End of Dubai chapter
First entry of 2014.
Dubai was a tiny chapter.
I was engaged by a contractor who wanted to tender on a big project with very tight dateline. I tried and tried. But it was found that the dateline would be exceeded by a year and with very heavy penalties. I worked myself out of a job in the 2 months there. But that meant I could proceed on checking retirement places. If I am seen by my Livejournal entries, folks might think I am still in Dubai.
I left Dubai in mid November. Not likely to return there.
Here are some photos of Dubai to end that chapter
More of that in Flickr folder
Here is what you will see taking the MRT towards the Creek
My hotel apartment
View from hotel ground level
Zoo in Dubai cost 2 dirhams or US 20 cents or so. Beasties kept in tiny cages. A bit heart rending. But you can get close to them
The zoo in Al Ain is much bigger and far better for the beasties.
Cost more to get in, and about a couple of hours away by bus
Boating by water taxis on the Dubai Creek
You know I love seeing the colugo. I was much more enchanted by the colugo at the zoo that you happen onto by chance then the animals in the zoo.
Colugos always a welcomed bonus to what I see in the zoo. I wrote of that before in
Taiping thoughts //Camera malfunction at NanHwaShi//Combat Taijichuan -some notes
I extract what I wrote from there
I decided to have a year pass into the Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo. That I could go there as often as I like to be with birdies and beasties. That was what I did on 28th March Thursday. WIth my year pass, I was walking in the Singapore Zoo. I will not bore you with the photos I took of the usual zoo animals.
And was about 545pm after a heavy rain. I was walking pass this tree when from the trunk a head pop out and 2 big eyes looked at me. That was not part of the zoo animals. But a wild beastie who happened to be on the tree trunk.
It was a very beautiful colugo. When I first came across him in the fading dusk light, the shade and folds of the skin became one with the tree trunk. My first sight was literally the head with 2 big eyes looking at me. I was entranced.
People mistakenly called it the flying squirrel.
He was about the size of Ivan. He tolerated me being very close to him. Light was very bad. I tried to hold as still as I could so the compact can gather enough light. I think I really need to get that SLR.
I did not want to use the flash.
But in the end, I did, moving further away from the beautiful creature in my bid to reduce the impact, and using zoom to compensate
I was always looking out for colugos every time I went to the zoo. Never saw them again. One day I went with my wife to the zoo.
She pointed out something like a huge bunch of grapes hanging from a bunch and asked me if that was a flying fox. I looked up and saw with wonder another colugo. I was looking for what I seen before, a head that pop out of a tree trunk. Never thought of looking for a bunch of grapes. Like stupid mankind fighting the next war with what they won in the last war.
See how beautiful the colugo can be
Yingshiong Reunion & Tinkerbell
I have not been using much of Facebook in the past. But in the last 3 months, I discovered Facebook could be used in interesting ways such as capturing snippets that I felt too short for Livejournal. Those snippets grew and grew. As you can see from this entry which encapsulate only a bit. I had to leave out the baby bat that my wife discovered and my attempt to keep that insectivore bat alive via kitty mash. And kitty mash became a bloody gourment dish for the kitties. I even had to eat the salmon bits (discards from human sashimi grade salmon)I bought for the kitties when I found that to be more fresh and more tasty than what I bought for myself.
By friending me in Facebook, you will see a lot more.
I had not thought of seeing Tinkerbell this year. But a call with Mr Yu over Chinese New Year told me that Tinkerbell was plucking. My planned retirement checkout of Nepal Pokhara was placed on hold and changed to a visit to Taiwan this year.
With that , I will switch to extracts from my Facebook.
That a tiny 32 grams bird could remember me 7-8 years after less than a year with me. What more for parrots and bigger birds?
Livejournal allows one to have more photos and write more and better organised than Facebook. So I thought I better update my Livejournal as the Taiwan trip will be on in a couple of days. And followed by a month in Bali and Lombok
Extracts from Facebook
Facebook 26 March 2014
A bit of the background to that. You knew I given up Yingshiong the white rumped shama to the Jurong Bird Park in 2005. I refused blank cheque offers so that he could fly in huge aviaries in JBP.
I went back to see him in 2008
Shama Yingshiong - Final Closure
Then I was there and wrote of that about a year ago uncertain if I seen Yingshiong
New camera at Jurong Bird Park // Shades of Yingshiong
I was afraid of asking for Yingshiong as that was so many years ago, even if it seem to me just a short while back. What if I was told Yingshiong died or they at the JBP do not know what I was talking about. After all, they have thousands of birds, bigger and more valuable than a tiny white rumped shama.
I now cut to a recent posting I did in my facebook
[I]You know I do not have birdies now and not have any until I find that place I will retire in where ever that might be. I thought my interactions with birdies will be restricted to what I can shoot in my camera even though I got myself a year pass into Jurong Bird Park. I also got a year pass into Singapore Zoo , and a year pass into Gardens by the Bay. But perhaps my interactions with birds might be more than just looking at them. I accepted an offer to be a Docent of Wildlife Reserves Singapore , an offer made to me I suspect largely because I am a year pass holder and not because of me as Shanlung. That will give me free and unlimited access into the Zoo and JBP. I am still undergoing training to be Docent in the JBP. That depends also on my being able to pass the tests they conduct. And my being in Singapore long enough (remember I am about to go on my walkabout to check out retirement places). In a strange way, I will be having a lot to do with all kinds of parrots from African greys to Hyacinth Macaws, white rumped shamas to green leaf birds, and Hornbills, and raptors and more. See what Jurong Bird Park is about. I strongly suggest that those planning to visit JBP for the first time should allocate an entire day here at the least. You might even see and talk to me as one of your guide into the bird world.
I was assigned to the station of my choice and into the JBP. In last weekend, 22 March 2014, I and others were at the JBP for station training. Part of the training was a guided walk into the South East Asian aviary. When we were there, I saw a white rumped shama flying in the huge walk in aviary and not in the side aviaries of that SEA exhibit. That shama flew in front of me a couple of times.
After that walk and the training session was over, I finally gathered my courage and asked that guide how long he was in JBP. If he told me he was there for 5 years or so, I would not ask if he known Yingshiong. He told me he was there for 15 years.
I then asked if he knew of Yingshiong with my heart in my mouth. To my surprise, he told me yes, he know of Yingshiong. And that he was flying about in that huge walk in aviary. He asked how I knew. I then told him I am the Shanlung who gave him up. He smiled and said that yes, he been to my web pages a long time ago but had not known I was among the latest batch of Docents.
I smiled too. That likely it was Yingshiong that flew a couple of time in front of me.
And since I am a Docent there, I will be seeing a lot more of Yingshiong.
And I bought my ticket to Taiwan , Apr 10-24, where I will be seeing Tinkerbell again.
Next extract from facebook
Facebook extract 30 March 2014
On the 26 March, I wrote that I might have seen Yingshiong my old shama. Go back to that entry if you have not seen that.
Anyway, today on 30 March, was another of the Docent training at JBP from 1 to 3 pm. When that was over, I walked out of JBP with the others in my group. I was not certain if I want to check if YS was there and if he still knew me. I was a bit of a coward. I then retraced my steps and went back into JBP. I am still a Friend of Birds and a yearly pass holder to walk into JBP and Singapore Zoo.
I was glad not many people were in the South East Asia rain forest exhibit. With a heavily planted over center section walk in aviary and with hundreds of birds of different color and sizes there.
I walked and called “Yingshiong come come come”. Nothing came. I tried that a few times , glad no one was there. I reached the far end and saw a little shama high above me on a branch. I was not even sure if that was Yingshiong as those tiny white rumped shama looked so much alike.
I stood there watching him for ten minutes and decided that could not be Yingshiong. He then dived from his branch down towards me and did a circular flight about me and landed on the ground about 3-4 feet in front of me. He then flew to the side and perched there.
No other birds which were not even as shy as a shama would have done that. He sang very softly to me. I mentioned the very soft singing of YS before in http://www.shanlung.com/shamasong.html ]
I did not have my Olympus EPL5.
That camera gave up the ghost last night when I went with my wife to celebrate Earth hour with Spiderman
I was going to take that to Olympus repair center to see if that camera of just one year can be resurrected.
I only had my Nokia state of art phone of 7 years ago. I resisted the arm twisting done by my wife on me to take her Iphone. That old Nokia could not take good photos. I had to be very near YS to take the photos you are seeing.
YS then flew 15 meters away to a branch on high tree. That was near a bench so I went there to sit and see what else that shama would do.
In a while, he flew down nearer to me. I decided I would not even try to get YS to land on me as he needed to be wild.
I remained contended he flew down near me. After another 30 minutes or so, I said my goodbye to him and that we will meet again.
Next facebook extract Mar 31 2014
I felt like a fool. After all, I could not recognise Yingshiong at first. I wanted to believe that was YS but dared not believe that was YS and therefore thought that was not YS at first.
YS must have seen thousands of humanoids walking there. And to a Caucasian, Chinese all look alike and with Chinese, all Caucasians look alike.
What about to a tiny bird? Wouldnt humans all look the same to the birdie? The last time YS was with me was until early 2006 when I went to Riyadh. And for visit in 2008. Clearly it was YS who recognised me to have done that circling flights around me and landed in front of me, and flew about near me, about 3 feet from me.
YS showed better memory than I had. And when he showed he remembered me, I did not say "Yingshiong come come come" anymore. He was already there. And much as I like the thought of him landing on me, I had to restrain myself and have minimum interactions with YS for his own long term good. I hate the thought that if I got him used to landing on me, he might land on other visitors. But that being said, YS never landed on my wife and friends much as they tried even with bribing YS shamelessly.
From my facebook 6 April 2014
Last Saturday, 5 April 2014, was another of my docenting thingie at Jurong Bird Park. That was in morning from 10 to 12. You know I had this disquiet mingled with strong desire to see Yingshiong. Part of me already more than satisfied YS still around, and can be seen and heard, and still showed that he remembered me. The other part was to leave him alone and be in his new life. I felt it will not do to keep seeing him daily or even on weekly basis. Then I thought, hang on a moment, I probably will not be able to see him for close to 2 months. You know I be flying off to Taiwan from 10-24 April. Followed by almost the whole of May in Bali and Lombok.
So I thought I say hi to him in his South East Asia Aviary. I walked to the end and place where I last saw him. I called his name but could not see him. In a while, a tiny black and red bird flew to a branch and remained there. Almost like not acknowledging me. I stood there a while and he remained on his branch for that while. I was not unhappy that he did not seem to do more such as flying that circle around me and landing in front of me that he did that first time.
I was happy enough that he was there.
That day was heavily drizzling the entire day. I was under my umbrella. My poor YS might have been under shelter of a leaf and came out into the wet and the rain for me. I told him silently until the next time and I walked off.
I decided to copy what I wrote of some of my life in martial arts here as well.
I wrote that in some Taoist forum that I since left in disgust, and likely before I got kicked out.
They love to continue in their pretense there.
Kind of continuation of what I wrote in
Taiping thoughts //Camera malfunction at NanHwaShi//Combat Taijichuan -some notes
Taijichuan at Koh Phagnan
In 1993 when I was about as good as I could be in taijichuan, I was on a walkabout on the island of Koh Phagnan off the Southern coast of Thailand.
I saw posters about on Taijichuan classes being taught by a taichi master. I had to ride on my bike and hunted down that place.
Saw that was a Caucasian in his mid 20s living in a Thai house all ready to teach taijichuan. He married a local thai.
We started chatting. I told him I was interested in taijichuan, leaving out my background as irrelevant. I was there to learn of him and not he to learn of me.
He proudly told me he finished the course of Yang jia taijichuan in Penang with an hour lesson twice week, taking about 6 months. He also showed me a pile of taichi books that he was reading, with another pile of video tapes on taichichuan. I asked him if he did tuishou in Penang and he told me his master there did not know tuishou but he picked that up from books. He told me his master thought he was good enough to open a taijischool after 3-4 more months there with him.
I got an earful of taijichuan and Tao from him. Everything came from the Tao. Roses , cowdung and a host of other things came from the Tao. So why not taijichuan? Even more so when the symbol for taijichuan is the YingYang sign?
Since I also had a glass of cold water from him, I let him go on and on.
Sadly that is about the state of taijichuan. Lots of masters and charlatans teaching more tiny masters and charlatans.
To wave and move arms and legs slowly will magically put you to feel the chi forces of the world and to tap on those energies.
Not knowing taijichuan, they created a world of chi running all over here and there, mixing up with taoism and fantasy and telling that one be at peace in the world and love all (to make sure they got cast in stone excuses that they need never have to show their Immortal Imcomparable Fist)
How to tell him that I was a mere student after years and years and not as elevated as he being a master. Perhaps he was wiser than me, and his twice weekly dose of taijichuan from someone who do not know how to tuishou was a lot better than my daily 6++ hours and with Masters that fajing me all over.
I felt we did not even have a common ground in which I could talk with him. Hands on with me would just embarrased him and I saw no need for me to be a self declared policeman as to purity of taijichuan. Beside, he was a nice chap and did give me a glass of water unasked . Just an interesting education for me as to the other facets of the world of taijichuan.
I thank him for the glass of water, said I think about his classes, and rode off back that road to a place where I knew I could get a nice cold Singha beer and watch the rest of the world go by.
Idiot on the Path
8 April 2014
I have kicked Old Nic balls and told him to fuck off for Two miraculous years, two incredible months, one wonderful week, four luvly days, 20 bloody hours, 24 misc minutes and 14 odd seconds. of cold turkey after about 45++ years of smoking. 40894 cigarettes not smoked, saving $21,469.54. Life saved: 20 weeks, 1 day, 23 hours, 50 minutes.
LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.
Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"
milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""
if you forgotten about clicker training
Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06
Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell
Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell
To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training
Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —
Tinkerbell Legacy - - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality) & Understanding the mind of your grey
Above is probably the most important of all I have written, and the foundation to all that I have done.
FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)
To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside
If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust
I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice