July 1985 at Xiyuan Hotel in Beijing
Uncle Chen Yu had me stayed there and Panpan came to visit. She’s one of my childhood friends ..
Auntie Jennie had this tea waiting for me when I got to her apartment on Sunday. I was very humbled. There were many instances that I wanted to express my feelings, wanted to let her know that I care about her. But I never managed to conjure enough courage to get the words out of my mouth. Seeing the tea was one of such moments. .. but I chickened out by inspecting the tea in detail. I’ve never see such pretty tea, I told her. What I really wanted to say to her was she’s alone, I’m here whenever you need me; and give her a hug; to reach out to her .. ..
Instead, I said .. thank you for making it. Gugu Jennie is forever in a rush, talks fast and moves fast. Was it a valid excuse?
The exchange rate between HK dollar and RMB was .856 (864). It used to be about HK$100 for 30 RMB in the 1980s.
We had lunch with her friend Xiao Hua at 正斗粥面专家 Tasty Congee & Noodle Wan. Xiao Hua has a long story too..
Hong Kong used to be a cultural desert; errrhhh that’s beside their only culture of money. Now, their orchestra is in fine shape but they have added a ballet too, also housed in their new (new to me who hasn’t been back there since 1986) H.K. Cultural Centre 香港文化中心 since 1989 by the Star Ferry in 尖沙嘴 Tsim Sha Tsui. I took in the New Moon 月舞 (HK$120) – nothing to write home about. The small studio theater was cozy and comfortable. New York City has about 8 million inhabitants, about a mil more than Hong Kong but we support Lincoln Center and the Carnegie Hall, among others. Hongkongers have a long way to go.
Auntie Jennie still teaches. On my last day there, she had a student came for lesson. Her impatient manner (could be down right rude) with her less talented students back in Beijing still vivid in my mind. I held my breath in the living room. The student was a young woman, in her late 20s or early 30. The lesson went very straightforward in her tiny library/office/music room. The sound of Aunt Jennie teaching in Mandarin and the student repeated it orally in Cantonese before she did it on the flute was mellow. Is the student getting a Mandarin lesson as well? I laughed softly to myself. Auntie Jennie hasn’t changed much.
“My students all love me very much.” Auntie Jennie told me. “I found them jobs .. ..” Her students keep her going. When she first got to Hong Kong in 1980, she used to complain that she came too late because her peers like Liu Mama and Huang Manlu have scoped up all prospects. She found her footing now.
Someone is getting married on Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
For the good humor I wore the same top..
The little girl is now managing a bank branch in London, after graduating from Cambridge and speaks Queens English, If that makes one feeling prestigious, so much power to them. She’s dating a smashing looking cricket player (as hobby) from Sir Lanka.
On a wimp, we decided to go to Wimbledon again. We left early, found the queue line was much shorter. When we got to the gate, it was only 11am. Unexpectedly, the cashier asked us if we would like a pair of Centre Court tickets.
“Center Court?” I looked at Pumpkin.
It’s going to be a really sweet 16!
The only worry that crossed my mind at that moment was I didn’t have enough cash since they won’t take any credit card.
As it turned out, we were very luck – got them at discount: £74 face value for £49 each.
It’s ladies quarter finals. The seats were very good. The Centre Court is small and intimate. Saw Kim and then Serena played Li Na. It was a very quiet match; 7-5, 6-3, perhaps Ms. Williams didn’t need to grunt. After the match, Serena lingered longer than usual at the net with Li. taking. Wondering what did she say to Li.