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Buying my friend and my cousin a lunch. My friend suggested Munch, I said why not try another one. Then we went to 798 where I’ve enjoyed semi-buffet lunch before. As we arrived there, we saw that it’s no longer servingsemi-buffet lunch but instead a $98 all-you-can-eat lunch. There’re altogether, maybe, 40 dishes including appetizers, main dish (mini size) and desserts. There’re more desserts on menu than the other two though. The miniature main dishes allowed us to try out most of the dishes on menu. Desserts were particularly good and we all ended up REALLY full. The only complaint is that food don’t always come as we’ve ordered. But we didn’t care much about that. It’s an “all-you-can-eat" anyway.

廣告

人多好辦事,京奧盡顯現… (京奧完畢無聊過度?竟然隨手打出一對押韻句。)

從開幕禮,到各項比賽,到閉幕禮,北京奧運充份顯示出「人多好辦事」這個道理。開幕禮中一幕又一幕的2008人大匯演,到各項比賽中頒獎禮中各位禮儀小姐的華姿麗影,到馬拉松競步跑道旁保安員的站崗,人多而動作一致且齊整,比雙人高台跳水或同步游泳中的選手,更加同步。要不是中國地廣人多,可以有十三億人口從中挑選,哪可以找到這麼多高質素的人? 畢竟大家平日見到的自由人,質素並不是每個都那麼高。過往兩週看奧運期間,我常掛在口邊的一句是「中國美女盡在於此!」那些禮儀小姐實在每個都姿態優美,一位飛到北京在鳥巢亢奮了整個星期的朋友,便對那些禮儀小姐的容姿念念不忘。

說到這位朋友,不能不轉述一下他在鳥巢一週的所見所聞。他親眼目睹劉翔一拐一拐的進場和退場,身坐對著終點線的座位上見證Bolt破盡各項世界紀錄,也看到Isinbaeva在撐桿跳跳出5.05米的世界新紀錄,他自己也記不清楚看了多少個世界紀錄的誔生,但更令他驚奇和驚喜的,是大會宣佈劉翔退賽時,全場並沒有太大反應,沒有噓聲,也沒有激動的大叫大喊。事實上,他在現場看到很多人真的是專為看劉翔而進場的。他一早七時多便已進場,從鳥巢第一場比賽一直看到最後一場,百一米欄是11時多的比賽,而鳥巢從七時多至十時多,入座率還是很低,一直到10時半過後,才開始有一批又一批的人進場,明顯這些人是只為看劉翔而進場的。到劉翔退賽後,這些人也還很有禮貌的繼續坐到比賽結束後才離場,而不是一聽到劉翔不跑,便一哄而散。

另一使他驚喜的是,雖然鳥巢內觀眾達九萬人以上,而場館內並沒有垃圾筒,但地上垃圾並不多,即使有垃圾,也是已用膠袋包好,方便工作人員清理的,而不是隨手丟掉的垃圾。事實上,據他所見,整個奧運場區內,包括鳥巢、水立方一帶,到森林公園附近的道路,都非常清潔,連公廁也很乾淨。他笑說以前在北京,不用看,用鼻就可以嗅到公廁所在何方,但這一次真的要用眼看路標了。放飛劍的人還是有的,不過實在比以前少了很多,他整個星期只看到幾個而已。

看電視奧運直播時,很疑惑為什麼連馬拉松都有那麼多人在路旁吶喊加油,朋友回來為我解惑:每條巷都有自己的負責範圍,比賽時間到了,跑手差不多要到自己的區域,居民便會手執國旗等物品,擁到路旁支持一番,遇上中國選手經過,便會喊加油喊得更用力。等到運動員都經過了,便會有人問:是不是完了?然後大伙兒又興高彩烈的回家去。這也不一定是政府規定的,而是大家知道比賽會經過「家門」,不能丟臉,也希望參與一下難得的盛事,於是大家一齊湊熱鬧。

看過兩週的奧運,聽過朋友的親身經歷,覺得中國花了那麼多億的錢去搞奧運,其實也是值得的。有人會說,為什麼不把錢用在扶貧上?用在有需要的人身上?但事實上,中國人最貧乏的是文明和文化。中國作為國家,有五千年的文明和文化,但中國人口中文明的或有文化的人口比例太低。助人自助,其實很需要文明和文化,否則便是有心幫助,卻不懂如何伸出援手,需要幫助的,也不懂怎樣文明地求助,只懂發爛渣,結果什麼都做不了。另一方面,人民有文明和文化,才可以有效監察政府,才可以培養出文明和有文化的官員,而不是養出只顧中飽私襄的貪官污吏。

一次奧運,教養出數以萬計文明而有文化的志願者,打開了以億計中國人的眼睛,知道自己的國家其實可以很文明,可以很有文化,也令很多原本會很多人反對,難以推行的規例,如單雙號行車等規例,得以順利推行。希望京奧期間的文明,可以植根在北京,並由志願者帶回自己的家鄉,繼續伸展開去。

Have been chatting on msn with a friend who’s got troubles and problems with relationships. Haven’t chatted with him for years but as I am chatting with him, I suddenly realize that it’s the same thing we talked about when we last chatted online and it was icq we’re using back then. You can tell how long ago it was.

And throughout the conversation, I kept telling him one thing: pray before planning/acting. 

But then he keeps telling me that he’s afraid that God will give him someone who’s not pretty and not fun.

Hmm…how does he know that God’s choice is not pretty and not fun? 

“I feel like that. Isn’t there free will that I can choose mine?"

Yea, he has free will just as we all do and he chose his own girl and then made a mess out of it. And it’s not the first time. I doubt if it’s the second either. I’m not sure. But the thing is, just as I kept asking him for the whole night: haven’t you learned the lesson? 

Following our own way just doesn’t work. Just look at all the troubles you’ve got.

But following God’s way is dangerous, he said.

Great! So…following God’s way is dangerous? Oh, tell me how much safer it is to follow your own way? You’ve chosen your own way and then got into a mess, made a whole lot of troubles. That way is proven a bad one and still you’re telling me that the way that you didn’t try (but many others did and got greatly blessed) is more dangerous because you feel so? What crap are you talking?

Yea, surely it’s easy to follow our heart and go by our own way. Take the driver’s seat and just go all the way on our way. Surely it’s easy just as it easily leads us to hell. Sometimes we just don’t learn the lesson, do we? We just so want our way. We think we know what we want. Then get ourselves into hell. Then we pray a bit and let God drive. Then after a while, we see that the alarm is off and the road seems straight, then we wanna get control of the steering wheel again. Then we put God into the backseat and become the driver … then boom! 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
       and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him, 
       and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“In all your ways"… including LOVE. 

“And he will make your paths straight"… including the path of love as well. 

 

The secret is out. Finally know why a friend that I’ve known for 20+ years got mad with me: 

She thinks that I don’t want to go to a particular restaurant for lunch because I know that she likes it. 

For God’s sake, I don’t want to go to that particular restaurant because I find it a dirty place to dine in. And I’ve told her what I saw. Now what? she thinks I made up the story in order to avoid going to that place she likes? And so she “punished" me with pretending I don’t exist? 

Now I really really know: mature in age =/= mature in mind. 

And it’s pathetic to see a 40+ thinking like a 3 year old.

The Bridge Club Bangladesh return trip is finally over. It’s been an extremely tiring week but it’s also a week of lots of laughs and fun (and some nightmares as well…). 

The trip began with Karen slept late and seeing Ivan wearing suit at the airport. Karen slept late means she had to do whatever she can to get to the airport and give me the documents needed for checking into the campsite; Seeing Ivan wearing suit at the airport means that he’s not keeping his promise of taking the week off and stay with our Bangladesh friend. So, only Vanessa and I were there to take them to the camp and bring them to Central. Bruce came to help us after getting off from work in the afternoon. Ivan only showed up in the evening for the dinner at the Peak and signed the bill…kinda reluctantly. 

We spent the second day in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Our Bangladesh friends are obviously not as fit as us…they’re exhausted after walking down the hill all the way from NA College to CC College. We actually let them took a few breaks on the way: had a look into the Arts Museum, then let them took some pictures at engineering building. Bruce, Phoebe and I left a bit early to shop for souvenirs so that we can present something in the welcoming party that night. We eventually found Panda Cookies at Kei Wah Bakery. $35@…nice paper box. 

The third day was spent mostly in Ocean Park. After thinking up of several plans and considering them carefully, I finally decided to let our Bangladesh friends go free and explore the park on their own after getting them some food (deep-fried chicken) for lunch. According to what they’ve told me, they obviously enjoyed the trip: visited most aquariums and played several rides as well in just 2 1/2 hours. After leaving the Park at around 7pm, we (there were Sunny, Karen, Tracy, Jonathan, Phoebe, and me) brought them to TST promenade for the light show. Finally dinner at CitySuper. 

There’re only Vanessa and me on the fourth day. After being reminded that it’s free to enter museums for free on Wednesday, we decided to go to Lantau on Monday instead of museums. Leading them to Lantau with just Vanessa and me available works well because doesn’t matter how they get lost, I can be pretty sure that they’re still on the island. And on this day, someone did “get lost” and took us some time to find her – proved my logic right: though it took us a while to find her, she’s still in that small Ngongping Market. Just imagine we’re in MK instead of Ngongping … =_=! 

Tuesday is a “half day-off” for Vanessa and me. All we had to do in the morning was to bring them over to the school and then let Christina take charge of the whole school-visit program. It’s not like we wouldn’t like to participate in the school-visit thing but we’re really exhausted and needed some time to recharge a bit. We picked them up in the evening and took them to Breakthrough Youth Village for a discussion group. Seems they enjoyed the day very much. Several of them told me personally that they enjoyed talking to the students in the school and the young people and learned a lot. Something unexpected happened was that the associate principal of the school impulsively invited us to have dinner at his place the next day, which is exactly what we needed: a local home-visit plus a free meal. We haven’t been able to find any local home to show them and we’re over-budget already on the 5th day. 

The day before they leave was a busy day: museum in the morning then SHOPPING! Their shopping list is unexpectedly long. They wanted to buy digital cameras, cellphones, laptops, guitar, drumsticks, clothes, art supplies…etc. Hadn’t bargained in markets for a long time and oh, it’s actually fun to bargain =P Really got a lot of satisfaction when I could bargain something from $12x down to $60 or for some other experts…$40. It’s simply fun. Dinner at the associate principal’s place was wonderful. Their domestic helper is really good at cooking. Her chicken wings, beef, curry chicken, and the cheese cake…sooo delicious! 

When we finally came to the last day, we all thought that the trip went smooth and how nice was that! But oops, we forgot about our “honorary” Immediate Past President (IPP). He’s always got a way to drive everyone else mad and still thinks his way is the best way and none other may do it as good. With our IPP, the trip ended with the evaluation/sharing meeting being a joke and a serious internal dispute among ourselves, plus a split between the IPP and the executive committee after seeing the Bangladesh people off at the airport. How nice is that!? 

Anyway, the trip is over now and we’ve got to know some great friends. Gotta say that I’d really love to see them again – maybe in Bangladesh, maybe in HK…or maybe we can arrange a trip to somewhere else!

Had dinner with a friend, V, tonight. We haven’t met for …hmm… I don’t remember how long it has been since we last met but some friendship just last and wouldn’t be affected by time nor distance. 

We were both kinda tired tonight, actually. I just came back from hospital after visiting grandpa and she just finished teaching a whole day in school then some kids in music studio. But we just kept on chatting and laughing until it’s closing time of the restaurant. We said goodbye at around midnight. 

When will we meet again? I don’t know. We both are quite busy. But I know, when we meet again, we’ll still be quite the same – the same as when we were in school, when we would chat and have some very honest sharings till it’s time to catch the last bus. 

Till we meet again.

歷史的巨輪不斷向前, 人也不斷向前進. 前進就是進步, 不進則退…是吧?! 

長大了, 世故了, 相對有言而無物. 

十年前, 十年後, 笑聲依然, 笑臉依舊…是吧?!

十二月 2017
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