Updated 11/03/2009, with “16 things about me" (from Facebook)
Name: GW (no prizes for guessing what those stand for)
Star Sign: Libra
Place of birth: Hong Kong
Current location: Hong Kong
Profession: Molecular biologist/researcher
Places I’ve enjoyed traveling to: Rome, Paris, Berlin, London, Switzerland (Geneva, Gruyeres, Luzern, Zurich, Bern, Rheinfall), Nice, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Austria (Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck), Prague, Milan, Amsterdam, Dublin, Barcelona, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo, Yudanaka, Morocco (Marrakesh, Meknes, Fes)…
Love: Films (The Godfather, Dr Strangelove, Lost in Translation, Notes on a Scandal, etc.), novels (Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Louis de Bernieres, Lionel Shriver, Zoe Heller, Jin Yung 金庸 et al.), paintings (from Holbein through Degas to Hockney), music (classical tastes mainly Romantic, and ever-changing pop/rock/jazz tastes), TV (Desperate Housewives, Will & Grace, House, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, The Catherine Tate Show, Project Runway…)
Hate: Hypocrisy, conceit, ignorance, current Hong Kong soap operas!
Vices: Coffee, procrastination, vanity, alcohol (in that order)
16 Things about Me
1. My New Year’s resolution for 2009 – I haven’t had one for years – is to stop procrastinating. 2008 was way too lethargic a year for me. Oh yes, I will make that much-needed visit to the gym next week. And I’ll eat less and sleep earlier. Oh yes I will.
2. Some day I’d like to become a writer – I just need to find my material. One day, I shall give up eating, and then I can afford to do this full-time.
3. I love to sing, mostly for my own pleasure and sometimes at the expense of others’.
4. Truth is what I strive to attain, and whilst it’s as unattainable as the moon, I’d rather die trying. Or go mad like Caligula. 😉
5. I do not want to imagine a world without coffee.
6. My pet hates: hypocrisy, ignorance, bigotry, and being told what to do with my life.
7. The lack of a creative outlet makes me stir-crazy.
8. I really should read more: my favourite form of literature is fiction. I try my best to read on my way to and from work, but that’s way too slow. Particularly I should catch up on my Chinese literature – I haven’t read much over the last 10 years except rubbish like 張小嫻. Last year I picked up 駱駝祥子 by 老舍, a tragedy that saw the life of a rickshaw driver go from bad to worse. It made me think of Jude the Obscure, since the protagonists in both books were so brutally crushed by “fate”. My favourite line in the book: 雨下給富人, 也下給窮人; 下給義人, 也下給不義的人。其實, 雨並不公道, 因為下落在一個沒有公道的世界上。
9. Cinema and theatre are my two sanctuaries. Am I looking for intellectual stimulation or pure escapism? Probably both.
10. It took me a while to get used to the American spelling of ‘tumor’: after drafting a couple of papers I’ve finally desensitised myself, but I still prefer the British way.
11. I go to Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra concerts several times a year, but I don’t remember there being any emotional impact on me. It is probably due to to a combination of my obtuseness to classical music and the often passionless playing of HKPO.
12. I will find time to pick up more musical instruments (I played the piano) – right now I’m thinking cello and guitar. Let’s see when that happens…
13. My PhD project was on the circadian (i.e. roughly 24 hours) body clock in mammals, but everyone thinks I’m a sleep expert, which I suppose I am, given how much I love sleep. If sleep were a person, I’d marry it.
14. It’s not that I’m anti-social, but I need a lot of personal space. Much as I truly enjoy the company of my family and friends, it is essential for me to have as much “me time” as possible in order to preserve my sanity.
15. I love languages but speak regrettably few of them. One day I’d like to know more about the following languages: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Arabic…
16. I suffer from severe wanderlust and hate being tied down to any one place. Hopefully 2009 will be filled with more globetrotting for me…