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february blah
Butterfly

AND HE CRIED TOO

"Diamonds are women's best friend"? This is just another social statement that advertisement projects women to be that way. Everybody loves beautiful things and attractive people. I like to see and appreciate diamonds, but never like to wear them. Also to say, you will never see jewelry on me. Well, except to keep those pierced ears from closing up after going through the ordeal of beauty-inflicted agony at the age of seven.

It's THE month of the year again that the western auspicious day is celebrated throughout the world. The season of romance well marketed to the rich, the affordable and the young generation, searching for the perfect and unique gift to the only loved one. Diamonds - what else? Anyhow, speaking of diamonds, that reminds me of my first diamond ring.

When I left for Shanghai together with my partner in life, I never did tell anybody that we were penniless. Marching into the fourth month after our relocation, he bought his first diamond ring for me on my birthday. It was the tiniest diamond ring, my first ring from a man and his first jewelry purchased. Not that my mother hadn't showered me enough with all these, in fact too many. Yet I chose to return everything to her even my watch before I left for China. For there are no reasons to take whatever that I have not earned on my own. The diamond ring as he had given me, resembles the size of the head of a sewing pin. Those sort when you buy a shirt that has little sewing pin to hold the folds in place. I remember so vividly that I wept so hard as I opened the velvet casket. I wept because I was fully aware of our unstable financial condition, with him adapting to a new job and us trying to cope with a new environment plus making a new life together. I wept because that was the biggest he could afford with no knowledge of the market price in a place like Shanghai. I wept because he confessed, "I know you have had bigger and more expensive stones your parents have showered upon you before. I'm sorry that I'd taken everything you own away from everybody and your budding career to a third-world city. I have nothing to offer except to share a life with me together through lean and mean time like this."

I cried like a broken irrigation dam and he cried too. His sincerity and honesty shines through those tears. Each season passed through his and mine birthdays, it never fail to remind me of that ring. And I looked around me, noticing friends, colleagues and strangers richly endowed with jewelry, waving in lunatic gestures to catch her audience' attention and I wondered. Does it mean anything at all, or is it just another acquisition by occasion after occasion? Now, I begin to believe the famous last word "first time is never the best", but it surely is the most memorable.

Valentine's day is just around the corner soon and the world celebrates with it. My ex-supervisor mentioned during his last visit to Hong Kong, "believe in it, as long as it is straight from the heart", that sentence still rings in my mind.