|This is the Chi Lien Nunnery in Kowloon.|
The wooden buildings are built in the style of the Tang Dynasty.
|The Star Ferry is still running between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The skyline on Hong Kong island is much changed. The ferries are the same. They may be discontinued next year in the name of progress.|
|There is a pagoda like those in the imperial palace in the South Lotus gardens. There is also an exhibit of the different ways Chinese builders join timbers without nails.|
|Since the dim sum shop was in the Hakka village of Tsuen Wan out in the New Territories, there was sui banne, a delicious dish that my children used to eat regularly when they were toothless babies in Taiwan. It was presented more elegantly in the restaurant than it was on the cart from the peddler who sold it in Chungli, Taiwan, but the flavor was the same. I had ordered something from the menu that I did not recognize. Imagine my surprise at getting an old favorite!|
If you plan to visit Chris, Regina, and Pommes in Hong Kong, you had better go prepared. Pommes is a true tyrant when it comes to exacting tribute from visiting artists. Since I do not paint or cook, and my viola was in the US, Pommes had the scribe shove a square of sticky, wet clay in front of me. A stylus was thrust into my hand, and I had to write a poem or two in payment for the privilege of petting his inky blackness. Fortunately for me, there are Chinese calligraphy forms that were used when characters were carved into bamboo or metal; I could use one of them to write somewhat legibly with stylus in clay.
The poem I wrote follows in modern Chinese, as my computer does not have a seal script font.
(With apologies to 孟浩然)
Of course, I am no good at writing my own Chinese poetry, but in best Chinese fashion, I took part of a famous Tang Dynasty poem and adapted it to my purposes. When Pommes noted that I had cited the poet whose work I had adapted, he insisted that I copy out the original for his edification and enjoyment. He truly is a demanding cat...
I tried to do an original piece called "Doggerel to Scare the Cat," but English letters just do not work when writing in clay. The poem was smudged and blurred and illegible. It's probably just as well; Pommes has a reputation as a ferocious hunter. I wouldn't have wanted him to have scratched my eyes out for impertinence.
I am waiting for my professor to e-mail me the pictures that she took of our adventures in Singapore. When I get them, I will post about my first professional academic conference. The entire trip was totally awesome, and meeting Chris, Regina, and the formidable Pommes was one of its highlights.