⟨ Misc ⟩

Finally found where I belong.

Aha Living

Words / Jas Tse
Photography / Aha Living
Translation / Iris Heung

「生活最重要的事,是我懂得什麼對我來說是最好的。」—— Riz / Aha Living店主

客人來到,寫意地逛,逐一摸摸店裡的器具,到最後拿起了什麼,她總是忍不住默默觀察。每一件她都有,她知道那個陶製飯壺會令隔夜米飯香甜起來,但那是自己的使用方式,是自己才了解的感覺。所以「初初我沒有說的,但買回去他們使用後跟我分享想法,居然就是我本來想傳達的東西。」遇到了同樣敏感的客人讓她感到幸福 ,有人跟她說「明明在吃同一種食物,或只是叫外賣,但拿了喜歡的碟子盛著,吃的時候我在笑。」或是想著「今晚我想吃什麼呢?」於是從不喜歡下廚的妻子開始學習料理。她常鼓勵大家買了器具回去就如常地吃,可以是雞蛋仔、咖哩魚蛋、蛋撻,笑說那位日本陶藝作家應該想像不到這種光景。

「那像是一條線,當人開始意識到生活裡這部分的細節,其他部分也會開始看見。」

“The most important thing to learn in my life is what is genuinely the best for me,” says Riz, the owner of Aha Living.

It is always Riz’s habit to observe her customers. She would quietly enjoy watching them walking around, see how they would first give a little touch on the products before picking up any of them. She understands all the items thoroughly well because she also owns all of them herself. She has read about how the ceramic rice container can bring out the fragrance of leftover rice, but it was only after she had used it herself did she fully grasp the essence. She says, “I didn’t tell them my thoughts at the beginning, but when they came back to me to share their experience after using the product, it turned out to be exactly the same way I thought.” She can always find delight in meeting people who are sensitive like her. Some customers told her, “I was only having my usual meal or some takeaways, but serving the food on the plates I like simply made the eating experience a lot more enjoyable.” Some said these tableware made them look forward to planning a nice dinner, and hence they got to find pleasure in cooking. Riz encourages her customers not to be too careful with the tableware, and says they can use them for serving bubble waffle, curry fishballs or egg tarts. The Japanese potter who made these pottery must be fascinated to see them being used for serving Hong Kong street food.

“It is like a door. When people became aware of a small detail of their daily life, they would enter a realm to see the rest of the details.”

2008年開始不斷旅行,2012才到亞洲以外的地方,去了北歐一個月。城市的孩子看見草地不敢踩下去,朋友就跟她說「你就踩吧!草的作用就是防滑啊!」原來可以在草地上滾來滾去曬太陽的!每天日照只有三小時,第一天就幸運地看到北極光了!第二天早上,鄰屋跑來拍門說鯨魚來了!快去看!「這些這些好像讓我知道,原來人可以這樣相處的。」

「以前有過很長一段日子對這個地方有股憤怒,覺得為什麼是這樣,所以不停出走,在這個城市也只會待在自己的空間,獨個享受使用這些器具,那能讓我安靜,好像旅行的感覺仍在,其實很絕望的。」在開店之後才發現,原來感受過的東西,本來意義不明的,後來會變成這樣,自己給了一些想法出去,他們又會再給我支持。

Riz has been constantly on the road since 2008, but it was only until 2012 that she began to explore the places outside of Asia. In the same year, she spent one full month in the Nordics. As a person who grew up in a big city, Riz was very hesitant to step onto the grass, but then her friend just encouraged her to go ahead, saying, “Grass is supposed to protect you from slipping!” Then, she finally tried rolling and sunbathing on the grass. There were only three hours of daylight every day during her trip, and she was lucky enough to see the aurora. The next day, her neighbor knocked on her door and said, “The whale is here, let’s go check it out!” This trip seems to have taught her a completely new way of human interaction.

“There was a long period of time when I used to feel mad at this place. I found this city absurd, so all I could do was to travel, to be on the road. Even when I stayed, I would spend time in my own space. Using these utensils calmed me down, they gave me an illusion that I was still on my journey. That was a desperate feeling,” Riz continues to say that the shop has inspired her a lot; not only did she have a better grasp of her sensitivity, but she also gained valuable support from her customers.

 

「多年前去了日本一個偏遠地方看瀑布,山區裡有條橋,中間放了一堆蔬菜,原來是賣的,才知道很多鄉間的婆婆會做些手工或摘些野菜擺賣,就放一個錢箱在旁邊,大家自助付款,那種信任很深刻。」

曾經有個杯子出奇地放在店裡三個月了,有天一位很久沒來的客人上來就看見它、拿了起來、買了回家。「時間有時對我來說不是順序的。好像是註定那個人想找某個杯,才令我在某個國家遇到然後帶回來跟他相認。有其他客人說之前都沒有看到它啊。」而她就像將菜放在橋上賣的那些婆婆呢!還建立起一個小村莊,這裡大家都願意等待剛好的來到。

“I went to a remote area in Japan many years ago to see a waterfall. In that area, I saw a pile of vegetables in the middle of a bridge that was for sale. I later realized the elderlies in the countryside would sell their homegrown vegetables that way. All they do is to place a moneybox next to their vegetables for people to put money in there themselves. I was utterly impressed by this level of trust they have with strangers.”

There was a mug that remained unsold in the shop for three months, then a customer, whom Riz had not seen for a while came to the shop. She just picked it up and bought it. “Things sometimes happen in an unpredictable sequence. It feels to me that that mug has to belong to that person. That was why I took it to Hong Kong from another country, and that’s why no other customers took a look at the mug,” says Riz. This way of thinking reminds me of the elderlies who sell vegetables on the bridge in Japan. Her shop well represents the essence of her tiny village, where everyone is willing to be patient to wait for something that is meant for them.

她不愛看地圖,喜歡沒有計劃的旅行,下飛機才想想今天要去哪呢,感覺那裡會有好東西就向那邊走,像古人尋找水源,靠直覺行走的她笑說事前做資料搜集太累人了啊。但看著桌上厚重的杯盤碗碟,每件都是放進行李箱自己扛回來的,背到後來腰都傷了。

「在日本遇到過一間店,牆上不同位置都掛了一些吊飾,近看才知道原來每個吊飾背後那幅牆身都有道裂紋,吊飾看起來卻像祝福一樣。文化不同,我們傾向於修補,破爛會是個煩惱。但器具打破了,也開始讓我學懂去接受。好像都在教我一些事,像這些很重扛回來的,便叫我下次要疼自己多點。」

好奇現在於她,回家和旅行的分別是什麼呢?

「當家裡是自己思考過想要的模樣,我現在的家就是這樣子。以前很愛往外走,恨不得不回家,但現在就算在旅行,我都會掛念自己的家。『啊,我好想回家。』好像……找到自己的核心了。我真的愛這個空間,全都是真的需要才買下來,當整個空間是這樣建構出來的,這裡就是你自己旅行的地方。待多久也會享受。」

破碎後的碗盤、茶漬的杯子。每天下班後、假日賴床起來的吃食。拌著滿腹的生活氣味,沒有堆砌,只是所需。那些場景,好像是關於物,然後你令它活了。

Riz is not a fan of map-reading, and she likes to travel without a plan. She would start to think of a place to visit only when she gets off the plane and go wherever her instinct leads her to. Doesn’t this sound like the way our ancestors used to discover water sources? While Riz finds it tiring to do research ahead of a trip, she is definitely fine with carrying all those heavy tableware in her luggage, even to the extent that she hurt her back.

“I’ve once been to a shop in Japan that hangs a lot of ornaments on the wall. When I took a close look at it, I found out that they were there to cover up cracks on the wall. These ornaments are also like a blessing. Our culture encourages us to mend broken things and get upset when things are broken. But I now learn to accept seeing things being broken. Every broken piece is a lesson for me to learn. Looking at these heavy tableware that I carried on my back, I am reminded to treat myself better in the future.”

As a frequent traveler, how does Riz see being home and traveling?

“Home is where my heart really belongs. This is how I would describe my current home. I used to have a strong craving for traveling. It wasn’t a problem at all not to be home, but I do get homesick now when I’m on a trip. I am desperate to go home when I’m elsewhere. I believe I finally found where I belong. I really love this place, everything here was bought for a reason. This is the way I constructed my own space, this is where I would like to travel to and enjoy spending time in. I can never get tired of this place.”

Shattered plates and bowls, cups full of tea stain… Day in and day out, finally it’s the long-awaited weekend. Life is a series of trivial events that feel mundane but substantial at the same time. Your life depends on day-to-day objects that in turn also define how you live.


Aha Living是香港一所選物店,以生活器具為主,想著「回家就是旅行」,由店主Riz從旅行帶回來具質感也實用的好物跟大家分享。採預約制,讓客人可在舒適的環境下摸摸每件物件,細心選擇真正想要的。

Aha Living is a select shop that specializes in homeware products in Hong Kong. With a notion of “home is where the journey begins”, the shop’s owner Riz gathers from her trips an eccentric collection of items that are both substantial and practical. Only taking visits by appointment, the shop ensures every customer can browse her collection in leisure and have a touch of everything to find the piece that genuinely clicks.