Monday, October 16, 2006

Breakfast at Four Seasons

Paulette Yu Lai King records the visit to Vancouver by Malcolm Au & wife Vicki from Shanghai on their way to see the American bald eagles, Helen Lai & daughter Hestor from Australia and Janet Tsang from Edmonton:

From left, Helen's MD daughter Hestor, Paulette, Helen, Malcolm, Janet & M's wife Vicki met at the Four Seasons' Garden Terrace Restaurant, Vancouver, on Oct. 9th for breakfast. It's a brief but animated gathering esp. when Malcolm re-traced for us his past entrepreneurial foot steps. All is well that ends well, we could say.

We look forward to seeing Malcolm's nice photos of this expedition in due course.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Laughs & Love from Shanghai to Toronto Part 2

Irene Tsai continues her report on the hearty gathering with Malcolm & Vicki Au in Toronto.
For Part 1 of the report, please click here.

Fay Lo gave us his reviews on the Cultural Revolution, Shanghai’s past, now and the future, long live Chairman Mao and his finished and unfinished works, the importance of literacy to all in China, therefore, the Simplified Chinese, Entrepreneurial Skills in China, and even how to raise up a champion daughter in the modern world. Naturally, with his LARD LARD SANG Mandarin, he taught us PINYIN (Chinese phonetic translation and proper pronunciation), using examples to convey to us its proper connotation, for example the word Qu as in the Dragon Boat Qu Yuan in the Simplified version sounds like Go and is the same word in writing in Mandarin. It all makes good sense after all.

Then, pulling out his IBM Think Pad, this Chemical Engineer is also an artistic, feverish wildlife biologist and photographer, who showed us some of his most impressive drive-by shootings (guys, not what Toronto was famous for awhile ago on a daily or weekly basis on the news) in Africa, in the Galapogos, and where else, guys? Pardon me for being such an ADD. I wish I had brought my portable projector with me to the restaurant if I had known about the oncoming slides Fay Lo had brought along. I have to admit I was really behaving, prim and proper the whole time at the dinner table in front of respectful non-Jubilean wives. Fay Lo, I hope we were not an embarrassment in front of your classy wife who we had the privilege to meet for the first time. But, I have to warn you guys that you will have to expect a pretty “dean” me @ our ’07 reunion among us, the Jubileans.

Fay Lo even showed us the precise details of the survival habits in the animal kingdom, he even captured the reflection of his 4 x 4 inside the iris of an ultimate wild baby. I opened my big mouth to ask FAY LO what make of camera he was using for those exotic images. I had to HUT TWO (spit it out), meaning ask another question again. Apparently, I asked the wrong question. The correct question should have been, “So, who was the photographer and how did he take such great shots?” Hahaha!!!! This FAY LO is multibrained and HO YAU BARN FAT in everything he does. He’s a self-taught artist, what can I say? Hey, Fay Lo, that was the best dessert you fed us that night. With unblinking eyes and little faces all glued to the laptop screen, I felt that all of us (like Dai Heung Lay Chute Sheng) have travelled to Africa with Fay Lo back and forth after our Peking Duck dinner. No kidding! I had dreams of those cute cubs that night, just like in the movie “Born Free” from many, many years ago.

Oh, incidentally, two agenda items were brought up and discussed at the dinner table. We (all 8 of us) have unanimously recognized the importance and the true meaning of setting up a scholarship fund instead of spending big bucks on some stupid 40th anniversary coffee mugs, pens and pins. Therefore, let’s just scrap that idea now. And once again, the anticipated sizzling August weather in Asia seems to be still causing many of us our ongoing worries and headaches. Leaving the other celebrating events and dates untouched (including the cruise and the 40th banquet), we now would like to modify the dates of our land tour to Vietnam, seriously looking at the possibility of any week(s) in October or at worst even the last week in September. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger!!!

Our lovely rendezvous had to come to a happy pause as we were the only patrons left in the restaurant plus the warm, generous, and utterly charming couple had to get up @ 4 a.m. to catch their Vancouver flight to chase after another hearty project or engagement. I asked the happy wanderer at the end of the evening, ”Where’s the best place to retire to?”, which was the same question I had asked Kwong Hoi Chau @ our August meet. I was given a whole bunch of workable possibilities, an array of nice places on different Pacific Rims. But, Fay Lo’s answer was very instant, short and dandy. He said that the best palce to retire to is to be next to his pretty wife. Guys, go figure! Hahaha!

I don’t know about you guys, but I could totally go for another Fay Lo’s party any day, any time and any place. Fay Lo, if you can only point me out, teach me to say a few down to earth potent expressions in Mandarin, I’ll fly into Shanghai for just a day to sightsee the city and to visit your unique Shanghai Tarn . How cool.

Fay Lo, you’re truly a one of a kind. Bless your heart! You have the wisdom, the endurance, the passion, time and resources to do anything and everything to protect the endangered species. Please, do not forget to protect yourself next time you’re out there in the wilderness, for I think you definitely belong to the endangered species category in our class of ’67. Come visit us soon! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Laughs & Love from Shanghai to Toronto Part 1

Irene Tsai sends the following report on a joyous gathering with Malcolm & Vicki Au in Toronto.

Date: Mon, 2006-10-02
Place: Dragon Dynasty Restaurant, Metro E
Time: 7:00 p.m to 10:15 p.m.
Present: Fay Lo (Malcolm, Au Man Chung)
Fay Lo’s lovely wife, Vicki Au
Fay Jai (Tsui Sun Man, Sexologist)
Fay Ju (Irene, Tsai Yan Ying, retired educator)
Ho Kit May (May Bartram, Ms. President)
Lau Yuk Hing (better half of Chui Tak Shing)
Chui Tak Shing (worse half of Lau Yuk Hing)
Lau Bak (Stephen, Lau Ki Chun, Salm Jee Ging)
Lau Bak’s better half (Fedelia Lau)
Cheung Kwok Ying, Dancing Queen
Lit Jai (Wong Hin Shing – former ENG teacher)

Regrets: Chow Kam Fong
Lee Lai Chu
Siu Wan Lau (Peggy Wong - former ENG teacher)

Yes, it was the beauties and the beasts at the feast Monday night. Let me try to recap some of the evening’s memorable highlights for you. If you haven’t seen Fay Lo for decades, perhaps it’s worth your while to spend the next minute or two to sit back and check out this Bak Gwa news below.

This all over the face of the planet business tycoon, not only squeezed out time on the last day of his Toronto parents’ visit to be with us, he also managed to sweet talk his pretty wife to come along. Giving up time they both hardly had, the jet setters even relaxed their Shanghainese wallet to surprise us with a delicious feast, called “eat now pay later, no payments or interest until year 2050”. We, the Toronto bunch must have done something right and lucked out. Our rendezvous was simply educational, enlightening, fun, stimulating and yummy from the beginning to the end, a total of approximately 3 hrs. 15 min. We were the last patrons to clear the restaurant.

You see, from our last Toronto alumni Yum Cha in August with Kwong Hoi Chau, I was cautioned by Lau Bak that Fay Lo only takes a bath once in a blue moon. And from my own first-hand experience in high school, Fay Lo had always scared the shit out of me as he was big and tall despite his baby face. He always had this pissed off looks either in school or on the bus. He was that big boy with the rosy sweaty cheeks, wet rolled-up sleeves, he and his basketball and his obnoxious God’s gift to math. To me, he was definitely an unfriendly, a stuck up superior breeding big boy with very few words. I don’t think he had ever spoken to the girls in class, at least never even once to me. He was quite the total opposite of Lin Jeh, who always mingled with the girls. Where the girls were, that’s where Lin Jeh would be found. Hey, I am not talking or doubting Lin Jeh’s sexual orientation here. Lin Jeh was virtually like a benevolent Dai Gar Jeh or a kind shepherd to all throughout our Jubilee days. Bottom line is, I found Fay Lo quite intimidating growing up.

I was the 2nd last one to walk into the restaurant. Fay Jai was a bit behind the grand schedule as he’s forever tied up with his studies and research in Sexology, but we were all forgiving for we could not have a Fay Lo party without Fay Jai on site, seated right next to throne. From a distance I could spot a friendly, smilie Fay Lo, far from intimidating. So, what was the ice breaker then? Hey, a shake of hands and a glass of Tsing Tao Beer did it.

When I sat down, I noticed the girls have already all broken in, they all appeared at ease with Au Man Chung. Fay Lo has now become a BOON FAY SAU gentleman, who has the friendliest looking face (mind you, still retaining a trace of his original baby face), he’s one of the most caring, considerate and sensitive men from Class of ’67. I stood next to him a couple of times that night and smelled sheer clean air. Lau Bak must have either mixed up Fay Lo with some other fatso from somewhere else or have truly misinformed us about Fay Lo’s personal hygiene. Actually, on second thought, Fay Lo may have a hidden foolproof dry clean formula which I have forgotten to ask him for it. In fact, he may be the most successful, real business tycoon from our lot, something we can all be so proud of. In a way, we have to give SEE TAU POR some brownie points who pushed him to take a detour (LUM BARN) to join our class somewhere in the ‘60s, otherwise how the hell could we possibly have ever met up with this exotic tycoon? (Sorry, once named Fay Lo, always a Fay Lo even though he’s downsized to a BOON FAY SAU LO).

The now Fay Lo is a classy gentleman of wisdom, endurance, passion and principles. He philosophies and devises his own unique algorithms under all circumstances to get ahead in life. Throughout the evening, he happily shared his secrets, knowledge and insight with us over the dinner table. We bounced from topic to topic, scene to scene, aspect to aspect, no time was wasted. Mind you, no topic was quite finished before another one popped up, and yet another one. We were doing the Oh, Hey, Wow and laughing all night, because both SEE TAU POR and GOON CHOY HARM were in absentia. We were just having fun yaking and just hanging out without clock/authority watching. What a great way to spend the evening.

Fay Lo certainly had captured our full attention the whole time as he was bubbly, insightful, unboring and hilarious at times. I sat there thinking to myself that this can’t be the same unfriendly, pissed off fatso in the class or on the bus. How time has changed, shaped and polished children to rise and shine in front of our own very eyes. The Gods must not be that crazy after all.

So, what the hell were you guys yaking about for over 3 hours? Well…

Irene will tell you in Part 2 of this report.