Saturday, February 13, 2016
Today, I had the rest of the Phoenix Dancong at the office, with my Kamjove portable gongfu tea brewing mug, and the results were completely different. I don't know if it's the humidity (it is extra humid today), my mood, or the tea mug, but I felt that I just couldn't bring out the full potential of the tea today. In some of the later steeps, it even became quite bitter, but with a little persistence, I think I managed to wrangle some sweetness from the leaves in the end.
I think the lesson here is that sometimes, one may have to sacrifice flavour for convenience, and while I hope that this is a one time fluke, I have a feeling that I will have to bring out my gaiwan to brew the rest of the Phoenix Dancong that I have right now. I've heard that Phoenix Dancong are really difficult to brew correctly at the best of times, so I'll just have to pay more attention to it next time.
Sunday, February 07, 2016
Sunday, October 28, 2012
A little over a year into my MPhil, and I am now worrying about the next stage of what will happen next: will I upgrade to a PhD? Or submit a new application and work on an entirely new thesis? Or will I take a year off from studying and work for a little while? One thing is for certain: I am not going back. I am here to stay, and that is all there is to that.
Even though I am not too sure what I am staying for (I could just as easily apply elsewhere if the mantra of "anywhere but home" is all that there is), I hope to find that out soon. Or just find it.
Will be flying back to Malaysia in a little more than a week. I have the second part of my third chapter to submit, loads of things to shop for, and other things that have to be written. I have come to the realization that going back to Malaysia has become a chore, not something to look forward to, but something to quickly get over with so that I can return to Hong Kong and resume my normal schedule. There are people that I will miss dearly. People who really matter. (Not that I am saying that I do not miss the people back in Malaysia, I do some of them, it's just, well, it's hard to explain).
Anyway, I don't really have much to say, just thought I'd post something up here after such a long hiatus. Hopefully the next time I open the dashboard I have something happier to say.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I was standing alone in a well-lit alleyway, not sure of what to do next. The mattress looks almost new in this light, but one can never be too sure. It looks sturdy, propped up against the wall like that, and I wonder what prompted the previous owner to throw it away so unceremoniously. Perhaps it is the typical Hong Kong fashion of out with the old and in with the new. There is even a saying: "The new will not come if the old does not leave". Maybe the owner bought a new mattress, and had no more use for this one.
I looked at the mattress again. Will it fit into my bed? It just might. I have just moved into a small single room in Des Voeux Road West, and the mattress that my landlady provided was a little too long and too narrow for my bed. It is so long that one end just juts out like a sore thumb, hanging over the edge of the bed. The room itself is just big enough for one person to live comfortably, but oddly enough, was furnished with a double bed, with only a single mattress. And it wasn't a particularly comfortable one.
I continue to stand awkwardly, as there are quite a number of people passing by on this Saturday night. I looked at the mattress in front of me, and wondered how I was going to carry it home. Home. That sounds odd to my ears. But that little room on the second floor of a building on Des Voeux Road West facing the tramways is the closest thing to home that I will know for the next two years. That, and the University I am attending.
People are starting to stare as they walked past, and I tried to move towards the mattress, laying my claim onto it, a silent, unwritten contract that binds the mattress to me. Calling dibs through body language, as it were. I drew nearer to the mattress, and tried to lift it, testing its weight, but it was too heavy for me to lift alone. I stood there waiting, looking at the passers-by, giving them a look that said "move along, there's nothing to see here, you're too late, this is mine". My landlady said she'd be here in ten minutes, but she is nowhere to be seen. The wind is picking up.
My landlady was the one who called my attention to this new discovery. She has a knack for looking out and finding things that other people have discarded, and most of these are in very good, usable condition. Just two days ago, she called me as I was leaving my office, to get home at once, because there was a wardrobe discarded on a lane just behind the building I was living in. "It's still so new, and looks very clean. Maybe if you could come, my husband can help you to carry it back to your room, and you can have a proper wardrobe without having to spend money on one", she told me excitedly in Cantonese.
I barely survived the trip, that wardrobe was so heavy. But they said heavy is good. Means that it's solid. Can't understand why someone would throw a perfectly usable wardrobe in the streets. Well, fortunately, they threw it so close by. I was not a strong person, and that heavy thing took every ounce of strength I had. This mattress , though lighter, was slightly further away. I thanked the Almighty that it has not rained, and that the alley is relatively dryer and cleaner than the ones I am used to back home. I was contemplating getting two round sticks to put under the mattress to roll it to my building, when I heard my landlady calling out my name, walking quickly towards me, excited about her discovery.
"You mean you want to roll it to your room? That won't do, the mattress will get dirty. Look at how new it looks!" she quipped, after I told her my plans to roll the mattress. "Why don't I try to get a trolley, so that we can at least push the thing to your room. It's so new, it will be a shame just to leave it here, and my husband doesn't get off from work for hours", she said. I conceded, and she went on a trolley hunt. It took her less than half a minute to borrow one, and we loaded the huge mattress onto the trolley, through the door, into the undersized elevator, where I paid a man 20 dollars to help me lift it to my room. It fit perfectly. I asked the man I paid to help me remove the previous mattress, and he helped me to carry it to the back door of the building, facing the alleyway, and I left the old mattress there, propped up against the wall.
I slept like a baby that night.
This is how my room looks like since September 10, 2011.