(my own stupid mini) revolution and why I’m a bad employee

I struggle to write here. Because for some egoistic reason, I think I should only write things that are “good”. But I never thought that what I think is “good” is most likely just shite to everybody else. So who cares? From now on, not me.

Hey, have you seen Snowpiercer? It’s this awesome Korean-made film starring Chris Evans – but that’s beside the point. Never been a fan of Chris Evans, or Korean movies for that matter (so there, I’ve just given you the guarantee that my comments aren’t biased), but this was an awesome combination of action, sci-fi, social commentary, class struggle and all that stuff. I’ve always been a sucker for underdogs throwing a revolution and kicking-ass!

Which, in a way, means I make a bad corporate employee. I pointed and laughed when I spotted Naomi Klein’s book No Logo in the company library which is otherwise full of titles like Seven Habits of Highly Effective People; The One Minute Manager; Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In; Management 3.0 and all that sort.

I have no idea how Naomi Klein’s anti-globalisation, anti-corporation, anti-branding manifesto made it into the library of one of the biggest multinational corporations in the world – whether no one knew what it was about and someone just slotted a random donated book in, or it was a brilliant subversive joke, I applaud the person.

I’m a natural rebel. Sometimes, I don’t do things that “aren’t compulsory but should generally be done” especially if they “should be done fast because that pleases the boss” – especially not when I have things to do that actually matter. If pushed, I might do it, but slowly, or an hour before deadline. You get the point.

Basically, I’m digging my own corporate grave and everyone thinks I’m crazy (and/or stupid). But hey, I’m ok with that. I don’t intend to sell my soul.




t-shirts people wear: Juicy

JuicyI have this bad habit of reading the text on people’s t-shirts, which is amusing, baffling and sometimes infuriating all at the same time.

To my friends, when I point out the ridiculousness of the prints on their tops, it’s unnecessary and embarassing. (Speaking of which, I need to get a shot of my flatmate’s top that says something about murdering some kid.)

People tend not to think twice about foreign language prints on their clothing, like the summer I went to France when it was hit by this craze of having Chinese characters on tops and trousers. They had the most ridiculous words possible printed on them. I thought, for all the mocking Asians get for having non-sensical European-language idiocy on their clothing, oh yeah – payback time!

Meanwhile, my neighbour likes juicy I guess. *ahem*

Interns: questions they ask and, more amazingly, answers they get

Summer intern: “Why do people stay behind working so late? Are they being forced?!”  *wide eyed*

Supervisor: “Oh no we don’t force anyone here. I’m not going to tell you the answer, but if you observe the people here, you’ll realise they have an enthusiasm for their work and really, people just really love the company!”

Yes of course, why else would I be typing up presentations in bed on a Sunday night?

What strikes me as crazy though is the things people can bring themselves to say – the number of people who unfailingly spew PC corporate-speak when trying to befriend you while their eyes flash “FAKE” like a broken slot machine is astonishing.

Sometimes I sit in the office and wonder if I’m the last unbrainwashed person on Earth.


June 4th and the man behind Tank Man

I attended the massive annual candlelight vigil for the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Masscare (aka “the June 4 incident”) on, well, the 4th of June in Victoria Park.

I know friends and colleagues who invariably attend every year. I started off being apathetic, then in the last couple of years started being interested but either busy or out of town or…just complaining that it’s too hot. Like most things in life, this year I just decided I should stop making excuses and go.

Yes, it was hot. I’ve never been to any sort of vigil or memorial event before but it was more or less what I expected. I didn’t much care for the political messages – I personally just wanted China to stop denying history. Although that is of course naive on my part. The people died for a social and political cause and China is censoring the entire event for political reasons. But hey, I’m the last person you’ll want to talk to about politics and everyone were there for their own reasons.

The Man behind Tank ManThen a friend found out about a talk and exhibition in HKU by Jeff Widener, the photograher who took the iconic Tank Man shot. Another first for me, and not entirely an artsy person, I doubted my interest but was intrigued. And you know what, Jeff Widener was a funny and engaging speaker. All he really had was a laptop with some photos on it which he simply just opened one by one, sometimes stumbling over which button to press or finding a photo or two out of order. Perhaps I’m too used to glossy corporate presentations and arsey corporate speak, but I find his no-frills tell-you-like-it-is style very refreshing. It didn’t hurt that he’s lived a life and career full of mishaps, luck, and adventure and could’ve gone on telling stories well beyond his allotted time.

The passion that people still have to make their voices heard for an event that occurred 25 years ago, and the passion for photo-journalism that Jeff Widener showed in his talk is quite emboldening. Living in Hong Kong, in very easy to fall into a routine and just go through the paces every day – a life that may be safe and comfortable, but lacking in fire. Or maybe, I’m just speaking for myself.


Yorkshire Gold and tea-tasting: when you proof yourself wrong

yorkshire goldEver since I was introduced to Yorkshire Gold a few years ago, I compare every tea with milk to Yorkshire Gold. No other black tea (or red tea, if you’re Chinese) is as smooth, thick, and flavoured as Yorkshire Gold with full-cream milk.

Not tea from Starbucks (too watery); not tea from a 5-star hotel lounge (too light); not this famous tea that I must try because it comes in real fancy packaging from the posh supermarket (flavourless).

However, I’m a science person and work in an industry that (purportedly) places the highest regards in data and evidence, so I don’t expect you to take my word for it – I designed a double-blind trial to prove once and for all that Yorkshire Gold is the superior tea.

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