Liquid Free-range


There’s a clever plastic trough with a float
hooked up to a tank: this the chickens ignore.

A wide terracotta dish is more to their taste:
they sip up beakfuls and gargle, half-crowing.

But they are happiest when I pour blunt rivers
from an old can into the dirt, as if water
tasted freshest uncaged.

Learning Cantonese: I Am Lam Eman


“A fat girl singer. I think this is revolutionary in itself!” says 林二汶 Lam Eman in this short video challenging both gender and body stereotypes. Although she was bullied at school for the way she looked, and was called all kinds of terrible names (she shares some of these in her presentation), ultimately, she had the last laugh, becoming successful in the duo at17 in the early 2000s, and then continuing as a celebrated solo artist. If you’re interested, I’ve also added a rough translation of one of her songs, 《我變成我》, with music by 盧凱彤 Ellen Loo and lyrics by the inimitable 周耀輝 Chow Yiu Fai. Give it a listen: any song that uses the words 哲學 jit3 hohk6 (philosophy) and 美學 meih5 hohk6 (aesthetics; the study of beauty) in it must be considered out of the ordinary . . .

You can watch the video here (it has subtitles in both English and Standard Written Chinese).


Caption: 林二汶 | 歌手、專欄作家

親愛嘅林二汶 | 中學嘞 | 大家都開始發育嘞 | 你發嘅肉呢,就多過人好多 | 你有好多名嘅 | 奶王包啦、世紀巨乳啦、水塘啦、死肥婆啦 | 好具畫面嘅名嚟㗎,呢啲 | 你記唔記得嗰個男仔呀?| 第一個叫你同佢出街嗰個男仔呢 | 佢個日問你,佢話:「喂,你不如同我去街呀?」| 你都未嚟得切反應,你淨係轉身咋 | 佢就直接話:「你就 *ya 想呀!」

我細個因為係肥妹呢 | 所以,嗯,加上我有一個好叻嘅阿哥 | 呢樣嘢我諗係好影響我細個嘅時候點樣建立自信心㗎 | 肥妹歌手,我覺得呢一件事已經好革命性㗎喇 | 我竟然可以喺度唱咗十年 | 但係個個都要零號嗮士 | 但係我知道有好多肥妹仔 | 或者有好多其實個形狀唔係一個標準靚女嘅人

● 發育 faat3 yuhk6 = growth; development | ● 發肉 faat3 yuhk6 = lit. “to put on flesh/meat” | ● 奶王包 náaih5 wòhng4 bāau1 = usu. “steamed creamy custard bun” | ● 世紀巨乳 sai3 géi2 geuih6 yúh5 = (the most) enormous breasts of the century | ● 水塘 séui2 tòhng4 = usu. “a pool; a pond” | ● 死肥婆 séi2 fèih4 pòh4 = an insult for an overweight woman | ● 具畫面 cf. 具 geuih6 = to possess + 畫面 waah6 mín62 = scene | ● 出街 cheut1 gaai1 = to go out (to town, shopping, etc.) | ● 去街 heui3 gaai1 = 出街 | ● 建立gihn6 laahp6 = to build; to establish; to set up | ● 自信心 jih6 seun3 sām1 = self-confidence | ● 革命性 gaak3 mihng6 sing3 = revolutionary | ● 嗮士 sāai31 sí62 = size | ● 形狀 yìhng4 johng6 = form; appearance; shape | ● 標準靚女 bīu1 jéun2 leng3 léui25 = a standard pretty girl

Caption: Lam Eman | Singer, columnist

Dear Lam Eman,

You were in middle school now, and everyone was going through a growth spurt [發育 faat yuk]. You put on weight [發肉 faat yuk], much more than other people did. You were called a lot of names: “creamy custard bun breasts”, “boobs of the century”, “wobbling titties” and “rotten fatty” — very picturesque names, these. Do you still remember that boy? He was the first boy to ask you to go out with him. On that day, he asked: “Hey, why don’t you go out with me?” Before I had time to give him an answer, and was only just turning around, he added said at once: “In your dreams!”

The fact I was plump as a little girl, and also had an elder brother who was very clever, affected my ability to establish any self-confidence when I was younger. A fat girl singer. I think this is revolutionary in itself! I’ve actually managed to sing for ten years, when everyone else is desperately trying to be a size zero. But I know that there are many large girls out there, as well as girls with body shapes that don’t fit the typical “pretty girl” standard.

【1:00】我相信佢哋係有得到一啲啓發 | 噉呢樣嘢係我覺得,我入行好有 意義嘅一樣嘢

但係其實你亦都從來冇諗過呢啲咁難過嘅日子、呢啲你唔需要忘記嘅日子 | 係會令你成為今日大家都尊重嘅人 | 你要為自己驕傲,因為你從來都冇放棄 | 從來都冇

I AM ME 我係林二汶 | 你選擇令到呢啲經驗去教你成為一個更加好嘅人 | 你唔叫佢哋做傷痕 | 你叫佢哋做徽章 | 呢一生,呢啲就係你嘅徽章

● 啓發 kái2 faat3 = to arouse; to inspire; to enlighten | ● 入行 yahp6 hòhng4 = to enter the profession | ● 驕傲 gīu1 ngouh6 = ① arrogant; conceited ② be proud; take pride in | ● 傷痕sēung1 hàhn4 = a scar; a bruise | ● 徽章 fāi1 jēung1 = usu. “a badge”

I’m sure that they have gained some inspiration. The fact that I got into the music industry is very significant.

But you never thought that all those very difficult days, days that you must not forget, could make you into the kind of person that people respect. You must be proud of yourself, because you never ever gave up. Never for one minute.

I AM ME. I am Lam Eman. You chose to let these experiences teach you how to become a better person. You don’t call them “scars”. You call them “medals”. These are the medals you will wear throughout your life.


Here are the lyrics for 《我變成我》. You can find the MV here . . .

錯的對 對的錯 | Down-wrong rights, and down-right wrongs
為了太多太多歪理願意學 | Because of too much illogic, I was willing to learn
然後學到識説謊 | Later, I learned just enough to tell lies
我的殼 我的角 | My thorns, my horns
為了太多太多經濟及數學 | Too much economics & too much mathematics
然後學到想正常過 | Taught me to want to lead a normal life

幾多工作 | The more work I do
幾多操控著我 | The more it takes control of me
難道沒法不説謊 | Is there really no way not to tell lies?
一刻閃過 | In a lightning flash
想學掂行掂過 | I wanted to learn how to walk right on by
寧願讓我不正常過 | Preferring to let myself live a non-normal life

歡呼 存在過 | Hooray! I’ve managed to exist
記住沉默容易容易沉默過 | Just remember: keeping quiet makes it easy to go along quietly
從未這麽感覺我 | I’ve never felt myself this way before
一身 存在過 | Without help, by myself I’ve existed
記住麻木容易容易麻木過 Just remember: keeping numb makes it easy to go along numbly
從未像這刻敏銳過 | I’ve never been so sensitive as I feel right now

過一秒 老一秒 | Another second, another second older
問我那些那些一秒便脫落 | Each second asks me about my these & those, then falls away
靈魂熱到想脫光 | My soul is so hot it wants to shed light (or “strip itself bare”)
我的世 我的界 | All my uni- and all my -verse
被我那些那些統統改變過 | Have been transformed utterly by all my these & those
時候遇到想變成我 | What time brings I want to turn it into me

歡呼 存在過 | Hooray! I’ve managed to exist
記住沉默容易容易沉默過 | Remember: silence is easy, it’s easy to get by being silent
從未這麽感覺我 | I have never felt myself this way before
一身 存在過 | Without help, by myself I’ve existed
記住麻木容易容易麻木過 | Remember: numbness is easy, it’s easy to get by being numb
從未像這刻敏銳過 | I’ve never been so sensitive as I feel right now

歡呼 誰是我 | Hooray — so this who is me
記住明白然後承認誰是我 | Remember: when I’ve understood then I’ll acknowledge who I am
從未這麽感覺我 | I have never felt myself this way before
一刻 存在過 | For an instant I’ve existed
記住凝望時代時代凝望我 | Remember: as you look at the times, the times look back at you
從未像這刻敏銳過 | I’ve never been so sensitive as I feel right now

喜歡哲學 | I’m fond of philosophy
喜歡思索更多 | I’m fond of more and more thoughts
來吧!在這刻變成我 Come on! I want to become me in this moment

喜歡美學 | I’m fond of aesthetics
喜歡風格更多 | I’m fond of more and more styles
來吧!在這刻變成我 | Come on! I want to become me in this moment

時候遇到想變成我 | What time brings I want to turn it into me

Jadin Wong’s Infinitives

To say to yourself at the age of six I will be goddess
to my own body for ever;

NOT to get stuck in Stockton, California
or even dream of sticking it out;

to run away at sixteen to Hollywood
before you were run away by humdrum
from imagination’s exceptionally muscular thrill

to give yourself a name no one had used
in the History of the World, ever;

to be called headstrong when you were simply
indomitably clear-sighted about what you wished for;

to join Charlie Low’s Forbidden City nightclub
and find fame on the so-called “chop suey circuit”
as “an Oriental chanteuse with a new slant on life”;

to live head over heels
what you tried to discover you were,
and to defeat regret before it had time to assume
a definite look in your eyes;

to reinvent yourself with the near-sighted birth
of television squinting from corners in American parlours;

to harness as a dancer-turned-comedienne
the blunt energy of Oriental stereotypes, confusing
race-hate and dishing out laughs
both to make them pay and — doubled over —
to make them pay;

to adventure with Death in Germany’s Black Forest,
narrowly missing being blown mid-song
to smithereens;

to be called “Confucian — modern”,
and, appropriately, COOL AS A SNOW-FLAKE;
to wear “eye-popping” cheongsams
split along showgirl thighs
for the Gibson Refrigerator Corporation,
in Hong Kong;

to marry and re-marry
men who could only look up to you
no matter how they were;

to become eventually the superlative
of jade, pirouetting and doing the splits well
into your nineties;

and to wake each day,
startling yourself afresh along the length — and breadth —
of the one life infinitive in you.

《新心界》:「陳之一嘅白日夢」

After taking a walk to Sha Tin Station that turns into an eerie 白日夢 or “white daydream”, 陳之一 Chan Chi-yat meets his friends at the Lam Kei dim sum restaurant in 大埔 Tai Po. There, they enjoy a well-deserved yum cha meal together with a long discussion of fathers, sons and daughters that seems to touch a real chord or a raw nerve in each of them . . .

Soundtrack: “Oomingmak”

陳之一約阿綠、孚翠同阿奇喺「林記點心」食飯嗰個禮拜日,由起身開始,就已經遇到各式各樣嘅白色。出門之前,佢坐喺廚房對住白嗮嗮嘅雪櫃飲豆漿嗰陣,忽然間注意到天花板有一隻「白日仔」(飛蛾),個樣神神秘秘。然後,沿住城門河道跑步徑前往沙田站期間,佢往水面間唔中望一眼水面嘅時候偶然見到一隻白鮓,唔知點解游到河畔,浮吓浮吓咁,個頭好大,令男人聯想到一個流動嘅又大又蒼白嘅蘑菇,嗰層半透明嘅軟皮大頭顯得佢更加古靈精怪。唔想再睇住隻水母,佢抬頭望吓就瞥見沙田市區後面嘅道風山,山頂上插住一個既潔白又燦爛嘅巨大十字架,十分令人矚目。(作為沙田長期居民嘅陳之一去過道風山好多次,所以知道架上寫有「成了」兩字,同樣知道呢句話嘅來源:「耶穌嘗了那醋、就說、成了,便低下頭、將靈魂交付神了」)。然後,行到瀝源橋,佢忽然遇上一陣「白撞雨」(過雲雨),但係好彩落雨嘅時間好短暫,男人仲未趕得切喺背囊入面拎把遮出嚟,雨就已經差唔多落完。不過,呢場雨並冇向陳之一嘅白日夢潑冷水;行到瀝源橋另一頭,嗰隻白色依舊一路跟蹤住佢。接近新城市廣場,前面突然間出現一個患白化病嘅男人,以快步邁向担杆莆街嘅巴士站。澳洲奀瘦人一見到佢腦海就浮出「天老兒」呢個同義詞,隨即就忍唔住將呢個名詞同「信天翁」無啦啦夾埋一齊。不過,喺呢個時候,一陣特別哽耳嘅警報聲突然響起,令男人冇辦法集中精神諗呢啲嘢——原來沙田正街有一架白車駛過。入咗商場之後,佢咁橋遇到一個白痴佬喺大堂入面信步走,進行緊一次夢囈般嘅獨白,内容聽起嚟同詩人李白有關。呢一連串嘅白色嚟得太過奇異,攪到男人特別渴望見到喺大埔等緊佢嘅朋友。

「林記點心」位於大埔墟熟食中心,由大埔墟地鐵站行過去唔使三個字就到㗎喇。舖頭本身裝修得十分簡約:人哋一見鋪面就會即刻注意到牆上刺眼嘅白磚,四圍堆滿唔同大細嘅蒸籠,同埋一張張橙色、黃色嘅紙牌同埋上面手寫嘅菜名同埋價錢。前面擺放咗數十張圓枱,另外亦設有唔少膠凳,方便顧客過多嘅時候用嚟搭枱。環境雖然兜踎啲,但係陳之一啲都唔介意,甚至會感到某程度嘅輕鬆,因為咁樣可以暫時擺脫二十一世紀越嚟越瘋狂嘅潔癖。按照呢個準則,人人都期望活喺一種實驗室式嘅生存空間,無論係公共設施定係私人住所,當中嘅一切安裝、設備都要符合實驗室百分之百嘅消毒水平。不過,咁樣嘅環境太缺乏人情味,雖然滿足高度衛生嘅嚴格要求,但係難免會令人覺得生活嘅唯一目標就只係為咗遠離細菌。

陳之一好順利咁揾到嗰張一早被朋友「霸嗮」嘅圓枱,啱嗮四個人坐埋一齊。跟住之後,佢哋都好投入討論小店招牌菜,例如鵪𪂹蛋燒賣同埋排骨飯等等。陳之一好開心可以見到一班老友,想同大家好好過一個咁難得嘅星期日。阿綠一見到佢就開門見山咁將張點心咭遞過去,問佢除咗蝦餃、蘿蔔糕之外,仲有冇其他「營養方面嘅需要」。認真細閱點心咭之後,火柴人就建議叫一籠粉果,但係點知大家都反對,覺得呢種嘢食太過日常喇,話今日應該食得隆重啲。陳之一唔明點解要「隆重啲」,臉上盡現一頭霧水嘅表情;綠髮女人見到佢咁困惑就趕快解釋:「我哋要補祝返六月啱啱過咗嘅父親節呀!」

「哎吔!」陳之一好激動咁嘆氣。「你哋睇吓,我自己揾唔到親生老豆嘅時候竟然變咗某個陌生後生仔嘅爹哋,真係好唔公平囉!我好不滿於宇宙咁樣嘅安排!」澳洲男人以一種好誇張嘅口氣繼續發噏瘋。

仲未嘗試到作為父親嘅滋味嘅阿奇對呢件事特別感興趣,於是佢完全無視朋友嘅埋怨,劈頭向陳之一問:「初頭收到西夢˙約翰嘅電郵,你心情當時係點樣嘅呢?」

瘦骨仙一聽到呢條問題就即刻再次狼狽咁「哎吔」一聲。不過,經過一番考量之後,佢定一定神就好認真咁開始回答友人提出嘅疑問:「噉其實呢,我覺得生活呢樣嘢真係好奇妙,總會有啲出人意表嘅新鮮事送俾我,『一生福與禍 / 人人必經過』呀嘛!不過呢,呢件事真係嚟得太過突然,我都未嚟得切有任何心理準備,就要面對呢個咁尷尬嘅事實。」跟住,陳之一喺褲袋拎部手機出嚟,喺屏幕上用手指撥弄幾下,揾到阿仔嘅一張相之後,就俾大家睇吓。

輪到阿綠仔細觀察吓張相,過左一陣就向陳之一宣佈:「真係估唔到你個仔咁似你喎!」

「乜係咩?!」澳洲男人深感驚訝咁打個突。「面形唔同,頭髮顔色唔同,佢對眼睇落細過我,鼻哥一啲都唔似,嘴唇特別幼,下巴同我比起又『man』啲!我唔係好明點解你會覺得西夢˙約翰同我似樣喎 !」

「依我睇,」呢位發暗家不慌不忙話:「你哋兩個人淨係憑外表好難判斷心裏面隱藏嘅嘅性格嘅 . . . 」

話音一落,澳洲排骨仔好疑惑咁望住阿綠,不過呢個時候,姐姐就過嚟將部分大家嗌嘅點心(包括三籠熱騰騰嘅蝦餃)上枱。聞到嘢食嘅香味,人人都即刻埋頭食早餐。孚翠特別欣賞「林記點心」著名嘅鵪𪂹蛋燒賣,而樣子一啲都唔似排骨仔嘅阿奇就多次讚美呢間餐廳所煮嘅排骨飯。正因為咁,大家暫時將陳之一同阿仔似唔似樣呢個問題抛諸腦後。

孚翠本來想轉一轉話題,問吓大家打算點樣安排暑假,但係收尾又冇心咁再次提起陳之一嘅新仔:「你估你個仔可唔可以趁暑假返嚟探吓你呀嗱?」

阿奇連忙加以解釋:「點止咁簡單?! . . . 南半球 . . . 紐西蘭、澳洲都係冬天 . . . 凍凍凍!」聽到呢啲說話,大家覺得阿奇嘅「凍凍凍」特別好笑。

佢嘅南半球同胞即刻更詳細地解釋:「我國家呢方面特別唔掂。四月復活節之後幾乎冇假放、冇乜減少壓力嘅機會,要等到十二月先至到夏天啦、長假期啦、聖誕節啦之類 。至於我呢啲十二月出世嘅人,要捱到年尾先至過生日,嗰種等待既辛苦又難受。我諗,想見到西夢˙約翰,我哋唯有耐心啲等到年尾喇。」

聽完南半球奀瘦男人嘅呢段說話之後,阿綠好似抵受唔住誘惑咁,喺男人耳邊低細語:「怪唔之得澳洲人都係咁黐線啦! 」

不過,陳之一並唔接受佢呢次得出嘅結論,即刻駁嘴:「喂,你千祈唔好將『黐線』同『慈善』混為一談喎 . . . 」

孚翠再一次試圖轉移話題,令到氣氛保持和諧。為咗達到呢個目的,佢大聲話俾大家知阿媽喺揾到莊梓嘅事上面有所突破,又叫阿綠更新吓近況。綠髮女人即刻接話題,同大家分享一下「底蘊」。

「我阿爸莊梓喺上世紀七十年代好可能同海運大廈商場入便嘅其中一間鋪頭有過某種聯繫。當時呢個商場分成各個區域,啫係『南丫島廊』啦、『長洲廊』啦、『鴨脷洲廊』啦等等,而長洲廊呢個分區入便有一間叫做『藍天美術』 嘅商業畫廊,根據網上嘅資料,廊間唔中會展出莊梓嘅油畫。不過,呢啲作品同佢原本嘅風格完全係兩回事,畫法好唔同,好似係特登為咗迎合外國遊客嘅口味而畫嘅,都係描繪一啲傳統嘅戎克船、落日碼頭、漁民日常生活嘅片段等等。就算技巧非常之優秀,呢啲藝術品其實冇咩深層次嘅意思。八十年代初亦都可以買到莊梓嘅呢類油畫,佢哋仍然受到某程度嘅歡迎,但係之後就好似逐啲逐啲消失嗮咁,石沈大海,點揾都揾唔到嚕。」

「我諗可能莊梓本身搬咗去長洲定居,所以成日有機會親眼見到呢啲題材,不過佢幅幅都畫得咁籠統,可以話係『依樣畫葫蘆』囉,根本就辨認唔出任何帶有特性嘅細節。其實呢,畫係香港好多地方當時能夠見到嘅場面。」發暗家順口補充一句。

「不如搵次試吓去長洲撞吓手神,睇吓搵唔搵到啲資料啦!橫掂嗰度有幾間天后廟好值得我哋去睇。」陳之一盡量用積極嘅口吻向阿綠提出建議。

「其實,據我所知,長洲曾經有間鋪頭叫『良德玻璃鏡店』,除咗賣玻璃商品之外,亦都可以見到呢類為遊人繪畫嘅戎克船油畫,包括一個姓莊嘅人。良德玻璃而家已經結咗笠,但係長洲有啲做生意嘅人仲記得七八十年代嘅情況。嗰度亦都有個長洲鄉事委員會,其中有個阿伯好可能仲記得當年嘅一啲細節 . . . 」

突然間,阿奇莫名其妙咁用筷子作為鼓槌,沿住茶杯邊輕輕敲起一連串「擊鼓聲」,節奏相當之特別,令到大家頓時停止交談。佢放低筷子,清清嗓子,向周圍嘅朋友好隆重地宣佈:「今日有特別安排 . . . 我哋飲茶飲完之後 . . . 我就帶你哋去嘉道理睇睇動物 . . . 赤麂呀、豹貓呀、箭豬呀、穿山甲呀、領角鴞呀 . . . 都係靚靚靚喎!」

大家不謀而合咁對阿奇呢次嘅建議表示讚成。不過,呢件事原來係阿綠嘅主意,目的有兩個,第一係鼓勵同培養阿女對香港自然環境嘅興趣,第二就係幫澳洲男人分散注意力,等佢唔好再為演講仆街嘅經歷而成日怪自己「冇鬼用」。

林記嘅姐姐隨即又上埋另外嗰啲點心,為四人嘅心情灌入一股興奮同樂趣。奇妙嘅係,咁啱喺呢個興高采烈嘅時刻,父親呢個話題揮之不去咁再次出現喺大家嘅對話入便——孚翠喺度埋怨緊自己嘅父親過分重視成功而忽略對生存應該保有嘅驚奇感:佢簡直冇時間去欣賞人生中帶有人情味嘅嘢。之後綠髮女人就指出自己阿爸一模一樣:一直被困喺高層生活嘅豪華監獄裏邊。只有阿奇同老豆能夠維持比較理想嘅關係,會好關心佢遙住他鄉嘅大仔。為證明呢一點,阿奇就開始講述一個故仔:尋晚打電話俾父親嘅時候,嗰個人就話,睇到有關香港示威遊行嘅新聞,十分憂慮阿仔嘅安全,所以認真打聽情況嘅危險性。為咗安慰老人家,阿奇就答話,香港如果唔舉行示威活動嘅話,先至係令人擔憂!。大家覺得阿奇實在講得好啱:人間畢竟有啲嘢比危險更加危險。

Learning Cantonese: When in Doubt, Take a Walk


黃宇軒 Sampson Wong and 曾梓洋 Eric Tsang made their first “When in Doubt” walking video back in October 2020 and since then have gone from strength to strength. In their work, they combine urban geography with beautiful (don’t take your eyes off what’s happening in the background) images accompanied by a powerful piano soundtrack — at times the fusion is breathtakingly powerful and expresses with verve something of Hong Kong’s elusive city spirit. Recently, they have been experimenting with an added element, conversation, and this led me to transcribe the following video which shows Sampson and his friend Sammy walking through Kai Tak in search of the Kai Tak River. Throughout their journey, Sampson muses on the theme of 重組自然 or “reworking nature”. After finding the Kai Tak River, he comments:

我哋而家呢,見到嘅啟德河、新蒲崗嘅呢一段呢,其實都經歷過個咁樣嘅過程。原本呢,居民呢,未必咁留意到佢嘅存在。喺過去十幾年呢,各方嘅努力之下呢,重新將佢變為咗新蒲崗呢一帶呢,特別靚嘅一個城市景觀。經過美化啦、活化啦,同埋潔淨之後呢,大家都越嚟越鍾意呢條河。
The section of the Kai Tak River which we now see in San Po Kong did in fact undergo this same kind of process. Once upon a time, the residents of the area didn’t necessarily take much notice of its existence. Over the past ten or more years, thanks to the efforts of various parties, it has been transformed into a particularly beautiful part of the urban landscape in San Po Kong. After being beautified, brought back to life and cleaned up, this river is now liked by an ever-increasing number of people.

I still remember the first time I saw a “When in Doubt” video. It featured 石硤尾 Shek Kip Mei and when, after slowly winding his way through the Nam Shan Estate, Sampson reaches Tai Hung Sai Street, my heart nearly skipped a beat as he mooched along past the 彩龍大酒樓 Lucky Dragon restaurant, whose takeaway outlet round the back I visited frequently for lunch back in 2013. There’s something exhilarating about reconnecting with a place in this way, especially when you haven’t seen it for a long time. I felt the same in the video on 屯門Tuen Mun, when special guest Chong Suen strolls past the river channel in the vicinity of Tuen Tsz Wai. How many times have I done the same thing!

You can enjoy the Kai Tak video here. Follow the link to their channel and you can discover more of these walks for yourself. Even in places you might not be familiar with, you will still discover moments of the Hong Kong mystique, when music, image and the rhythm of movement come together in synergy — or perhaps even a sensuous “syn-energy”. You can also read up on the creation of the series in a Zolima Citymag article by Christopher Dewolf entitled “Sampson Wants You to Take a Walk“.


我係《懷疑人生就去》嘅 Sampson。平時我哋 channel 嘅散步片呢,多數都係一個人行嚟行去,而且冇人講嘢嘅。今次我哋試吓做一個新嘗試。

Caption: 懷疑人生就

我約咗 Sammy 出去散步,諗住由啟德行到去新蒲崗。

我哋成日都會話呢,其實城市裏便呢,冇嘢係唔自然嘅,因為即使係最人工嘅東西呢,佢都要用到自然嘅元素,例如呢,係起樓嘅混凝土啦,其實都係嚟自大自然嘅事物嚟嘅。噉所以呢,我哋反而呢,從城市研究嘅角度呢,會話呢,城市呢,就好似喺度 reworking nature 咁,即係重組自然,將大自然嘅一啲元素呢,變成我哋鍾意嘅一個安排,成為咗我哋呢個城市裏便見到嘅事物

● 嘗試 sèuhng4 si3 = to try | ● 元素 yùhn4 sou3 = an element | ● 混凝土 wahn6 yìhng4 tóu2 = concrete (building material) | ● 事物 sih6 maht6 = a thing | ● 重組 chùhng4 jóu2 = to restructure; to reorganize

I’m Sampson, from “When in Doubt, Take a Walk”. In most of the walking videos on our channel there is usually one person walking around here and there. Nobody speaks. But this time we would like to try something new.

Caption: When in Doubt, Take a Walk

I arranged to go out for a walk with Sammy with the intention of going from Kai Tak to San Po Kong.

We are always saying that in a city nothing is unnatural, because even the most artificial things made by humans make use of natural elements. For example, the concrete used in construction comes in fact from natural things. So for this reason, from the perspective of urban research, we tend to say that the city is reworking nature, changing elements from the natural world into arrangements that we like, into the things we see in our city.

【1:00】平時我哋可能會覺得呢,啟德係一個好高密度啦、好多人住、好多樓嘅地方,但我哋散步嘅時候呢,如果細心一睇呢,其實樹木無處不在,而且以唔同嘅形式呢,被種植嘅

另外一個呢,大家成日講嘅大自然嘅元素喺城市裏便出現嘅呢,就係水同埋河流喇。喺香港我哋更加多講嘅係海啦。去到啟德嘅時候呢,我成日都想搵呢,係北邊嘅一段啟德河呢,其實喺邊一度。但係因為最近呢,啟德大興土木呢,有時呢,佢成日都會被一啲圍板圍住嘅。今次呢,我帶 Sammy 呢,行到去呢個圍板望出去呢 . . .

● 河流 hòh4 làuh4 = a river | ● 大興土木 daaih6 hīng1 tóu2 muhk6 = go in for large-scale construction | ● 圍板 wàih4 báan2 = (?) temporary fencing (used for construction sites) | ● 圍 wàih4 = to enclose

Usually, we may perhaps think that Kai Tak is a high-density area, with a lot of people and a lot of buildings, but when we were out walking and if we looked carefully, there were in fact trees everywhere, planted in different ways. Other elements that everyone always talks about as appearing in cities are bodies of water and rivers. In Hong Kong, we talk more about the sea. When I went to Kai Tak, what I really wanted to find was the northern section of the Kai Tak River, which was somewhere here. But because just recently there is a lot of construction work going on in Kai Tak, the view of the river is generally blocked by temporary fencing. On this occasion, I took Sammy to look through the little holes in the fencing . . .

【2:00】 . . . 發現原來呢,喺啲窿仔裏便都見到啟德河嘅存在。第時呢,佢都會成為咗啟德呢一帶呢,最重要嘅風景呀。而家呢一刻呢,可能好多人都唔知道呢,其實北邊呢一部分啦¬——喺啟德呢一部分呢——都有一段啟德河。我哋呢,當日喺啲圍板後便呢,通過啲窿呢,望出去嘅時候呢,發現呢,有好多朋友呢,都跟住我哋一齊去望。佢哋都發現咗呢,原來有一條啟德河喺呢一度。有時呢,觀察城市就係咁呀——你開始去望呢,亦都會引導身邊嘅一啲人去望。原本見唔到嘅城市裏便嘅一啲嘢呢,都會因為你開始去望呢,可以引導其他人一齊去睇。

● 窿仔 lūng1 jái2 = a small hole | ● 第時 daih6 sìh4 = in the future, another day | ● 觀察 gūn1 chaat3 = to observe; to watch; to survey | ● 引導 yáhn5 douh6 = to guide; to lead

. . . and we found that we could see the Kai Tak River. One day, it will become the most important scenic spot in this area. At this point in time, many people may not be aware of this section of the Kai Tak River on the northern side of Kai Tak. When we looked through the holes in the fencing on that day, we found that many like-minded people were taking a look with us. They too discovered that here they could see the Kai Tak River. Sometimes, observing a city is like this. When you start looking at things, this can lead others to look, too. Others can be led to look at things in the city that were once invisible, just because you started to look at them.

【3:00】水呢,以種種唔同嘅形態呢,喺城市裏便存在,亦都係我哋觀察嘅一個目標。由啟德行到去新蒲崗呢,我哋就可以去到新蒲崗呢一邊南段嘅啟德河。呢條河呢,其實好有啟發性嘅,因為呢,十幾年前開始呢,全世界嘅城市呢,都開始覺得河流呢,應該係我一個我哋珍惜嘅資源,唔再係應該將佢覆蓋啦。例如係好似南韓呢,有一個特別著名嘅例子呢,就係清溪川一條呢,原本大家唔鍾意嘅河流呢,幾乎要將佢覆蓋㗎喇。而家呢,重新將佢打翻開變成大家都見到嘅一啲景觀。 我哋而家呢,見到嘅啟德河、新蒲崗嘅呢一段呢,其實都經歷過個咁樣嘅過程。原本呢,居民呢,未必咁留意到佢嘅存在。喺過去十幾年呢,各方嘅努力之下呢,重新將佢變為咗新蒲崗呢一帶呢,特別靚嘅一個城市景觀。經過美化啦、活化啦,同埋潔淨之後呢,大家都越嚟越鍾意呢條河。原本河流好功能性咁樣 . . .

● 形體 yìhng4 tái2 = 1. shape (of a person’s body) 2. form & structure| ● 資源 jī1 yùhn4 = resources | ● 覆蓋 fūk1 goi3 = to cover | ● 著名 jyu3 mìhng4 = famous; celebrated; well-known | ● 景觀 gíng2 gūn1 = a landscape | ● 美化 méih5 faa3 = to beautify | ● 活化 wuht6 faa3 = (?) to vivify; to inject life into (a place)

Water exists in the city in all kinds of different forms and is one of the objectives of our observation. From Kai Tak to San Po Kong, we can get to the southern section of the Kai Tak River in San Po Kong. This river really has a lot to teach us. This is because more than ten years ago cities all over the world began to think that rivers ought to be a treasured resource and should no longer be covered over. For instance, there is the very famous example of the Cheonggyecheon River in South Korea, a river which originally no one like and which people wanted to cover over. Now, it has been opened up again to become a landscape everyone has seen. The section of the Kai Tak River which we now see in San Po Kong did in fact undergo this same kind of process. Once upon a time, the residents of the area didn’t necessarily take much notice of its existence. Over the past ten or more years, thanks to the efforts of various parties, it has been transformed into a particularly beautiful part of the urban landscape in San Po Kong. After being beautified, brought back to life and cleaned up, this river is now liked by an ever-increasing number of people. In the old days, the river linked the local community . . .

【4:00】 . . . 去連結呢個社區。喺好耐之前呢,大家會喺度洗衫啦、打水啦,但係去到今時今日嘅城市河流呢,作為景觀話唔定呢,有另一種聚集街坊、俾大家喺度相遇嘅功能。

我同 Sammy 散步呢一次呢,剛好係榆木盛開嘅季節。我哋都遇到幾樖好靚嘅榆木。唔知大家有冇見得到呢?呢次散步遇上咗好多植物、動物,遇到好多雀仔,亦都呢,透過去觀察水呢,我哋經過咗啟德河。

最後呢,去到彩虹道體育館 . . .

● 連結 lìhn4 git3 = to connect | ● 打水 dáa2 séui2 = to fetch water| ● 話唔定 waah6 mh4 dihng6 = perhaps; maybe | ● 聚集 jeuih6 jaahp6 = to gather; to assemble | ● 街坊 gāai1 fōng1 = neighbourhood | ● 相遇 sēung1 yuh6 = to meet each other | ● 榆木 yùh4 syuh6 = elm | ● 盛開 sihng6 hōi1 = in full bloom

. . . in very functional ways. A long time ago, people would wash their clothes in it and fetch water, but an urban river in today’s world may perhaps, as a scenic landscape, have another function of bringing together the local people.

On this walk with Sammy, it was the season for the elm trees to flower and we encountered several very beautiful elm trees. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed them. On this walk, we came across a lot of plants, animals and birds. In addition, by observing water, we passed along the Kai Tak River.

Finally, we arrived at the Choi Hung Road Sports Centre.

【5:00】. . . 同埋公園附近呢,遇上呢一個我好鍾意嘅一個噴水池。同 Sammy 介紹呢一度嘅時候呢,亦都講到呢,除咗呢一個噴水池呢,一個被人觀賞嘅元素之外呢,呢一帶呢,有好多好好嘅公共空間,好多人喺度休息,入夜之後呢,我同佢繼續行多一陣呢,就結束咗我哋今次嘅旅程。如果你從來未去過啟德,未去過新蒲崗,我建議你呢,跟我哋呢個路線去行吓。唔單止呢,可以用城市與自然做一個切入點,亦都可以留意吓呢一帶有啲乜嘢公共空間同埋公園。可以觀察一下啟德呢個急劇變化中嘅地帶,亦都可以睇吓呢,新蒲崗呢個老區。跟住我哋呢一個題目「城市與自然」周圍睇吓之餘呢,亦都可以發現一啲呢,你感到有趣嘅風景。希望你都去呢一帶散步,然後話返我哋聽,你鍾意睇啲乜嘢啦

● 噴水池 pan3 séui2 chìh4 = a fountain | ● 觀賞 gūn1 séung2 = to enjoy; to admire (a view) | ● 旅程 léuih5 chìhng4 = a journey | ● 切入點 chit3 yahp6 dím2 = (?) entry point | ● 急劇 gāp1 kehk6 = drastic | ● 周圍 jāu1 wàih4 = around; round; about

. . . and in the vicinity of the park, we came across a fountain that I really like. When I was introducing this place to Sammy, I also mentioned that, apart from the fountain, which was one element that was admired in this area, there were many excellent public spaces, which many people used for relaxation. After dark, we went on walking a bit longer, bringing an end to this journey of ours. If you have never been to Kai Tak or San Po Kong, I recommend that you follow the route we took. You can use “City and Nature” as your entry point. In addition, you can also pay attention to the public spaces and parks in this area. You can observe Kai Tak, this area in the midst of drastic change. You can also take a look at the old district of San Po Kong. In addition to having a good look around in accordance with out topic “City and Nature”, you can also find some scenery that you think is interesting. I hope you will come to this area for a walk, then afterwards tell us what you liked.

《新心界》:「立法會已經死咗喇!」


● It is the 1 July 2019, and the big glass door of the Legco building is being battered by protestors repeatedly ramming it with an old metal trolley. As the glass begins to crack, our main characters — 阿綠 Ah Luk, the New Zealander 阿奇 Ah Ki, Ah Luk’s daughter 孚翠 Fu-cheui and the hapless Australian陳之一 Chan Chi-yat — all react to what they see in the direct broadcast of the events, projecting their personal concerns onto this pivotal moment in Hong Kong’s history.

Soundtrack: “Thank you Disillusionment”


2019年七月一日,當立法會大樓被抗爭者衝擊嗰一刻,阿綠正喺辦公室一邊用手機偷睇直播,一邊諗緊辦法想揾返生父莊梓。吊詭嘅地方係,當面對呢件大事,佢唔會喺人前做正式嘅決定,反而會鬼鬼鼠鼠咁處理。呢種矛盾嘅心情,可能只有需要尋找生母生父下落嘅人先會體味到:一方面,渴望將自己命運同身世有關嘅秘密徹底解開;另一方面,又好擔心萬一真相同自己嘅想象差天共地,一定會極度失望。阿綠深明,如果將幻想同真相相比,幻想當然更有希望同埋活力!正因為咁,佢好難全情投入尋找生父之事,到而家亦未曾同其他人公開講過。不過,互聯網好易俾人一種錯覺,就係無論任何人或者任何事,都係可以喺網上揾得到嘅。不過對於呢個染綠色頭髮嘅女人嚟講,咁強烈嘅誘惑真係好難抵擋,尤其係當佢已經蒐集到一啲蛛絲馬跡。小事成就大事!阿綠心諗。當時直播嘅畫面奇妙地同佢嘅心情一樣:啱啱有班示威者喺度重複大嗌「香港人加油、加油!」。

冇耐之後,一點幾嘅時候,阿綠嘅手機屏幕上出現一個戴住帽同埋口罩嘅黑衣男人,佢右手揸住鐵通,跑到立法會大樓門前,不停撞擊玻璃門。喺圍觀嘅人群入面,有唔少人試圖阻止,包括幾個議員(黑衫人:「立法會已經死咗喇!」 胡志偉:「你咁樣撞落去,連你都死呀!」),可惜呢啲勸告一啲作用都冇,玻璃門嘅裂痕越打越長,慢慢呈現類似蜘蛛網般縱橫交錯嘅幾何圖像。「突破 . . .」阿綠喃喃自語。「我而家想有一個細微嘅突破!」同一時間,手持鐵通嘅男人繼續大力咁向玻璃門打落去。

與此同時,喺嘉道理農場值班嘅阿奇,帶住悠閒嘅心情,漫步前往觀音山頂峰。除咗耐唔耐留意一下立法會衝擊嘅直播之外,佢個腦冇辦法停落嚟,無時無刻都諗住自己愛得神魂顛倒嘅嗰個「佢」。過年時雖然喺阿綠屋企請教過杯仙,但阿奇都唔肯定係咪可以捉緊對方,擔心對方有冇同樣嘅心意。但係最近,經歷咗一個既彎曲又奇妙嘅過程之後,終於水落石出,阿奇亦得到佢夢寐以求嘅答案。去到呢個時候,揮動鐵管嘅人已經唔見咗,替佢接力嘅係一班示威者,佢哋唔知喺邊度揾到一架裝住紙皮嘅鐵籠車,來來回回不停咁撞擊佈滿裂縫嘅玻璃門。「係啦!」紐西蘭男人突然精神起嚟,自言自語咁話:「要揾到真愛 . . . 一定要 . . . 一定能夠堅持落去!」呢個時候,另一位立法會議員梁耀忠企喺玻璃門前,盡力勸阻示威者唔好衝擊立法會。但係經過一番理論之後,佢最終被人拉倒,於是嗰架鐵籠車繼續一次又一次咁撞落去。立法會大樓入面嘅警員提高警戒級別,舉起紅旗,試圖透過呢個手段叫停示威者。見到紅旗,阿奇又諗起愛情呢股抵擋唔住嘅魔力。仲記唔記得裸體女模特兒嘅相片?「花花弗弗、冷酷無情」嘅阿奇喺呢一刻,一早已經將被摺埋、擺埋一邊嘅黃小姐忘得一乾二淨。

至於孚翠,佢當時咁啱又一次坐喺前往萬佛寺嘅梯級上面,一邊俯視山麓嘅沙田新城市,一邊撥弄佢近排成日戴住嘅自製頸鏈。鏈咀係馬騮「送」俾佢嘅鎖匙同埋一個馬騮形嘅護身符。好可惜,唔知點解,今日啲馬騮都匿埋嗮,連一丁點嘅馬騮叫聲都聽唔到。用手機隨意瀏覽新聞嗰時,孚翠亦都恰巧睇到直播,略略知道衝擊立法會呢單國際大事。平時,孚翠好少睇新聞,但自反送中運動展開以嚟,佢對呢場社會運動慢慢產生興趣,吸引佢嘅正正係後生示威者嘅活力。事實上,孚翠擁有豐富嘅想像力,對佢嚟講,衝擊立法會就好似孫悟空大鬧天宮一樣,兩者都係出於一種唔順從、唔聽話、唔驚權力嘅反抗心態。當面對生活時,孚翠越嚟越覺得,自己需要嘅唔係一份工作或者一個男朋友,而係象徵馬騮嘅活力。而呢種活力比起其他任何嘢,無疑係最重要。

陳之一呢?佢坐喺辦公室偷偷地睇緊直播,越睇越覺得痛苦。佢嘅苦難主要係因為眼前嘅嘢,睇嚟只會引起更加多暴力同埋絕望,但係仲有一部分原因係因為喺六月尾,佢嘅一隻大臼齒突然裂成兩半,一半留咗喺原位,另一半由個嘴跌咗落喉嚨,令到啱啱喺南山邨南寷餐廳食揚州炒飯嘅澳洲馬騮乾差啲鯁嚫!時間去到下晝三點,立法會嘅玻璃大門經過多次反反復復嘅撞擊之後,終於抵擋唔住。鐵籠車卡咗一半係喺大樓入便,裏面嘅警察同埋包圍外面嘅示威者持續對峙。令到陳之一迷惘嘅係,部分示威者擁有一種激烈嘅破壞慾望。照男人所知,香港社會一般好強調穩定、秩序同埋平安,但係自反修例《逃犯條例》運動發動以嚟,襲擊嘅對象正正係穩定、秩序、平安,而且呢個事實好似係反映緊人類所渴求嘅係冇辦法用平安等手段去滿足。諗到呢度,男人不禁諗起香港歷史博物館一個令人難忘嘅立體造景。呢一個塑造新石器時代先民嘅場景,地點係大浪灣一段平滑嘅沙灘,上面有啲原始人喺度做緊一啲有關日常生活嘅活動,例如生火煮食、起屋同埋打製石器、飾物等等,每個細節都塑造得栩栩如生。好明顯,除咗一啲簡陋嘅木製建築物之外,人嘅物質水平真係低到冇得再低!

回味緊新石器時代嘅真實寫照,陳之一朦朦朧朧咁意識到,為咗穩定、秩序、平安等等,人類已經付出咗好沉重嘅代價。文明進步帶嚟各種心理上嘅壓迫,再加上本來物質簡樸嘅人間亦塞滿數唔清嘅消費品,令到我哋同地理、自然環境、動植物、星空、神祗等等喪失接觸,陷入一種雖然安全但卻嚴重缺乏生命力嘅生存模式當中。(呢個時刻,澳洲奀挑鬼又不禁諗到《香港古石刻》作者秦維廉嘅一句說話:「也許現代的科技、高水平的生活已多少削弱我們欣賞自然界的鬼斧神工的能力了。」)「正因為咁,人類内心深處到而家積累咗太多煩惱,所以當我哋遇到呢類社會動蕩,有人會好似火山爆發咁一定要出嚟表示不滿。其實,我哋或多或少都渴望擺脫數字化文明日益增強嘅窒息感,千方百計要活得更加自由自在!」不過,陳之一又好難相信破壞舊有嘅秩序一定會導致新社會嘅到來。

Otherwise (Another Phantom Memory)

Photo by Peter Du00f6pper on Pexels.com


I met her once.
We hardly spoke two words together.
She “kept house” for her brother,
the brilliant inventor of an artificial crystal
with industrial applications —
the sample on the coffee table
was like a brute chunk of unstained glass.
Silence was her relentless trademark.
She loved, once.
Was jilted, once.
Her heart in that sense was broken for good —
what more could she possibly want from the world?
Her needs were small —
Bedroom. Bathroom. Kitchen. —
and were largely invisible to anyone not herself.
This was her bitter better discovery:
a vast grave universe we can’t/don’t want,
and she, in her other wisdom, a chip of quartz
catching —
not keeping —
the light.
Now all I know is
that her mute declaration of complete independence
comes (if we’re lucky) to the rest of us anyway
after all.
Then the question becomes:
Can we learn in the time we have left on this Earth
what to do for ourselves with her heartending prize?

令我成為創作人嘅天花板 (Martin Booth)


當我哋行入銀行轉彎上樓梯嗰陣,阿媽就話俾我知:「其實呢個先至係後門。正門,即係呢間銀行用嘅正式地址,係喺位於對面嘅。」

呢句說話聽起嚟好荒謬,於是我就話我唔明白。

阿媽跟住答:「呢件事同風水有關。正門一定要面對山,背向大海,咁樣可以確保海龍入唔到嚟,又可以防止啲錢往海洋嘅方向流出去。」

佢呢個解釋更加令我一頭霧水。

銀行大堂嘅空間非常之廣闊,連人談話嘅聲音都會被佢壓低。一排排巨大嘅深啡色正方形大理石柱支撐住個天花板,真係何其壯觀!天花板係筒形穹頂式嘅,上面嵌有一大片馬賽克。馬賽克中央有一個精美嘅金黃星形圖像,而周圍係一片蔚藍色作為星形圖像嘅背景,起到襯托嘅效果。穹頂四圍嘅馬賽克塑造咗唔同嘅人物,佢哋代表各種事業——工藝也好,其他行業也好,無論係東方定係西方都有,樣樣俱全。我每次見到呢個天花板,都會被深深震撼。由頂纜車落去天星碼頭返屋企嘅時候,我通常會刻意兜一段路,經過呢間銀行,目的就係為咗可以享受到滙豐馬賽克所散發嘅微光。

有一次同阿爸一齊去銀行,我語氣隆重咁話俾佢知,我已經定下決心成為創作人。

「你呢個咁荒謬嘅念頭究竟喺邊度嚟㗎?」佢驚叫一聲,同時繼續喺櫃面搬弄本支票簿。

我望住天花板上面嘅馬賽克話:「嗰樣嘢。」

佢冇𩓥高個頭。

「噉你死咗條心啦!做藝術家肯定發唔達㗎。」

我反駁一句:「生活嘅富足唔單止同金錢有關嘅。」

交咗張支票俾銀行職員之後,佢就另轉身,好簡明扼要咁話:「緊係唔係啦!咁樣諗嘅人一定好鬼死蠢!」

我話:「其實係媽咪話我聽㗎!」

佢即刻答話:「係呀——不過佢冇必要成日返工去賺錢囉。」

等到佢將攞到嘅紙幣放咗入銀包,我就勸佢:「你望吓頭頂啦!」

佢毫不在意咁向上瞄咗一下,之後好冷淡咁補充:「犀利喎」。

出咗銀行,行返去泊咗喺皇后像廣場架車嗰陣,我一路沈思緊,突然間靈機一觸:「創造穹頂馬賽克嘅嗰個藝術家一定賺咗好多錢。」

我爸爸話:「係呀,跟住用嗮全部錢嚟飲酒,之後成世人再冇創造過任何其他作品。」

我深知爸爸係一個經驗豐富嘅紅杜松子酒飲者,所以聽到呢段説話,我覺得實在太荒唐喇!不過,嗰刻我仲忍得住冇俾反應——我已經差唔多學識幾時可以講嘢,幾時應該合埋把口。正如爸爸成日鍾意講,我已經掌握到「收皮」嘅技能。

原文:Martin Booth, Gweilo (2004)