Fresh baked “Fong Bao” from the oven – 方包出爐

Random musings & meditations straight from the oven. Hopefully some food for thought as well…

Archive for May, 2009

The end of …….

(* = Lingo alert)

…….I’m listening to some jazz as I’m writing this loaf*.

Yesterday was the end of ……. the English Premiership season and Everton’s quest for the F.A. Cup. I am still a bit gutted but the result wasn’t totally unexpected. A goal that was scored way too early, 40c+ temperature on the pitch, Chelskis’s dominance in possession along with a sublime piece of quality finishing were the reasons why Everton lost their record 8th F.A. Cup final.

What can I say?

Chelski were full valued for the win. But considering Everton were missing their best striker, best midfielder and best defender, it was a testament to manager David Moyes (who just won his record 3rd league manager of the year award) and the remaining players that they made it this far. After all the adversity the club went through this season, there shall be no complaints from this Toffee* about how it ended. 

Yesterday was the end of ……. Dr. B’s bachelorhood and I was honored to have helped and made my contribution, however small, towards this truly special occasion. Wishing Dr. B and Mrs. B all the best as they begin the next phase of their journey together.

Today is the end of my 1st week of holidays in 2009. Didn’t get to accomplish every thing I set out to do but certainly enjoyed all the things I did do.

P.S. Got some feedback about “The Oven*” yesterday at Dr. B’s wedding. Just want to offer my sincere appreciation to all who have found Fong Bao’s little world somewhat interesting.

Item du jour

As mentioned in a previous loaf*, I consider myself to be “Ching-lish”. Some of you may wonder what Fong Bao actually looks like.

Well, here you go!

My “Honger” look

Fong Bao's "Honger" look

My “local born” look

Fong Bao's "local born" look

On Your Mark. Get Set.

(* = Lingo alert)

As mentioned in my previous loaf* titled “On Your Mark” (which happens to be the slogan for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games volunteer program), I had submitted my application to become a volunteer. This morning I took my first step towards that after attending a 3 hour orientation session at the PNE. It began with a security check followed by a 10 minute one-on-one interview. I was chosen to be part of the transportation group but its role is more than driving. The other function is to be first contacts for people arriving at the venues not knowing which direction to go. Directing people traffic, so to speak. So during my interview I stated my preference to be a host instead of a driver. Hopefully the organizers will take that into consideration.

Volunteer Training BinderThe rest of the morning was spent inside a large classroom where a detailed overview of the games was presented. And all the participants received a training binder (A VERY nice one) along with a sticker and a pin as souvenirs. In the fall, we will receive notifications confirming our duties at the games. Accreditations and uniforms will be issued soon after and role-specific training will take place just prior to the games. It is likely I will start in January and complete my duties at the conclusion of the Paralympics games in March. I’m excited and looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

*******

Some odds and ends

After the session this morning I met up with Pie Pie Lo* for lunch since she had the afternoon off. So we went to a new ramen shop that was recommended by my parents. G-men ramen is a little shop located at Continental Plaza in Richmond. Judging by the small queue outside on a Monday, there must be something to this shop.

Click here for the gallery and further details on the menu.

Saturday I drove down to Safeco Field in Seattle to watch the Mariners for the first time in 3 years. Happy to spent a nice day at a beautiful ball park that, hard to believe, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in June. It gave me a chance, as well, to catch up with a couple of friends I haven’t talked to for some time. All in all, a great way to start my holidays.

Click here for the gallery. 

Absolutely thrilled that Everton once again finished as “Best of the rest” considering the terrible start to their season. Now it’s onto the F.A. Cup final at Wembley this Saturday. Come on you Blues!

Finally, an admission.

I’ve started playing Pet Society and Restaurant City on Facebook. Insert joke here.

Item du jour

Say Hello to my little friend!

Sparky 1

Tired of the same old, same old

(* = Lingo alert)

The other day I came to work and the usual greeting was flying around “the bakery*”.

“Good morning! How are you doing?”

“Pretty good, thank you. How about you?”

“I’m good. Thanks.”

So ends the brief conversation until you bump into another colleague and the exact same dialogue would occur until everybody has greeted everybody. For the longest time I’ve come to accept it as part of the morning routine in the workplace. Then one day out of the blue, not sure why – might have been my breakfast, I got annoyed by the patronizing nature of these morning exchanges. So I decided to tweak my response to see what kind of reaction I would get.

Colleague C (Cheerful yet whimsical): “Good morning! How are you doing? What’s shaking these days?”

Fong Bao: “Ah, it’s ok. Not a whole lot.”

Colleague C (Taken aback by the unexpected answer): “Oh…….what’s wrong?”

Fong Bao: “Oh, nothing. It’s just one of those days.”

Colleague C (Looking aimlessly around and fumbling for words at this point): “Well…….hmmm…….ok…….cool…….”

A nervous smile and a few more “hmmm’s”later, colleague C was gone. His awkwardness was clearly palpable.

So what’s the point of this exercise? Nothing really. Just a more interesting way to start the morning at work.

Disclaimer: Should the above scenario remotely resembles anything you’ve seen on Seinfeld or The Office, it is purely coincidental. Fong Bao did not watch a lot of aforementioned shows. 

Item du jour 

A fleeing Taliban, desperate for water, was plodding through the Afghan desert when he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he hurried toward the oasis, only to find a little old Jewish man at a small stand, selling ties.

The Taliban asked, ‘Do you have water?’

The Jewish man replied, ‘I have no water. Would you like to buy a tie? They are only $5.’

The Taliban shouted, ‘Idiot! I do not need an over-priced tie. I need water! I should kill you, but I must find water first!

‘OK,’ said the old Jewish man, ‘it does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie and that you hate me. I will show you that I am bigger than that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a lovely restaurant. It has all the ice cold water you need. Shalom.’

Muttering, the Taliban staggered away over the hill. Several hours later he staggered back, almost dead.

“Your @&%*&@% brother won’t let me in without a tie!”

Call Myself An Evertonian

(* = Lingo alert) 

Everton BadgeEvertonians are born, not manufactured. We do not choose, we are chosen. Those that understand, need no explanation. Those that don’t understand, don’t matter!

25 years ago today was a special day. Everton beat Watford 2-0 to claim their 4th F.A. Cup title. It was also the day I was “chosen” to be an Evertonian.

84 FA Cup

Like all young lads in Hong Kong, I grew up playing and loving the beautiful game. Everyday before class, during recess and after school you would find me roaming around the concrete pitch (yes, there is such a thing), playing footy* with my classmates. As a reward for doing well in school, my dad would take me to the park, teach me some basic skills and kick the ball around with me. One year during the year-end parent teacher meeting, my head teacher asked my parents why I wore shorts throughout the school year, even during the winter months. My parents didn’t know the reason so I had to explain that it was footy related – I didn’t want to rip my pants while playing. The REAL reason? It was just a hassle playing in pants.

When I’m not playing the game, I would be glued to the Tele* every Saturday afternoon watching the Chinese version of BBC’s “Match of The Day”( 英國足球大賽). That was my introduction to the old English First Division. But I didn’t know which club to support.

*******

A fellow EPL fan I’ve just met: So, I support (insert one of the so-called big four), which club do you support?

Fong Bao (proudly): Everton!

The fellow (confused, bewildered, etc): Oh……..really……..ok.

*******

To many, it just seems such an unfashionable choice.

So why Everton?

As mentioned off the top, May 19th, 1984 was a special day. That night was the first time I watched a live match from beginning to end. It may have been the colour of the kit, the style of play, the left midfielder with the sweet left foot (Kevin Sheedy) or the fact they won the match. But to this day I still can’t pinpoint the reason why it felt right cheering on the lads in Royal Blue that day. I suppose that’s what we Evertonians meant by being “chosen”.

It’s not easy being a Toffee* since I have yet to find another one in Vancouver, let alone a local supporters club. But I take solace that I’m not a “glory hunter” nor a member of the “prawn sandwich brigade”. Take a look at what “The People’s Club” have achieved with so little, compared to the so-called big four, for the past 5 seasons and you’ll understand why I’m proud to support a club that, arguably, have been, pound for pound, the most efficient club in the Premiership.

The best little Spainard we know

Tim CahillTim Howard

 

 

 

 

Less than a fortnight from now, on May 30th, the Grand Old Team will be in Wembley to take on Chelski for the F.A. Cup. Win or lose, it’s good to be back.

If you know your history……

Come on you Blues!

Item du jour

尋回一些被遺忘的感覺

Laughing 哥兩星期前剛追看完《學警狙擊》。劇中為警隊付出九年光陰的 Laughing哥,令我想起另一個膾炙人口的卧底角色 – 陳永仁。昨晚拿出《無間道》的DVD 再觀看其中的片段,不敢相信這部電影已是八年前的作品。

聽到片中的插曲,不禁回憶過去一些點滴。前文都有提起方包近年的心境,難道邁向中年的人都是這樣嗎?

這月底有一星期的假期。計劃在温市的舊區,市中心和學生時代流蓮的地方拍照,走一趟,希望尋回一些被遺忘的感覺。

 

被遺忘的時光 – 蔡琴

 
是誰 在敲打我窗
是誰 在撩動琴弦
那一段 被遺忘的時光
漸漸地 回升出我心坎

是誰 在敲打我窗
是誰 在撩動琴弦
記憶中 那歡樂的情景
慢慢的浮現在我的腦海

那緩緩飄落的小雨
不停地打在我窗
只有那沉默不語的我
不停地 回想過去

 
是誰 在敲打我窗
是誰 在撩動琴弦
記憶中 那歡樂的情景
慢慢的浮現在我的腦海

陳永仁

Item du jour

Remembering the lost children of May 12th, 2008

Last night I was still digesting the Canucks loss.

This morning I woke up with this image in my head.

Rescue Me

One that made me cried when I first saw it in a 2008 year end review pictorial.

A picture’s worth a thousand words.

Today is the 1st anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake. May we remember the lives that were lost, especially the children who’ve lost their chance to experience life.

Apologies to those who may find some of these images disturbing.

 

Rubble 2

Help!

Lost & Found

Little fist

Rubble

Fear of the unknown

What lies ahead?

Item du jour

Liu Xia, head of a kindergarten where at least 300 children were killed during last year’s Sichuan earthquake, mourns for the dead amid the ruins of Beichuan county, Sichuan province. May 11, 2009

Photograph by: Stringer, Reuters

Memoriam

39 years and counting…….

Luongo, after the 7th goalA strange end to the strangest of seasons.

The band wagon is now on its way back home for repairs…….

And the dream ends once again in frustration for this edition of the Canucks. They had their chances early in the series but decided to “play not to lose” as suppose to “play to win.”

The inferiority complex strikes again!

Honestly, I couldn’t figure this team out. Just when you thought they would do one thing, the complete opposite would happen. They never make it easy for the fans.

Right now there’re too many thoughts floating inside my head so it’s probably time for me to stop before I starting rambling on.

However, I will say this.

As much as I hate the roller-coaster-like experience, I would do it again and again because that’s the enjoyment of watching sports and supporting a team. It gets harder and harder when they lose but, deep down, you know victory will be that much more sweeter and meaningful when it happens.

Item du jour

Canucks v Hawks

Both photographs by Frank Polich, Reuters