During 7’th grade or it could have been a different semester or year, another fun but somewhat more painful game established itself as the amusement du jour. Students would gather rubber bands from home to bring to school and use them as a sling shot for a projectile made out of paper. During class, if one were not sitting in the front few rows, one could secretly manufacture these projectiles while the teacher was teaching.
Firewood and not just any piece, an old piece. The imagery is one of a leftover piece of wood, so dry that it is brittle, the bark so rough and old that most of it is peeled away, and that the sole redeeming quality left possibly is that if tossed into a fire it might just burn. What a description for something that originated with roots spread out and attached firmly to the ground, with leaves reaching high into the skies seeking the warmth and the glories of the sun.
Every year in school, there was a particular game that the students fanatically took a liking to. One year in 5th or 6th grade, it was the match of the erasers. Each student would take their erasers out of their pencil cases and the object of the game was to attempt to either flip one’s eraser onto the top of the opponents thereby scoring a win by pinning your opponent, or to use the flick of the finger to literally try to shoot and carom the opponents eraser off the mat which consisted of the tiny desk tops that the schools provided.
In Hong Kong , there was a non profit organization called the Community Chest. This was an organization that took care of the poor and needy. Every year, they would have a campaign to raise funds for their “Chest” so that they could look after the needs of the not so fortunate in Hong Kong. One of their drives was called the Bak Man Huang. Literally translated it means a hundred, ten thousand, walk.
The pop singer Madonna has a song with a similar title. However the one that I am referring to here is the one that my paternal grandfather built for all his grandchildren at Pine Hill, his weekend home located in Castle Peak in the New Territories. I was not the first grandchild; for my father’s two older sisters both had children. There were six grandchildren from these two families and my two sisters added that total to eight before I came to being.
Going Going Gone, Sold to Mrs. Ip Tang Hon Ying wife of Dr. Ip Kam Wah
My father once told me the story as to how his parents came to acquire a 4 acre property situated on a beautiful point that jutted out into the South China Sea. Aside from a pure expanse of water on three sides, the only other object located directly in the line of sight was the then sparsely inhabited island of Lantau.
Our family recently watched the mini series the Odyssey. In that story Penelope was the heroine in the Greek mythology. She waited years for her husband cursed by the gods to come back to her home in Ithaca. She kept her suitors at bay for years and waited faithfully.
Grandpa’s house was on a hillside. While it offered panoramic views of the surrounding areas, not all that was in view was magnificent. The hill across from us was steep and largely uninhabited. Those who did live there lived so precariously. Instead of the fine half acre lots on Grandpa’s side of the hill, the homes on the other hill were merely corrugated tin shacks that hung ever so close to disaster on the steep slopes.