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.

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