To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Exactly one month more for my return to India! While I am naturally very happy to be going home, I also feel a trifle sad looking at the year gone by and all the things I have come to love and all the things I will certainly miss. Am sure good things lie ahead, nevertheless one can't help feel nostalgic about the good things one leaves behind...but, like a friend said to me recently, c'est la vie!

This weekend a group of friends and I went to Lantau Island, to see the world's largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. A marvellous handiwork! Check out the picture in my photo blog...

Those following my culinary progress closely might know that I had never tried my hand at making non-vegetarian food. Well, I did it! Sometime back made Prawn Curry, borrowing the recipe from a Mangalorean colleague. It came out pretty good for a first-time attempt, and ahem, that's what the others said, not me. :)

Ever since I bought the iPod, have been enjoying my half-hour bus rides to and fro office. In the early mornings especially, I feel a wave of tranquility wash over me, as I gaze out of the window, watching the world pass floating into my ears.

There is this Chinese colleague of mine who resembles an Indian ex-colleague. I can't really point out in what way this resemblance struck me when I first saw him, but I realise now that it is not just the face. The Indian ex-colleague was an extremely polite/courteous person, as in, he used to stand aside for you even if you were a mile away, and other stuff like that. What I notice is, this Chinese colleague is also extremely polite and soft-spoken, and what beats me most, his voice is also pretty similar (when he doesn't speak Chinese, that is). This leads me to wonder: is it possible that there exist "types" of personalities in the world, defining certain attributes of the people of the type? Don't know, but this thought has crossed my mind many times...
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
To enquire the price of an item from a Chinese salesperson, I typically say the following:
"I buy this, how much you give me?"

(No, my verbal communication is not as stunted as the sentence above might lead you to believe. It is just that I have got into the habit of using only "key words" with accompanying actions when having to communicate with non-English-speaking Chinese.)

The Chinese salesperson might or might not understand my meaning, depending on which he/she might or might not come out with a calculator and type out the number. The number will most definitely be way higher than what I might want to settle for, and I will type out a new number in its place. This number will most probably be lower than what the Chinese salesperson is happy to give (or at least the Chinese salesperson will pretend so), and will now type out a number somewhere in between the higher and the lower numbers. We will either settle the matter at this neutral number or again type and retype and settle for a new number...

I remember in one such haggling incident (for the record, bargaining is not only common, it is also very much expected in HK, especially in the small time shops!), I was asking for an item for 10 HKD, and the salesperson (a young lad), refused to give it to me for less than 15 HKD. We were onto it for a while and finally he said to me in an angry tone: "I give you 10HKD, you buy me!" I was completely speechless and astounded for a moment! My friend nudged me and whispered into my ears, when understanding dawned, and I couldn't stop laughing out loud. What he was trying to say was, "if you are getting this somewhere else for as low as 10HKD, buy it for me!" It is a common gimmick I have seen used by Indian shopkeepers too, but who would have guessed it by the sound of it?!
Friday, November 04, 2005
I love shopping! I'm sure most guys at this point will say, "So which girl doesn't?" (have heard too many male friends cracking a joke or two on this subject!). Well, to my disappointment, there are many of them, and I have had the (dis) pleasure of meeting them.

Fact is, before I came to live here all by myself, I had not had the scope to study so many different types of personalities this closely. There is only so much you can know about people when you hang out with them on a weekend and so much more you know when you actually live with them and also move around with them. I believe this is the difference between a courtship and a marriage too: the same person during a courtship might be a totally different personality from the same person after the marriage...and all because the dynamics when you live with a person day in, day out over a certain period of time are so different from when you meet them over an evening in a fine restaurant with good food and charming people around (I am not trying to advocate live-in relationships here; was just a flow of thought!)

Funny how I've managed to digress from shopping to something so unrelated!

What I was going to come to was: I am fond of shopping (window and otherwise!), and I have more fun when I go on outings with girl friends who also share my fondness for the same.

Something like the difference between going to an Art museum with an art enthusiast like yourself as opposed to someone who doesn't care the next thing about art -- so that while you wax eloquent about some painting, the other person just stares at you staring at the painting and pretends to be interested in the best case or looks extremely bored in the worst case (or maybe vice versa, depending on which way you look at it...).

How can you compare something like appreciating paintings in an Art museum to appreciating say clothes in a shop, you ask? My answer is, both demand the same basic knack: an aesthetic sense and a critical eye (ofcourse, as there are those who will appreciate art without having either, so there are those who shop with passion, in spite of having neither).

Now that I have confessed to one of my favourite things, that is shopping, let me admit that my stay in Hong Kong has been an enjoyable one owing in no small part to the amount of scope I've had here to exercise this passion. The only one thing missing was (and the point of this post) a partner in crime -- someone who would share this passion with me -- but as all of you have rightly guessed (and friends no doubt will nod their heads), it hasn't daunted me in the slightest degree! :)

P.S: Shall try to post pictures of some of the most bustling, colourful markets in HK like the Ladies Market in MongKok, Night Market in Temple Street, Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei, Stanley Market in Stanley and so on in the picture blog by and by!