When All Else Fails

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Photo from Sketcher Kee

It’s been 2 months. Exactly 60 days since the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong broke out. I don’t talk about it much with my friends here, unless someone asks. But there has not been a single day that I did not think about it. I make sure I read the latest news on the movement, every morning on my commute to work and every night before I go to bed. It’s become my daily ritual.

At times, I’m saddened by the fact that I’m not fighting the fight with the people in Hong Kong. Other times, I feel very fortunate that I live in a place where democracy and freedom of speech is my civil rights.

During the first few days after police dispersed tear gas to the crowd for the first time, it was impossible for me to talk about it without having tears in my eyes. I still remember on the morning of September 28th, I woke up and sat down in the kitchen to check my Facebook page while waiting for the water to boil, so I can make some tea for myself and some hot chocolate for my kids. As images of the protests flashed on my iPhone, I started crying uncontrollably, as if there was a spear piercing through my heart. No, it was worst. It was a pain beyond the physical. It was like I just lost a friend or a family member.

When my older son, who just turned eleven last month, walked down the stairs and saw me crying, he came hugged me and asked me why I was crying. I explained to him, between sobs, that the police used unnecessary violence on peaceful protesters and that a lot of people got hurt. Some of them were not much older than him.

Before this, I had talked to him briefly about the student class boycott in Hong Kong. So he had some understanding of what was going on in my hometown. Previously at school, he had also learned about civil rights and some of the civil rights heroes in the U.S., such as, Martin Luther King and Rosa Park. It helped him put the protests in Hong Kong in perspective.

When I finally finished, I felt much better and calmer. He gave me another hug and told me not to be too sad. I kissed him on the forehead and held him in my arms. It was just what I needed at the time. That even if the world fell apart, I would still have my loved ones.

I try to keep my boys updated about the movement and explained a little bit more in depth each time we talked about it. The little one is too young to understand much. But I hope by talking about it, they get to learn more about their mother through the incredible city she came from. If all else fails, at least the legacy of this great city would get passed on.

We Did Not Forget*

There is a Chinese saying
That snow will fall
Even in the early days of Summer
When there is injustice in our land

And snow it did
In the capital of this thriving country
On the very day that innocent youths
With nothing but a truly patriotic heart
Were greeted by unimaginable violence
Twenty four dark years ago

For some of us
Living in the margins
Of the corrupted and the truth
In the shadows and the light
We never forget
And never will

The unexpected downpour
As if to say
We’re touched by your souls
Makes a theatrical backdrop
To the performance
Not approved by the few

With a heavy heart we shout
Let our voices be heard
Let our heroes sacrifice not in vain
Let the wrong come to an end

8964
Is not just a string of numbers
It encapsulates the spirit of this enduring fight

A fight we shall ne’er forget

*This was originally posted on my Facebook timeline. I made a few adjustments to the language and re-posted here.

**This poem is my own reflection on the tragic events happened on June 4, 1989, called “Tiananmen Incident,” or more precisely, but less desirably to some, “Tiananmen Massacre.”

最深刻一次

因為想不到題材,本來打算這一次的字游式我是不會參與的了,但剛讀了另一位網友的這篇,加上今天心情無緣無故的非常鬱悶,於是決定寫點傷感的來發洩一下。

~~~~~~~~~~~~

我不清楚是因為我膽小、愚昧,還是太「入世」的關係,自小我便很懼怕死亡。我清楚記得,在幼稚園的那三年間,有時候夜裡睡不着,不知怎的我會想到死亡這概念,然後一股莫名的恐懼便會湧上心頭,讓我更難以入睡。

當時只有幾歲的我,連生命是甚麼也不大理解,更何況是死亡這深奧的課題。那時的我,只會想像死亡應該會帶來一點生理上的痛,而且永遠也不能和家人及朋友見面了。每當想到這一點,我便會很傷心,然後往往要在黑暗中安慰自己,「我還只是個小孩子,大概不會這麼快便歸西的!不要太擔心吧!」想着想着,便迷迷糊糊的睡倒了。

第一次正面接觸死亡,是我六歲的時候。嫲嫲在那一年離開了我們。

我清楚記得是那一年,因為妹妹還未上幼稚園,沒有白色的鞋子。當知道消息後,媽媽還要忙着為妹妹買一雙「白飯魚」奔喪。

我們跟嫲嫲並不親密,一來是因為她跟大伯一家同住新界,而我們則住在港島南區,所以見面的次數不多,加上我出生的時候,嫲嫲經已年邁,行動不太方便。每次探訪她,她只會摸摸我的頭,然後遠遠的坐在一旁。

媽媽告訴我嫲嫲經已離開的時候,我只是「哦」的應了一聲。有少許的傷感,但沒有太大的震撼。舉行喪禮當天,我上午還是要上學的。同學問我:「你會哭嗎?」我答道:「應該不會。」

儀式舉行之前,我們三兄妹還跟堂兄堂姊在靈堂嬉戲。長輩們也任由我們,因為嫲嫲年紀不輕,加上離開的時候也沒有受甚麼苦頭,也算是笑喪了。所以縱使難過,只要不是太過份,大家也就不跟我們這班小鬼計較了。

奇怪的是,當儀式開始,爸媽帶着我們三兄妹瞻仰遺容的時候,我的眼淚便不受控的傾流而出,彷彿壓抑了一整天的情緒終於再也阻擋不住,一時之間便要奪堤而出。

我沒有留意哥哥跟妹妹有沒有哭,我只是感到萬分哀傷,默默的流着淚,同時對於自己情緒的波動感到很疑惑。

我從來沒有跟任何人提起過這件事,甚至連自己也很少會想起這一段兒時記憶。到今天我也不完全明白那天那個幼小的我心中想着甚麼,我只知道,那是我有生以來對死亡的最深刻體驗。

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別人的最深刻一次

小妹厲害

我跟我家小妹感情非常要好,但彼此性格可算各走極端,詳情有機會再談。今天想說的是小妹綱誌一篇文章,完全是她性格寫照,也反胦了現下港女的種種。

由於實在太好笑,經小妹同意,我在此原文照錄,供諸同好。

托朋友的福,參加了她「生日週」裡眾多飯局派對之一。

用最簡單的方法去形容這飯局,就是 dinner for six。出席人數不是重點,所持態度才是。首先男女人數均等,坐位安排指定男女男女,害得我不能和壽星女認真談心誠意賀壽。還有,男的全是洋人,女的香港同胞(內心在爭扎應否用港女這字眼)。明眼人一看,就知是甚麼一回事吧。

不要緊,我對自己說,我是來戥朋友高興的。而基於工作關係,吹水是難不到我的。於是便開始和身旁兩位男士閒聊。話題不知怎的扯到「香港回歸後的情況」,英國男士對於英國曾經統治香港十分驕傲,並說他的朋友都告訴他回歸後,香港實在一落千丈。一向並不愛港愛國的我,也委實不能對此苟同。英國人於是要求我舉例,我說了一些進步了,亦說了那些退步了的事情。他不甘心,但又沒法提出具體事情反駁。就這樣,我真的火都來了。於是我正眼看著他,問:「請問你來了香港多久?」

「三年。」

「同我收聲!」

坐在我對面的德國人也忍不住哈哈大笑起來。

接著,惟有談些風花說月,令氣氛輕鬆點。說著說著,談到自己剛剛從法國玩樂回來。英國人便問我是否懂法文,我答 oui。他竟然說,你不能只說一個字便代表懂得法文呢。哈哈,於是我以法文跟他說,我的法文比您的普通話好。(他懂得一點普通話,但和很多洋人一樣,犯了不分聲調的怪病,只有聰明人才能明白他說甚麼。)聽罷他只好說,其實自己完全不諳法語,對面的德國人便充當翻譯,並加多句,which I think is probably true。

餘下的晚上,其實還有一兩段如此這般的對話,不過不提也罷。(不過如果你對我好,下次見面時或許我會告訴你。)

然而,雖然窒到那麼應棍,心裡還是不高興。原來抱這種大英主義(大白人主義?),並且自以為是到這境地的還大有人在。而,我為甚麼還要坐在這呢。

歸根究底,那位英國紳士一向遇到的香港美女,都是又天真又傻的典型,對著洋男會以高八度聲線說英語,配以大量嘻笑,小量內涵應對。再加上,這樣的場合和配搭,我又的確不能怪他的。

最後要向我親愛的壽星女說,不要介懷,其實那晚我很開心,因為很久沒有寸人寸得咁應咁放肆了。That bunch actually made my day ;p

最最後還要補充,我親愛的壽星女也算是半推半就,被人用她的生日作藉口之下,才不好意思不參與是次飯局的。鄭重聲明,她和我,與當晚其他飲食男女,絕對不是同一纇型的。

Last night I was on the train

Last night

When I was on the train

Going through the Port of Oakland

I saw numerous gigantic cranes

Sitting along the coastline

Against the orange setting sun

And they reminded me of Tsing Yi

My ear started to hurt

My head started aching

My vision blurred a little

For a moment

I thought I was on the Airport Express

Zooming to Hong Kong Station

Thinking I was going home

Wait

I WAS going home

Just a different home