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A story about serendipity

On that day I planned to attend an event in a public space in Sheung Wan. However it was not what I thought. Thus I left shortly and saw what I could do this afternoon, like visiting any cafe nearby, or the one I usually go, or going back home to continue reading The Black Swan. When I walked on the street, I noticed there was a coffee shop for takeaway only, which did not meet my above expectations. But I suddenly missed the days when I had a cuppa in Australia, and I changed my mind and ended up loving this outstanding latte with latte art!

因為Facebook的一個上環文化廣場舉行的活動,所以從家裡乘車過去。可是該活動沒預期所願,於是走罷。會不會找個咖啡店,或是去鰂魚涌那邊、平常喝flat white的那家咖啡店,還是回家讀The Black Swan。往電車路的途中,看到一家只有外賣的咖啡店,本來不符我的需求,於是就罷,但又想到昔日在澳洲曾有外帶咖啡紙杯在街上的體驗,覺得其實這樣也好,結果回頭點了這杯既好喝、拉花又好的latte。 

 

So what’s next? The weather was nice at that moment and maybe I should take a bus to the waterfront of Kennedy Town, the west side of Hong Kong Island. While waiting, there was a bus, route 90B coming, and I heard the two pedestrians talking about it that that bus will go to Pok Fu Lam, the southern part of the island. Driven by curiosity I checked the route map of the bus stop, and found out ‘Pokfulam Village’, one of my to-go places that I still had’t been to. I changed my mind again in one second and hopped on that bus.

看到天氣好,所以想去堅尼地城有海那邊,候車途中來了一輛叫90B的巴士,路人說此車經過薄扶林,然後看了身旁的路線圖,有著「薄扶林村」——一個我曾經在筆記本寫過要去、但一直找不到時間到訪的地方(因為不論是Google Maps、Citymapper都說這地方有點說),用了不到一秒的時間,我改變了主意。 

 

When I checked transport apps like Google Maps and Citymapper, they told me the village was not easy to go. But Pokfulam Village is in fact so convenient that it is next to the bus stop.

巴士很快的到了「薄扶林村」車站,其實薄扶林村道沒想像中的遠,就在車站旁,也沒想到一直未去的港島村落,就是這個瞬間才得悉是要實踐的時候。昨天不知,今早不知,上車前一刻也不知。 

 

I wandered in the village, and realized that it was near to Chi Fu Fa Yuen, a residential area which can be accessed by a single-trip bus from my home.

The roads in the village are open to the public, while houses are private. But you may find it difficult to distinguish between the two, and thus I was afraid I would disturb the residents there. A villager saw me but he welcomed me to visit the garden of his home, and even took photographs. We started our conversations. He shared with me about the village and showed me the tools used in the farms with cows long long time ago too!

在村內隨意的亂走,由一邊走到另一邊,直到置富花園那邊的盡頭。原來,由我家乘坐38號巴士到總站,就可以步行到薄扶林村。

一直知道村路是公家路,房屋是私家的,但是這裡公私在視覺上看來沒明顯界線,有時會害怕會「踩過界」而騷擾民居,所以會猶豫是路還是踏進了民居。此時有一個村民應該看到我猶豫樣子,所以歡迎我進來看看甚至拍照,然後大家開始聊起來,他說了村裡很多以前到現在的事,也給我看從前養牛的一些工具,解說一下附近的花草。我也向他請教,就這樣一直就聊到了六點。

 

This was not the first time visiting Chi Fu Fa Yuen, but this was the first time to find a place to have a nice view covering Wa Fu Estate with sea and Lamma Island, and sunset too!

「38 置富花園」,在家附近很常見的路線牌,置富花園不是很久以前到過了嗎?只是華富對面山上的一個私人屋苑,沒什麼特別。其實,這裡可以飽覽華富邨的全景,也可看到一點日落,尤其旁邊的薄扶林花園,賞景位置更佳。 
 


What you think is not necessarily the same as the reality. Wherever you go, you will find something worth seeing and noticing!

However, we are always bound to our social roles, possible negative consequences, others’ opinions and experiences and our so-called impression, which let us miss something more valuable than as expected.

Don’t get me wrong! I am not calling for getting rid of the above. Plan is sometimes useful. But they are not the only ways of life.

What I want to say is things always happen beyond everyone’s imagination. Life experience, reading and expertise can allow one to understand the world more on one hand, but there are still so many that one don’t know and even ignore on other hand. It is like when we know all swans are white while ignoring there are few black swans.

Just finished reading The Black Swan. Humans usually tend to figure out the rule of how the world works, and think they have already known everything on the earth. We don’t know what we don’t know (unknown unknowns).

We learn to set goals. We are forced to accept the notion that we can’t live without any action plan. But we are not willing to accept that the rapid changing world does always ruin our plans. If the goals are not accomplished, we fail. GAME OVER!

Should we let contingency enter our life? Should we still persist in looking for something particular, and the only way of doing like hardworking? 

上述的一連串事件,可能真的平平無奇。但是就印證了不少「我以為」與「實際」的差異,而「風景無刻不在」也不無錯誤:

「世界遼闊未知,只要謙虛置身其中必然會有精采碰撞,何需計劃來限制拖累?旅行的本質即是一門深遠功課,路上的際遇已是生活百科,何需多餘任務累贅加身?旅行時放低身段化作蓬鬆海綿,自然能吸足養分,五湖四海並毋須自備。我們只須選擇方向與去留,風景無刻不在。」——《兩倍半島》

不論是去什麼地方(旅行)和做什麼事,總會被眼前的種種而局限,包括年齡、性別、身分角色、惡果、其他人的意見、前人的經歷、自己的印象。

不是說要遠離上述種種框框,或是說什麼都不計劃就是最好,從而否定現在人們一貫的做法。但,是否一定要依賴唯一的模式,而對其他的方式或方向予以否定?

生活上其實有各種各樣的事情,表面上以為因為所謂「人生的經驗」、「廣泛的閱讀」(尤其是大眾新聞、Facebook的資訊)、學歷專業,讓我們以為已經完全掌握;規劃好一切,照著時間表或是路線圖就沒錯了,可是事情遠超每個人的想像,正如當大家以為天鵝只有白色的時候,原來黑天鵝也存在這個世上。

正在讀The Black Swan這本書(不是那本大家所知道的小說),這種「自以為掌握了」源於人類的歸納習性。
不是說什麼東西都一定要清楚了解和知道,世界這麼大,變化這麼快,是不可能獲得全世界的。但當有能夠了解的機會和空間,你會選擇固步自封,還是先去試試看而給予自己更多的出路?

當你覺得快要完蛋人生沒了的時候,其實是因為執著於某一信條,讓自己有「行錯路會死」的錯覺。勤力就一定成功嗎?懶惰就一定失敗嗎? 

LifeAlvin Cwander