General

Hurricane Mangkhut

Bad weather has often prompted me to write a thing or two. Well, it can’t get any worse, or so it seems. Typhoon Signal No. 10 was up for some ten hours or the good part of the day as everyone in Hong Kong exchanged and shared the woes experienced in many districts and areas. We did not tape any window pane or make any special moves except taking down one or two plant boxes outside the window. It was phenomenal outside, but our flat is very much sheltered. And when it came to pass, we have no reports of damages at all. I took the time to catch up with some emails and secretarial work and stayed inside all day, eating and drinking what were available. I believe we are the lucky one; and thank God for that.

Hong Kong was warned of Mangkhut’s impending arrival almost a week before; and people had been digging out from the archives the rampage caused by Hurricane Wanda of 1962 which maintained the record for wind speed, destruction, casualties and damages caused.

I remember Wanda very well indeed; and in fact I recall a rainstorm in 1956 or 1957 which caused some mud slip or landslides which loosened up some huge boulders near where we lived, resulting in the family having to leave the stone hut where we lived because it was declared unsafe. Some residents or villagers nearby were killed in the incident. The stone hut was situated in Holy Cross Path Village in Sai Wan Ho, Shau Ki Wan. It was the earliest residence in my memory bank. I remember the place rather well. It was a two-storey stone building but everything inside were made of wood, including a staircase which joined the two floors. Our parents and their four children lived upstairs in two rooms one of which led outside to an opening beside a large piece of rock with a small planting area by the side. The ground floor was used as a classroom operated by my parents. There was a small room behind the classroom which was rented out to a young couple at a time, but later turned into a tuck shop for the students. I would give a slightly more detailed and picturesque description in the memoir which I have been planning to write. I would need to consult my brother who claimed that he recalled more details from those days.

Back to the present, we have been back for more than two weeks from our six-week trip since mid-July. I did not take a camera with me, but I took a rather old version though hardly used iPad hoping that I could use it to record something during our travels. It didn’t work. It was too slow for the purpose, and riding on the back of a Defender is not exactly ideal for writing or for making notes.

I did make some notes in a note book during the six weeks, typically after breakfast or before I went to bed. My handwriting has certainly deteriorated a lot since the days I drafted most of my work with ball point pens on paper. I couldn’t recognize on sight some of what I have written; and I used too many abbreviations some of which I have forgotten what they were meant for so that the notes might not be as meaningful as I had hoped.

Su and I ate and drank a lot in the six weeks. She put on five pounds while I maintained mine or lost one or two, implying that travelling could be hard work. Su had posted on Facebook the odd moments of our travels with pictures which had attracted comments from friends who have been following our pages and posts. These posts served some useful purposes. Next year this time, FB would remind us of what happened which may jolt the brain and in turn delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.

In the meantime, the thought of writing the first chapters of a memoir has come up more frequently. I conveniently put off the thought on grounds that I need to acquire a tablet or some appropriate instruments to kick start the process. I am still thinking about it.

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