Sunday, November 30, 2008

「兩週一聚: 朋友」之【鐵路人狼】(第二集) / Bi-weekly Series: Friend(s)【The Railway Gang 】Part 2

"... 唉!替唐人打工就是有這些免稅「利益」,和脫不掉的朋友和人情關係。..."

在洛磯山脈舖鐵路,不应該是我大學暑期工的第一明智選擇,但我生來就是喜愛在戶外勞力工作,在香港如是(曾替維他奶和百事可樂送水),來到加拿大也是一樣,所以我一得知鐵路公司請人,就立刻要辭退唐人歺館那份室內「企枱」工。老板娘聽說我打算「跳槽」,就立刻力想挽留, Prince Rupert埠仔細唐人少,我這個「生招牌」是頗具有吸引顧客的作用。"Don't go"台山阿姆幾乎哭著对我說,"Last worker, I give lots of gifts. You stay, get lots of gifts too. Work for me, like good friend." 唉!替唐人打工就是有這些免稅「利益」,和脫不掉的朋友和人情關係。但我心意已定,况且阿姆又沒有落重注,介紹她的女兒,招我做她的女婿。所以我一声bye-bye道別,就提上背囊,離開了歺館,在CNR処簽了「賣身契」,重踏当年加拿大開埠老華僑的腳印,在洛磯山脈做舖鐵路的生涯。

"Hey!! Wake up Chinaman, we are here !!!" 那口沒遮攔的Ronny把我從 白日夢中猛然驚醒。"Oh!! Shut your freaking face !!!" 我也不甘示弱地回敬他一句。Jose向著我陰陰地笑。我望望那灰暗的天空,晨早的森林漳氣環繞著我們這群散仔,微微細雨還是不停的下著。Big Red早已在卡車未停定之前跳出車外,他一腳踏在鐵路軌丶一腳踏在枕木上,一枝粗粗的鋼槓桿在手,未等待工頭Richard指示,就開始撬在枕木和鐵軌間走了位的tie plates。"Hey Chinese!! What are you waiting for? Get moving !!!" 工頭Richard向著我這方向咆吼。"Yes Boss!!!" 我暗地裏咒駡他的祖宗十八代,趕忙戴上了安全頭盔,穿上濕透了的皮手套,跳下卡車,開始賺鐵路公司的血汗錢。

(待續)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

「兩週一聚: 朋友」之【鐵路人狼】(第一集) / Bi-weekly Series: Friend(s)【The Railway Gang 】Part 1

(特此声明 Viewer Discretion: 以下寫作,間中会描述不雅言語丶行為丶舉止。)

加拿大卑詩省British Columbia北部的天氣就是時好時壞,從太平洋吹來的潮濕暖風被洛磯山脈一阻,再混上深山裏的森林沼澤漳氣,就算是最好的天文台報告員,也不可能凖確地預測氣候的轉變。在滂陀大雨下,我抽緊幾乎濕透了的雨衣,在兜帽的隱蔽下,偷偷看一看其他和我一樣,瑟縮在卡車上等候開工的鐵路工人,他們都是加拿大國家鐵路公司Canadian National Railway在Prince Rupert埠招請的廉價男性勞工,年紀有老有嫰,其中有剛從監獄釋放出來的囚犯(他們很容易被辨認: 紋了身的粗架子和隨身攜帶的刀子),每日必飲必醉的兇酒者(那陣悶人的酒氣和紅腫的鼻子),乳臭未乾讀書不成的小伙子(滿口粗話,問候令尊,「福F*ck」言有声),無家可歸的流浪漢(他們眼中總帶有一份失落潦倒的神情),和一族說外地話的歐洲移民(聽說是葡萄牙人)。正是龍蛇混雜,您總不会知道這班人混在一起的時候,会有什么可怕和罪惡的事情發生。

"Let's get the 福 out'a here !!!" 年輕的Ronny 不耐性地告訢負責點名計時薪的timekeeper。坐在他左边,昂堂7呎,体重250磅的紅髪Big Red,狠狠的用手肘撞了Ronny一把,用「大哥頭」alpha male的語調說:"You leave the mother福k'r alone !!!" Ronny 自知不能和神高神大的Big Red 对敵,看到坐在他右边的葡國仔Jose在陰陰地笑,就將怒氣撒放在後者身上。"What're you snickering about, you福k'n prick !!!" Jose 正想問候Ronny 母親安好,我們的卡車突然顛簸地開始向前開動,timekeeper看看他的計時錶,寫下了早上開工時間,就向我們的工頭foreman Richard揮手道別,而一場在豪雨中醞釀的口角也就不了了之。

(待續)

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Reference links:

* Haricot 「兩週一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩】/ 【The Red Hair Girl】: Bi-weekly Potluck Series (submitted article under the theme " My Time Machine") http://lotusandcedar.blogspot.com/2008/10/red-hair-girl-bi-weekly-potluck-series.html

* 「兩週一聚」由巴黎 Michelle 發起

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Updated list of "Friends" as of Dec 2, 2008 23h00 Eastern Standard Time 兩週一聚網友﹕

這樣過 Come and Go Haricot 周游 The Man Who Loves Everton Readandeat Zero 芸淡風輕 揚眉女子 mad dog 小孜媽 Michelle Mugen C athrunz

Thursday, November 27, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥 - 卡薩布蘭卡的沙灘 / Road to Morocco - Beach near La Corniche, Casablanca



The weather was cool, the beach windy and the sea rough when these pictures were taken. But I thoroughly enjoyed the walk on the beach, listening to the waves rushing up and down the coast line and feeling the fine sand shifting under my feet. The sky resembled a giant oil canvas, with patches of deep blue being painted over by wisps of white clouds. Rain showers could be seen in the distance and there was a long arc of rainbow on the horizon, with perhaps a pot of gold hidden somewhere in the Medina, the walled quarter of Casablanca. Amidst the drizzle, amorous young couples were seen walking hand-in-hand, enjoying their privacy away from the prying eyes of elders in the city. Young soccer players kicked their ball and laughed, their youth energy merged with the blowing wind on this cool winter day, the joyful moment forever captured through the eyes of the photographer.

攝影图片: These photos were taken on Nov 2, 2008 near La Corniche, Casablanca, Morocco, under cloudy condition. Please double-click to enlarge pictures and see details in higher resolution.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Responses to Your Comments Oct 31-Nov 24 inclusive (With Thanks !!)

"「兩周一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩】/ 【The Red Hair Girl】: Bi-we...":

新鮮人 + Michelle: I was going to leave the story at just that, but perhaps a sequel is in order.

Xiao Zhu: Thanks !!

Mugen: As people say, the story writes itself (spooooky !!)

啤酒花™_J: Here is another pic from the backyard !!

imak: The next installment will be the last :)

The Man Who Loves Everton: I will take your suggestions into consideration with some upcoming stories in the 兩周一聚 series. Thx !!!

Hyacinthus: There is no doubt in the story that Ken loves his wife.

"「兩周一聚: 我有一部時光機」之【紅髪女孩 (續集) 】 / 【The Red Hair Girl ...":

The Man Who Loves Everton: Yep !! That was a Halloween special for everyone. Glad you enjoy the story :)

Michelle: Thx !! Oui, le Canada est un pays bilingual :)

新鮮人: To tell you the truth, I don't really know the name of the wild berries in the picture.

Hyacinthus: "... 物競天擇 ..." Now that is an interesting perspective you have introduced into this story !!! It is my understanding that in the animal kingdom, nature usually favours the female whose role is to reproduce the species (that's why women generally live longer than men!!). The role of the male is just to "facilitate" the procreation process. If that's the case, maybe the red-head should have lived on. Perhaps that will be a sequel for next Halloween ;-)

啤酒花™_J: What you are inferring - a designed universe - is different from the evolutionary world 物競天擇 as seen by Darwin. However, I do find the classic line poetic: There is a time/season for everything.

啤酒花™_J: Hold your horses !! I am not sure if those wild berries are edible and I am not willing to bet my life on it (for fear of being eliminated in the Darwinian process).

"秋日隨筆: 民風 ∕ Fall 2008: Thoughts on Civil Society":

新鮮人
: 為了要減消這"背道而馳"的逆勢,我相信教育是很重要,就像近十年的環保運動一樣。

啊澤
: "... 紐約人還是比港人更有跌序和禮貌 ..." My concern is that when these people with poor manner go overseas and behave as if they are in HK, their behaviours really make EVERYONE of Chinese/Asian origin look bad.

Inner Space: I agree, for many people, HK is a place to seek wealth and fortune.

imak: You have a very good point: "... 文明是從生活中表現出來 ..." I wish people can become rich and more civilized at the same time.

"秋日隨筆: 黑与白 ∕ Fall 2008: Black and White":

樸老: 我同意這是和『修身、齊家、治國、平天下』的意思有很大關連。

Inner Space: 有些不幸事情的發生是人為,但也有些是環境迫成,在某種情形之下,或許禍魁和受害者在壓力之下的心智運用,正誤與否,在当事人眼中就未必是那么黑白分明。I can appreciate where you are coming from.

Michelle: Vous avez raison. C'était le Keyboard plutôt que le logiciel qui m'a posé problème au Maroc.

And ... I was told there are Internet cafés (altho not the one I was in) that provide clients with English-version keyboard and software.

"Low Speed Internet":

Inner Space: You are always up-to-date on info. Yes, it comes to abt a buck an hour.

imak: You are right. There are other parts of the world where Internet cafés do not exist.

Hyacinthus
: Thanks !! I have been a bit tied up with other things upon my return from Morocco and am slowly getting back into blogging.

"Road to Morocco: Through my Own Eyes":

新鮮人: 我現正在整理相机memory cards的攝影图片 :)

"Back from Morocco":

啊澤: Thanks for your comments. It is one of the more exotic places I have visited. More articles and pics to come !!!

"旅遊摩洛哥 - 【北非諜影】 (1942) / Road to Morocco - “Casablanca":

新鮮人: The B&W version of the movie is a classic. I have watched it many times.

Space: Your article is better than the one in Wikipedia !!! ps: I also left a message there.

Space: I have to admit that it's hard to think of replacing the actors and actresses in a classic movie like Casablanca - 先入為主 ?!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥 - 卡薩布蘭卡 / Road to Morocco - Casablanca

Many people who arrive at the Casablanca airport are surprised by the unique architectural design of the building which is not anything like the one in the Bogart-Bergman movie. In fact, visitors will find geometric patterns and symmetry almost a constant theme in the layout and design of many homes and mosques throughout the country. And yet, this almost compulsive attention to organization and details is diametrically opposed to what one would find in the shops and narrow alleys that scatter and snake through the Medina (walled part of the city).

ps: I threw in a picture (bottom) of the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris as a comparison.

.... to be continued

Monday, November 24, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥 - 【北非諜影】 (1942) / Road to Morocco - “Casablanca” (1942)

"We'll Always have Paris !!"

In addition to the clip of the final scene from YouTube, here is a summary of the movie "Casablanca 北非諜影" in Chinese:

二戰期間,玩世不恭的美國人里克•布萊恩(Rick Blaine)在卡薩布蘭卡開了一家受到眾人歡迎的亞美利加酒吧,而且擁有兩張寶貴的通行證。亞美利加酒吧是歐洲難民最喜歡去的地方。納粹少校史特勞塞(Strasser)因追蹤捷克地下陣線領導人維克多•拉塞羅(Victor Laszlo)而來到卡薩布蘭卡,當地警察局長雷諾(Renault)竭力取悅納粹少校。故事就在卡薩布蘭卡的里克酒吧展開。里克偶然發現維克多的妻子伊麗莎(Ilsa)竟是自己昔日的摯愛,他們以前曾在巴黎墜入過情網,兩人以前在火車站逃難時失散,臨走前伊麗莎不辭而別,上火車前里克拿到伊麗莎告知不能同行的紙條。

伊麗莎知道里克能幫助自己和丈夫離開卡薩布蘭卡,於是請求里克以大局為重,幫助拉塞羅離境,但是此時里克的心情卻極為複雜。一開始里克毫不動心,不願合作。後來里克知道當年伊麗莎沒有到火車站與自己一起走的緣由,當時她已和拉茲洛結婚,但一直以為丈夫已經死在集中營,臨行前得知原來拉茲洛還活在世上,但身染了重病,迫使伊麗莎放棄了與里克的愛情。里克知道後,決定幫助拉塞羅夫婦。雷諾在機場準備逮捕拉茲洛夫婦,里克將槍指向雷諾,讓拉茲洛夫婦上飛機。里克忍著內心的痛苦,目送情人與他人遠去的一段成為愛情電影的經典。

References:

1. Wikipedia http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%E5%8C%97%E9%9D%9E%E8%B0%8D%E5%BD%B1&variant=zh-tw

2. YouTube http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=8UisahukMdg

Casablanca (1942) - Part 10/10

旅遊摩洛哥 - 【北非諜影】 (1942) / Road to Morocco - “Casablanca” (1942)

I passed through Paris on my way to Morocco. I couldn't help but remembering what Bogart said to Bergman in 【北非諜影Casablanca】: "We'll always have Paris".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥: 回程 / Road to Morocco: Back Home

I am back from my vacation in Morocco and am busy unpacking and catching up on house chores.

Thank you for all your blog comments which I will respond soonest, each and every one of them.

Meanwhile, I will share with you photos and and articles about that fascinating country.

旅遊摩洛哥: 耳聞目睹 / Road to Morocco: Through my Own Eyes


Having spent almost 17 days in Morocco, I have got used to the sight, smell, and sound of the buzzing north African country. Compared to the quiet neighbourhood streets and the cold weather here in Canada, Morocco seems so unreal. Now, I am not passing any judgement on which place is better or worse. Every country, town or neighbourhood has its own charm and characters. What I am saying is that I miss the place and the people and wish I could have spent more time there. So, let me share with you my fond memories of Morocco and perhaps in doing so, relive some of the experience through my own eyes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

旅遊摩洛哥: 緩慢的網絡 / Road to Morocco: Low Speed Internet

The Internet Cafe connections around here are sooooo slow zzzzzzz !!!! I guess there is no way I will be able to quickly post any pics on my blog.

But then I am paying only 7 dh an hour and I should not really complain.

Gotta go !!!

Your Comments / Vos Commentaires

I am in a French environment and am not able to read or respond to your comments posted in Chinese. Please be patient and I will get back to you aussi tot que possible.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

秋日隨筆: 黑与白 ∕ Fall 2008: Black and White

Being a HK resident in my younger days and having been educated and brought up in the Canadian culture and work environment, I come to realize that society values are very much a function of time, space and people(s). What we define as self-righteousness may be considered by some as bullying and imperialist aggression; and "being nice" can be interpreted as stupidity, vulnerability, or simply a "kick me" sign on the derrière. So, if good guys always come last, where is the incentive for being nice? More importantly, is there such a thing as absolute right and wrong?

It is true that when we see what is currently happening to the global economy, the cruelty and atrocities people do to each other, and the daily bad-news stories reported by journalists, we tend to lose faith in ourselves and others and give up our values of right and wrong. However, I cannot accept the notion that "if you can't beat them, join them". As suggested in the movie "Blindness", I believe there is right and wrong. One does not need to blindly (excuse the pun) follow someone who claims to see better than us, especially evangelists who trade our donations for tickets to heaven. In the end, each of us will need to develop and use our own moral compass to navigate while respecting the norm of the society we are living in.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

秋日隨筆: 民風 ∕ Fall 2008: Thoughts on Civil Society

我初來加拿大是住在Province of Alberta艾伯塔省之City of Edmonton愛民頓市,還記得那時民風頗好,罪案很少,包租公從來不鎖屋門,讓住客自出自入。在深夜市中亍道,交通燈轉紅,週圍沒有車輛,行人還是会有耐性地站在路旁,等綠燈才過馬路。這種路不拾遺,夜不閉戶的市民公德行為,对我們這些新從香港來的移民,就真是不知好嬲還是好笑。我記得有很多香港華青,就常在西人背後,揶揄他們老番真是「笨實」(誠實粗語),是十足十的「老襯」,但其實我們暗地裏都有點羞怒之心,明知道在香港那套「執輸行頭慘過敗家」和「人不為己天誅地滅」的價值覌是很市僧丶自私丶和自利,但為了面子和民族優越感,誰又会在自己唐人面前,冒被指罵為崇洋漢奸之險,長他人志氣,滅自己威風呢? 不過話得說回來,今日愛民頓市的治安又不如以前一樣了,阿省南部Calgary交加里市上星期更發生熗殺事件。或許無論在那裏,人口增高,民風就会下降。但我們做普通市民的除了關門上閘之外,又应該做點怎什么?而做政府的又要用什么方法去改善這逆勢呢?社会民風一事,真是令人費盡思量!!
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