Newsletter No. 462

8 462 • 4.9.2015 本刊由香港中文大學資訊處出版,每月出版兩期。截稿日期及稿例載於 。 The CUHK Newsletter is published by the Information Services Office, CUHK, on a fortnightly basis. Submission guidelines and deadlines can be found at . J Barlow 細胞及分子生物學學士 晨興書院(2012 – 15) 細胞及分子生物學博士課程 BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology Morningside College (2012–15) PhD programme in Cell and Molecular Biology 名字中的J代表甚麼? 就是J,不是簡稱,是母親為我取的名字。 你是南非非華裔人士,卻在斐京華僑公學唸書,這可算 是一個另類選擇? 對校內的學生來說,是稀鬆平常不過的事,即使是轉校生 也沒有適應問題。我倒是聽說當學生轉到其他學校時,人人 都認為他們酷斃了,因為他們懂中文。學校創於種族隔離時 期,當時所有學生都是華裔的。時至今日,雖然華裔學生人 數比例較其他學校高,但已不是主流。 你是怎樣喜歡上中國文化的? 孩童時,曾在卡通片中看過一個說中文的角色,由於當時太 小,不知有翻譯字幕一回事,便跟父母說要學好中文,以便 日後看得懂。就是這樣促使我對中國文化產生興趣,及後推 而至亞洲文化。 你自小已多次遊港,對香港看法可有改變? 首次來港旅遊時約七歲,所有事情都像魔幻般,又發現了我 的偶像李小龍原來是香港的文化象徵之一,真的很興奮。爸 媽給我買了李小龍的玩具和T恤。我亦交了不少好朋友。我 本來不大了解香港及其與內地的複雜關係,對當代中國的認 識也就更少了。經過這些日子,對中港兩地的了解才較為真 實,然而,就我喜歡香港的程度來說,則沒有改變。 為何選擇來港唸書而非台灣或內地?本科生的生活  如何? 香港是多元文化的地方,恰似我長大的環境。再說,已經多 次來港,這裏是南非以外我最熟悉的地方了。順理成章,申 請了三所香港的大學。這學期開始,我在 朱嘉濠 教授指導 下,攻讀博士課程,研習演化生物學。 人生至今最快樂的時光,就是在中大唸書了,最主要的原因 是享受着高度的自由。這裏的公共交通工具便捷,帶我到達 全港每一角落,在南非則必須要駕車才行。香港也很安全, 縱然是夜深了,我仍可放心到處走走,探索四周,在南非當然 不可能。這些日子是多麼悠然自得。我亦結識了不少朋友, 而最交心的好友就是在晨興書院和唸本科時認識的,試想 想,我和好友可以連續六小時玩龍與地下城遊戲。 最喜愛的地方是哪裏? 香港和墨西哥。墨西哥人出奇的友善。十一歲時曾跟父母到 瓜達拉哈拉,入住的酒店常有鬥牛勇士流連。一個晚上看完 鬥牛表演後,碰見其中一位演出的鬥牛勇士,我跟他聊起天 來,他的教練熱情地邀請我們到他的友人家中晚膳。原來他 的友人正是一位著名的老鬥牛勇士,其家中到處都是鬥牛用 品和紀念品,一起用膳的還有其他老鬥牛勇士。那位在酒店 認識的鬥牛勇士還送了兩件紀念品給我─首次出場的佩劍 和我們看他演出時的披風,是非常難忘的經歷。 What does J stand for? Just J. It’s not a short form for anything. My mother decided to name me J. You attended the Pretoria Chinese School. Was that considered alternative for someone not ethnically Chinese in South Africa? For students in the school, it was pretty ordinary, and those transferring from other schools had no difficulty adjusting. But I was told that kids who moved on to other schools from our school were considered quite cool because they knew Chinese. When the school was founded in the apartheid era, its students were all ethnic Chinese. Now although it has a higher percentage of Chinese students than other schools, Chinese are not the majority. When did you first become interested in Chinese culture? When I was a few years old, I saw a Chinese-speaking character in a cartoon. Too young to realize that translators existed, I went to my parents and told them I wanted to study Chinese so that I would be able to understand it when I grew up. This transitioned to interest in Chinese culture, and, by extension, Asian culture. You had visited Hong Kong many times since childhood. Has your view of it changed now that you live here? I was around seven when I first visited Hong Kong and everything was just magical. I loved Bruce Lee—I still do—and was thrilled to find that he was a cultural icon here. My parents bought me Bruce Lee toys and Bruce Lee tee-shirts. I also met some wonderful people with whom I’m still friends. But I didn’t know much about Hong Kong and the complex relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China. I knew even less about contemporary China. I’d say that my perception of Hong Kong and China has become more realistic, but in terms of how much I like Hong Kong, it hasn’t changed. Why Hong Kong for your studies (and not Taiwan or mainland China)? What was your undergraduate experience like? Hong Kong is multi-cultural and my upbringing is multi- cultural. This makes Hong Kong more accessible than the other two places. And having visited the city quite a lot, it’s the place I knew best apart from South Africa. All three universities I applied to were in Hong Kong. I’m doing a PhD in evolutionary biology at CUHK, under Prof. Chu Ka-hou . My undergraduate days at CUHK were the happiest time of my life. An important reason is the amount of personal freedom I enjoy in Hong Kong. The public transport allows me to go practically everywhere. In South Africa, one has to drive everywhere. Hong Kong is also a lot safer. I can walk around late at night just exploring. I can’t do that in South Africa. It’s been a very liberating experience. I also made some fantastic friends here. My best friends are the people I meet at Morningside College and in my major. My pals and I used to have six-hour Dungeons and Dragons sessions. Imagine that. What are your favourite places in the world? Hong Kong and Mexico. Mexicans are friendly to the point that it’s bizarre. When I was 11, I visited Guadalajara with my parents and we stayed at a hotel where bullfighters hung out. The evening after we watched a bullfight, I bumped into one of the bullfighters featured. I went to talk to him and his coach invited us to dinner at his friend’s house. It turned out his friend was this famous old bullfighter and the house was full of bullfighting paraphernalia and relics. There were other old bullfighters at the dinner. The bullfighter I saw in the hotel gave me the first sword he used in his career and the cloak he wore at the fight we saw. It was mind-blowing. Photo by ISO staff ’ 口談實錄 Viva Voce