Hong Kong bookfair 2009

So I was at the Hong Kong Book Fair for the first time, at least in its current format, even though it has been running for twenty years. I wasn't there to buy books for I knew that cheaper versions of many books are available across the border in Shenzhen. On occasion I attended three seminars which were quite interesting. The first one dealt with comics and popular culture, with special reference to Japanese culture. The second focused on a few photographers and their work, with converging themes on changing city landscape in Hong Kong, gentrification, urban renewal and redevelopment, and the loss of landmarks or structures of sentimental values to local HongKongers. The third one was on social entrepreneurship, it wasn't so ,uch on the books, but I am quite sure something published was promoted at the bookfair. Half of the discussion focused on BiCiLine, an intervention project at Tin Shui Wan supported by Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

Apart from the talks, I was quite astonished that my friend and I had to wait 20 minutes to get into the venue, given it was an ordinary Monday, even though schools are on summer vacation.
Some books in simplified chinese were marked up and then discounted, Ibet many unsuspecting customer fell victims to that, if they never if ever venture out to Shenzhen for procuring them. Political boundaries still make the books available and read by people of three different administrative regions of Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland of People's Republic of China, very different, at times with little overlapping. Books I found red hot and talk of the town everywhere in mainland China were available at a few of the booths selling simplified books, but still they mostly collected dust instead of finding a new owner. There are books tackling the very local Hong Kong (popular) culture including slangs, Cantonese as well as the dissatisfaction with the Cheif Executive. There were some interesting Taiwanese books, but given the fact I have been spoiled by dirt cheap books in the mainland, I did not really look into the Formosa offerings.


第三巴士No.3 bus

No, i am not talking about the bus route, but the bus company in Guangzhou (or Canton). It was refreshing, though in a mischievous kinda way that I was happy to note that the bus company used 巴士 "ba shi" instead of 公交 "gongjiao" because that was evidently a nod to the anglicism infiltrated into the local Cantonese dialect. One might wonder why I want to see "bad" Chinese usage of ba shi, buit I can tell you if that's the public concensus which shaped this expression, why not? It also enriches the Chinese vocabulary.



14 juillet 2009

Après les allemands ce sont les indiens cette fois-ci. Alors pour 2009 l'Inde est invitée d'honneur pour la fête nationale française. Bien que je ne sois pas un fanatique des affaires militaires, le défilé est intéressant comme un téléspectacle sur TV5monde diffusé en direct par France2.

French culture carries NOT a very masculin image, given people think about French cuisine, fashion or perfume when they fantasize France. However, their Fête nationale is always a parade of various regiments of the military. This year, India is their guest of honnour so you would have seen the Indian military marching on the Champs-Élysées, carried live on TV5monde and France2.


有啱執番件... pick something you like...

有啱執番件, 無事來喝茶。


What a good attitude towards life: If you see something that you like, take it home; otherwise, stop by just to have a cup of tea. So reads motto from this boutique in a village within the juridiction of Guangzhou. The clumsiness of the translation should motivate one to learn foreign languages, for no two languages could seamlessly translate back and forth, are there?


Michael Jackson...yikes

So he is dead and everybody is talking about him. I THOUGHT I shouldn't be so critical, or should I? I do have a few not so nice anedotes, if you allow me to be the gossiping like Michael Musto or Cindy Adams, indirectly through comments I collected on the web:

Angela: The reports about Michael Jackson having a cardiac arrest are incorrect. He actually went to visit the children hospital and had a stroke

Brett: Do you mean that happens when he 'beat it'??

Cailin: well, looke like he 'beat it' for good now.
Duncan: Farrah Fawcett died and went to heaven. God told her he would grant her one wish. She wished for all the children in the world to be safe. Lo and behold later that day, MJ died.
Emily: I read somewhere that they're using his remains to make a giant slide so kids can go down on him for a change!
Frank: breaking news: Michael Jackson died of food poisoning. CNN just reported he ate some 12 year old nuts.
Gloria: Can everyone stop making jokes about Michael Jackson please. He could not be buried. You know he had a lot of plastic in him, he had to be recycled.

The media, by contrast with the comments above, have been quite nice to Jackson. Nevertheless, he still share something in common with J. Edgar Hoover or Allen Ginsburg! yikes... and I am not talking about investigating others nor love for poetry.

If you think otherwise, perhaps Elizabeth Taylor (anyone recalls Rock Hudson?) and Brooke Shields (his platonic love?) would probably ring some bells.

Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have been visible and supportive. Given the "transformation" of Michael Jackson from the era of Billie Jean onwards and the at times unsympathetic media coverage of "Jacko", the black community has been more than gracious.

Enough of negative karma, Black and White, and Bad, are two of his songs that I like.

Subversity, a public affairs radio programme's podcast on Michael Jackson (second half of the show).

Oh the dancing scene in Bad, doesn't that look that the good old NYC subway EFGR lines in Queens, or am I mistaken ;-)?


bare it all: Under My Skin?

Well, not mine! But Gin Wigmore will get you Under My Skin:

Gin Wigmore - Under My Skin

a very upbeat song chosen for the MARVELOUS marketing campagin of Air New Zealand...

It shows that one of the basic necesssities of life still can capture our attention well! Isn't it great that the whole ad came across as cute while not being cheap or dirty at all. Bravo to those came up with the idea! I hope the clips are hilarious enough to lighten up your day! haha


junk science

Steorn is an Irish company which claimed they have the technology to "produce free, clean and constant energy". This is like reading out of an Isaac Asimov novel and finally debunked by an independent jury of scientists. Frankly, Asimov novels are probably more realistic than the Steorn claim haha.

This sage reminds me of the 1989 Cold fusion fiasco. I remember even Scientific American reported on it back then, on top of the mainstream media. The circumstances though, were quite different. As noted on wikipedia, the two scientists were probably under pressure from University of Utah to publish the findinds first, given the competitive nature of scientific research. The Steorn case is probably a marketing ploy that did not materialise. In any case, they show that science education is important. If the layperson has not the simple understanding of basic science, our society will constantly be bombarded by these kind of nonsense and everyone will suffer ultimately. You don't believe me, many people cannot retrieve relevant information from the nutritional values data printed in most of the packaged food these days - talk about obesity, heart diseases, etc. Do you think people can calculate the recommended percentage daily intake? Fake science can do as much, if not more, damage than cults LOL.


20HKD 港幣二十蚊

港幣二十塊能買甚麼呢?在快要拆卸的牛頭角下邨,三餸一湯的午、晚飯還是“海嘯”價. 要吃的話便快一點咯,要不然下邨拆了就只能集體回憶。

Avant d'entrer comme une autre mémoire collective, il vous faut aller à Ngau Tau Kok Estate et goûter les repas bons marchés. Les trésors de la nourriture locale et authentique, se cachent dans les endroits comme celui-ci. Ils deviennent de plus en plus rares à cause du redéveloppement urbain continu.

20bucks HK$ for any three entrées plus rice and soup, you have to turn over all the rocks everywhere to find a steal like that. Enjoy it at the DaiPaiDong 大排檔 while it lasts at Ngau Tau Kok Estate, built in 1967 and demolished soon in 2009.

您來自哪里? D'où venez-vous? Where are you from?

Related Posts with Thumbnails