/ 黎偉亮 (LAI Wai-leung)

***English version follows after the Chinese text.**

天不談咖啡,我想趕在這裏開幕前談談『這裏』。

地點:城市大學邵逸夫樓其中一個教授的 office
時間:三個月前
目的:建立一個『據點』

帶著滿腹狐疑,查問所為何事 - 算是一盤生意嗎?實踐宏願嗎?是意氣之爭嗎?盡皆不置可否。但隱隱然感到是一個使命。不得要領不打緊,未做過的事更應該嘗試,人生本該如此,就動手幹吧。經歴近兩個月不斷尋址、裝修、佈置、搜購器材,幹盡繁瑣事,竟也不知不覺間完成了。

初來到埗,未曾想過在一間寄身於工廠大廈的工作室工作,會有這種奇妙的感覺。包圍我的是一種異樣的寧靜,尤其於工作過後稍歇下來,耳邊是窗外隱約傳來的汽車奔馳的聲音,柔和而頑強的『呼呼』作響,儼如催眠曲,聽著聽著,眼皮漸漸沉重起來,意識開始糢糊,腦裏前塵往事古怪念頭新舊記憶紛至沓來,仿彿時間與空間胡亂交錯。電話鈴聲驟響,猛然醒來,回到現實,卻不知人間何世,雖未至於莊周夢蝶的境界,但往窗外一看,竟也是人車不絕,甚有『大隱隱於市』的意味。

回到這裏。

這裏沒有堂煌的裝修,當然沒有雲石地台、水晶吊燈、意大利馬塞克。
這裏有的是灰灰的牆、樸實的檯凳傢具(有些是檢來的,也有募捐而來的)和簡潔而別出心裁的佈罝。
這裏看不到維多利亞港,看不到IFC和ICC,但往窗外張望仍可看到一隅青山及半爿藍天。
這裏沒有LED電視和高級音響,這裏絕對不會播放K-pop、英超,也沒有容祖兒、Justin、陳奕信,這裏只有空盪寧靜的環境,絕對自由的空間和你有興趣的書本。
這裏會提供飲料但沒有珍珠奶茶、藍妹、Macallan或凍鴛鴦,這裏有健康的花茶及用心沖調的咖啡。

到這裏來的人有左鄰右里但肯定沒有i-banker、生意人,卻多的是青青澀澀的年青人,斯文的談吐,溫柔的神情,可每當說起自己的工作和想法卻彷如變了另一個人似的。我作為一個對藝術一窺不通的咖啡師,有時在旁邊靜靜地聽著他們的對話,真實地感覺到他們心底的熱誠。在他們眼裏,我看到了理想與執著、浪漫與堅持。

也許我言重了,但我真的感覺不到半點矯情。退一萬步來說,若你來到這裏碰到新知舊雨或志同道合,能互相啓發或互訴初衷,甚至漫無目的在這裏自由地徜徉,或看看書,或上上網甚至打打盹,享受片刻寧靜與安詳,感覺這現實世界亦不算太差的話,這裏,也不枉了。

當然,如何堅強的『據點』也有失陷的時侯。祭此正式開幕前夕說這些不吉利的話似乎有點那個,但我真的相信只要嘗試過,努力過,也沒甚麼可遺憾的了。

關於這裏,我想說的,就是這些。

(2015.08.15 FP 開幕日/FP Grand Opening Day)

Photo by Linda Lai

Photo by Linda Lai

Photo by Linda Lai

Today, I’m not talking about coffee. I want to leave my words about “here” before its grand opening.

Place: a certain professor’s office inside the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, the City University of Hong Kong
Time: 3 months ago
Purpose: to create an “occupation point”

I came and joined with a full bosom of doubts and queries. What is this about? Is it a business? The realization of a grand dream? A measure-to-measure antagonism of boast and arrogance? None of the above quite describes what happens here. But vaguely I feel a mission of sorts. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be fully understood. And it is surely worth a try if it hasn’t been tried out. I guess life is supposed to be like that. Action matters more. In two months, hunting a premise, renovation, decoration, equipment acquisition and all kinds of big and small chores all completed like a swish.

And here I am, totally new to an factory building environment, not to say a workshop nested in such. It’s strangely pleasant. I’m being surrounded by a unique peace and calm, which I feel particularly during my short breaks between tasks. The whooshes of speeding and roaming vehicles creep in from afar through the windows, soft yet unrelenting, sometimes like a lullaby. And my eyelids are heavy, my consciousness fluctuates; remembrance of things long past or recent, strange or sensible, wash up in my mind; space becomes time, time in space … The sudden arrival of a phone call reconnects me with the world whereas I am still somewhat lost in the vastness of my mindscape as if a whole lifetime has gone by. I won’t compare that state of mind to Zhuangzi’s butterfly dreamscape. A quick glance of what’s outside the window: traffic is still streaming in agony and pedestrians scrambling to their feet. I thus wake up to the thought that the biggest hiding place is in the midst of a big city, and it tastes right.

Back to “here.”

Here. No daunting renovation. No marble floors. No crystal chandelier. No Italian mosaic.
Here. Grey walls. The most basic tables and chairs and other furniture (many picked up from dump sites. There is yet installations collected through donation, simplistic yet unique.
Here. No million-dollar view of the Victoria Harbour. No IFC or ICC. But through the window one is still able to see green hills spreading and a portion of the blue sky.
Here. No LED monitors or hi-end sound systems. No K-pop. No Premier League. Nor would you hear Joey Yung, Justin or Eason Chan. We’ve only got a quiet environment and blankness of space. You are to have absolute freedom here and titled to our library of books.
Here. Beverages are available except Pearl Milk Tea, Bluegirl, Macallan or iced coffee with tea and milk. But welcome to herbal fusion, health drinks and our thoughtfully brewed coffee.

Here, visitors are often our neigbours, but probably no i-bankers or business players. We’ve got a lot of young people here. They speak gently with a civilized tongue. They look soft but once you ignite the fire of what they want to do in their life, they become a different person. I, a barista without any knowledge of art, love to listen quietly as they share their thoughts honestly with one another. I genuinely feel the sincerity and honesty of mind. Their eyes speak dream and persistence, ideal and belief.

My words could be a bit exaggerating. But with them I truly feel no pretentiousness. Taking a broad view, if ever a visitor comes and runs into an old acquaintance or makes new friends of like minds for mutual provocation and the airing of grievances, that would be ideal. And even if they just come here for a casual visit, just to sit down to idle, to browse a book, or even to doze off for a moment of calm, that would make “here” worth it.

The original meaning of the Chinese name of “Floating Projects” is “occupation point.” Even the best defended occupation point may fall. It wouldn’t be nice to leave a curse at the inauguration of this project. But it is important that we try and have tried. There should be no regret for the effort we have put in together.

This is all I have to say, and can say, about “here.”

(English translation: Linda Lai)