Sunday, 24 July 2011

小說 “笙歌” 第六章 之(4)“狗友”

第六章之(四)「狗友」

宋煥想在九龍公園過夜。一群野狗,狗視眈眈,
評估著究竟應該誰吃誰?

鏈接到上一節:第六章之(三)-「渡伶仃」

宋煥推著車,步履蹣跚地沿著彌敦道向北前進。找來的手推車上,乘載著兩個濕了水的大背囊。
昔日香港最繁盛的購物大道,現在蕭條清冷。兩旁的名牌商鋪,當年的旺盛人氣,熱鬧虛榮,早已銷聲匿跡。宋煥走在路中央,減低被生鏽空調或鐵窗掉下打中的機會。
尖沙嘴曾經是遊客的購物地獄。原有的天然水源,早被鋼筋混凝土重重封殺。加上到處都是搖搖欲墜的光管招牌,所以區內遺民早已遷離。環顧四周,宋煥看見不少末世遺跡,東歪西斜地掛在橫街巷口:

瘋狂艷舞 飲品全免!
信耶穌,第一好!
四仔電影 真人彩排
學生妹導遊,滿意收錢
世界之光」潮人崇拜(電梯按 6 B
風流怨婦,波大熱情 (電梯按 6 E
只有相信主,你和家人才可得救!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Why People Believe in 911


More than ten years after the 911 drama, when emotion should have long ebbed, and with so much video evidence to show the WTC collapsed without regard to fundamental science, the official story is still believed by many. Why? 
Here are my speculations:
1) A lack of courage (rather than judgement) to face the unthinkable monstrosity and corollary helplessness might have forced many to turn the other way. After all, dismissing the valid questions as a "conspiracy theory" is much less disturbing (and more energy efficient) to the mind than research and analysis.
2) Faith: Ah, that Enemy Number ONE against human reasoning again. Admitting the implausibility of 911 would naturally imply some degree of conspiracy involving the government. Some prefer to believe that the US government, so verbally dedicated to morality, couldn't have committed such an atrocity. So, evidence matters little; faith based beliefs are by definition impervious to objective reasons. 
3) General ignorance in its more innocent and blissful form. We have that in abundance, of course.
Some might ask: Where are the “insiders”? 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

小說 “笙歌” 第六章 之(3)“渡伶仃”


第六章  之(3)“渡伶仃”
宋煥幾經辛苦越過了伶仃洋,登陸的地方竟然是惶恐灘。。。


宋煥把背囊和單車放上小舢板後,才發覺自己全身被海水和汗水濕透,還不住輕微發抖。
他兩星期前已作好準備,把舢板拴泊在這裡。今天外表平靜的維多利亞港,在晴空之下翻滾著無數不起眼的白頭浪。眾多的細小浪頭,在碼頭對開結集後衝上石階,一聲哇啦緊接一聲,氣勢出奇地逼人,令宋煥心寒。
他剛才費了很大的勁,伏在石階把單車和背包放上舢舨。藤壺蠔殼把手腳刮得傷痕累累,血跡斑斑。雖然只是皮外傷,但也令他感覺沮喪。不過石階布滿青苔,滑不留腳。沒有蠔殼的話,情況可能更糟。這一場序幕掙扎,令宋煥覺得自己比一小時離家出走前老了很多。

Friday, 8 July 2011

你认识这个籴字吗? Do you know this word: 籴?

这是籴米的籴字,发音 di, 粤音与“笛”同。哦,一讲“笛米”,大家都听过,买米也。不过在我平常交往的文盲圈子里,大部分人已经不再认识这个在传统中国人生活中很重要的一个字。
小时候的香港人,都说籴米,随着“米铺” 式微,大家由籴米变了去超市“买米”,正在瘦身的人,还当米是毒药,谈米色变,籴字才逐渐从我们日常的语言中消失。一向以为“籴米”是市井俚语,原来十分文雅。负责漕运物流的官员,写奏章比皇帝,讲到积谷存米时,也用籴字。卖出的时候,是粜米。音tiao。粤音与“挑”同。粜字少用,因为大家都只有买米,很少卖也。
小时候跟妈妈籴米,米铺一桶桶等同小孩身高的香米,上插标签注明品种价钱。妈妈有时会挑两三品种,凭经验混合煮食。米铺会把客人指定的比例混好后,才用麻包袋由送货苦力托上肩头运送,到家之后,倒入米缸,香气扑鼻。那时候家家有米缸,除了养老鼠之外,还可以把青绿酸涩的芒果慢慢 “沤熟”。记得吗?
I bet they don’t teach you this word in Chinese classes: 籴 (di) means specifically “buy rice”, a very important word in traditional Chinese life. It was in common colloquial use in Hong Kong before rice shops were replaced by supermarkets, and people on a low carb diet regard most staples poisonous.
When I was a kid, we used to buy rice (籴米) from neighbourhood rice shops (米铺: mi pu) with big wooden barrels filled to the rim with various fragrant grains. Mum would grab a handful, sniff it, and let it sieve through her fingers. She might then order different types of rice blended for better texture and taste. A coolie would then deliver it in big jute bags, carried on shoulder. At home, the jute bag would be emptied into a rice bin (米缸: mi gang). Every Cantonese household had a rice bin. Besides smelling great, they were excellent incubators for unripe mangoes bought at a discount. 
I though 籴 was a market slang. In fact, it was also a formal word used by court officials in reporting the movement of rice to the emperor. The reverse flow - the selling of rice - is 粜 (tiao)米, a much less common term to the average person.


A big rice shop on the right (circa 1960's)
A modern day rice shop - shrunken and rare
(still surviving, I think)


Note: I didn't take these photos. Just grabbed them from an old photo junk mail for illustration.








Tuesday, 5 July 2011

小说 “笙歌” 第六章 之(2)“給兒子的信”

第六章之(二)「給兒子的信」

一個人,跟著自己的偏執,社會的制約,和別人的期望,活了一輩子。
老了才發覺活了這一輩子的人,可能不是自己,你說心焦不心焦?

鏈接到上一節:第六章之(壹)-「蛆蟲晏」

笙兒,

這封信我不知重復抄寫過多少遍了。兩年來每次改動,我都要從頭到尾抄寫一遍。我寫字慢,眼又不明,抄一次很不容易。那倒不打緊,但每重復一次,心裡便失去一分感情。結果越抄越麻木。越麻木越傷心。
你知道嗎?感情對一個老人來說,特別珍貴。老年人感覺遲鈍,連傷心時也難過不起來。被抑壓了的傷痛,會化為懊惱,恐懼,甚至忿怒。我們傷心時流不出眼淚。大笑一餐反而會淚流滿面。好顛倒啊!
可能第一版的原稿最能表達我的感受。無奈我這個人任何事都要千思萬想,改了又改,修完又修。好,不囉嗦了。再來一遍,最後一遍。
我十八個月前第一次寫這封信。當時只寫了個開場:笙兒,我不知道應該從何說起,便寫不下去。我現在大概知道從何說起,卻不肯定如何收尾。
一年半來,我多次想安排離去,但每次都找來一大堆延期藉口:再過兩個月吧;先再給你多點心裡準備吧;等春天來再算吧。今天我不再找藉口,是因為時間不多了。