A quote from Apocalypto

An old Mayan story from the movie Apocalypto:

And a Man sat alone, drenched deep in sadness. And all the animals drew near to him and said, “We do not like to see you so sad. Ask us for whatever you wish and you shall have it.” The Man said, “I want to have good sight.” The vulture replied, “You shall have mine.” The Man said, “I want to be strong.” The jaguar said, “You shall be strong like me.” Then the Man said, “I long to know the secrets of the earth.” The serpent replied, “I will show them to you.” And so it went with all the animals. And when the Man had all the gifts that they could give, he left. Then the owl said to the other animals, “Now the Man knows much, he’ll be able to do many things. Suddenly I am afraid.” The deer said, “The Man has all that he needs. Now his sadness will stop.” But the owl replied, “No. I saw a hole in the Man, deep like a hunger he will never fill. It is what makes him sad and what makes him want. He will go on taking and taking, until one day the World will say, ‘I am no more and I have nothing left to give.'”

Which kind of echoes this quote from H.G. Well’s Things to Come:

Oswald Cabal: Rest enough for the individual man – too much, and too soon – and we call it death. But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning.

Advertisements

A nightmare

I was at the bottom of a well (or may be a pit, I don’t know), alone, screaming for help.

I heard voices above. I climbed. A hand reached out. I grabbed it. It let go. I fell. I climbed again. The hand reached out again. I grabbed it again. It let go again. I fell again,

and again,

and again,

and again…

I grabbed the hand and yanked it down the well. I finally climbed out, and found myself at the bottom of a bigger well.

There were voices above.

Now what is this supposed to mean? I normally don’t believe in dream interpretation stuff but this time I’d really like to hear some views.

An ill-conceived ad

This is the Hong Kong government’s latest anti-smoking ad:

After the man told his wife he’d quitted smoking, he was given a bagful of gold by the God of Fortune, shot by a punkish Cupid (which sent him flying in elation, Matrix-style), and presented two healthy (but disturbingly hyperactive) children by Santa. The video ended with him declaring, emotion-charged: “Money, love, family, health! How good it feels to win!”

Excuse me?

It’s basically saying: “Don’t take us seriously.”

This is just… wrong.

Instead of wasting money on childish things like this, why not put scary pictures of nicotine-infested lung on cigarette packages? That will make people think twice before lighting another one. Nothing deters like fear.

Messing with your head

Someone in a non-descript gift shop in the airport tried to sell me a “pulse head-massager”.

Shaped like an octopus, this thing has metallic tentacles that “grab” your head. Push a button and it starts vibrating. That’s all.

I wasn’t interested, so the guy started slashing the price, all the way to HK$50.

But there was no way I’d pay anything for what I can do with my own fingers, a powerful shower head, or a vibrating cell phone.

Did I mention the original stated price was HK$380?

These guys are truly shameless.

蘇ho

DSC_0369

This Chinese sauce shop looks out of place in a street lined with bars and western eateries.

It creates a sharp contrast with the Mediterranean decor of the Italian restaurant on the right.

And a great photo opportunity.

Canonade

(I posted this a while ago but feel I could elaborate a bit. So I wrote some more and re-posted it here.)

rsz_snc00059

This fountain in Tung Chung is popular with photographers.

Kids love to play here, and they don’t care that the water is dirty. I’ve even seen one trying to drink the water. Thankfully his mother stopped him just in time.

But getting sick should be the least of their worries. The water is powerful. One popular trick is to place a paper cup on a blowhole and watch the water propel it skywards. Now imagine what the force could do to certain vulnerable body parts. A few years ago, a boy injured his testicles while playing in a similar fountain.

Neither is it safe for the photographers. Their expensive equipment could easily get splashed at this distance.

I learned this the hard way last year. I got my camera wetted while snapping this:

2879149334_bed551c989_o

It was worth it, though. This one has remained my favorite picture.

And fortunately my camera is still working.

十個優秀的地名翻譯(補充)

6月17日補充:

竟然忘記了美國Yosemite(yo-SEH-mih-tee)國家公園。台灣譯作「優勝美地」,一絕!理應入三甲之內。

10. 萊茵河(Rhein)

萊茵河三字,描繪出沿岸一片翠綠如茵的風光。

9. 耶路撒冷(Jerusalem)

「耶路」令人想起耶穌走過的路,而「撒冷」則很有千年古城的滄桑味道。千年來東西方為爭奪此城,不知有多少人枉死於此。撒冷撒冷,其實就是屍骨撒地,一片淒冷。

8. 百老匯(Broadway)

百老匯是紐約名街。這個名字譯得生動,帶出人流匯聚的繁華景象。不過愚見認為,譯成「百路匯」意思貼切一些。

7. 翡冷翠(Firenze)

徐志摩的手筆。現在叫佛羅倫斯,失色多了。

6. 帛琉(Palau)

幼沙軟如錦,碧海澄如璃,帛琉二字簡直就是這個太平洋島國的一幅風景畫。

5. 雅典(Athen)

西方文明的起源,古希臘建築的優,先賢古哲的經,雅典二字實在貼切不過。

4. 羅馬(Rome)

令人聯想到「張羅兵馬」,羅馬帝國軍隊東征西討、威振四方的氣勢躍然於紙。

3. 香榭麗舍大道(Avenue des Champs Elysee)

這個實在太出名,不用多說了吧。

2. 愛琴海(Aegean Sea)

這個名字實在太優美了。愛神、豎琴,希臘文明的浪漫盡見於此二字。

1. 楓丹白露(Fontainebleau)

Chateau_Fontainebleau

楓丹白露是巴黎市中心西南面的一個小鎮。歷史悠久的楓丹白露堡便座落於此。這個譯名形音義俱全,到底是哪位譯才的神來之筆?Fontainebleau在法語解作「美麗的泉水」,跟「白露」可謂絕配。

Yorkshire pudding

DSC_0361 

My friend and I came here for the… you’re right, Yorkshire pudding. Although an iconic British dish, Yorkshire pudding is hard to find in Hong Kong. I think it tastes a bit like the Chinese youtiao, only more fluffy.

If you go there, try the Chicken Bonnie Prince Charlie (a large Yorkshire pudding filled with chicken stew cooked in Drambuie), Sherry Trifle and Rhubarb Crumble. I wouldn’t recommend the Steak and Kidney pie – Chippy down the hill has much better pies at half the price tag.

Staunton Street

DSC_0342

Bustling bar scene at Staunton Street, Soho. The bluish shade in this picture is intoxicating (yes I know it’s a strange word for describing a color but that’s how I feel) and I love it.

DSC_0345

Meanwhile, what does this photo remind you? Laputa? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

奧運上的小孩

北京奧運閉幕至今將近一年,當時的開幕典禮代唱事件,到現在還不時有人提起。

1996年美國亞特蘭大奧運的閉幕典禮,也是由小女孩領唱。當年10歲的Rachel McMullin,帶領六百多名亞特蘭大市的兒童,演唱大會主題曲Power of the Dream:

這是北京奧運上林妙可的演出:

兩段片中的唱功各有千秋,但林妙可與Rachel的台風,大家覺得有何不同?

林妙可有小孩的甜美臉容,但片中的她不見有小孩的純真,笑容如央視主播般僵硬,完美得有點可怕。相反,Rachel由進場一刻起,舉手投足,莫不自然流露,也有小朋友的豐富表情。

如果你問我哪一段比較感動,我肯定答亞特蘭大。

再看那六百幾個亞特蘭大兒童,當中有些戴厚眼鏡、有些缺了門牙,有些更見到箍牙的金屬箍。在中國,這些孩子多半會被視為影響國家形象,別想有機會演出。

以上種種,是否反映了兩國的甚麼不同之處?