Sunday, April 10, 2005



    When I arrived at Newnham in 1989, I already had many visions of Cambridge, gleaned mostly from E.M. Forster, Xu Zhi Mo and Merchant Ivory films. I expected to be supervised by writers of world renown, to share living quarters with budding geniuses in multiple disciplines, to discuss the state of literary affairs with scholars over sherry, oblivious to anything practical and to dine in moonlit, high-ceilinged halls dressed in sombre college gowns. I even had a distinct picture in my head of the River, shimmering at dusk, reflecting fleeting scenes from bygone eras. I thought that at the end of my three years there, I would be able to say, I wasn't born great, nor did I achieve greatness but I most certainly mingled amongst it!

    Of course you had to trust a place like Cambridge to live up to all of an English-major's stereotypical expectations.

    What was beyond expectation was how little these images now constitute my memories of Cambridge which are in fact dominated by reminiscences of anxiety attacks arising from emancipation to existentialist to essay crises. Looking back, I blame Cambridge for setting me off on a journey of exploration without and within, which continues to drive my existence like a slave. If Paris is a moveable feast, for me Cambridge is a moveable crisis.

    After a stint as a documentary writer and presenter with RTHK and BBC, I worked as a print journalist and magazine columnist. I now manage the Hong Kong Economic Journal. Recently, I was appointed to sit on the Cultural Commission and I continue to work for some voluntary organizations. I also got married in 1999, so not surprisingly, crisis management has proven to be quite a handy tool.

    Joy Shan Lam-Kung ( Newnham, 1989 )


    The Cambridge Experience

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