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Archive for the ‘Fujian’ Category

During our conversation, Mrs. Yeung told us that a friend whom she hadn’t met for 59 years would go to Gulangyu and pay her visit on this very same day. Wow! 59 years! I don’t even know if I will live that long!

This pair of old friends used to be next-door neighbors and schoolmates. In the 1940’s, both of them moved out to different parts of China, and since then, they hadn’t found the chance to see each other again.

A few years ago, through the use of Friendster, I got the chance to organize an unofficial grade school/secondary school reunion party. It was a good party and we just had a great time chatting, recalling and sharing our good ol’ stories while updating each other about our lives, current status, and whatnot.

It’s an odd feeling, like a mixture of making new friends and meeting up with old ones. While these were friends since childhood, there had been so much going on in all the years since we last contacted that it sometimes felt like meeting someone new for the first time.

These are friends whom I hadn’t met for like 10-15 years. I wonder what an experience it would be to meet up with a childhood friend whom you haven’t seen for more than half a decade. Since I have Mrs. Yeung’s contact, let me follow up on this and ask her about it 😀

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As a place of residence for westerners during Xiamen’s colonial time in the early 20th century, Gulangyu is famous for its architecture and its China’s one-and-only piano museum.

When Yik and I were wandering around in Gulangyu (鼓浪嶼), we met Mrs. Yeung, a very nice native Gulangyu lady in her 70’s. The lady chatted with us for like half an hour, sharing her childhood memories of Gulangyu, as well as her feelings and thoughts of the island these days.

She told us how Gulangyu has always been a quiet little island with low population and no noise nor air pollution generated by cars (car and motorbike are banned from the island). In fact, nowadays, many natives have moved out to the big cities and left many houses empty in Gulangyu, making the island quieter than ever before (aside from the touristy spots).

Gulangyu is given the nicknames of “Piano Island” or “The Town of Pianos” (鋼琴之鄉). I remember I read it somewhere describing the Gulangyu back in the early 1900’s as an island filled with the sound of piano, where one could always find someone playing a piano nearby. I used to think that it’s just a poetic way of describing this romantic island until I jokingly mentioned it to Mrs. Yeung.

Mrs. Yeung said that, indeed, it’s true that back in the early 1900’s, the sound of piano could be heard easily when one was walking along the streets, especially since Gulongyu has always been a quiet little town. But instead of beautiful music, it might be some not-so-pleasant noises made by someone who was just starting to learn the instrument.

Ya, true. It’s nothing romantic when the kid of next door keeps banging on the piano keys like crazy at 7 on a Sunday morning. 😯

Photos of Gulangyu and my Fujian trip

Check out this post – A Day in Colonial Gulangyu – if you want to get some descriptive details of the look, the feel, and some background history of Gulangyu.



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Have you tried an aspic dish before, such as ham & parsley aspic, salmon & egg aspic and such, usually as an appetizer in somewhere serving European cuisine? For those who don’t know what aspic is, how about if I say “meat jelly”? Does it ring a bell and give you a better picture in mind now? I bet most of us have seen it in the cooked-food section of some supermarkets.

While I have the impression that aspic is mainly used in western cuisines, Chinese and Japanese have their jelly dishes too. And this time when I was in Fujian, I saw an exotic one, a jelly that many of us may think is too gross to try while it is a very common food in Fujian that many locals love much – the sandworm jelly (it is called 土筍凍 in Fujian).

I actually tried it. It tasted alright. In fact, the texture was pretty good – crispy and crunchy. But the look of it and the idea of eating sandworm are too gross that they couldn’t bring up my appetite for another piece.

Well, thinking more of it, it’s not too gross I guess… similar to the French escargot gourmet snails, isn’t it? Haha :mrgreen:

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The first time I learned the word “鑫” is through watching the classic tvb series他來自江湖 when I was a kid, in which Stephen Chow plays the role 何鑫淼. While his name is 鑫淼, all characters in the drama, 有邊讀邊, call him 金水 instead. And because of this, I didn’t really know how to read the word “鑫” until I went to Fujian (福建) this time 😛 (it sounds like “音” in Cantonese, means prospering or good profit)

Fujianese’ love of gold is comparable with Shanghainese’ love of brand. While a Shanghainese husband gives his wife a Louis Vuitton handbag as a show of love, a Fujianese husband gives gold bars to his other half instead. Next time when you are in North Point (where many Fujianese in Hong Kong live), try to count the number of gold jewelry shops on King’s Road. You will be surprised and wonder whether it is King’s Road in North Point or Nathan Road in Mongkok has a higher density of jewelry shops.

Chinese loves words that are 好意頭 (have meanings and/or sounds of good fortune). For company names, “金” (gold) is surely one of the popular words used, and how could “鑫” not be another one when there are three golds in this word?! And from what I have seen, the word “鑫” is overwhelmingly popular in Fujian and can be found everywhere on the streets. I found this especially true when I was in Shishi City (石獅市) and Shenhu (深沪). I guess people in the suburbs and smaller cities have a different like and dislike of words from those living in big cities like Xiamen (廈門) and Quanzhou (泉州).

尋鑫記 (Gold Hunting) – Yik and I played a game on our way back to Shishi City – try to spot as many 鑫 as possible and see who can find more 鑫. We found many 鑫 in less than 30 minutes. And here are some of the 鑫 Yik and I found.

Fyi, Yik won the game 🙂

Related Post: 鑫 and Other Triplet Chinese Words

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