QotD: Speak To Me In…

How many languages can you speak?  Which languages can you read or understand?

My shameful answer is that I can speak one and half languages, English and Cantonese. I barely have any opportunity to speak Cantonese nowadays that I hardly know how to. But give me couple of weeks of living with my parents or in Hong Kong, I'll be back to a more respectful level.

As for reading and understanding, I can only claim one now. Chinese is a lost cause for me. Reading and writing are so different from speaking that I'll need lots more time to (re)learn Chinese. (Not that I was good at Chinese before I immigrated to Britain but that's kind of beside the point, isn't it?)

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QotD: I Get Around

How many places have you lived in your life?

Country-wise, three. Born in Hong Kong, emigrated to Britain, and escaped to USA.

Location-wise, six. Born and raised in Hong Kong, finish school in Shropshire, got a degree and met eiron in Manchester, got first job in Wiltshire, escaped the countryside to London, found the place I want to work and live in New York.

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QotD: Teacher’s Pet

What was (or is) your favorite subject in school?

When I was at school in Hong Kong my favorite subject was science, with maths a close second. I despised Chinese while English came quite nature to me. Strange for a Chinese but it's true. Then when I emigrated to the UK and progressed to A-Level, maths and science had swapped and maths became my favorite subject with physics second. I liked computer studies too because it is hi tech but at that time my mind was in the clouds of abstract mathematics and so I was no good at writing programs in BASIC. I did learn Pascal on my own and managed to write a rudimentary algebraic graph drawing program. Really I was more interested in computer games than learning it as a skill.

Then I went to uni to study physics and I enjoyed that very much in the first year. The maths was easy (the double maths A-Level I took prepared me for it) and really not much work was needed to get good grades. Then in the second and final years we got into the heavy shit; thermodynamic, solid state physics, etc. that involves statistical maths. I hated them with a vengeance, but since they are a very important part of physics I ended up not doing well in exams. It was then that I realized while I love the concept of physics I am crap at actually applying the theory. Around the same time I found that computer programming came very easy to me and I started taking more and more computing courses as my optional units to boost my average. It worked and I managed to graduate with a degree!

And this is how a physics graduate ended up working as a software engineer/developer/programmer. The road isn't that windy, really…

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QotD: The Best Part of Waking Up…

What's your morning beverage of choice?  Coffee, tea, juice?  Homemade or store-bought?

The very much depends on season, mood, availability of said beverages in fridge. Generally, OJ in summer, hot coffee in winter. I would try tea but only with carnation milk (a left over from growing up in a British colony), and it would be interesting to mix in Horlick in the winter.

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