Friday, February 22, 2008

Au Bik Wan revisit Hong Kong

Dear Folks,

It was soooo good to see you all again last Monday, just like in a dream. The convenience of easy transport really brought us closer together. You guys make HK the best place to come back to. There is so much love and hospitality. We enjoyed it very much. Thank you for the great lunch. Be sure to let me know when you guys are visiting California - love to see you here! It is always a blast to see old folks. Our friendship developed over time is really irreplaceable. Have a good day!
Au Bik Wan

Monday, February 18, 2008

CNY Luncheon in Toronto Part 2 of 2

Oink! Oink! Toronto Pig Lovers celebrating Year of the Rat
A 5-hour Pot Luck Lunch-a-thon!
(Part 2 of 2)
As you can all see here from the picture that the Toronto ‘true’ pig lovers have indeed happily enjoyed Fay Lo and Vicki’s hearty treat, except Lau Bok’s having a bit of problem here. Help! He fell deeply in love with that pig, and just couldn’t let go of the pig! Haha! With our happy, full tummies, we‘re now ready to move into Part II of our Chinese New Year Party.

One floor below us, we walked into Sun’s home entertainment centre. I tell you, nobody’s going to find a better home theatre in town. There’s a spacious wet bar on one side, the stereo sound system on the other side, the Mah Chong table is forever ready in the hidden corner room, and the home theatre is second to none with a wall size screen and a professional projector hanging down accurately from the ceiling. When it comes to home entertainment, Sun doesn’t fool around. He pays full attention to little details and goes for the best. I suspect he is an artistic and musical man we are not aware of. Fay Lo took the director’s chair with his laptop hooked up to the projector. Sun killed the lights and we all either sank into our comfy big seats or parked ourselves in the couch to let Fay Lo take us away to the most isolated parts of the world, basically to the fantasy lands where he has just returned from. First, he pleasured our tummies, then he opened up our eyes and put dreams into our dreams. His powerpoint started up with his cool island flight, showing us what it’s like in the 1st Class cabin. It’s amazing that the cabin’s so luxurious, considering it’s only a domestic flight happening in a small local airport. Now, off to the world’s most isolated island we went, to the Strange and the Unexplained…….the Easter Island. The shots’re just mind-boggling, how the hell the ancient settlers managed to move and put those big rocks and statues there? It remains a forever ongoing mystery. We’re talking about a whole island of gigantic monsters! Very cool and unique stuff!!!! The Antarctica’s just so tranquil and beautiful. Fay Lo was able to capture some National Geographic quality pictures with his camera to spoil our eyes, him being the narrator with a great sense of down to earth humour throughout his ppt. was such a bonus. He showed us the cutest penguins’ movements (from sleeping to shitting), the leopard seals and the streamline whales. It’s the purest of the purest paradise and heaven on earth, with the cleanest and calmest water one would die to see it once in their entire life time. He showed us his deep sea fishing trip in Perth and the oyster excavation off the remote islands off Perth, where he was living and eating oysters off the rocks like Robinson Crusoe, and that was just so unbelieveable. Then, he switched us over to the Cuban cigar making factories, the mansion-like hotels, where he has just spent a short time there with his Hong Kong buddies before showing himself up in Toronto. I have completely forgotten to ask him to show us his cool Russia trip he took many years ago as I was virtually swept away by the extreme beauty of the utmost innocent beauty of nature. We were able to enjoy viewing such exotic parts of the world all because of that forever adventurous, innovative, resourceful and the risk taker, Fay Lo, who just rolled the dice, packed his bag and off he went and risked it all out there, he often had to dry clean himself for a number of days, getting up in the middle of the night to catch his connections to seek his one-of-a-kind target destinations and he was always unselfish to educate us and happy to share his travel extravaganzas with us. He’s our proud ambassador to the exotic world. One perfect shot after another kept popping up on that king size screen. Man, what a way to spend quality time on a deep frozen Sunday afternoon.

Coming back up from the home theatre again, we were pleasantly surprised by Sun and Josephine’s repeated hospitality. Without a word, they had quietly put out a lovely afternoon delight for us, serving the best Columbian coffee from Harrods, the nostalgic Hong Kong style English tea, fancy chocolate mousse cake and all sorts of French pastries. So much food, fun and humour to share with and yet so much mutual respect and caring side by side after so many lost years. It’s hard to believe that we had split up open-endedly 40+ years ago, and after decades of very, very busy years in our own lives, we could miraculously get back together from far and near to take it up from where we had left off when we were still kids at Jubilee. Like in a big, happy family, with a lot of enthusiasm and good wishes, we all had so much borderless topics from our old days to joke around and talk about. It was just sheer awesome. But, we’ve got to go out to still look for that lost “Big Rock” which had rolled away from us in Toronto or Alberta, just like that. This was definitely a real CNY party you guys have sorely missed.

On a frozen day like such, the impeccable warm couple did such a perfect hosting job that I felt as if they had quietly put a warm cashmere blanket around our shoulders to keep us away from the horrible chill. Sun, do me a favor, I need you to steal the HAR DOR SEE recipe from your wife. I haven’t had it since my Jubilee days at Duck Gay Store behind Ying Wah Boys’. Haha!

Fay Lo and Sun, we honestly thank you two for being the catalysts of such a magical CNY party. We all have truly enjoyed ourselves throughout the entire afternoon. Fay Lo and Vicki, once again, we thank you for bringing us the incredibly edible pig, your love and laughters all the way from Shanghai. When are you coming back to visit us again?

Sun, since nobody’s broken a glass or plate at your house, do you think we could have a rain cheque to get back into your door the next time Fay Lo comes to town? The best part is not over yet, because when he comes in again, we will add karaoke to our next party, for sure. And, perhaps you can all guess who will be our main entertainer for that. Haha!

As usual, I never look at my Chinese gold Rolex when I am having a good time. But, when I got home, it was almost pitch-black. Ho Kit May and Fay Lo emailed us later to tell us that it’s been an awesome 5-hour long pot luck lunch!!! Now, who can beat that top of the world, winterlicious lunch-a-thon of ours?!


Irene Tsai Yan Ying, reporting from Toronto, Feb 16, 2008

CNY Luncheon in Toronto Part 1 of 2

Oink! Oink! Toronto Pig Lovers celebrating Year of the Rat
A 5-hour Pot Luck Lunch-a-thon! (Part 1 of 2)

On the freezing cold Sunday morning of February 10, 2008, I found myself racing up north on the city’s busiest highways heading to the hottest pot luck luncheon in town. With my left eye on the crazy winter driving, my right eye constantly glued onto the big glass bowl of just-made jiggling, colourful agar dessert (filled right up to the rim). I finally located a cosy mansion in the burbs, 25 Earl Grey Court in Richmond Hill. A gem mansion with the cleanest driveway?? I called Tsui Sun Man on my cell, “Hello, Sun, is that you? If so, can I please park on your driveway?” “Oh, yes! Absolutely, where about are you now?” “Hey, I’m right here, sitting on your driveway!” Before I flipped my cell down, in the chilly cold air, Sun stuck his neck out of his big front doors for a quick second to welcome me in.

Baby, baby, one more time! Lo and behold, he did it again! Fay Lo and his family’s surely in town, hidding in Sun’s cozy living room among the familiar Toronto faces (Ho Kit May, Cheung Kwok Ying, Lau Yuk Hing and Chui Tak Shing). “GUNG HAY, GUNG HAY, GUNG HAY FAT CHOY”, said everyone! Fay Lo got up from his comfy seat, all smiles on his HO SIC HO JU baby sun-tanned face; his beautiful wife, Vicki, and cutie-pie daughter, Juliana, all standing around him to exchange Chinese New Year greetings.* Time flies, it has been exactly a year since they last paid the Toronto gang a fun visit.

Bright red Chinese lanterns hanging down the ceilings and walls, beautiful table displays, Sun and his sweet sixteen wife, Josephine, were busy popping back and forth the kitchen and the living room in a remarkably harmonious manner. They’re such superb host and hostess. There’s fine red wine from Australia, pina colada with the touch of the tropics, the aroma of awesome freshly prepared Chinese food, such as Ho Kit May and her daughter, Christe’s best tasting Budha’s Delight, Taro Cake and Water Chestnut Cake, Red Bean Cake; Cheung Kwok Ying’s healthy stir-fried Choy Sum, my modest contribution of of partially home-made colourful agar pudding dessert, Josephine’s genuine home-made miniature shrimp cakes (HAR DOR SEE), the top-notch Form 1B student couple’s soy duck (LO SHUI duck). Lau Yuk Hing spent her whole evening defrosting and cooking that duck, and hubby Chui Tak Shing had gotten up in the middle of the night to do his theatrical carving on that famous duck. No joking, he took pride in his carving job and certainly gained his reputation on that day. As I continued to lay my eyes on the awesome dishes…………Rring! Rring! Door bell! “Will someone go get the door, please!”

“Excuse us, we are coming through!”, Lau Ki Chun’s wife, Fedelia, said softly as they walked into the house. The couple were bundled up like 2 little Eskimos, arriving with such charming smiles, delivering a hot, sizzling suckling roast pig to the party animals. “Slow, slow……..take it EEE-Zay, take it EEE-Zay..”, Fedelia, being the driver, kept talking to herself throughout her entire trip on the highways, protecting and making sure the crispy, chopped up suckling roast pig would arrive intact and still piping hot for us. Apparently, Lau Bok and wife had picked up a secret contract from Fay Lo to be his faithful, trustworthy delivery agents while he was cruising in the Antarctica. The couple did a superb job, picking up Fay Lo’s order, transporting that yummy baby from the oven of the best Toronto Chinese restaurant to Sun’s fine dining table. Somehow, that smart cookie, Fay Lo, could tell that the Toronto Gang’s made up of ‘real’ pig lovers. No kidding, we are CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certified ‘true’ pig lovers!!! Haha! We were so thrilled that he had pampered us with such a welcoming huge sizzling tasty dish. You know, when it comes to entertaining, Fay Lo and Vicki have always been utmost sincere, stylish and super generous. Lau Bok was also bringing his honest home-cooked veggie dishes to the party. I heard through the grapevine on that day that he would only cook for his Jubilee buddies, and zitch for others. What an obnoxious guy, eh? But, we’re so proud of his attitude.

The ‘real’ pig lovers kicked off their party upon the arrival of the sizzling hot suckling pig . No time wasted on introduction of such dish. All 14 of us gathered around Sun’s long table relaxingly to enjoy the most delicious hot dishes. Surprising, we were not crammed but experiencing the sincerity and intimate timeless friendship among us. Over the delicious food and drinks, we talked about everything, you name it. We didn’t really have an agenda, it was funny random talks, but millions of things popped up, spontaneously one after another. We turned Sun’s quiet kitchen into a colourful, noisy marketplace, filled with non-stop laughters for hours. Two seconds of pause followed by the next 3 min of loud laughters, that seemed to be the set pattern all afternoon. I was surprised that nobody had a dislocated jaw from opening their mouths so wide, showing all teeth and no eyes for such long hours. Obviously, we covered topics inside and beyond the old classroom doors. We were little history buffs who were busy cracking jokes, re-learning old facts and re-living the good old times. Fay Lo took us down the memory lane. He innocently served Lau Bok a few simple questions pertaining to the highlights of his Jubilee daily rituals. Stories after stories,……….Lau Bok’s frequent trips to Temple Street with the boys, Fay Lo’s unrecorded Hit and Run incident in Gym class. All the girls could remember Fay Lo’s famous sweaty white shirt spilling out of his uniform pants everyday, and how he had totally ignored the girls but had his eyes only on his orange baby in his hands all day long. Ho Kit May commented that Fay Lo was so cleverly ahead of his time, leading the fashion trend even some 45 years back with his all time wet, untugged uniform shirt. Fay Lo tried to unlock the mysteries of Lau’s interesting past, but poor Lau had to handle his fragile answers with great care, taking all kinds of detours from point A to point B, because….. Baby On Board (his wife was sitting next to him!). Haha! Mind you, we were the common thread throughout all the distinctive dialogues and vivid funny stories of the past. Everyone laughed so much that afternoon. We were engrossed in our own unique fun world of the past and our carefree happy present. As Fay Lo got more and more inquisitive about Lau’s old school days (everything you have always wanted to know but were afraid to ask), Lau chuckled, nodded and ducked his head behind his half full glass of red wine, tried to straighten his already flawless pressed shirt, his shoulders slumped at times, then stared up and down his drink, tried to come up with a decent answer. It was totally funny. He then rubbed his bare forehead to begin talking again, but Fay Lo kept on serving him with more funny scenarios and questions. Poor Lau had such a hard time to organizie and reorganize his words before they safely came out of his mouth. Again, he had to leave something unsaid because once again, Baby On Board. Haha! We just loved our class clown. He then re-routed his answer to Lee Wing Shek’s Taekwondo skills by tilting his chin to show us LWS’s endorsement on it. Surely, under his chin, we saw Lee’s engraved name, “Big Stone”. Hahaha! Then, out of the blue he started to tell us he’s got it all figured out…. the real age of one of our Jubliee’s teachers. And by doing so, he has successfully won the MAA Award (Mathematical Association of America Award). You asked me how so? Well, for more than 5 consecutive stubborn minutes, he strongly believed and even did a substantial illustration to convince us of how 57 (our average age) + 3 = 68 !!! Haha! He could actually get himself stoned before he even took a first sip of Fay Jai’s fine wine. Hey, Lau Bok, Ho Yeh! Ho Yeh! We truly knew how to have fun with our friends. It was a magic Chinese New Year party, platefuls and platefuls of good food, great company and happy hours all afternoon.

Folks, don’t go away!!. I will continue to report the other juicy half of our fun-filled 5-hr lunch-a-thon from Toronto to you. Part 2 should come out momentarily. Thanks for tuning in so far.

Picture of Toronto Pig Lovers will be shown on Part 2

Irene Tsai Yan Ying, reporting from Toronto, Feb 16, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008




恭喜發財! 謹祝各位新年健康,快樂,萬事如意!