad food.Nanluoguxiang's cafes are nice, especially if you watch from outside, but they have no sofa, and there will always be people admiring you (actually the cafe windows) in an arms length.Sanlitun is good for lunch and dinner, so those are not really cafes.The bookworm cafe is pretty but doesn't have nice seats.
Another problem is that they are all in a bit of a distance. Beijing is too big.

Of course there are also those cafes in shopping malls, which has no windows, those are not going to be considered.
et cetera....

I will continue to search for good cafes, some that I want to visit:
Cave Cafe 洞房咖啡 - 798 looks really nice, wanna go!! But far
Pacific Coffee - There are pacific coffees in Beijing, but no photos, i dun wanna travel half the city and be disappointed
Sugar Bar looks pretty but chairs dun look good
90% of the cafes in Beijing has wireless, but don't have good chairs, and no view, or are in crowded places, or have limited view because Hutongs have narrow roads. (ohhhh.....) But I still love Beijing, especially when I eventually find my favourite cafe here.

(Cafes I have visited so far in Beijing:
Nanluoguxiang: Guoke, NGLX, Sandglass
798: Art Cafe, The High Place, THe living experience place
Zhongguancun area: Starbucks, JC Cafe, Mima, Sculpting in Time
Sanlitun: that french cafe, Elements.... dun remember)

Picture was taken in a cafe in Denmark

Friday, April 24, 2009


"Later that day, I got to thinking about relationships"
Famous Carrie Bradshaw line from SATC
Men and women are naturally so different, so incompatible. Men always make mistakes in women's eyes, without knowing, then the women complains, without pointing out exactly what it is so problematic in the men. The men comforts, the women felt loved, problems unresolved, women complains again, men gets annoyed, then all of a sudden, it's no longer the men's fault (which sourced the problem from the beginning) it all became her fault - of being demanding, difficult to satisfy, inconsiderate. Mistakes continues, complains continues, problems unresolved, hatred increases. Relationships are difficult to comprehend.

Friday, April 17, 2009


今天分享一些具恐怖的東西。北京四周都是眼樹,每天上班都要受十五分鐘看眼樹之苦。北方人自小看慣,不以為然,但所有香港朋友都覺得很freaky。眼睛是樹枝被砍後留下的疤痕,像平滑的樹皮上爆出一隻隻木無表情的3D 眼。

但香港有更恐怖的:行山時, 不知道還以為是一棵樹, 其實是滿佈了毛蟲, 請大家看看。(可能引起不安)


Thursday, April 16, 2009


今天媽媽告訴我,我們家中的鳥兒死了。雖然我不是常常看着他,但已很習慣他在家中,很喜歡跟他談話。他的聲音很大,在貝沙灣的巴士站等車也會聽到。他的一雙眼睛很純真,有摸彷不同人說話的能力,最喜歡聽鋼琴聲。我們養了他差不多有八年了,是妹妹的生日禮物,爸爸媽媽也很喜歡他,常聽到媽說有關改善家中鳥的生活的事情。其實他的生活已很不錯,有一個大得可以在裏面自由飛行的籠,四周環境尚算寧靜,每天有鮮果吃。Even though it feels great to say "he must be in a better place now" But I am not sure if I do believe in an afterlife, nevertheless, I'm sure he enjoyed this life.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009


战致平 15:03:27: 我要走了,下周一就不来了
袁明珊 15:03:38 為什麼呢﹖!!!
战致平 15:03:53 我有更想做的事
战致平 15:06:30呵呵,我5月不在BJ,不過五月末回來,所以你走之前還能看到豬狗MAC哈哈哈哈哈,我有個小本本給你

Beijing Roast Duck - Dadong

It's so good that I wanna go again!!! We tried making reservations three times before, and finally succeeded on Monday night.

Nestled in the Nanxincang complex, a thoughtfully restored Ming dynasty imperial granary, is not one of Beijing’s famous centuries old Peking Duck eateries, but it was made famous by serving one of the best ducks in town.

The skin of the duck is crispy and the meat is tasty, and each roast duck is served with an array of sauces, including sweet wheaten sauce, granulated sugar, crushed garlic, thin slivers of scallions, red turnips and cucumber.

Your molasses-coloured duck is presented at your table, carved table-side, and then several duck-filled pancakes are assembled for you until your waitress thinks you’ve got the knack yourself.

It proves that you don't have to be a "Lao zi hao" to do it great!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Present. History.

During lunch, they had intense discussion about 6.4. Again very extreme views, which is interesting. We kept saying that we shouldn't really discuss this in public, as the police could arrest us, but they were too into the discussions. Two of them were in primary 3 or 4 in 1989, they were told to go home after lunch at that time.
Only one of the girl said that she would stand on the army side. And they said 小戰,你腦袋有問題. 這不是中國人的本質,是你受了二十多年黨教育失去了自己的思想。And they also talked about their views on the Communist Party.
I always find their political/historical discussion really interesting and annoying. They are all quite cool people, with strong personality and beliefs.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Magic Potion

練仙神藥, 你要嗎﹖

Friday, April 3, 2009

Morning Memoir of Summerbridge

This morning, I "accidentally" re-read my posts during Summerbridge period, it's one of those places, like LPC - hard for outsiders to truly understand unless experienced. And a place that even upon re-reading the memories, makes your heartbeats and totally drew you into the sentiments.
It's one of those places where love is so close and real, and a place where you see miracles.
I love pondering on the importance of "letting-go", I felt like it's important for our generation, when we are always moving around, experiencing new things and meeting new people. But maybe I deliberately let go too soon, without a proper bridging period, instead of feeling plain, my heart actually beats upon those memories.
I miss the close relationship and trust developed between the staffs and students, and also the feeling of support, tolerance and the chance to empower others. Perhaps it's also because I don't know how or whether (frankly) we should maintain the friendship with the students after SB, and how long could it last? Very sophisticated matter, relationship with these young people, each of them distinctly different - some with a weaker mind but loving hearts; some that are caring and funny; some with big ambition; some are lost about their life; some are naughty but cute............ Oh I miss them a lot. However, I think I just couldn't do it for another year, it's good to have a break from it after two summers.. two exhausting summers.If I were doing SB now, I must have left home already, writing letters on the bus, I would not have been eating Jap food last night, probably having dept dinner or met up with Holing cuz we are soooo behind in lesson planning! 
SB is too intense, seeing the pictures are too intense.
It's really enjoyable working with people, especially young people, small like Jaci or teenagers like SBers, I love interpreting their thoughts, and tricking them into abandoning their wicked motives, I love to support them and let them realize their potentials
Previous posts-

Thursday, April 2, 2009

一開始覺得有點無聊的,尤其如養茶壺那類活動 - 很多買了貴茶壺的客人把它留在茶莊裏養,讓茶味滲入紫砂壺中。


Monday, March 30, 2009


This is not one of those story that we usually talk about that focuses on children's anxiety, culture or creativity. Read it carefully with your heart, skipping picture spoils the story. 
It's a very simple story of love. Possibly a good gift for the person you love. 
The author Andre Dahan (1935-     ) started writing/illustrating picture story book at the age of 52. 

Dear little fish, I love you so
I'll feed you bread so you will grow

Each day, I'll give you one sweet kiss
And promise you I'll never miss!
But on the day, my dear little fish, 
You grow too big for your small dish
I will take you to the sea 
And in one move, I'll set you free. 

How you'll be so glad to go
But dear little fish, I'll miss you so.

I will wait all through the day,
To see if you turn round this way.

And I will wait all through the night,
To see if you come back in sight.

Oh! I will throw my only hat
To see if you will bring it back.

At the first joy that I will see, 
Is when you bring it home to me.

Your back will be my favourite boat, 
And together we will sail and float,

Over the river and 'cross the sea,
To a small island with a palm tree.

There we will both live and play, 
"Catch the hat by night and day.

And I will know your love for me,
For you came home when I set you free

Sunday, March 29, 2009


很期待回香港時跟Bei bei 一起看,見到他都很喜歡那些故事令我最開心。

Saturday, March 28, 2009



晚飯時,邪惡豬與吳剛又進入了激烈的討論(他們每一次一起都會的)。爭辯話題總是圍繞「中國人的本質」vs.「中國人做得到」一直以來我都覺得邪惡豬很不可以,什麼都拿出「中國人的本質」來大做文章,但這次經過史工(studio director)重新演譯其中的原因,令我有了重新的體會,亦會以此討論作為四月essay的中心。

在昨晚的討論中,吳剛激動的眼泛激光呢!他是個很敢言的人,希望每一個項目的小節點都做到最好,把中國整體的建築水平提高,要教育那些只想錢的發展商,對自己的設計作出堅持,因為讀了六年建築的,應不止是幫別人畫施工圖的機器吧。而邪惡豬則認為在中國工作重量不重質,凡事要順從甲方要求,要快,作為一個發展中國家,沒有時間去想小節點是否做得好,因為有更多更多人連住好的沒有,豈可以談質素呢。其實吳剛真的是一個對建築設計很有passion的人,他缺少的不是什麼「中國人的本質」而是一點處世的技巧(要達到目的不一定要直接教育對方那類情況吧)。我猜他也是遇到一點identity crisis.


More photos at: SOON

Friday, March 27, 2009

Picture Story Books in an (creative) architecture office

Recently, I've been bringing picture story books to the office everyday, showing them mainly to the people in my team. There are three distinct responses.

One of them have always been interested in picture story books, enjoys and comment on them critically.

One of them really loves them, spend a long time reading each book I brought back, and often exclaimed "This is a very touching story" or "These books are very meaningful" He said he never read such stories during free time, but has recently declared that he really wants to buy some and decided to go to the bookstore with me during the weekend. (He's now google-ing one of my favourite children's book author/illustrator Shaun Tan)

The third one can't understand most of the books I brought back, often ask "is this the end? what happens next?" But have secretly bought the books I showed
They also shared with me the books they like, one of them draw CG with his friend,and the other draws comics. But they told me not to show their creative work (website) to others in the office...

What effects can Children literature have on adults?

(picture: From Shaun Tan's - The Arrival, a long wordless story of immigrants. Highly highly recommended, go to the nearest bookshop and have a look. Also look out for The Rabbit - a story about Colonisation written from the perspective of the colonised.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009



一直以來我都認為內地不會有好的兒童故事書,今天發現我又錯了,all my expectations about China are usually wrong. 這裹有很多來自日本,法國,奧地利和德國的兒童故事書,還有些中國風的,以前我都沒碰到過。你能夠想像我又多麼的興奮嗎........現在回想,當時四周是多麼的繁囂,我卻能清靜地活在故事中。


由發展中農村走到中關村﹣中國的矽谷,只是一程車,但那些移民來*的小朋友卻什少,什至從未外出過「真」的北京(perfect for my domination essay, which is real?)


Friday, March 20, 2009

Baby Samoyed + Urban China

My new friend is a baby. 2 months old.
I have a few great friends in Edinburgh,
esp Marble and Fat Cow, whenever I feel sad or tired, I'd go for a walk to visit them. That's why I have cat food in my flat.

My Friday morning has been really perfect, as I've visited my friend, it's a huge Samoyed-to-be, now still a baby. She spent a lot of time playing and sunbathing on my feet.
Recently I accidentally revealed my love for picture story books to my coworkers here, now they make me bring a new book every morning, so they get something else to read apart from window frames and concrete mix.

I'm happy also because I am reading exciting and great books everyday, not only picture story books. At the moment, I'm reading Urban China 城市中国, a famous magazine, this issue I'm reading is on Chinatown. Something I have explored during my second year Asylum Seeker project. Culture Transplant. I so wish to share all the things I have read these days with you all - I am going to scan some good articles/pic books.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tale of two cities - Paris and Beijing!

I always say that Paris and Beijing are similar in subtle ways, here are some examples....

1. Love of Yoghurt in Ceramic Pots
2. Crepes that are made in the same way
3. Love of Bird Fat - Beijing Roast duck vs. French Foie Gras
4. The Gates vs. Arches
5. Ring Roads
6. The Modern Arches - La Defense - CCTV Beijing
7. The Wide roads that are impossible to cross
8. The Palace in the heart of the city - Louvre and the Forbidden City

Saturday, March 14, 2009

三月十四日 睛

(left: PART OF the books i've bought since coming to Beijing) 
之前買建築書的原因是因為價錢太低了,但之後很少翻。說實在的,我越來越受不了身邊那些對建築充滿(激)熱情的朋友們,be it拿住剛買Zaha Hadid 雜誌興奮地炫耀着的,或仔細研究主窗框與副窗框關係的人,天,你想我給你什麼反應。

今天又去了東邊,Sanlitun, Bookworm Cafe, Caesar Salad, embassy area etc. 碰巧是Bookworm International Literary Festival,今天見到外國人比中國人多,是使館區的原故吧,想起之前雜誌對他們的形容 - 
"Where does she hang out? There's nothing I like more than a bunch of overweight, overpaid expats slagging of the place that allows them to swan around like the lower echelons of the aristocracy."

Pictures from today on: Mao'er in Beijing

Friday, March 13, 2009



書店. cafe. 工作

「老爸老媽去旅行」是近來內地很紅的一本書 - 一對上海退休夫妻,不懂英語,不熟悉網絡,不參加旅遊團,自助遊歴歐洲83天。其實主要也是遊記,但書中這兩位老人自己畫的黑白畫很美,而且文筆太令人羡慕了,可能內地人的文筆始終都比我們好很多。我的同事有一次說「她從香港來的,國語都算很好,但我猜只要我們不說太多成語,她會聽得輕鬆一點!」
另一本書,名很catchy - 「建築師不是描圖機器」

上星期去了圓明園旁的MIMA cafe, 那裹除了courtyard cafe,還有一個建築師辦公窒,一間書店。都是又一個著名設計師所設計的,十分寧靜,還有很多貓和古英國牧羊狗,當然跟北京所有其他cafe一樣都有免費wireless. 這cafe最出位的地方應是它的洗手間,鏡面小立方體,映射園林四周,進內後,頂上是魚池,抬頭可看到天空和小魚游動,腳下透明地板則可以看到貓咪在石子路面上行走。
至於今個星期,我要到朝陽區的dog cafe.

雖然我說得邪惡豬很懷,但我猜他只是yet to be enlightened,希望日後我會發現他好的一面。

今天午餐吃東北菜,量不可思議的大,我是說真的,beyond imagination, at least 21:18, I am still full to the throat now.. from lunch.

Overheard in the city
「看來京城的春天不遠了」﹣Beijing News

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I'm sure you all know how much I adore Japanese food!! I am so craving for good, authentic, high quality jap food again!!! Not those horrible one, and the desire is so immense that I'll satisfy it very soon!!! Didn't thought that I would start missing Japanese food so much so soon! And no matter where I am, I would have this same crave! (Oh, recent example include, leaving my classmates while we were in Paris, to go get some reli hip jap food; and all the expensive Jap food take away in edinburgh -_-" no good Jap food in Edin; oh and also the 7 pounds sea urchin sushi in Regent Street London)

So I have did thorough researches during working hours, I am gonna explore it for you guys, so next time you come, you can go get it too!
Wow I filled two Moleskin pages so quickly this week, what have been stimulating me?
"Talking about food, I had really local Beijing food today, it's not something that we would usually eat when we travel, I guess cuz some of them tastes reli weird, so no good to promote, there's this white sour soup thingy! they say 「你吃慣了便是地道北京人了」apart from that, there's this brown sticky soup thing with pig organs or stuff like that, plus other normal stuff like - 驢打滾,焦圈(donut ?? ) ,碗豆糕,窩窩頭和一些有很多醬料的「冷麵」,真是千奇百怪!好得意。"
P.S. went sing k yesterday, was soooooo fun!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The deadline has passed....

Well my question is - why so last minute? If you knew you can't blow water in a foreign language well! 

PIG says: (23:06:32)仲有50分钟CITY 的NONJUP就会CLOSE, 我而家要报一科语言学与语言科技. TRACY帮我写了,但她不会写如何对我将来职业有关系,因为规定要写~ 你就帮我看一眼
Maoshan* says: (23:09:04)why all of u are doing things last minute?
PIG says: (23:09:27):|人地都系GUM?
Maoshan* says: (23:09:27) I am helping two other friends at the moment
PIG says: (23:17:28)快啊快啊~~~CONNIE~~~~
PIG says: (23:17:33)12点DEADLINE
PIG says: (23:19:45)点解要读,希望读到D咩  将来要做什么, 读这一科和将来的工作有什么关系Maoshan* says: (23:19:52)you want me to add things to it?
PIG says: (23:20:25)求其,最紧要正常D同快

Niki*❤ANTM* says: (22:05:05)
yea but
everyone is doing
so it juz make it kinda important

: S
i hv asked pooh ytd
she said she didnt knoww whether it is important or noe
she juz ask me to write

Niki*❤ANTM* says: (00:03:37)shit
Niki*❤ANTM* says: (00:03:44)
the deadline has passed
Niki*❤ANTM* says: (00:03:49)my fd told me the wrong time

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Beijing's "to-do list"


1. Volunteer
2. Visit a local home
3. 各大奧運場館
4. 北京的大小胡同,多達7000多條,每條都有一段掌故傳說。胡同的名稱五花八門,有的以人物命名,有的以市場,商品命名(羊肉胡同)...北京胡同是老北京人的生活象徵,所以要自己到那些地區閒逛一下。
5. 雖然來過北京幾次,但上一次到長城是六歲半的事,故deborah來時要跟她一起去
6. debs到時也打算再到頤和園+圓明園的
7. 小徐常說要吃全聚得烤鴨
8. 而我則喜歡涮羊肉
9. 法國范兒在胡同裹-Domus
10. 喝要退瓶的酸奶
11. 到帽兒胡同的cafe
12. 也有打算想到各大學裹散步
13. 798 工厰﹣原本是空置的厰房,現改造成為藝術家聚集的地方
14. Visit China's National Library
15. 唱k!
16. 各大書城﹣北京圖書大厦,中關村圖書大廈,外文書店,地壇書市.... ohhh...
17. debs來時也打算再到訪各大名人的故居
18. 我們是打算去那個蛋形的National Grand Theatre of China 看一個performance 的
19. 當然還有MUSEUM,特別是朝陽區那個現代藝術館

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beijing =)

Haven't had time to write since arriving at Beijing.
Awww, I dunno where to start, but in short, I feel very stimulated and inspired everyday. I almost feel that I'm in love with the city. Parted with the city for 7 years, this time I seems to have a whole new perspective of this place, perhaps it's cuz I am not just a tourist, but a person who lives and work here, and also since the place has changed soooo much...

As some of you might know, one of the reasons I wanted to come and live in Beijing was, even though as a Chinese, I know very little of how actually living in China is like. It's almost one of the place where I would have the highest possibility of having a (counter-) cultural shock, everywhere else I sort of know what to expect, but China, seems so ever-changing!

Real Working life is also something new for me, working 9 - 17:30 leaves me with very little time to do personal things (even blogging), however, it's almost one of the few times in my life that I am constantly productive throughout the day. Apart from working, I have to take a long ride to work every morning, and the trip is very interesting indeed, with view of different parts of the city, and more understanding of other common people.

My moleskin pretty much shows how much new things I have seen and experienced these days. Still haven't had time to really tour around the city yet, but I'll do that during weekend, and when spring comes, my really nice colleagues says that they will bring me around the city when the flowers blossom! Things I jotted down in moleskin are all small things, but interesting to note, e.g. 

- Unlike the really dumb roadshow in HK buses, Beijing buses have live news
- Many old people keeps Chinese dogs
- yuan lai, people over 65 years old can take public transport for FREE everyday, not only on weekends
- In China, You dun call an engineer mr. sth, they are called e.g. 楊工,李工 very funny lol
- Books are good quality and really cheap
- That day I picked up a hat for the old woman who dropped it, she held my hands and thanked me.
- My new favourite architectural magazine, is one that's edited by Tsingwa
- Haven't read so much for a long time, all the cheap books I bought and the enormous amount of magazine my flatmate buys!
- The city and culture of Beijing actually bear resemblances to that of Paris (i'll write more about this next time) 
etc. etc. etc.

[Spring in Beijing]  - Photo Album Constantly updating 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bags of dilemmas (1)

Am I still too young to comprehend? or too inexprienced to let go?
It's commonly agreed that sharing love or care is often more satisfying than giving, but it's not just satisfying, it also makes you think more. I was about to say " as I often move around from places to places and school to school" but that's probably not the only reason, I guess many people of my age, or is it the twenty first century? - experiences a lot of transitions and changes, we are constantly stimulated by new circumstances and inspired by new people we meet. Is it only me? That always face this problem? Similar to those friends from Edinburgh Starbucks. Is it the unexplored that sparked the imagination thus sympathy? Anyways, it seems to be a problem that exists in my life, tiny perfect and touching relationships with seemingly strangers, having to end often because I have to leave. Desirable for some, to have only beautiful memories of a person, but at the same time painful... a struggle to understand whether any further development is possible in those friendships, or how they these friendships should be positioned among the other ones.
hmm, I guess I should admit, it's often time a bit of a compassion x curiosity (?) that led me to these friendships, and it also makes me wonder whether they really need my help (!) (or did I helped?) If yes, now that I have to leave again, how should I treat this feeling of lost of a friend (not so close), and what would I be in the other person's heart? From school time, Muso? Dorm?, SB, LPC, kids I know from volunteering, service trips...etc. I feel like I am quite good in leaving things down, and moving on (I should understand that it's probably the same for the other person too? - or is it? ) just that the immediate moment, i'd feel agitated. (?) Is it how things should go?

Having said that also reminds me my "never had best friend"(never thought I need one) kinda thoughts.
Also how I thought it should be nice enough to be an encouragement/support to the person at one point of their life, even though they might not remember me forever, but as long as s/he continue to (because of the encouragement) have a great life, then it doesn't really matter what my position was in the process. Either I am very short-sighted, or I only like to make local/micro efforts, I thought it's great already to give supports, even tiny ones. (But did I force dropped or habitually faded out some of those relationships, or is it my personality?)
To the thoughts/ dilemmas above, I thought of two possible solutions.

What did I last say I wish to become? My recent aspiration has returned to my answer on the LPC application 5 years ago, oh?

P.S. I have gave the present to Lucky Boy and his domestic helper Irene, in return, I received a letter from her this evening, very SB style. I still owe many students letter, sigh, foreseeable... trap, trap, mental trap

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lucky Boy's Birthday

Tomorrow is Lucky boy's 2 years old birthday! Lucky boy is arguably one of the most difficult dog to walk here, especially because he didn't get any training and his family never let him into any areas of the flat apart from the kitchen, nor did they ever walked their dog. So all the difficult work was left to his patient domestic helper. 

He is one of the most famous dogs in Bel-Air. Famed for his mischief and diverse expressions! Labradors are known to be quite kind tempered, and are often employed as dog doctors. 
However, like Marley from Marley & Me, Lucky is boisterous, powerful, endlessly hungry and eager to be active (even though completely without malice) Every morning, he runs into the mud puddles, stick his head into the dirty water, and get himself and others all brown and dirty; instead of drinking the water form a bowl, he put his head in it and spill it everywhere. Lucky loves to pretend to be dead so that he doesn't have to go home, and always jump so high to kiss people. He once jumped up to the kitchen table and ate a whole roast chicken! Even though he's so large in size, he's scared when huskies walk towards him, he's scared of remote-control-toy cars and would hide under the chair looking horrified! 

Gonna buy him and his domestic helper something! hmm, what should i get?