2007-06-30

Cockatoos having fun with a star-shaped dried fruit







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I am experimenting with embedding video in my blogs. The first one was uploaded via Youtube, while the second one was uploaded direct from within Blogger and stored in Google Video.

From the garden

Sunset

Tuna and sushi

A long, but interesting and informative article from Vanity Fair: If You Knew Sushi (June 2007)

In it, Nick Tosches tells you lots about Tokyo's Tsukiji Market as the global clearing house for tuna, how sushi gradually gains acceptance amongst (the more health conscious) Americans, and much more.

Kabuki opened in downtown New York in early 1961. "Not all of the dishes at the Kabuki will appeal to American palates. Count among these sashimi, or raw fish," wrote Craig Claiborne in the Times. Nippon, with its sushi bar, opened in Midtown Manhattan in 1963, the year that Ronald McDonald entered the world through the McMiracle of parthenogenesis. "New Yorkers seem to take to the raw fish dishes, sashimi and sushi, with almost the same enthusiasm they display for tempura and sukiyaki," wrote Claiborne. But McDonald's Filet-o-Fish sandwich, introduced in 1964, was the real vanguard of fish-eating in America.

In July 1971, McDonald's came to Japan, opening in the Ginza Mitsukoshi department store, in Tokyo. It was the summer before that first New England tuna to be auctioned at Tsukiji made its transoceanic journey.

The ascent of sushi's popularity in urban America in the years 1972 to 1982 was phenomenal, as was its ascent throughout the rest of the country in the decades that followed. This ascent reached its peak on January 1, 2004, when a place called Tiger Sushi opened at the Mall of America, in Minnesota. Since then, like the ruler of two domains, sushi has reigned as America's new favorite fast food and favorite slow food as well, and its imperium is extending to Europe and beyond.

Both this and a recent article by 蔡瀾 in Next Magazine (壹週刊) state clearly that salmon is not supposed to be eaten raw, since "its movement between freshwater and salt water renders it the host to many parasites". However, many sushi/sashimi eateries, especially those outside of Japan at cheap-eat places, sell raw salmon as delicacy. Beware!

Only in America - Mayor awaits iPhone, leaves line after being asked about murders

Mayor awaits iPhone, leaves line after being asked about murders

The Associated Press, June 29, 2007

PHILADELPHIA: Mayor John F. Street abruptly ended his wait in line for an iPhone Friday after a passer-by asked him about the city's murder rate.

Street, who showed up outside an AT&T store at 3:30 a.m., left shortly after 22-year-old Larry West asked him, "How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already?"

Street told him: "I'm doing my job."

Street had planned to stay in line for most of the day, waiting for Apple Inc.'s iPhone to go on sale at 6 p.m. When he left at 11:30 a.m., Street said he planned to return to his spot.

West returned later in the day to protest Street's actions — only to find the mayor still had not returned.

"In this climate, at this time in this city, you shouldn't be waiting in line for a phone," West said.

Before the encounter with West, the mayor said he wants the new device because he loves trying out the latest technology. Apple's new handheld would allow him to work some of the day outside the office, he said.

"We don't have to be sitting in City Hall to be conducting city business," he said.

Philadelphia recently had its 200th slaying of the year. Its murder rate is up from last year, the deadliest in nearly a decade.

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Only in America, indeed. I mean, do you expect a Chinese mayor to have to personally queue for a fashionable gadget? You must be joking!

2007-06-27

Andrea going places

Andrea, my Harvard Sweetie friend, just collected her Master's degree from the B-School. Congratulations!

She certainly knew how to celebrate in style, enjoying herself in Argentina, Israel/Jordan and Marseille before heading back to Hong Kong.







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銀監部門號令難行 葫蘆島商行行長安如磐石

下面是一則《財經》雜誌網絡版報導的撮要:

銀監部門號令難行 葫蘆島商行行長安如磐石

在經過對遼寧省葫蘆島商行3.7億元國債案的詳細調查後,省銀監局依法做出對該行行長王學伶等人取消任職資格的決定,卻因地方政府反對而無法執行。

根據《中華人民共和國銀行業監督管理法》,審查董事高級管理人員任職資格是銀監會的基本職責所在,銀監會據此制定的《銀行業金融機構董事和高級管理人員任職資格管理辦法》,對銀行業金融機構高級管理人員任職資格的監管范圍、任職條件、日常管理、資格終止等監管要求作出明確規定。去年以來銀監會在全國銀行業系統開展案件專項治理,對相關人員實行“雙線問責,上追兩級”,對涉案高管人員嚴格問責直至取消高級管理人員任職資格。

但葫蘆島市有關領導堅持認為,取消王學伶的高管任職資格會影響到該行的穩定,破壞葫蘆島改革開放的大好局面,並稱暫時沒有合適人選可以接任。經過三四天的交涉無果後,銀監局的有關官員業已無奈返回省會沈陽。

Asian regionalism and the death of multilateralism

(original: 24/6/07; updated 27/6/07)

Asian regionalism: threat to the WTO-based trading system or paper tiger? (Richard Pomfret, vox (beta))

Doha's near death experience at Potsdam: why is reciprocal tariff cutting so hard? (Simon Evenett, vox (beta))

The List: Deals Without Wheels (Foreign Policy)

-- Free Trade Agreements in Asia --

2007-06-25

知多一點點:春花落

近來因要編排歐遊行程,常到Google Maps找資料。剛才無無聊聊,在Google Maps上輸入Hong Kong,出現的自然是香港的地圖,但圖中在青衣島南端,卻出現「春花落」三字。

春 花 落,聞所未聞,雅得很呢!與甚麼牛寮、晒草灣簡直不可相提並論。春花落,是青衣島南邊的一個地名嗎?但當我漸次zoom in時,三字又忽然消失。不如Google一下吧。

卻原來,根據葵青區簡史,「青衣島早在明代已有人居住。當時該地被稱為「春花落」,周圍一帶的海域則稱作「春花洋」。今天,春花落泛指青衣島三枝香主峰的東面,看來是行山勝地。

枉我曾在香港打滾三十多年,真夠孤陋寡聞!就當是每天知多一點點吧。

《光明日報》改豎排為橫排那一天

从左到右——陈嘉庚和汉字横书

-- 橫寫直寫 向右向左 左翻右翻 沒完沒了 --

止庵談豎排橫排

止庵:相忘書:樗下說書:

無論繁體簡體、豎排橫排,我都可以接受,只是覺得不該偏廢。採用何種方式,當視具體情況而定。現在中華書局和上海古籍出版社等處重印古籍,往往仍舊採用繁體豎排,誠為合宜之舉。古人詩文簡體橫排,除了讀著不很舒服之外,還有一些技術問題難以解決。姑舉拙著《樗下讀莊》為例,乃是《莊子》一段正文之後,我寫一段解說。倘若豎排,則正文解說可用同種字體,正文頂頭,解說退下兩格,是否小一號字都無所謂。橫排則要麻煩得多,而且怎麼安排都未必合適。

不過當下以橫排簡體字來印行古籍者亦不在少數。我曾問一位編輯朋友,如此做法,目的何在。朋友回答,現在沒人愛讀豎排繁體字了,不這樣書就賣不出去。我又問,那麼這種印法,是否真的就有更多的人要讀;會不會因此既未開發出新的讀者,又失去了那些習慣讀豎排繁體字的讀者呢?我看坊間此類“新印古籍”,未必比老派印法多賣多少。這位朋友所說,與前引“凡例”提到的“為使讀時醒目”,共同之處在於好像頗替讀者著想。然而這種“讀者”,到底是自家臆想出來,還是真的存在呢。時至今日,古籍書礙難暢銷,出版者亦不必多存奢望,只須把書印得規矩、地道,自然有那為數雖不很多,但也未必很少的一批讀者要買要讀。假如他們看著彆扭,覺得不是那麼回事兒,恐怕就根本無人理會了。

止庵是知名「讀書人」,在豎排橫排問題上,認為當視具體情況而定,不該偏廢。

他說,「現在中華書局和上海古籍出版社等處重印古籍,往往仍舊採用繁體豎排,誠為合宜之舉。古人詩文簡體橫排,除了讀著不很舒服之外,還有一些技術問題難以解決。」

- 古人詩文簡體橫排,讀著不很舒服:那麼,今人詩文小說報刊(包括他自己的《相忘書》)以簡體橫排出版,止庵讀著舒服否?如以「具體情況而定」,是否應以古人書繁體豎排,今人書簡體橫排出版?不今不古人的書如要重印又如何(例如周作人)?

- 古人詩文簡體橫排,技術問題難解決:止庵舉自己的《樗下讀莊》為例,說明橫排技術問題難解決。《樗下讀莊》,抱歉,未讀,但「一段正文,一段解說」之類的書,在大陸以橫排出版,成千上萬,未聞有難解的技術問題。

歸根究底,止庵在豎排橫排問題上,講的不是理,是情。這在第二段引文中的用語就很清楚:「習慣讀豎排繁體」、「老派印法」、「看著彆扭,覺得不是那麼回事兒」。

-- 橫寫直寫 向右向左 左翻右翻 沒完沒了 --

2007-06-24

觀影讀書流水賬 24/6/07

讀書:
● Laura Kipnis 《Against Love: A Polemic》
● 山本文緒 《藍,或另一種藍》

這星期讀的兩本書,都是關於戀愛-婚姻-外遇這個永恆主題。《Against Love》標明是部polemic(一般譯作「論戰」,即所謂戰鬥格文章也),而《藍,或另一種藍》則是帶超現實色彩的流行小說。

先談《Against Love》。這部書,從書名,封面到簡介*都有一種引人閱讀的魅力。可惜,它其實毫不挑釁偏見精練直接,而是書生論戰型小書。

* "Will all the adulterers in the room please stand up?" So begins Laura Kipnis's profoundly provocative and waggish inquiry into our never ending quest for lasting love and its attendant issues of fidelity and betrayal. ...

首先,這部書開首第一句並不是"Will all the adulterers in the room please stand up?",而是一通「解說」,說明為何要against love,為何要寫一部polemic來「反愛」。這已是polemic的大忌。接著,是個何謂adultery的「前言」。

到了第一章,亦即以"Will all the adulterers in the room please stand up?"這種戰鬥格提問開首的一章,虎頭蛇尾,提問之後,隨即轉入「married」、「coupledom」等名詞的解說和規範,再後就是引經據典,從Freud、Marx、Weber、到Frankfurt School諸公,全都粉墨登場。

我這個已經站起來準備接受炮轟的罪人,雙腿酸軟,熬不下去了,唯有離開房間...

《藍,或另一種藍》中的倉子,不嫁河見,選擇了佐佐木,結果有物質無愛情,於是搭上牧原,但外遇生活一陣興奮後也不見得怎樣。如果當初嫁的是河見,會較幸福嗎?一天,她意外碰見河見的太太,竟是個和她一模一樣的分身。倉子A不快樂,倉子B也是如此。

那麼,交換身分一個月如何?期限到了,一個夢醒了想回復原來身分,但另一個仍沉醉於新的生活...

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止庵《相忘書》 張愛玲的殘酷與蒼涼

張愛玲的殘酷與蒼涼

讀了止庵《相忘書》裡的幾篇文章,計為:
- 知堂與"書話"
- 沈啟無與大學國文
- 張愛玲的殘酷之美
- 沉香屑
- 今生今世序
- 再談今生今世
- "張邊人物"話當年
- 關於"南玲北梅"

其中,「張愛玲的殘酷之美」真是上乘之作,對我這位張愛玲讀者有深刻的啟發作用。

簡而言之,他認為張愛玲寫無辜者有種很徹底的、不留餘地的態度。這種寫法,其實是包含了人間和俯視人間的兩種視點。從人間視點出發,她寫出人物的願望,也認同他們,承認人生的價值。但她同時也以俯視人間的視點出發,點出這種價值的虛妄和非終極性,因而也可算是人生無價值。

正因如此,張愛玲的小說很有殘酷和蒼涼色彩。他將《傳奇》內所收小說順寫作時序觀察,發覺前期小說較殘酷(飽滿徹底),後期小說較蒼凉(一言難盡)。而《傳奇》內的所謂前期和後期,相距不過兩年!《傳奇》以後,張愛玲就越加徹底地蒼凉下去了。

● 止庵:走進沒有光的所在:張愛玲殘酷之美
● 止庵:張愛玲殘酷之美 (央視《百家講壇》)
● 止庵:說說魯迅和張愛玲

Tide against Globalisation

A New Deal for Globalization (Kenneth F. Scheve and Matthew J. Slaughter, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2007)

2007-06-22

Trip planning: Day trip to Lake Como (from Milan)

Picturesque Lake Como is an inverted-Y shape lake north of Milan.

From Milan, take a train to Como. Trains leave from Milan's Stazione Centrale and Stazione Porta Garibaldi, and arrive at Como's San Giovanni station 30-60 minutes later. The ferry terminal, at Piazza Cavour, is just a 10-15 minute walk from the station.

Sights in Como
- Duomo
- Piazza Cavour

From Como, travel to Bellagio by bus or ferry.

Sightseeing in Bellagio
- Bellagio is a beautiful hilly town on the promentory where Lake Como separates into two branches.
- Because of its location, it offers a good view of the whole lake.
- Some of the best views can be seen from the park of Villa Serbelloni and from the top of Monte San Primo.

There are ferry services which link up Bellagio, Menaggio (on the western shore) and Varenna (on the eastern shore)

To go straight Centro Largo towns, take the train from Milan to Varenna (1-2 hours).

Possible itinerary:

Milan -(train)- Como -(fast ferry)- Bellagio -(ferry)- Menaggio -(ferry)- Varenna -(train)- Milan

Skip Menaggio if time is tight (or spend a short while in Como).

Lake Como ferry
- Fast ferry from Como to Bellagio takes 1 hour (€11), while slow ferry takes twice as long (€7.8).
- Fare for ferries between Bellagio – Menaggio - Varenna is €3.4 per trip. Day pass is also available.

Frommer's: Lake Como: Region in Brief

Trip planning: Day trip to Verona (from Milan)

Sights

- Arena, at Piazza Bra
- Piazza delle Erbe
- Piazza dei Signori
- San Zeno Maggiore
- Castelvecchio
- Via Mazzini

- Most sights in Verona are closed on Mondays.

(Extracted from Time Out: Verona)
The Arena is the most obvious sign of the ancients, dominating the entrance to the thumb-shaped old town in piazza Bra. The largest Roman amphitheatre in northern Italy, the Arena was capacious enough to seat the city’s whole population of 20,000 when it was constructed in about AD 30.

A short distance north-west, by Ponte Scagliero, is the Castelvecchio (‘old castle’) of Verona’s della Scala family, the medieval rulers.

The heart of the city is formed by the adjoining squares piazza delle Erbe and piazza dei Signori, a short walk north-east from piazza Bra [through Via Mazzini].

Of the many churches in Verona, the most atmospheric isn’t the cathedral, but San Zeno Maggiore. It was built in the 12th century to house the remains of African St Zeno, Verona’s first bishop and patron saint.

Transportation

Trains from Milan leave for Verona frequently and take 1.5-2 hours to reach Verona's train station, which is 1.5 km south of the old city. Take a bus or just walk for around 20 minutes along Corso Porta Nuova.

Around €14 one way for fast trains. Slower trains cost much less.

Verona Card

For €8 (1 day)/€12 (3 days), Verona Card allows free entry to museums, churches and monuments in the city and travel free on AMT bus services. Buy it at the Money Exchange Office near the Tourist Information Centre at the train station.

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Verona - City of Art and History
Footprint Guides - Verona
Big map of Verona | Small map of Verona
Online Ticket Office for Arena of Verona

2007-06-21

衷心推薦 - 不要做中國人的孩子

冉云飞:不要做中国人的孩子

女兒聽完〔我關於克拉瑪依大火、沙蘭鎮水災、黑窯童工等事件〕的講述,氣憤不已。

我說這只是中國巨大黑暗的一個角落,當她聽到“不要做中國人的孩子”時,她說那我們做誰的孩子?我說,這當然是個比喻,你生在中國、長在中國,你爸爸媽媽都是中國人,所以你也在做中國人的孩子。

做中國人的孩子是既羞愧也恐懼的事,所以做為爸媽才要更努力。現在這個國家沒有民主自由,我們要努力使其改善,要使這個國家的人得到民主自由,要做一個像模像樣的中國人。

爸爸就是有了你,才更加氣憤這個以強凌弱、以權逞勢的社會,才更加理智且執著地要為改善你及更多的孩子之生存環境而做出自己不懈的努力,才不至於讓你們覺得我們父母都是些孬種,都是些只會隨便生你們下來的、毫無血性的怯懦的人。


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再讀 冉云飞:谁让你不幸生在中国?匪话连篇:冉云飞博客

“不要做中國人的孩子”是周雲蓬的歌曲《中國孩子》裏的其中一句。關於這歌,可参閱記憶回收筒:中國孩子(可點擊收聽)

南方周末:洪洞黑砖窑身世调查

潘小濤﹕吃人的資本主義在社會主義中國

2007-06-20

Driving map of Tuscany

Toscana
- Italian regional road map
- from Touring Club Italiano (TCI)
- with index of place names and road distances
- folding map
- 1:200,000 scale
- published in 2005

2007-06-19

In and out ... in and out ... of Rome

In - 8/9 - Ciampino Airport (flight from Berlin) - arrival 9:10
Out - 10/9 - Tibertina Station (coach to Amalfi Coast) - depature 7:00
In - 13/9 - Tibertina Station (coach from Amalfi Coast) - arrival 9:00
Out - 16/9 - Fiumicino Airport (flight to Hong Kong) - depature 12:50

From Ciampino Airport, take the Terravision airport coach to Termini. To go to the Amalfi Coast, take the Metro Line B from Termini to Tibertina (the 4th stop) and take the Marozzi coach.

Terrevision coach is a dedicated airport-city transfer for airlines using the Ciampino Airport. Departure times correspond with flight arrival and departure. Passengers should be in possession of an airline boarding pass, ticket or e-ticket. Single: €8 / Return: €14. Online booking is available from the Terravision web site.

Tickets for Marozzi coach must be purchased before hand (coach leaves at 7:00 while the office opens at 9:00), at the long-distance bus office outside the Tibertina station. One way: €16.

Fiumicino Airport and Termini are linked by the Leonardo Express. Train leaves every half an hour, takes 31 minutes, and costs €11 one way.

While Termini is not a particularly attractive region, and not close to the major tourist spots, staying at a hotel within walking distance of Termini does minimise the hazzle of travelling with luggage.

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Enjoy Rome: Public transportation | The sights | Rome for free

2007-06-17

2007-06-16

Escape from Yahoo! Photos

A death foretold - Yahoo! Photos is closing down in September (later for international sites). I am one of those who have thousands of photos there, and now have less than 100 days to plan an escape route.

Millions of users, for various reasons, have chosen to store 2 billion photos on Yahoo! Photos. There will therefore be no single best escape route for all.

For me, I have tried most photo storage sites and settled for Flickr (also owned by Yahoo!) and Yahoo! Photos a few months back. Flickr is unrivalled in its web 2.0 capabilities. Unfortunately, its free service is very restrictive. Yahoo! Photos, however, is free and unlimited in storage. So I decided to put the bulk of my travel photos on Yahoo! Photos and the best one on Flickr.

Since then, the excellent Picasa (owned by Google) has increased its storage capacity to 1GB, quite adequate for my requirements (I want to store my scaled-down photos online for web display and sharing; storage of full-resolution photos is not needed). Picasa is now my preferred photo storage service. However, for reason obvious to those who follow the Google-Yahoo! rivalry, Yahoo! Photos does not offer a direct escape route to Picasa.

Perhaps I should do nothing and just let my photos on Yahoo! Photos vanish from the virtual world "on Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 9 p.m. PDT". No one is going to shed any tears.

2007-06-15

其他可供食用的植物

除那三棵柑橘樹外,花園還有一些可供食用的植物:即摘即用的各式香草和葱不在話下,早前曾種士多啤梨,月前剛種了箭生菜/火箭菜(rocket)和羅馬蕃茄(Roma tomatoes)。前者已有收成,後者為時尚早。

最後,花園一角有一大棵香茅(lemongrass),朋友送的,外觀難看,故種在不當眼處。但以新鮮香茅醃製燒豬扒或燒雞,香氣逼人。

2007-06-14

得成「正」果

家有三棵柑橘(citrus)類植物,青檸(lime)新種半年左右,現正大量開花,花謝後部分已結成小果實,但長大需時,距收成期尚遠。

- 可樂加青檸,消暑妙品!夏天時,買青檸數個,榨汁製成冰塊,隨時候命。

檸檬(lemon)樹長了19個深綠大檸檬已有多月,直至兩星期前才陸續轉黄,看來不久就可泡製自家種檸檬茶了。

- 我極愛喝檸檬茶或水,從不加糖,越酸越妙。



最早有收成的,反而是那棵小小的柑桔(kumquat)樹。小小圓圓橙橙的,摘了近百個!

- 少量已用來浸鹹柑桔,且看成敗如何。其他的,加入蜜糖煮至漿狀,喝時加水稀釋,乾燥冬夜最佳飲品。

Trenitalia's Amica discount fare

-- With the "Amica" fare, you can have 20% off all medium- and long-distance trains (AV, T-Biz, ES*, ES* City, IC Plus, IC, ICN, and Express). The tariff applies to the tickets purchased until midnight of the day before departure, for a limited number of places for each train and for a spending of at least 10 euro. --

For details, see Trenitalia's New "Amica" Fare Gives a 20% Discount on Slow Travel Talk Italy

2007-06-11

飄香之城3

Liza Picard,妙人也。長期在法律界工作,自言求知慾極强。60歲退休後埋首研究古時倫敦人過活細節。10年後以Samuel Pepys的日記為基礎寫成Restoration London,詳述17世紀中的倫敦人的日常生活。2000年出版Dr. Johnson's London,旁徵博引,以近乎百科全書形式鉅細無遺地向今人講解四分一個千禧前的倫敦的社會和生活面貌。(近年又再出版Elizabethan London和Victorian London)

或許不少讀者可將Dr. Johnson's London當普通書一樣從頭讀到尾(雖說它是百科全書體,但章節之間還是有連貫性的),我則不能。我只當它是一部工具書,選擇性地閱讀。

早前我寫過飄香之城飄香之城2,講的是古時都會的屎尿處理問題。以下是從Dr. Johnson's London抽取的相關資料:

18世紀中的倫敦,人口估計六十至七十萬,已超越君士坦丁堡、北京、開羅、巴黎和拿波里,成為世界大都會。大部分街巷論理有人每天收集垃圾,但實情是,將垃圾隨意倒出馬路的情況十分普遍。而所謂垃圾,自然也包括屎尿在內。

(左圖為William Hogarth的Night的局部 - 中「頭獎」。18世紀初作品。原圖

我在飄香之城2中提到巴黎雖早已明文規定不准當街傾倒糞便,但違規者眾。從樓上傾倒至街中也很普遍,路人常有中「頭獎」的機會。倫敦的情況也是一樣。原來當時較富裕的家庭有所謂cess-pit(密封的糞桶)的装置,定期由「夜香」員入夜後進屋更換。問題是,這是一項付費服務,窮人那有這種閒錢,於是眼不見為淨,倒出家門外,一了百了。

書中也提到,倫敦居民為保護自來水管,不致在嚴冬爆裂,多用大量馬糞覆蓋保暖,令街道非常碍眼,入夜後路人也常有中「脚獎」和滑倒的機會。

● 曾堯角落: 飄香之城 | 飄香之城2
Literary London, warts and all: Interview with Liza Picard (John Cunningham, The Guardian, 4/8/01)
● Liza Picard: Restoration London: Everyday Life in the 1660s
● Liza Picard: Dr. Johnson's London: Everyday Life in London in the Mid 18th Century
● Liza Picard: Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London
● Liza Picard: Victorian London: The Life of a City 1840-1870

● Wikipedia: Great Stink

2007-06-10

40 years in the life of Sgt. Pepper

Everything You Know About Sgt. Pepper's Is Wrong (Jody Rosen, Slate, 8/6/07)

香港10個為甚麼?誠品好讀講你知

你不知的香港十件事!

例如,你知道為什麼香港到處都是「小心地滑」嗎?又,為什麼香港的髒話,字寫出來都有一個「門」字部?

前者,我不知。後者,too easy!

觀影讀書流水賬 10/6/07

仍在日以繼夜,為下半年意遊及日遊定行程找資料。電影一部沒看,書只讀了一本,法國網球公開賽賽事看了幾場,Leonard Cohen和Mahler Symphony No.2一聽再聽,一週容易又過去。

讀書:
● 陳丹青 《多餘的素材》

陳丹青,畫家,文化界名人。聞其名,今天才首讀其書。《多餘的素材》是散文集,多寫往事:下鄉、文革、藝界人物,國外生涯。他的散文,文筆極好,但過好未必好,偶失諸滑。可算敢言,但又不太敢。本書寫文革篇幅頗多,但總在表層下不深處滑過。

- 陳丹青的博客
- 網易新聞:陳丹青

Trip planning: Berlin

Berlin in 2-3 days:

Berlin Tourist Information | Fodors | Footprint Guides | Frommer's | Berlin Insider Tours | Concierge.com | New York Times

Berlin top 5/top 10:

Smart-Travel-Germany.com | realbuzz.com | Fodors |

Transport:

Singles cost €2.1 for travel within zones AB, and €2.7 for zones ABC. A single allows use of the BVG network for 2 hours, with as many changes between bus, tram, U-Bahn and S-Bahn as necessary.

Short journey ticket (Kurzstrecke) valid for all 3 zones costs €1.2 and is valid for 3 U-Bahn or S-Bahn stops, or 6 stops on the bus or tram. No transfer allowed.

Daily ticket for zones AB costs €6.1.

Most visitors travel within the AB zones. The only exception is Potsdam, which is in zone C.

Valid tickets before use.

Berlin WelcomeCard:

Berlin WelcomeCard offers unlimited public transport within the zones and within the time limit (48/72 hours after validation). It also offers discounts for a wide range of entrance fees.

WelcomeCard 2007 (fare zone AB) € 16,00 / € 21,00 (48 / 72 hours)
WelcomeCard 2007 (fare zone ABC) € 17,50 / € 24,00 (48 / 72 hours)

2007-06-09

Trip planning: Cinque Terre



The five villages that make up the Cinque Terre (literally "5 lands"), from north to south are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. They are perilously-perched villages strung along a short stretch of cliffs in Liguria.

Hiking trails

- Route 2 or Sentiero Azzuro (Blue Trail) - Monterosso to Riomaggiore (5 hours): The Monterosso-Vernazza leg (2 hours) is hard, while Vernazza-Riomaggiore is relatively easy, especially the paved final leg, called Via dell'Amore or Path of Love between Manarola and Riomaggiore.
- Levanto to Monterosso (2 hours)

More on hiking: New York Times | Slow Travel Italy | Italy Heaven

Apart from walking, the 5 villages are also linked by trains (20 minutes, usually more than 1 train per hour) and boats (summer only).

Considering that we'll be there during the height of summer, I am planning to walk from Levanto to Monterosso on the first day, and Vernazza to Riomaggiore on the second.

Cinque Terre Card

Types and prices of Cinque Terre cards (effective 10/3/07):
- Hiking only: 5, 8 and 10 Euro for 1, 2 and 3 days
- Transportation + hiking: 8, 13.5 and 18.5 Euro for 1, 2 and 3 days

Useful Sites

- Consorzio Turistico Cinque Terre
- Cinque Terre National Park
- Rick Steves: Cinque Terre: Italy's Fiat-Free Riviera | The Enchanting Cinque Terre: Fiat-Free Italy | Vernazza: From Pirates to Pesto | Eats and Sleeps in Vernazza: The Jewel of the Cinque Terre
- The Cinque Terre

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Previous stop: Milan (25/8) | Next stop: Pisa Airport (27/8)

From Milan: 2 choices:
1. Take the 7:15 direct train from Milan Central Station, arriving in Vernazza at 11:05 (total time: 3:50)
2. Take 8:10 train from Milan Central Station to Monterosso, arriving at 11:02. Have a cup of coffee and enjoy the sea view. Buy Cinque Terre Card. Take 12:06-12:10 train to Vernazza (total time: 4:00)

To Pisa Airport: Take 8:18 train, arriving in Pisa Airport at 10:25 (2 changes at La Spezia and Pisa Central Station; total time: 2:07)

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Getting to La Mala

Address: Via San Giovanni Battista 29, 19018 Vernazza

La Mala is located in the westward part of Vernazza known by locals as Luvegu. It takes just a few minutes to get to the hotel from the railway station.

Advise the hotel before hand your arrival time, and they will meet you at the railway station to show you to your room and help you with your luggage.

Trip planning: Milan

20/8 - 24/8 (5 days, 4 nights)

Since we'll be arriving at our Milan hotel just before mid-night on the 1st day (see Trip planning: London Heathrow → Milan Linate), and leaving in the afternoon on the 5th (see Trip planning: Cinque Terre), essentially we'll have 3.5 full days for Milan and surrounding regions:

- full-day trip to Lake Como
- full-day trip to Verona
- half-day trip to Bergamo
- 2 half-days for Milan sightseeing and shopping

Milan sights:

- Duomo (7am-7pm daily, roof and lift from 9am, stairs €3.5 lift €5)
- Teatro alla Scala (8:30am-7:15pm, closed Mon)
- Il Cenacolo / The Last Supper (8:30am-7pm, closed Mon, €6.5+€1.5 booking fee, booking a must)
- Castello Sforzesco (7am-7pm daily))
- Pinacoteca di Brera (8:30am-7:15pm, closed Mon, €5)
- San Siro (Museum €7 Museum+Stadium €12.5)
- Casa Museo Boschi Stefano (2-6pm, closed Mon & Tue)
- Navigli

Milan shopping:

- Quadrilaterao D'Oro (Golden Quad) – Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea, Via Monte Napolean, Via Alessandro Manzoni
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Milan eat:

- Aperitivo: Let’s go for an aperitivo! | Aperitivos in Milan

Transport:

Tickets are valid on all the types of public transport. A single ticket lasts 75 minutes and costs €1 - use it on as many buses and trams as you like, but only one metro journey. For more, see About Milan: Transportation in Milan.

Useful Sites:

About Milan
36 Hours in Milan (New York Times)

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Getting to Hotel Berna

Address: 20124 MILANO - Via Napo Torriani, 18

From Milan's Linate Airport, take the Starfly coach to Central Station. Exit to Piazza Duca d’Aosta and cross it.

From there, 5 streets open to an aureole: the main one is Via Vittor Pisani. The first road to the left of it is Via Napo Torriani. Cross it and walk a few minutes to the hotel.

牡丹一百

牡丹一百——青春版《牡丹亭》百場演出感言 (白先勇,《聯合文學》,272期)

近年來崑曲舞台演出逐漸老化,製作青春版《牡丹亭》便是企圖將崑曲古典美學與現代劇場接軌,在崑曲的傳統基礎上,適當的融入現代審美法則,創造出一齣既傳統又現代的崑曲經典範例。

崑曲傳承存在著嚴峻的斷層危機,第一線的崑曲大師們都已屆退休年齡,製作青春版《牡丹亭》便是希望藉著排練一齣崑曲經典大戲,將崑曲大師的薪火相傳讓青年演員們在舞台上繼續發揚下去。

《牡丹亭》是一首讚頌青春愛情的生命謳歌。我們啟用與劇中人物年齡相符,形貌俊麗的青年演員擔綱,不僅給原著帶來青春活力,亦希望能吸引年輕觀眾,走進戲場。

2007-06-06

Precious rain

All Queenslanders are in joyful mood today, following an overnight rain which brought 30-50 mm of water to most Southeast Queensland localities. It was said to be the heaviest rainfall recorded over the past two years. More rain is expected for today and tomorrow.

Brisbane had only 2 mm (i.e. zero) of rain for the whole of April. Since late May though, things seeme to have been changing for the better (some say El Nino is being replaced by La Nina, whatever that means).

Our water tank is now almost half full.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

I borrowed this novel by Mark Haddon from the local library on Cathy's recommendation.

The book started with young Christopher deciding to find out who killed his neighbour's dog with a garden fork, hence the book's title. Christopher, who has Asperger Syndrome, is great with mathematics but totally dysfunctional in social interactions and looking after himself.

The book is not what it seems though. Rather, it is a portrait of the breakdown in the marriage of Christopher's parents, the burden of looking after him being a major factor.

As a book for the "younger readers", The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has its obvious merits. But to me, it was ultimately an annoying reading experience, since I always have problems with books, films or songs by adults "pretending" to be kids. While the book is written from the first-person perspective of Christopher, I can always feel the presence of a smart adult behind, pulling strings.

2007-06-03

觀影讀書流水賬 3/6/07

今天是兩老返澳3週年,明天是六四18週年。敝宅並無安排任何紀念活動。

觀影:

● 市川準 《東尼瀧谷》 (5/10)

- 曾堯角落:再遇《東尼瀧谷》

讀書:

● Susan Vreeland 《Girl in Hyacinth Blue》



- 老友讀過,認為不錯,我也跟風讀讀。構思甚佳,成績也真不俗。以一幅虛構的Vermeer傳世畫作為題材,以倒敘形式由今天的擁有者上溯至Vermeer繪畫之時,共八篇短篇小說。要做到篇篇不同題材,不同味道,殊不容易。接著要讀的,是她的新作《Luncheon of the Boating Party》,仍是關於名畫的,但今次是Renoir的,而且是一幅實有的作品。

Help you make it thru the night



The above are stamps of Leonard Cohen from Finalnd.

As I wrote in What if the night is long and you are depressed, as usual? You need Leonard Cohen by your side!

Finland is issuing a stamp in the honour of Leonard Cohen. Cohen, aka the poet laureate of pessimism, the grocer of despair, the godfather of gloom, the prince of bummers, "has an enormous following in Finland, where the nights are long and depression is said to be widespread."

雲門向左 雲門向右

我在橫寫直寫 向右向左 左翻右翻 沒完沒了網頁中已談過「雲門舞集」四字時而由右向左,時而又由左向右排列之謎。

董陽孜的原字,乃是由右向左寫。據林懷民當年自述:「到了八○年代,印刷書寫方向轉變成由左到右,為了配合所有印刷品,今天看到的「雲門舞集」是經過從左到右的重整,令我感到心痛,因為傷害了氣韻,希望不久可以「平反」。」

平反了嗎?

雲門舞集似乎已統一向左...

雲門舞集2卻似乎統一向右!

雲門舞集網誌中,可見「集舞門雲」「雲門舞集2」並列



箇中有何玄機?我不清楚。雲門舞集較傳統?雲門舞集2較離經?

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雲門舞集網誌版頭設計,寫有「界世遊林老著跟」,顯是有意為之,而非受電腦排版所限。但當你在雲門或雲林2網頁時,會見到可點擊至網誌的banner,文字卻是反其道而由左向右的!



老林向左走,老林向右走...

-- 橫寫直寫 向右向左 左翻右翻 沒完沒了 --

2007-06-02

大野洋子 大吃狗肉 抗議 大英王室

明報引中新網報導- 大野洋子吃狗肉抗議英王室

「大野洋子」之為中國人長期誤用,是「習非勝是」的典型例子。Yoko Ono原名為小野洋子而非甚麼大野洋子,不難查證,此誤譯亦早已被多番點出,但我們似乎還是集體堅持稱她為大野,真可謂眾志成城。

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後記(12/6):原來這篇我改為「大野洋子 大吃狗肉 抗議 大英王室」的報導純屬大話。小野女士對此作大報導大發雷霆,各大報章紛紛道歉。

台北:立此不存照

早前我寫過,去過台灣至少五、六次,但每次的目的地都是台北,其他城市從未去過。更甚者,每次都只逗留台北市內,甚麼九份、基隆、野柳,都未去過,乘捷運到淡水已是極限

昨天太座整理旅遊照片,發現沒有任何一張是屬於台北的。我也覺得奇怪。以前去旅遊不喜歡拍照,那是事實,更經常不帶相機出遊,但去過台北那麼多次,竟每次都不「立此存照」,的確有點巧合,不過也表明台北的風景名勝從來不是吸引我去的原因。

想起來,我在台北還是有拍過照的。那年我和父母三人去了台北幾天,還住在圓山飯店(唉,美人遲暮啊),有幾張合照現今還貼在老家雪櫃門上。