February 2008 Archives

comme les chinois

Went tonight on the Cantonese show "是日精選 - SPECIAL DU JOUR" co-hosted by Yvonne Lo on Radio Centre-Ville. It's from the 40th to the 50th minute of this file.

Yung Chang

Last Friday, I published an interview with Yung Chang on Comme les Chinois, whose documentary movie Up the Yangtze, following the lives of people whose home was flooded by the Three Gorges Dam project, came out at the AMC. The French version of the film comes out at Quartier Latin this coming Friday. It was a very relax interview, even if it was the first interviewee in the news on the same week that I was doing. I did not know Yung beforehand, except for bumping into him at the Nouveau Cinema festival, where his film premiered. We then realized that we had a bunch of acquaintances/friends in common... Perhaps the circle of artistically-inclined CBCs of a certain age is really small?

We talked a lot about food, or lack of real good Chinese food in Montreal... And then there was the obligatory questions about the film. While perhaps running the risk of sounding too all over the place, I chose not to ask the obvious questions already heard on The Hour and all of Montreal's free weeklies. I find random, boring questions almost more interesting. Like I was discussing with a previous guest, they always seem to let you discover new things about your guests.

When interviewing people for a short-lived weekly student newspaper (because it was during the last semester of cegep - and that was almost 10 years ago), I thought that interviews always certainly allowed for something new to come out of the interaction between two people, the interviewer and his guest. It is maybe the starting point for awesome ideas like L'autre midi à la table d'à côté, a special radio feature on Radio-Canada's La Première Chaîne.

Fruits & vegetable for the week

After going on an (expensive) cheese-buying spree on Saturday (at Costco, no less), I completed my groceries at the week at P.A. Supermarché on Parc. I already have relatively vasts amounts of meat in the freezer, that I have not been using, because I don't have the vegetable for accompanying. So, I went and filled my basket with only fruits and vegetable! Except for that pack of German rye flour crackers, this is what I got (most of which was on special - by how much, I dunno):

  • Bananas (~1kg): $1.26
  • Wasa Crackers: $2.39
  • Zucchini (3): $0.95
  • Organic cauliflower (1): $1.69
  • Yukon potatoes (5lbs): $1.99
  • Sunkist oranges (8): $1.20
  • Green pepper (1): $0.36
  • Bluberries (1/2 pint): $1.69
  • Red pepper (1): $0.41
  • Italian tomatoes (4): $1.12

Total: $13.06

That's enough plants for the whole week, I think...

Shortcomings - Miko

Organized jointly by the Chinese Family Service of Greater Montreal and the New Voices Project (Montreal), Interracial relationships and Shortcomings is an open discussion stemming from a reading of Japanese-American Adrian Tomine's graphic novel Shortcomings. This will be held on this coming Sunday, 4PM, at the CFSGM (987, Rue Côté) and is open to everyone. You don't even need to have read the book to be able to fully participate in the discussion! English and French, and special refreshments will be served.

Organisé conjointement par le Service à la Famille Chinoise du Grand Montréal et le Projet Nouvelles Voix, Relations interraciales et Shortcomings est une discussion ouverte découlant de la lecture de la bande dessinée Shortcomings de l'Américain d'origine japonaise, Adrian Tomine. Ça aura lieu ce dimanche, 16 h, au SFCGM (987, Rue Côté) et c'est ouvert à tous ! En français et en anglais, et on servira une collation spéciale.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=10210172274

How did this cat get into our house?

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Lost cat

Neither of my roommates actually has an idea of where this cat came from. This photo was actually taken on the last occasion (January 13th) that it just appeared in our house. There are no obviously holes in our house, and I find it hard to believe that it could just crawl into our flat like this!

But hey, cats are adorable. They purr inconsequentially, roll on their backs carelessly. Even with all these signs of ingénue charm, cats are a potent source of allergic reactions for yours truly.


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I practically did not write in Smurfmatic, for the very good reason that I have been focusing my writing efforts on Comme les Chinois, my new blog on the Chinese experience in Montreal, and Canada in general. I would like to find collaborators for it, but I am not too sure where/how to find them, despite discovering this network of Montrealers interested in these topics in less than a year. CLC is doing well, but could use a little more controversial essays and the like.

For the past month, I've been seriously planning a trip to Hong Kong, Taiwan and around China, basically. I got the approvals that I needed, and only have to get my plane ticket at this point. It will be my third time in Asia, after trips in 2002 and 2005.

The first stop will be in Hong Kong, where I will be meeting with Chris and Laine. I have family in Hong Kong, so will also be seeing them, including my grandparents, who go back to Hong Kong from Montreal every year, and will happen to be there while I am there too.

Then, it will be the great Taiwan splash! I am going to Spring Scream, perhaps the most notorious independent music festival in the Chinese-speaking world, founded obviously by two American expats. Four nights in the town of Nan Wan or Kenting. The remarkable thing about this area is that every single place to stay is absolutely overpriced! I found one really interesting surfer shop in Nan Wan, so far.

Then, third week, back to Hong Kong, and I will be getting in touch with one of my cousins, grown up as a Montrealer, and who now works for a Canadian company in Shenzhen.

Then, I will travel north to either Beijing and Shanghai, optionally Chengdu. I'll be trying the Chinese railway system, which, from what I've heard, isn't so bad at all between major cities. I am looking forward to good music, good food in Beijing, the second city that my host Fiona (and Scott) will be showing me around to.

In the end, to make it very Cedric-esque, we should almost try to plan a party on the night that I come back, Saturday May 10th.

One interesting thing that I lived was the sudden change in seasons. In 2005, I left Montreal when it was still winter, and came back in the midst of summer, while seeing a goo of summerish seasons in Asia. This time, six weeks at the interface of winter and spring, should be able to impress again...


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Just quack it.

Comme les Chinois

Steve Faguy wrote a short article about my new blog Comme les Chinois in this morning's Montreal Gazette Saturday Extra section.

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