My wife and I had dinner with our good friend S and his wife a few days ago. Both S and I like traditional Chinese food such as small pot rice with Chinese sausages (臘腸煲仔飯). Because we don’t see each other often, the wives allowed us our indulgences in not-so-healthy dishes. By the way, the one on the left is a 老鼠班, and the one on the right is a juvenile 蘇眉. We did not eat them.
What we enjoyed the most, however, was the conversation. S reads voraciously - religion, philosophy, history, … We have some common interests, but we don’t always agree. This time we debated whether many Chinese people are behaving dishonestly and dishonourably nowadays, and whether the Communist has successfully weakened and perhaps even wiped out traditional culture. We draw on our readings and personal experiences, in academics, and business.
What is extraordinary is that S is a very busy and successful businessman. He travels all over the world, making deals and fending off challenges. His reading and studying is strictly for personal interest, not for material gain. In contrast, academics get paid for their reading and study, at least in their own specialty area.