|Greetings from the Tsai's
Tsai Ming Yuen
|Our health continues to hold up with
no major medical issues........
Alas, 2012 is almost at its close. As they say, we live in interesting times, and indeed it is. The slow train wreck of the Euro crisis is still unfolding, and much of the world is either at one conflict or another, or in civil unrest. In the US, we re-elected our president but left the House divided, and hence we can expect gridlock in US congress like the last two years. The economy is still in weak recovery. In the meantime there is this fiscal cliff. I think I would rather have the parliamentary system like the Brits.
At the home front, on the contrary, we do have much stability. We wish we can have more interesting news to share with you all but nothing much has changed.
Cliff is working lesser hours compared with even earlier this year. He still goes in four times a week but totals about 20 hours. He makes good use of his time and usually attaches some workout time at the gym either before or after work. Up to now Northrop offers retirees on site gym membership at a very low cost, which also includes some training classes to boot. Cliff has therefore been taking yoga classes which seem to help with his balancing and flexibility. His workload is scheduled to go down to 10 hours a week from March through September. Our gardener always jokingly asks Cliff when he is really going to retire. I guess the answer is going to be Oct 1 of 2013. What a slow walk to retirement.
Margaret continues to be busy with her knitting caps for the chemo patients, and photography pursue. Her work and that of the group she belongs to had three public exhibitions throughout this year.
We did see the space shuttle Endeavor flyby on top of the 747 at the roof of our house, but it was too far for good photos. We are thankful that our health continues to hold up with no major medical issues.
Regarding travel, we did not go to any exotic places this year, except for a short trip to London in July before the Olympics. It had been some twenty years since we last visited London and there were obvious changes but still much of the city was familiar to us. We did visit Buckingham Palace since there was an exhibition of the Queen's diamond as part of her diamond jubilee celebration. We attended three theater shows which we love (highly recommend War Horse), and met up with our niece Moira since she was in London for the summer. By luck, the Shard, the tallest building in Europe, had the opening celebration. It is all glass and shaped like a tepee and hence the name.
Our son Terence (¯EµM) is still in Hong Kong and he has by now been there for 5 years and counting. He is almost local now, picking up quite a bit of Cantonese. He loves his job as a trader for Capital Group, although the allure of California still hails from afar. On breaks he has been traveling to nearby countries, taking advantage of the central location of HK. We managed to visit him in November and he was home three times this year, for work and wedding, a treat for him.
Cliff was in HK twice this year; one for his 50th year high school graduation celebration, and the other the marriage of his nephew. Some 30 out of a graduation class of around 120 people attended the reunion.
Kenneth (¯E¶³) is still living not too far from us and we see him often which is nice. He has taken an interest in Korean and has been studying hard. He continues to be on his journey in search of something he has a passion on. Both are still single.
Wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Stay well and stay in touch.
Cliff, Margaret, Terence and Kenneth, Los Angeles. 2012
In their own words:
This year, I am following in my mom's footsteps and trying to capture more of life's moments. Here's one of my more favorite shots of Central District, HK. It's where I still reside and just as crazy as it has ever been. Hopefully this photo presents the craziness of Hong Kong in a different way. Can you figure out what is up and what is down? Travel and outdoor adventure is still a big part of my life and that took me to far places such as Japan to try my hands at a 100km (62 mile) foot race in a team-of-four format in May. Unfortunately, I had to pull out of that after 80km (50 miles) but had an amazing time. In July, I went to Mongolia to run a trail race and tour in the South Gobi desert. The race was spectacular and re-invigorated me to trail run again. Being off-the-grid and in a culture that hasn't changed much for hundreds of years was amazing.
For me, this year has been about simplifying life. I realized that I have an excessive amount of gadgets, clothing, etc., so I've stopped purchasing things in order to try and lead a more minimalist lifestyle and to reduce my carbon footprint. When going to the grocery store, I only buy what I know I will certainly finish in order to not wasting food. I also purchased a road bicycle so I wouldn't have to use a car as often. I've also taken an interest in studying Korean, as I spent the last 3 months of 2011 in Asia, mainly in Seoul, Korea. My classes have consisted of a very wide range of ages as well as ethnic backgrounds, which I found very interesting and impressive, especially when moving on to more advanced classes.
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