Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monday Morning.

Up at 700 a.m., I have a head cold. I am stuffed up. I have to stand up to clear my head.

The maid comes at 800 a.m. I get up early so I can shower before she arrives.

It will be a busy day. My first decision: to take or not take the bike.

I look outside the window. I see it is sunny - perhaps, I will take the bike.

I finished reading Airframe by Michael Crichton. It was nothing special. It was full of technical details I have not been aware of before, but the story was lame. The best thriller I have ever read is Day of the Jackal. It was tension-packed to the last page.

The family K went to Yangqiao to the evening. We were hoping to find a restaurant to eat at but most we went to were full. We ended up going to this restaurant in the downtown of Yangqiao which we had gone to before. The wife likes the food there but I find it dull and unpalatable. So while she ate, I chased Tony who wanted to run all around the restaurant. Funny, how when the Family K goes from place to place, Tony wants to be held.

Last night, I was re-watching some of the dance scenes form the Astaire movie I watched on Saturday. Trying to imitate the steps, I was tripping over myself.

I got my wife to look at Rita Hayworth. Jenny said Rita was "something else", and had big norks.

The veneer of Civilization is thin, very thin indeed.

I must have seen and been seen by thousands of people yesterday. I had nothing in common with any of them.

A way I don't think: Because I have seen cars, and even driven them, I have no need to think about the people who had to ride horses.

I have these two pieces of text in my mobile phone which I will, in a spare moment, read. They are the famous speech by Hamlet and the Nicene Creed. Both pieces of text are products of Western Civilization. They best present to an outsider, the strains that are within the West. The speech of Hamlet represents our nihilist and secular tendencies. The Nicene Creed represents our desire for order and to make sense of our existence.

I read this story by Lu Xun. Lao Zi talks with Confucius at the beginning of the story. Their exchanges make Lao Zi haughty. Lao Zi then goes on a trip but he is stopped by officials whose job it is to collect tariffs from travellers. Seeing that he is a famous scholar, the officials make Lao Zi give a speech to a group. Making speech, the listeners find Lao Zi to be boring. They can't understand him because he speaks Chinese in a different dialect and different accent. Seeing they don't understand, Lao Zi goes into greater detail, making the lecture all the more torturous for his listeners. When the lecture is finished, it is the end of the agony for all who attended. The officials then ask Lao Zi if he could make notes of his speech so the listeners can further study and try to comprehend. Lao Zi spends two days doing this. Presenting the resulting scrolls to the officials, he is free is go on his way. The officials place the scrolls on a shelf with other confiscated goods like bags or rice.....

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