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!