2012的日落

photography / 攝影travel / 出行

多事的2012年終於快過去了。在這裡分享一些這一年來拍到的日落。其中一些場景,會不會讓你覺得似曾相識?

更多的照片在Google+

加拿大溫歌華 – Olympic Village
加拿大溫歌華 – Coal Harbour
日本東京 – 台場
日本京都 – 清水寺
日本廣島 – 厳島神社
台灣新竹 – 南寮漁港


月半彎,淡如逝水一般 – 《溫哥華的月亮》讀後有感

life / 生活reading / 閱讀

有網友知道我居於溫哥華,所以介紹我看一本小說:《溫哥華的月亮》。

顧名思義,故事的主要場景是溫哥華。從故事情節來看,時序大概是00年代初。

故事主要由四個女角帶出台灣移民在異地的各種境況和濟遇。說真的,書裡各種女性心態以至她們之間那種既在勾心鬥角,也在互相依賴的關係,自承不了解女性的我實在無甚所感。但最能觸動我的,是作者杜修蘭對於移民生活的描寫。

當我看到故事剛開始時,女主角冒著冷天氣擠公車的苦況時,過往一直都是坐公車上學的我,卻不禁笑道:「有沒有這麼慘?」

但是,往後的描述,對我來說,卻真實得有點觸目驚心。

 

很多溫哥華的華人移民故事都是這樣的:

一九九零年代中,父母兩人,帶著一至兩個十來歲的孩子,以及畢生的積蓄來這個陌生的國度。

若父親在原居地有高薪厚職,或者是老闆階級的,在安頓好家人之後,他就會獨自回到原居地工作賺錢,一年才到加拿大一兩次(由於要飛來飛去的關係,這些父親都被戲稱為「太空人」)。這些家庭都生活富裕,但夫妻和父子/女之間卻要兩地相隔。

若父母都選擇在加拿大找工作的話,則要面對語言障礙,能力錯配,不穩定的就業狀況(很多人移民之後才知道「失業」是怎麼一會事),以及隨之而來的經濟壓力。縱有一點積蓄,卻只能坐吃山崩,眼白白看著存款數字逐個月減少。

面對生活的困難和不安,家庭裡的磨擦自然就多,為小事動氣吵架是家常便飯。家中處於反叛期的子女不懂得怎去處理父母的情緒,只能消極地對大人的事,不聞不問。他們有些會跟朋友聯群結黨到處流連,要不就躲在家中沉迷電腦遊戲(我的青春有多少是獻了給《大航海時代II》和光榮的《三國志》系列呢? XD )。

成年人碰面,或是給老家的親戚朋友打電話的時候,嘴上總是少不了抱怨:這是退休城市,了無生氣,悶得很;一年有九個月的天氣是灰濛濛的,看到都覺得討厭;這裡的人都很窮,做生意穩賠;就算有錢賺,都被本地人賺走了;這裡只有冷藏雞,沒有活雞,難吃得很…等等。

 

最讓我吃驚的是,當我看到故事的情節,勾起這些回憶片段時,才發現自己對那段日子已經開始淡忘。這些,不都只是十多年前發生的事嗎?(在「十多年」加上「只是」兩字,足以暴露我的年齡,哈)

回想到那些不太快樂但其實說不上太苦的日子,就會想到,究竟從當時到現在的心境改變是怎樣而來?甚麼時候開始的?是我自己的生活改變了,還是溫哥華變了?

是甚麼驅使我留下?那個誓神劈願說自己畢業後一定會回去香港工作的我到哪裡去了?

世事無絕對,也許有一天我還是會離開溫哥華的,但卻不一定是回香港去了。

那麼,下一個問題是,我有一個可以叫作「家」的城市嗎?08年那次日本行,一個人冒著大雨遊京都那一天,我忽然想到這個問題。那兩年,多了機會到不同的國家去旅行,深深的感覺到其實世界上適合生活的地方其實還很多,就看我有沒有那毅力和恆心去重新適應新的生活。

家,只是個人的定義而已。

 

在初來到溫哥華的日子,我曾想過,會不會一天一覺醒來,我會回到香港的家裡。甚麼移民,甚麼加拿大都只是一場夢。後來,當回到我闊別十年的香港小住時,看到熟悉但卻稍稍改變了的街道,一時間真的有點如夢初醒的感覺。

或許人生本就如夢。甚麼時候醒來,醒來的時候身在何方,卻是我無從知曉的了。



冬季的第一場雪

life / 生活

前兩個月的某一天,有個外地的朋友問我,可不可以在溫哥華下雪的時候拍些雪景照?

溫哥華雖然位於加拿大境內,但冬季下雪卻不是必然的事,要不在年初冬奧的時候就不會弄得有點狼狽了…

沒想到,這個冬季的第一場雪來得早。上星期五的晚上,我望向窗外的時候,只見白雪紛飛,地上也已經是一片白。

翌日,雪停了而稍稍放晴。我趁下午日落之前外出,到母校附近逛了一圈,完成了朋友交下的任務。



Dine Out Vancouver 2006 – My Review

food / 吃事

I wanted to write this entry for a couple days already, but have yet to do so because of the you-know-what reason. I originally expected to go to only one restaurant for Dine Out Vancouver (Feenie’s that is), but ended up going to three places through two weekends. Anyway, here is a brief review:

1. Feenie’s

I booked the table on the morning of January 3rd, and it may be a good decision. The place was pretty busy and we had to wait for 15 minutes (or more?) to get the table. The table arrangement is kind of tight, which gave some kind of “Hong Kong-style restaurant” feel. I guess that is because of the dine out. Otherwise the ambiance and service is decent.

What I had:
Appetizer: Red and golden beet salad with pistachios, orange segments and horseradish dressing
Entree: Chick pea fritters with a ragout of mushrooms and baby vegetables mushroom froth
Dessert: Chocolate cherry bread pudding with kirsch chantilly cream

It was good that we had three people in total, so that we all ordered different dishes and tried each of them out. I kind of liked the taste of the beet salad. Don’t remember much about the entree, except that it was pretty good. :p The bread puddling is so-so. Overall, the menu is original and it’s refreshing to have something other than your typical West Coast style food.

2. Aqua Riva

Parking wasn’t hard to find (for a Saturday evening in Downtown), but expensive as expected. Kind of confused as to where the place was because its address is 200 Granville, but the entrance is actually at the 200 block of Howe. The view was pretty nice since the building is built right out to the water.

What I had:
Appetizer: BABY FIELD GREEN SALAD with apple & mint goat cheese croustade and balsamic herb viniagrette
Entree: Some mushroom dish that wasn’t advertised on the online menu
Dessert: APPLE AND RAISIN BREAD PUDDING with rum caramel sauce

Kind of disappointed with the salad, and I should’ve got the hot pot instead. Apart from the big mushrooms (which I forgot the name), the entree also features some potato cake. I chose the apple bread pudding because I don’t like mint and didn’t want the mint chocolate cheesecake. Overall so-so (in line with popular opinion?), and can be filed under “yet another West Coast style restaurant with a view.”

3. Nu

Nu is a French restaurant below the Granville Bridge in the southern part of Yale Town. The building is two stories, with Stone Grill on the upper floor and Nu on the lower floor. The style of the seats somehow reminds me of some clubhouse lounge. The view is okay (didn’t get window seat).

What I had:
Appetizer: Roasted Cepes Mushroom Soup bacon, thyme, croutons
Entree: Prawn Ravioli black olive, peppers, leeks, cream
Dessert: Vanilla Creme Brulee (unadvertised on web site)

The bacon and croutons for the soup are pretty well done. The prawn ravioli dish leaned towards the small side, but the prawn is fresh and tastes “sweet.” The creme brulee is very good, but it can be because I liked creme brulee in the first place, haha. Overall pretty good.

So, in terms of food, I would rank Feenie’s > Nu > Aqua Riva.

I am just not very good at writing restaurant reviews (to me, taste is a binary value, it either tastes good or tastes bad…). Therefore, this is more like a “record to self” kind of thing. :p



Being Rational is not Cool, Apparently

current events / 時事

I remember in the CSCW class that I took last term, the instructor talked about how people become increasingly narrow-minded and unwilling to understand other’s opinion because of information overload (so people just choose what they want to hear). I generally agree with his premise that irrational thoughts are what prevails nowadays. People are so quick to make generalizations (incorrect ones too, I might add), it’s not funny anymore.

Let’s take the teacher’s strike for example. Whilst they do is illegal (at least from what I heard anyway) and it creates a lot of inconvenience for parents (note to parents, teachers are for educating your children, not babysitting them), to blame it on the unions (well, I don’t like paying the union fee out of my TA salary too) or democracy in general is just absurd. I’m betting those who spend their days cursing at the union do not know why they existed in the first place. Unions are formed during the Industrial Revolution because the factory owners are taking advantage of the workers, making them work 20 hours a day in harzardous conditions (well, this sort of thing happen nowadays too, but some people just shrug and says “there’s no other way.” I guess they really think there’s no other way until they themselves are put into such situation). See? Things happen for a reason. People can say the unions has gone too far nowadays, but portray them as all-evil just does nothing to solve the problem.