Weather Talks

Mid-Autumn has passed for more than ten days and the northeast monsoon has been working hard, but we faced more tropical storms and typhoons last week. Koinu had taken a rather mysterious path from the early days, causing severe damage along its way. Earlier weather forecast had some people warning for another direct hit on Hong Kong last Saturday and I was preparing for a quiet weekend at home. By Friday, however, Koinu’s passage was mitigated or influenced by the northeast monsoon which had slowed it down, but making it more mysterious. Su and I made a special trip to Middle Island to find an almost deserted Club house. Saturday came uneventfully and I went to the scheduled party at Zetland Hall, giving out a few copies of my book and being asked by a few instant fans to autograph the copies they had won. The weather somehow changed overnight. We had been invited by my godson and his wife for a house-warming party in Tai Wai. He had planned to cook us dinner preceded by a mahjong game. But by Sunday morning, we were told that typhoon signal No. 8 would be hoisted after mid-day, so that we had decided to advance the party and have lunch instead, which we did. As it happened, we arrived Tai Wai around 11am after our morning Mass at Ricci Hall and spent nearly seven hours in their flat having sake and bubblies and teaching Su how to play mahjong. Watching the rain from their balcony in gale force wind was actually quite pleasant and comfortable, the flat not being exposed to northeasterly wind. Our host had suggested we stay for dinner or even overnight, but I wasn’t quite prepared for that or as adventurous. In the end, we left before six and got home in my EV well before typhoon signal No. 9 was hoisted, for a quiet evening.

It turned out that No. 9 was up for five hours, but that No. 8 was in force for most of the morning, with black and red rainstorm and thunderstorm warnings issued throughout the night. The inclement weather and the path of the treacherous little dog had caused many returning passengers and new arrivals at the airport to create complaints, played up by the TV channels which highlighted Hong Kong as having operated a shameful reception regime. Obviously, common sense was blown off in the intensifying wind and rain. Have they forgotten how passengers were forcibly detained at the airport terminal during the 2019 black violence and how the media had reacted to and reported the violence caused by the mob?

Anyway, by mid-morning on Monday, we had to plan for the rest of the week. Life must go on. I had an evening meeting in ZH and an appointment with my TCM doctor in Central before that. Su accompanied me to Central, but our doctor friend was busy with some other chores so that I couldn’t leave the place until 5:45pm when the sky was blanketed with dark clouds and looked like falling down. I got to ZH alright while Su waited at the clinic for the medicine. As it happened, that was my 11th visit since I decided to turn to TCM end of July for my post-shingles management. The doctor said I was effectively cured and that I didn’t need to book for the next appointment for some time, which was good news.

Now, Su had met up with this doctor friend some ten years ago rather accidentally at a talk or seminar featuring an octogenarian Taoist who was giving advice on how to live longer and heathier.  The Taoism Master had actually passed away recently at 90 plus, but that would be another story. To cut the long story short, we became very good friends, through eating, drinking and merry making mostly and I had consulted her for some minor aliments which she managed with great efficacy through acupuncture. We had also introduced a few friends to her. On her part, she operated a rather slick office and clinic in Lyndhurst Terrace, but was not keen to continue with the practice for a number of reasons, mostly practical. She won’t take up new patients easily, and she had laid down strict rules for her patients. She had used her clinic as a backup for her research in manufacturing and marketing medicinal products which had become her primary interest. Good and genuine Chinese medicine are become very expensive and prices for some products had been rising exponentially; she had found it increasingly difficult to retain and recruit staff with the right temperament and motivation; and she had concluded that it was not cost effective to continue with the practice in the long run. Her famous anecdote is to listen to one’s body which holds the primary healing elements and powers. Most aliments are healed by the body itself. A person won’t and can’t live forever. The body would deteriorate and weaken with time and one needs to recognize the facts. In short, a 75-year-old body cannot be expected to operate as if it were 25 years old. She had found, for example, that my body was working rather well at my age; and most important, one needs to learn “to dance with the wolf”. It reminds me of an article I picked up recently from a TIME editor Philip Cheung and a feature correspondent Charlotte Alter reporting on Bryan Johnson, an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, writer and author. He is 46 and he founded Project Blueprint in October 2021 which he operated in Venice California as an anti-aging attempt through dietary practices. Johnson believes that a person can live forever and he makes himself the prototype test model and had recruited a partner (female) to follow the regime, which called for taking more than 100 pills a day at specific times and taking self-prepared concoctions for meals which had very little resemblance or tastes of real food. The Time article was “The Man Who Thinks He Can Live Forever.” At the time of the interview, he said he believed he had kept his body at 20 something, though some medical professionals thought otherwise and said they required more independently collaborated proofs.

By the way, while I was on TCM halfway, around early September, I stopped all my hypertension pills prescribed by the doctors at the Government clinic which regime I had followed for more than 30 years and which had prescribed me drugs to lower my cholesterol level which was just below normal, but which Su had strenuously forbade me to take. I have since not felt worse than before, though not appreciably better. As my TCM doctor friend said, “Those pills had not cured you for 30 years. Why bother to take them?”

I had planned to discuss the impact of the irresponsible American policies and the threats they created for themselves and the world, as displayed in the war between Israel and the Hamas, now in the fifth day, but maybe next time.

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