Since I have arrived in Hong Hong I have been preparing course material, teaching a class of smart students at HKU, and catching up with friends. The week passed by very quickly, and perhaps I should have scheduled more than a month in town. But we can always come back. Yesterday, we visited my friend Magnus Barlett in his habitat on Lamma Island - the publisher of wonderful books and maps and owner of Odyssey Publishing Company. It is always a nice trip over to the island, specially off the beaten tracks. Sure, there is a bit of melancholy swinging for me when setting foot on the island. There were times I thought I should have never left it, perhaps like the pianist in the movie 1900. We had coffee on his sunny terrace and seafood, as you should never miss it, when you come here. Magnus' parents were painters and at his wall, in his study, he has a painting by his father, showing a bedroom in their house in Greece. It immediately resonated with me, like Chambre a Arles. I like it a lot.
La chambre à Arles
Interior design has been always a funny discipline for me. I have stayed in many business hotels and they must have been the result of such craft. But I mostly did not like it there. Well, the Shanghai Peninsula is okay, measured by facts. Everything perfect. At least I have a memory of it at all. But still does not feel like home. In the year to come, I will take a closer look at the accommodations we stay, and keep a photographic and written record on what makes them likable (or not). Benchmark for now, is still Vincent van Gogh's Chambre à Arles. Let's see what else I will find.