With reference to Daniel’s latest post, here is a place I like to go sometimes. It is within walking distance of Surry Hills and Chinatown.
Yes, that is the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour. I decided to go down there after coaching in Chinatown today to have some dim sum and green tea in the teahouse, especially now I can get my Seniors Card discount. 🙂 Of course I had Shou Mei (old man’s eyebrows). I am glad I visited the garden, as I called in on Sam, who has the “dress up as a Chinese princess” concession in the garden, something he has been doing for fifteen years now. I first met Sam, who was once in the Beijing Opera, in 1990. I remember it well. I was in a coffee shop and Sam was serving. I was reading an illustrated book about the Tiananmen incidents of 1989. “I can tell you all about that,” said Sam. “I was there.” And indeed he was. It turns out Sam is giving up the “dress as a princess” business in April, and going into something new. He’s over fifty years old now too. How time flies!
Some time in 1990 or 1991 I took Sam (and M and a guy from Tianjin, a scientist, called Rui) to SBHS to talk in a history class that was studying China. Sam rather stole the show when he told the students how his father, also in the Beijing Opera, had been beaten to death by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. Kind of brought Chinese History to life, that did.