- Did you have many toys when you were a child?
Unfortunately no. My family wasn’t especially well-off when I was a child, so buying me toys wasn’t exactly a top priority for my parents.
- Did you like to play with them?
Yes, I did. Although, like I said, I didn’t have that many toys, but I remember buying a transformer toy with my own money when I was in fifth grade and wouldn’t go anywhere without it.
- Who would usually buy toys for you?
Well, I probably got more toys from relatives than my parents since we weren’t rich and all our relatives loved me as a child. I also bought some toys with the prize money I got in maths competitions.
- Did you like to share your toys with others?
I’m quite ashamed to admit that I didn’t like to share anything at all. I kind of blame my parents for it since they never asked me to share my things since I was little. Obviously I’ve learnt the importance of sharing now but I was really a mean little brat back then.
- How often do you wear a watch?
I don’t wear a watch as all. As a matter of fact, I haven’t had a watch since high school, and I don’t have a need for one either. I can just look at my phone when I need the time. Plus, I have very irritable skin, so having a piece of metal around my wrist 24 hours a day really isn’t a great idea.
- What was your first watch like?
I don’t actually remember my first watch, but I had a really nice one in primary school. It had this special glass cover that would appear a different colour when looked at from a different angle. It was luminous as well so you can imagine how irresistible it was to a little boy.
- What kinds of watches do you like to wear?
I love the ones with a lot of extra functions, like the ones that tell you the date and month, and things like temperature, air pressure and so on. I also love luminous ones if only just for the cool factor.
- Do people still wear watches in your country?
As far as I know, most young people today prefer not to wear watches ‘cause it feels incredibly redundant since everyone’s got a mobile phone on them at all times. So it’s mostly people of the older generations who still wear wrist watches. Apart from that, watches can be a fashion statement or a status symbol, and that’s a very large part of the market, I guess.
- Do you like music?
Yes, I love music! All kinds of music as well, pop, rock, classical, folk, I love them all!
- When do you listen to music?
Well, I spend much less time listening to music now than I used to. It’s mostly when I’m driving. When I was younger though, I’d have my earphones plugged in any chance I got. I think that’s probably why I’ve got pretty weak hearing now.
- Did you learn instruments?
No, I didn’t, and that’s one of the biggest regrets I have. I would love to have learnt the piano or the guitar. I mean, my dad can play several traditional Chinese instruments but never bothered to teach me even one!
- Did you have any music classes in school?
Yes, we did up until 9th grade. But they were never taken seriously by most of the students since it wasn’t one of the compulsory subjects, meaning we weren’t tested on it. Even the teachers didn’t take them that seriously.
- Do you think it is necessary for children to have music classes?
Personally, I do. It’s not because everyone has the chance to become a musician but that, music is an integral part of the human experience and having a basic understanding of it is essential in a person’s development.
- What do you think of traditional Chinese music?
I never used to find the appeal of it but now I kind of love it. There are some really nice pieces on various instruments that I enjoy. My favourite Chinese instrument is probably the erhu because it’s just so expressive considering it’s only got two strings.
- What’s your favorite kind of music?
Right now, my favourite kind of music is rock music, especially grunge, which was popular in the 1990s. I like it because unlike pop music, rock songs actually have meaningful lyrics and doesn’t feel that hollow.
- When did you start listening to this type of music?
I first heard Nirvana when one of my roommates played one of their songs in our dormitory in university and immediately fell in love with them. So I bought all the CDs I could find and started reading about them on the internet. I even bought Kurt Cobain’s biography when it first came out.
- How do you feel when you listen to this music?
I feel sympathetic towards Kurt mostly, since he’d had a hard life and was obviously suffering from depression, but I guess at the same time, I was sympathetic towards myself because there was so much about his life that I could relate to.