Monday, December 28, 2009

礼物


YR的圣诞礼物来得正是时候--一本小王子笔记本。顿时想拿它来做日记本。记录每一日的心情。

从中学开始养成写日记的习惯,竟在日后匆匆的岁月脚步中中断了。背包旅行时期,最贵重的行李除了是那台帮我老实地记录风景的单眼相机外,就是那一本外貌不扬的日记本了。自己所有的想法、心情,都收录在那个空间里。那时,害怕自己水过不留痕,深怕真真切切发生过的事件会在往后的人生旅途中被完全遗忘,仿佛一切不曾发生过。于是,就汲汲于通过文字来向生命抓牢一些什么。希望日后,自己会在旅途那端与这时的自己对望。算是自己送给自己的礼物吧?那个时候,对于自己,总是要那么清晰、那么仔细。

到了某一个阶段,就只想随随便便算了。开始不再害怕留白。开始为回忆减肥。出外旅行也不带日记本了。发生过的什么事就随它去。反正记忆空间就那么大,就全都交由时间自己来筛选吧。该留下的自然会留下,会消失的也就不是那么重要了。那个时候起,开始不害怕留白。生活的脚步匆匆,发生的事情多,消失得也快。经过了,就算了。抓得再牢,也无济于事。

某一日随意翻开某一本过去的日记。其中记录了两件事,第一件的心情,我至今仍记得;第二件事,则完全毫无记忆痕迹。耿耿于怀与释怀,可能就是这个样子吧?

Friday, December 18, 2009

孝道与情感勒索


E常把父母挂在嘴边。婚后就住在娘家隔壁。E看起来很独立,不料她却毫不讳言地说自己无法想象与父母分隔得太远。可见她与父母之间的关系非常密切。


不单是E,发现身边的好几名同事跟父母的关系都非常友好R每个傍晚在开车回家之前都会播一通电话给母亲,通知她正要上路了。碰上天气不佳时,抵达办公室后,她也会播一通电话回家报平安。办公室里发生的事情,R也不忘与父母分享,所以即使没见过面,R的父母都晓得我们这些人的存在。C因家中有年迈带病的父亲,有时候一下班,就得赶回家开车载母亲去买必需品。


如果是一段发自于内心的关系,我可以武断地认定,大家都会善待对方,在彼此有困难的时候伸出援手,不管是子女对父母或是父母对子女都是如此。在英国这样的一个文化情境里,我不把子女对父母的情感定位在“回报”的范围里。毕竟,我们一直都假定西方文化里没有中华文化的优良传统--“孝道”。没有孝道的观念,自然就不能有“回报”的心理。


C为父母奔波,出自于爱的道理,孝道因而变得多此一举。


我们“明文规定”孝道的存在,把它作为特定的行为要求。E说过,因为父母爱她,所以从来没有要求她作出任何回报。可是,没有要求并不代表E不会“回报”。


如果双方有爱的基础,即使没有孝道的指标,仍然可以达到与孝道同样的行为效果。若真的是爱,就不会求回报的。一旦有了功利的念头,那恐怕已不是爱,而是一种交易。

Thursday, December 17, 2009

单人房


终究发现这个双人房里只够容纳一张单人床。房里的那一扇窗,始终只能对望着自己的世界。随着时间的推移,越来越多的物质搬入了这个空间,相对的,空间日益缩小。小到真的只能容纳一个住户。



房客搬入又搬迁,房间里仍然近乎于真空,一切仿佛处于静态。

Monday, December 14, 2009

短暂性的永久


过去的四年里,每一年都搬家。搬过横跨英格兰中北部的家,也试过在旧居六公里的范围里搬了两次的家。最后一次,便是搬越欧亚大陆。



每一次搬家,由于不晓得自己是否会长久地留下来,所以每一个新住所都含有一种暂时性的意味。尽管如此,每一次新居的居住时间还是比预期来得更短。



第一个居所是一个拥有后院的半独立式住所,算是圆了可以住“花园洋房”的梦。不过怠惰成性,“花园”变成杂草丛林。第二次搬家是为了工作,得迁到另一个郡。住的是廉价的“工人”排屋,也就是工业革命时期纱厂工人的住所。短短一年里,车子被泼汽水、音响被盗、垃圾桶被人滥用、莫名其妙的邻居会在半夜两点钟隔着墙壁与你分享重金属音乐或是成天对着孩子怒吼。精彩万分。第三间房子离工作地点仅六公里,可是路况让车程变成40分钟的路程。最后的住所是顶楼的小公寓,可以眺望,才发现自己还是喜欢住高楼。



即使是一个暂时的逗留空间,还是想把空间布置得多一些永久性的味道。毕竟,那是我每天工作场所以外,另一个让我呆得最久的空间。因此,就算空间再小,还是希望一个客观的空间可以布置得多一点儿个人感觉,让房子的功用性味道少一点。于是,尝试在空洞的墙上挂一些照片,或是在窗沿上放一些鲜花、或摆设品。



原来,纵使再短暂,内心深处还是希望能在短暂的空间里制造一种永久的假象。

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A bit of Shanghai

Oriental Pearl TV Tower looming across Huangpu River.

The beautiful Bund facing Huangpu River with an ugly truth, where pirates of the 19th c who were all attired in suits and tall hats, plundered from this city, in the most civilised manner.


No tumblers please. A typical scenery in Shanghai.
The traditional architecture of watertowns in Southern China--whitewashed walls and grey tiles. Qi Bao, a thousand-year-old watertown located right in modern Shanghai, accessible by tube. Qi Bao provides a glimpse of the past amidst Shanghai's skyscrapers although the Chinese ways of preserving historical towns are always disputable, in my opinion.

Qi Bao, a watertown, with winding canals and hence, the large number of bridges where each is unique.


Tube station at off peak hours. Shanghai's tube system is the artery to this metropolitan as it moves people and goods all around Shanghai at a very affordable price of maximum 5 yuan. Crowds at peak hours are definitely a sight and surprisingly, order is observed although some amount of violence is required to board/alight during peak hours.


A wonderful skyline depicted by local Shanghainese. Hidden beneath the modern facade of modern buildings and malls, are the tonnes of streets that exuberate the local way of life, untouched still by Time. Modern, mammoth buildings reigned East Nanjing Road, the mecca of consumerism. Walk away from East Nanjing Road, either to the left or the right and you will find the clock turned back in time.

Another part of old Shanghai, away from the East Nanjing Road.
The skyline of the future, outlined by the towering buildings along East Nanjing Road.



video

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mindmapping of my Shanghai

Has been my transitional home.





To be greeted by this view once I turned right as I got passed the security checkpoint of the apartment. It is a constantly changing view. A new bank, just next to the apartment is "growing". Every time I pass by this street, the bank is closer to opening for business. Another block of apartment is growing too. Probably all too quick.











At this junction where it gave us so much enjoyment and amazement just watching how the pedestrains and motorists get about.











The road to Xujiahui Station. Autumn has creeped in already.











Passed by this building where a posh Korean restaurant, indicated by the line of expensive cars that are parked around the entrance, is located on the 2nd storey.











Best Buy only started business when we moved to Xujiahui. An IT mall, in short, where we got our 3G service.










One of the many entrances to Xujiahui Station. Last summer, this was still a place for laundry and three months later, it is ready for use.















How can I forget about our tea time at Chamate?









Gateway--A Hong Kong shopping mall equipped with a large supermarket catered for the expat community. Where we visit frequently.














My favourite haunt. A modernized version of tea and Chinese food with a tint of Taiwanese style of course. Where we saw that young couple over dinner, sitting close to one another, with only a small table between them. Yet, worlds apart as each was engrossed in communicating with the world beyond the dining table through their electronic devices. Throughout the meal affair, they only exchanged words twice--once when ordering food and the second time when they have to foot the bill. If this is the inevitable destination for all relationships?


Gino, our favourite cafe.

眼泪先知




情感迟钝时,眼泪有时候成了情感最直接的反应。追不上情感的变幻时,身体用自己的方式来发泄身体的情绪。

语言可以花巧,逻辑可以自欺,眼泪,除非已练就到炉火纯青的地步,骗不了自己。

还没来得及剖析,眼泪兀自掉了下来。

问题朋友


原来我还是有那么一点点在意。


即使到了这个年纪,即使对人的要求已经低到不能再低,甚至可以说已经毫无要求,以为这样才不会对人性有所期待,或者是,只有这样才能比较容易从人身上获得一些感动,我对朋友还是不自觉地有一定的要求的。当然,这又可能是自己的非分之想。


有些人总是能毫不吝啬地与你分担他们的不快乐;他们的快乐时光却又总是与你无关。相比之下,一个人的寂寞其实会更快乐。

Delays

整整一天,碰上了无数次的延误。

办理登机手续时,被理所当然地通知到,班机会延迟一小时起飞。登机后,发现飞机必须再等上一个小时。转机时,因为先前的延误,就继续延误续程的班机--再等两个小时。

一而再,再而三。仿佛在提醒我,人生,我的人生,有太多太多自己所不能掌控的变数。

延误对人情的释怀;延误了解/体会人生中最基本的情感泉源;延误对自己的了解;延误了体验在别人的人生里是属于理所当然的阶段;搞不好,还延误了与你的相识……

Been haunted by delays for the entire day.

Was told at the check-in counter that the flight would be delayed for an hour; another hour of unexpected wait on the aircraft; the earlier delays consequently delayed my connecting flight--which was another two hours of wait.

Again and again. As if reminding me, that life, my life, is a whole chunk of uncontrollable events.

Delay in coming to terms with human worlds; delay in understanding/experiencing the most basic feelings of human forms; delay in understanding myself; delay in experiencing the stages of life, that for others, is just a nature of course.