December 30, 2007


Remember, a few days ago I mentioned that hotel rooms in HK are very expensive. Then someone recommended me a guesthouse. You can check it out here:

A twin room costs HK$450 (about S$90), cheap? Not really, just about S$30 less than a 3-star hotel. You also have to consider other things.

Some guesthouses are in sleazy surroundings. What about security, and fire hazard if the guesthouse is at an old not well-maintained building.

When I checked into a hotel, I do read the 'in case of fire' information.

When I take aeroplane I also pay attention to the demonstration on how to put on the safety equipment, etc.

I think these are habits, not that I am particularly safety conscious.

Remember I also said somewhere, human beings are creatures of routine and habits. Sorry, it was said by the great detective Sherlock Holmes.

December 28, 2007


Once I wrote a composition which had to do with democracy. I can't remember the title. In the essay I used a lot of 'would'. The lecturer, a foreigner, commented that it looked as if I 'invented democracy'.

I did not realize that it gave people such an impression. Later when I thought about it, I think I knew what he meant. One reason was the tone. Suppose someone invented something or thought of a new idea, democracy for example, he would be very proud of it and would go around telling people of his great idea. How democracy would be good for the country, how the people would benefit from it and so on.

Actually we rarely write something with a lot of would.

Some students think would is only used for the past tense of will. Would can be used in other ways too. One of them is already shown above - to express possibilities.

Other uses:-
1. expressing a wish - She would like to go to Egypt.
2. making a polite request - Would you mind showing me the opera costume you just bought?
3. making an instruction sound courteous - Mr Guo, the principal would like to see you.
4. expressing a situation that cannot be reversed - He would be 30 today if he had not died in that road accident a year ago.
5. expressing something that is not possible - If I were superman, I would go and hunt down terrorist leaders in the world.

December 26, 2007

Old cantonese movie

This is the movie from which I took the clip for Yesterday Once More.

I put a clip here for you to reminisce about those old movies. From this clip, you will roughly know the story.

A man is in debt. His father-in-law, a very wealthy man in the village, and other family members came to visit him. The man thinks he could get money from his father-in-law. But his father-in-law is a bankrupt now, having gambled away all his money......

December 25, 2007


You may have experienced this. You asked a friend, "Want to go Japan". Your friend said, "Went before already" - meaning he didn't want to go. But he has also been to Taiwan a few times already and still wants to go again.

Probably the actual reason was that he didn't like Japan or didn't want to go there again yet.

I like to revisit old places. There is another type of joy and expectation together with some feeling of familiarity and nostalgia. Some places I have been to at least twice - Ipoh, Genting, Penang, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou.

But HK has become rather expensive. Hotel rates have shot up steeply mainly due to the influx of tourists from China. At periods that coincide with China's holidays, hotel rates can go up 100%. Food prices are also on the high side. Transport is also not cheap. With the same amount of money, you can spend twice as long in China.

Some places I have been to once but would not mind going again - Taiwan, Japan, Beijing, Australia's Gold Coast and Sydney. I have fond memories of them.

And got new places I would like to visit, London and Nanjing for instance.

When I was young, I read stories about gypsies travelling in caravans and staying from place to place. I like their nomadic carefree lifestyle.

December 03, 2007

A break

Hello everyone, I'm taking a break, including a break from the computer. There will be no new post for about 3 weeks. Excuse me for not responding to your comments or your email queries during this period.

You are still welcome to look around and stay as long as you like.

And wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Frances Yip
Here is a song by the inimitable Frances Yip with her powerful voice and clear diction.

廣東小調 - 葉麗儀

December 02, 2007

广州粤剧团 - photos

Young sheng 蔡金敏 performed an excerpt with a lot of difficult moves like the part he did a somersault from a platform more than 2m high.
黎骏声, 倪惠英 in 睿王与庄妃 , a historical story about love and the intrigues and power struggle in the imperial court.

肖婉婷 (a dan) as the child emperor in 睿王与庄妃. She sings well too.

孙业鸿 (a very good comedian) in 异月情缘
- two women with the same name wants to marry the same man, one woman has true love for him and the other only loves his status and wealth

Opera 五女拜壽
- a story that reveals only the third daughter who is adopted and her husband who later becomes the imperial scholar are truly filial to their parents

陆敏渭(second sheng) in 五女拜壽

崔玉梅(second dan) in 郭子仪祝寿 - the prince consort is so furious with his princess wife that he slaps her

Young star 余碧玲 acting as 穆桂英 - in the excerpt she twists and turns, twirls and rotates her body and she shows the audience how to ride a horse, from a slow trot increasing to a fast gallop and how to rein in a horse when it becomes naughty and tries to throw her off.

Another 2 starlets 肖婉婷 as
杨文广 and 屈月梅 as 杨七娘

December 01, 2007

广州粤剧团 - 朱弁回朝

The Envoy's Plight, 29 November 2007

崔玉梅, 黎骏声

This is a good show. It has the flavours of a traditional opera with moving scenes, good songs and even some well-executed fighting moves. It is one of those that gives you the ‘hao kan’ feeling, 好睇 in cantonese.

The opera is unexpectedly short – about 2.5h. I have not seen this before so I don’t know if it has been condensed. Because it was short, no one left the theatre before the end. Usually a minute or so before the end there will be people who are in a hurry to go out. They will stand up, watch for a while and walk slowly out, blocking the view of others. That night no one even stood up, like they were reluctant to leave.