Memorable BDay Long Weekend

Didn’t realize today (Monday) was a public holiday until last Friday. It just so happened that many of my friends meetups and farewell gatherings were scheduled perfectly within the few days with no overlapping. Met up with 5 different group of friends on 5 separate meals and 3 of which served with alcohol! This certainly helped make up for a little bit of my steep social deficit caused by COVID-19.

Only a few friends remembered my birthday on Saturday, but it’s ok, I kinda feel too old to celebrate bdays since passing 40 anyway. And on the day when I turned 40, one of the biggest democratic movements officially kickstarted and took over the city when hundreds of teargas bombs and weaponry were used against armless protesters. It was the 2nd anniversary of the movement on Saturday and some districts in the city were filled with police officers patrolling the streets, not an atmosphere that called for joyous celebrations. Nonetheless, it felt kinda special to share my bday with the movement, the extra tie makes me feel even more rooted to the city I was born in.

After adhering to social-distancing habits and isolating myself for such a long period during the pandemic, I now cherish my meetup with friends much more. Our conversations seemed to be more blunt and straight-to-the-point. Our meetup time also seemed too short, the dinner gatherings would probably lasted longer if the restaurants didn’t have to close at 10pm under the social-distancing regulations.

In lieu of the current political and pandemic situation in the city, I’m truly grateful to meet and catch up with so many friends during this long weekend. God was gracious and made it even more memorable by letting me bump into a good friend heading to her friend’s bday party on my bday and letting me see (although briefly) for the first time in my life a full rainbow while saying farewell to an old friend returning to Canada!

Sketch… Sunday Service

Commemorative Week

Didn’t pick up my social activities as planned this past week. Was also hoping to pick up my regular jogging habit again, but the week had been mostly gloomy with scattered showers, will try again his week.

The past week had been filled with news regarding the 32nd candlelight vigil commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre. For the first time in 32 years, the Victoria Park’s soccer fields were emptied of candlelights on June 4th. Instead, under the persecution of the government authorities, candlelights were scattered to different corners of the city and making a bigger impact. Persecution can lead to bigger impact, that’s actually how the gospel spread during the early Christian history.

Didn’t feel like reaching out to friends during the past gloomy commemorative week. Like an annual ritual, I read news articles and watched videos regarding the tragic event 32 years ago. With the increased persecution this year, it seems like I can relate even more to the many young intellectuals who were persecuted or even died in Tiananmen. It still frightens me knowing that a government would be so cold-blooded as to shooting down its own people. It’s even more worrying to witness how that same cold-blooded dictator regime is gaining power in the city I was born in. Oh God, can You save us? 🙏🏻

Sketch… Sunday Service

Home Studio

Finally finished setting up my home studio, one of the biggest projects I included on my Q2 to-do list. The most time-consuming part was the piece of custom shelving I designed and made using paper tubes and 3D-printed joints. This Shigeru-Ban-inspired system of furnitures and accessories is probably my most satisfying work during this self-conducted half-Sabbatical.

The pandemic seems to be more or less under control in the city with over 28 days of zero local cases. I’ve just pasted the 14 days for my second vaccination shot to take full effect. It’s probably a good time to rehabilitate back to the society and start life anew under a “new normal”.

One of the top things to do in this seemingly post-pandemic time (at least locally) is to meet and catch up with friends to make up for the huge social deficit I’ve accumulated in the past year or so. Farewelled another old friend tonight before he moves back to Canada in mid-June. A friend at church told me today that he’ll be moving to UK in August, need to farewell him before he leaves too. Not sure how many more friends I’ll need to farewell as this long pandemic tunnel comes to an end, but the unraveling “new normal” doesn’t look too promising so far.

Sketch… Sunday Service

Super Hot Week

The news announced that today was the hottest day ever recorded in May. In fact, it had been super hot throughout the week. Read about the prison conditions and how there was on A/C despite the heat, I deliberately slept without turning on A/C on Thursday and Friday, slept poorly on the first night, but improved considerably on the second night.

Other than the annoying heat, not much happened in the past week. Met and caught up with a couple of friends whom I haven’t seen for years on Monday. Tried to arrange meetup with my 90+ y/o calligraphy classmate on Tuesday, but only got a reply of gratitude. Played with LEGO all day like a kid on Wednesday, which was a public holiday.

Started my 10th and possibly last sketchbook. Continue making slow but steady progress on my Shigeru-Ban-inspired paper tube furniture, I’m targeting to complete a relatively big piece for my home office this week.

Counting down to 7 more days till my 2nd vaccination shot take full effect…

Sketch… Sunday Service

Second Jab

Took my second COVID-19 vaccine shot yesterday evening, despite forewarned side effects I slept surprisingly well last night, but the body is still suffering from minor headaches and muscle fatigue as I’m typing up this blog post.

The pandemic numbers continued to ease locally, so I continued to meet and catch up with friends to make up for my steep social deficit. Farewelled two families on Wed. evening, one will be moving back to Canada and the other will be moving to UK in a couple of weeks. Rushed to draw family portraits in brush-and-ink as farewell gifts. Also met and caught up with a good friend in the studio on Thursday afternoon. After months of adhering to social-distancing advices, I now seem to cherish my meetup with friends much more.

As vaccination continues to roll out (although very slowly), it seems like we’re finally seeing an end to this marathon pandemic tunnel, at least locally within the city. However, pandemic is just one of the few problems our city is facing. I continued to write letters to the countless democratic detainees/prisoners to thank them for their efforts in trying to make the city a better place. May we not forget about them as the pandemic continues to ease and we eventually welcome our “new normal”.

Sketch… Sunday Service