Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wednesday May 31, 1961

The weather hasn't changed much
Tomorrow we shall have a holiday to celebrate "Corpus Christe" and James Lai asked me to go to church with him.
Mr. Victal asked me to go to his place and pick up some Form II exercise books to correct. He's lazy by habit and doesn't want to check them himself.
So Captain and I went and got them.
I then went over to James' house to give him his share of the books to correct.
I stayed and we checked the exercise books at his place.
He and his friend then came over to our house during the night and we talked late into the night till about 11:30 pm.
He (James' friend???) is planning to go to a Hong Kong school.
We talked about the GCE examinations
I hope I can skip Form V and go directly to Form VI

Tuesday May 30, 1961

This morning it rained on my way to school but stopped when I finally got there.
Fr. Cotta got really angry this morning while we were doing our experiments in the Physics laboratory on hydrogen.
(omitted personal things about my relationship to my dad)

Monday May 29, 1961

Mr. Victal got mad in class today because some of the boys behind the "38th parallel" were talking while he was giving his lessons.

He walked out of the classroom and stayed outside our window. He came in some time later and threatened to go down to Fr. Rubini and lodge a complaint if the boy who was talking didn't volunteer to go to the blackboard and write down the lesson as punishment.
He counted to ten.
When he got to ten and no one had confessed, he stormed out of the room again.
Shortly he came back in and gave us all "one final warning."
At last Lo Wing Yu (number 21) stood up to confess. He confessed but showed no remorse.

It's very hot and moist these days.

Sunday, May 28, 1961

In the morning we went to church (Protestant). I felt quite tired after the trip yesterday.
In the afternoon I went over to James Lai's house to chat.
We decided to visit Mr. Victal. (As I recall Mr. Victal was living in a dormitory complex with a lot of other Portuguese men. It was like an army barracks. Each person had his bed and small area for his personal belongings. Mr. Victal loved playing records on his record player. I remember one favorite of his was the comedian Victor Borge. Students use to drop in to visit teachers on the weekends in those days. Don't know if they still do it today.)
It was quite hot and sticky that day so when we got there we found him lying on his bed with a wet cloth over his head.
Mr. Victal played some violin concerto records and we talked.
He took out his chess set and played me a game. He won. (first time I had played since leaving America on June 10, 1960)
We suggested playing a game of ping pong and had to wait our turn while some other boys finished playing. James and Mr. Victal played against each other. I watched.
Then it started to rain so we decided to start back for home.
At night I slept out in the porch because it is so hot.

Saturday May 27, 1961

I had a hard time sleeping last night. The bugs make a horrible symphony of loud noises. The weather is as moist as a hot wash cloth.
In the morning the weather was a little better as we started off for the orphanage picnic.
Frank couldn't come because he was still ill.
(deleted comments regarding orphanage picnic to Taipa Island)
After we got back that evening, James Lai came over and we went around at night looking for a light for my bicycle. I told him I would come over to his house the next day.
there are so many bugs about due to the weather. I hate it.
Well, I'm tired and want to go to bed

Friday May 26, 1961

Today we had a lot of sunshine throughout the morning and the afternoon.
My brother still has a stomach ache but is getting better.
We plan to make a trip with the kids from the orphanage to one of the neighboring islands tomorrow morning and spend the day there. I don't know if I will go with them or not. Last week we planned the trip but because of the typhoon we had to put the trip off. The older kids were disappointed when plans got changed and staged a "No Go To School" strike in protest. After much discussion they were persuaded to go to school. But I didn't like their attitude and feel better if I don't go.
I went to James Lai's house to give him our "leave of absence" slips (in case we miss school Saturday)
I stayed to chat with James. I still do not approve of his ambitions of becoming a doctor.
We talked of his conversion to Catholicism and he told me of some of the problems he had with his Buddhist family when they learned he wanted to become a Catholic.
Anyway, for me, I still think I would like to be a cartoon animator as a profession.
Whether my brother Frank goes to the islands with us tomorrow is still in question.. He insists that he should be at the picnic.
It's very hot in the mornings and in the nights.
My eyesight is getting worse. I think I am becoming nearsighted and may have to get glasses.
We'll see what happens

Thursday May 25, 1961

I never thought that going to school would be enjoyable for me until I arrived here.
(Although my brother and I have a tough time catching up with the high school standards here...compared with those of the U.S. Much harder)
Anyway, I enjoy schooling here.
We all received our reports today. My brother was confined to the bed with a stomach ache so I served as a representative for him.
I only failed Arithmetic...getting only 10 marks . But Algebra and Geometry plus the Sciences went for the better.
(deleted comments about how other students fared)
The weather was better today than yesterday but we still have no sunshine.
It rained during the night.

Wednesday May 24, 1961

Today we enjoyed a holiday as I already mentioned.
I got up at 8:15 am to get ready to go to Church with James Lai. I got into my Sunday clothes but suddenly remembered that we were suppose to dress in our Yuet Wah school uniforms (white shirt and pants in summer)
So off went the Sunday clothes.
James and I went to the big church (where a statue of Jesus was nailed on the wall).
We went upstairs near the organ.
After the service there was a light breakfast at the school for all those who attended church that day.
After that I went to James' house.
In the afternoon I went to "the captain's" house and together we went to James' house again.
I borrowed another book from him...on vocabulary. (Who knows, I might become a writer one day)

Afterwards I left for home but when I got there I discovered that I was locked out so I had to go to the orphanage to get the key
(My family volunteered to help out at a small Protestant orphanage not far from the "army barracks" beneath the lighthouse. We helped clean, teach English and my dad treated the children who had head lice or body sores)
It has been raining lightly all day.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tuesday May 23, 1961

It's nighttime now and I have just been to visit with James Lai where I borrowed the book "House of the Seven Gables". (James always had a good supply of English novels and books. He was my "library" James lived above his father's barbershop just off the main street in Macau. To enter his house you had to climb this very narrow wooden stairway. As I remember his house, like a lot of houses in Macau was divided into smaller partitions or rooms. Usually just a bedroom separated by wooden panels. His room was just big enough for his bed. I remember his living room faced the main street and had wooden benches all around. I asked him about the benches and he told me that the house was once an opium den and the patrons would lie on the wooden benches while they smoked opium. )
Today we had a ceremony at school to celebrate "Mary Help of Christians" and there will be a holiday tomorrow. During the ceremony our class (Form III) had to sing two songs in from of the school:" Home Sweet Home" and "Alluetta (It was a French tune that repeated itself once you got to the end. Anyone remember the words?)"
I shall go to church at James invitation. (We had just come to Macau from Palm Springs, California. My mother was a Protestant and so we attended a Protestant church in Macau. But when I started attending Yuet Wah I became enchanted with the Catholic rituals ..far more interesting than the Protestant church were we just sat and listened to someone delivering a boring sermon for 30 minutes. In a Catholic mass you got to bow, kneel, cross yourself, recite prayers. There was lots to do. No chance of becoming bored and nodding off to sleep at a mass. James was a Catholic convert. He was very passionate about his new religion and always encouraged me to attend mass with him.)
The newspaper reported another incident of violence against the Negroes in the U.S. and there was also a story about Fidel Castro (Cuban premier) trading tractors in exchange for releasing 1,100 men his labor camps.
Not long ago a typhoon hit Hong Kong and we felt the remnants of it.