I can’t believe I am saying this, but I miss Hong Kong.  I miss the bookstores.

Nick Hornby and the terrible Bill Bryson are very popular among the bookstores here in Cologne.  But try look for Kurt Vonnegut or Norman Mailer in their English books section, it’s more difficult than finding a grocery store that is open on Sunday. 

Page One is my favorite bookstore in Hong Kong.  Its collections of classic and comtempory literatry, art, economics, etc… are impressive.  And if you cannot find what you are looking for, they’d be happy to place an order for you – without additional charge.  

I know, I should use Amazon, or better yet, imporve my German at the speed of light so that I can read Stefan Zweig in his native language.  On second thought, I’d prefer the first option.  But here is the thing, I found buying stuff online scary.  Pretty ironic for a person who spends most of her waking time in front of a computer.

So, can someone knock some senses into me please?

In the movie Before Sunset, Jesse told Celine a research conducted by some American sociologist.  Their finding?  Old habit die hard.  Or in Jesse’s words: if you are a happy, jovial person, you will still be a happy jovial person, 6 months after you lost your legs in a car accident; if you are a bitter, obnoxious person, you will still be as bitter and obnoxious as ever even if you won a lottery. 

The point is, after you have taken in the changes in the enviornment or circumstances that life has thrown upon you, you are pretty much back to the same old you.  So much for sudden enlightenment.

Yet we often hear the stories of people who were forever transformed by their experience.  The experience that shook their core, and changed the way they look at and  live their life completely.   

We were told that we could be whoever and whatever we want.  We were told that the society we live in make us what we are.  We were told that life is a subsequence of compromises.  We were told asking “What I want” is the most responsible way to live.  We live in contradictions and opposites.

I guess what I am saying is, I would really like to change the way I live my life.  But the older we get, the harder to change.  We lose our free spirits to old habits.

Although Year 2009 is already 11 days old, there are still 354 amazing days till everybody gets another year older.  So, HAPPY NEW YEAR, folks!

My new year resolution?  Update this blog more often – at least one entry per month 😛

Bloging is an excellent way to process and digest info we get during the course of day, I have to say.  Especially for a lucky person who has short memory.  For one, I suspect 50% of my usually active brain cells have been sleeping (deeply) since my last entry.  I intend to revive them.

Now I want to talk about Amsterdam.  I missed my chance to taste one of those cookies made with certain green leaves, but I didn’t miss the chance to check out the ladies in the window – with the lucky guy, I must emphasize.  I want to say, legalizing it (both the green stuff and the red lights) is not necessarily a bad idea.  You do see a disproportionally large number of people who dress and behave like they still live in the 60s, but I don’t have anything against tie dye T-shirt.

What interested me was the ladies.  No matter how old they were, or how physique-challenged they were, they took their job very seriously.  With minimum fabric covering themselves, they smiled at people passing by, while striking unbelievably sexy poses.  Don’t believe that a 50 year old, 150 pounds lady can pull that off?  Visit Amsterdam.  It’s the attitude that counts, baby!

So, fire up that postive attitude of yours, and get year 2009 started!  And I wish you a wonderfully exciting year!

Tommy, my beloved German shepherd died.  He was only 6 years old – too young even judging by dog year.  I can still remember the day I saw him, a cute puppy who loved a particular sleeping position: lying on his tummy while sticking out his four limbs.  Even though I had to go back to Toronto when the Summer ended, I could not resist bringing him home.  He was also unbelievably fond of sleeping, which suited me perfectly well. 

I named him after my ex.  It seemed like a good idea back then, albeit not so classy on my part.  But eventually, dog Tommy replaced human Tommy, and I no longer felt the pain in my heart when I said or heard the name again.  My plan worked. 

The next Summer I went back to home, Tommy was already fully grown.  He looked at me cooly first, perhaps to size me up.  I thought he forgot about me, but 20 seconds later, he jumped up and (literally) hugged me.  This happens every time I go back home.  And I will miss him terribly the next time I am home. 

Rest in peace, dear Tommy.  I hope you didn’t think I abandoned or forgot about you.  I didn’t.  I will never.

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It’s funny to see John MaCain air quote women’s issue, it’s even funnier to see some of his female supporters avoiding a certain word begins with “C”. 

The word is “Choice”, in case you are not following the campaign.  Let me put it into context for you, it’s the “Choice” that goes after “Pro” they are afraid of.  This ridiculous sensitivity has virtually wipe off the word “Choice” from vocabulary of the Conservatives, especially its female demographics.

Now after Mr Greenspan admitted on the national TV that the system of free market is fundamentally flawed, the new politically incorrect phase is “Free Market”.  A friend of mine actually asked me if I have changed my position of a free marketeer, the answer is a definite “No”, but I can see the fight to advocate free market is getting tougher and tougher because of the current financial crisis.

So I am delighted to see that ABC’s 20/20 broadcasted the following wonderful documentary on October 17, appropriated named “The Politically Incorrect  Guide to Politics”:

Enjoy.