Just a piece of interview, for fun!
Around 10am I arrive at the bus station. From afar, I see a 53-year old woman enthusiastically walking my way, waving to me the whole way. She is the woman I am meeting this morning for an interview. She shows me the way to her house: a small apartment on the 18th floor of a tall white residential flat. The woman gives me a short tour around the house, where she lives with her husband. Everywhere I look I see books. All the cabinets and empty spaces contain books on the subjects that interest her the most: the English language, councelling, and the Catholic faith. Every now and again, she takes up a book to show me; most of them are in traditional Chinese.
Through the windows on the left and right side of the apartment I see other high residential flats. The best view is from the windows at the back of the house. While looking through these windows and staring at the few green trees in a park below her building and the church building she goes to every Sunday, we talk about the speed in which Hong Kong is developing. After the tour of the house the woman sets up a table. Usually, the table is unfolded, to save space in the apartment. Two folding chairs are taking from another side room. While we sit down, I notice that we are now taking up most of the space now. A typical Hong Kong apartment.
We start to talk to each other, and the woman eagerly begins to tell me her life story. She was born in 1959 in Hong Kong from two mainland Chinese parents. Her parents were poor, and due to unfortunate conditions they had to move to many different houses with their five children. One of these houses was situated in a 1960s squatter village in Choi Wan. This is where the woman had her first encounter with the Catholic faith:
My mother didn’t have a religion, but she did have a lot of traditional Chinese customs. She went to Wong Tai Sin and Kun Yam very often. From when I was born, my health was very bad. One day, my mother prayed to Kun Yam and I got better. Since then, she always believed in Kun Yam. She even put me under the official protection of Kun Yam until my 18th birthday, by doing some rituals. So in my childhood, Kun Yam was my official mother, although I didn’t belief in that so much.
At that time, we were living in the squatter area. There was no electricity and no running water from the taps. Every time we had to walk down to the well with heavy metal buckets to get water. Each woman would have two buckets full of water on a pole on their shoulders and walk back home.
One day, when I was about five or six years old, we were at the well, and I noticed that there was a Father. At that time, I didn’t know that he was a Father, but I still remember him very well. He was wearing the collar that Fathers wear, and he was holding a Bible in his hands. He walked to my mother and me and he told us that Jesus was the savior and that we should belief in him.
My mother said: “No, no no, I don’t belief in that”, and walked away. But for me, I think this is when Jesus first planted a little seed in my heart.
I ask the woman if she still remembers what this Father looked like. She begins to laugh and starts to point at her face. “He had a big white moustache and beard”, she laughs. Then I ask her if he was a local Father or a missionary, and she points to her eyes: “No, he had big eyes. He came from the West”.