Showing posts from May, 2008

Simply Shanghai

Dumplings with hot tasty soup inside. Some were as big as an apple, others were delicate as blossom flowers. Some had crispy bottom crusts, others had a tiny square of green underbase.

It was not a cold night for late autumn in Sydney's Ashfield, a suburb on the south-west outskirts of the Sydney CBD.The current demographics still retain the significant presence of mainland Chinese, which started from the mid-nineties onwards, but now also has Indian grocery outlets sitting side by side with the Greek fruit wholesalers and an icon of Australian residential life, the local club (in this case, the Wests). Retail shops like newsagents and food suppliers are open late even on a weeknight. Young Caucasian Aussies were buying fresh fish after work, or gathered together to sample northern Chinese food. A strip along Liverpool Road has all the main regional cuisines of China represented, from Beijing to Hong Kong.

Five of us had gathered for a casual mid-week dinner in a Shanghai styled res…

Your Graduation Day

Dear Tze Yin,
With utmost grace, you walked the stage
towards the Chancellor, tall and smiling
He capped the mortar board over you, like over the hedge
and you remained unfazed and beaming

The marquee in the morning covered a maze
of delightful hearts content in having achieved
Jazz musicians, teachers and parents ablaze
with the magic of the occasion, real and perceived

With the band boys of Auckland Grammar marching ahead
you strolled down Queen Street in casual splendour
With friends and family alike in a slow parade
you took the real steps to the world of commercial wonder

The cameras captured your smile on the large screens overhead
when you did the roll of honour walking inside Auckland Town Hall
Your red dress under the Cambridge-inspired graduation gown said
with elegance and beauty that you were having a ball!

In Albert Park, I sensed the camaraderie of your mates
on this special day for campus life and career ahead
A sunny day for all meaningful to gather, when all is done a…

Return to New Zealand

I expected frosty nights and moist gardens. I got them. I looked forward to the sparkling moon crescent hanging over low lying long white clouds. I saw and immersed myself in their display. I relished in the long sloping roads of Auckland that led from craters to bays. I got to travel along them. I recalled the glowworms hanging from cave ceilings in South Island, and this time, I was reminded of them by the luminous glow provided by gnat larvae in Waitomo in North Island. My inner soul from a previous trip remembered hot chocolate, intense ice cream and tender lamb cuts, and I got to relish them again. The sulphur and steam at Rotorua are exactly as a London friend, Sue Dickinson, described them.

At the same time, I am amazed this time by the variety of cosmopolitan food offerings in downtown and suburban Auckland. I stopped counting after having two modern Kiwi eatouts, three Hong Kong meals, one Korean lunch, two Vietnamese food gatherings and two Malaysian cafe eating sessions. The…

Convocation Smiles

Big Day for niece Tze Yin and Shaun on her honours graduation day, 5 May 2008

Gathering at Albert Park in downtown Auckland, after completing the walk from the campus of University of Auckland

Arriving at the University of Auckland Business School

(Images form the collection of Yong Tze Yin, May 2008)