July 15th, 2005

reply to comments on 14 July

Doubleyolk and Nancy,

When you read my reports and notice the time it was written, that would be around midnight or later. That would be the time when I log on and started to save starting from the first sentence. I had a horrendously bitter experience when I was in Laos having spend 3 hours in an inspired state of consciousness of writing and having a blackout in that town before I saved it. I could have cried from the pain and my subsequent replacement of that was a shadow of what was lost.

Since then, I saved from the first sentence, other than
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ARGH!!!!

I just lost an hour of replies because I forgot to save the reply to comments and mishit a #$$%%^ button

Unlike the main entries, comments cannot be saved sequentially and I did not save it.

This attempts to salvage is going to be weak and made doubly worse by the frustration at myself. I only had that bit above left in the cut&paste.

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If you have seen from my earlier letters that covered the times when we first had Tinkerbell, those letters covered a trip to a place. We made several trips to those places at different times and different seasons. By failing to record them because I wrote of one trip, the memories of those times, the wonderful or silly things we did, the impressions of the folks we met and the antics of Tink had been lost to me now.

I think I write fairly fast, even so, those blog entries took about 2 hours to do. At which time when I complete, it would be about 2 to 3 am in the Internet cafe. That would be when I leave to go to the SWN. Only a crass Philistine would go immediately to sleep instead of spending an hour first to wash, soak in the pools and relax in the wet areas before drying and going to the lounge. I then get to sleep at 3 -4 am. As the next day would start with Tink by 830 to 9am, that man in tuxedo or guy in shorts and tshirt was essential as you would agree.

There had been so much more to write on each day. I recognised my failure to write that would lobotomised a large part not only of what happened, the exquisite exchanges and interactions with Tinkerbell and me, the surroundings that we were in, the shifting kaleidescope of people and emotions would be lost to me. I had to ruthlessly cut off huge sections of what I wanted to write. Even on what was written, those had been outlines of the shadow of that reality that we went through. The taste and nuances had to go so that I could finish the account leaving me maybe 3.5 hours of sleep.

There had been so much I wanted to write to retain this memory before even more events of the next day crowd into the already limited I knew I had.

The fuller accounts of the way the mountains reached up and faded against the ghosts of even more distant mountains receeding in surrealistic upreach to the sky, the calls and sounds of cicadas, frogs and the circling flights of eagles high above BTY heavily forested mountainside had to be curtailed. The duets between Tink and me as we ride on the mountain roads. her clambering down from her perch to my lap to snatch my ciggies, her gentle nibbling of my finger which contrast to her vicious and accurate bite which penetrate my ciggie butt whenever it came into her range, her soft unique call for water when she was thirsty always followed by a hard nip on my ear should I failed to notice that, the different shades of green, the richness of the moss on sides of roads had been ruthless trimed away.

So many events in Dragon Eye, BTY and other places I wanted to write, promising myself to add to that the next login, but having been pressured by time and the events of the next day to set aside again and again.

Could I made the day shorter and come back earlier? And spend less time with Tinkerbell on the outside? Do you folks recognised that painful dilemma?

We made our way to dinner normally when the horizon and the sun turned red with the orb just about to touch the trees in the distance.

Then when I send Tink to Yu, only in the most dire circumstances did I leave early. I can even think of those specific occassions, such as karoke. Late dinner and drinks would always have Tink with me.

And when Tink got to Yu, we all knew she needed at least 30 minutes to preen nd groom herself before she bothered to notice me or the rest of the world. To come to internet earlier is very tough. I have been trying to do that for so many days so I could get to sleep earlier and thus get to Tink earlier but I never succeeded.

Then I had emails that required responding to first. And new sites that liked to know more on harness and Tink even now that I could not cold heartedly prune away.

And my replies to comments. Do not misunderstand me on comments. Your comments are and much appreciated and vital in that I could use that to try to touch up on what I missed in the first place and which triggered other thoughts in me.

But there is only 24 hours in the day. And if I did not plundered like I did in this (which by the way, is less than what I wrote before that *(&*^%$%#$ button was hit)

When I compared what I had written, to what I know for a fact and I wished to write on, it hurts. My report failed to paint the colours in, failed so much on what we had done. The scenery alone, is a lot lot more than what I had written. So many events and interactions had to be truncated or glossed over if they were in.

I am not certain now when would I get the time for the report on Saturday.

As courtesy to Yu and friends here looking after Tink, Bim and Zorro, I cannot but accept another karoke tomorrow night. Was to be tonight but I begged off.

My last hours with Tink will be on Sunday.

I hope it is not going to hurt. I like to think it is not going to hurt. I know she is in good hands and only a visit away from me.

I only know it will not be that time when I had to leave. That was a pain that I am glad that I now barely remember. I may actually one day go back to read those last few days what I had written only glad that was behind me

And I do need to get started on what happened today.

xxx

In the past, I used to have my breakfast before going to get Tink. In addition to ciggies, I am addicted to coffee. Thus I contributed to extinction of elephants as surely as I buy ivory in that parts of forest somewhere had to be cut down to plant that coffee bushes for my coffee.

I zombied around before that cuppa coffee, which would be taken with breakfast. That was why I used to go for breakfast before getting Tink at the beginning of this current trip.

SWNs coffee were the connosieur kind, hell of an expensive for a little cuppa, perhaps with outstanding flavour whereas I just wanna fix of caffeine which even the 3 in 1 would be adequate, hence coffee at breakfast places which were outside the SWNs

With time running out, the last few days , and today, and tomorrow, and day after, I left SWN shortly after I got shaken awake, staggered down a flight of curved staircase that the fiddler on the roof must have imagined about, brush my teeth, bath , jumped into the pool and out again to dry and dress up and bike the 10 minutes to see Tink.

We then go for breakfast and that cup of COFFEE.

I cheated today. I had a can of coffee in the bike bought the night (actually early morning) before. I had that before I rode off.

Of course, this morning, eldest son SS joined Tink and me. He was truanted from his school by both parentsto max my remaining time with him. Anyone knowledgable to Taiwanese life would know that in normal circumstances, taiwanese never ever truant from school ever. But what SS sprung on them the night before was not usual either. As long I had Tink and could go where I wanted, I did not mind sharing the remaining time with Tink with anyone.

As the possibility of me being permanently here , or even for a few years here, fade away, I had very ulterior motives for doing all I could for Tink current family, especially the one who may see her into old age.

I went to another breakfast place this morning unlike the one I went to the last few days, but which I had been to before in last life here with TInk.

The lady there was delighted to see me. But as all operators were delighted to see customers, I smiled. She squealed out she remembered me aand I smiled wider. Reality told me long ago my looks were ordinary at very best and girls and ladies did not flock around me or threw themselves in my arms. I felt cynically sure she never remembered me, but no one could ever not remember my sweet grey lady even if she could be bitchy and nasty to me at times. I gave her extra brownie points when she remarked her dress changed color (extra brownie points to her for calling a harness as a dress). She laughed merrily when I asked her if she changed her dresses now and then, why should Tink not be allowed the same right.

Fortified with a big cup of coffee and much of breakfast less the bits Tink nibbled away, we went on our way.

We headed to Chiayi National University, or ChungCheng Da Shuair (if you want the official IPA approved model, go ask my wife Joy).

That was a big sprawling campus, reasonably near, which I wanted to go regardless if SS was with us or not.

SS was with us and he could be useful to Tink and me. In addition to grounding him into English, my other agenda on him to make him into a dedicated Tink lackey was not mentioned to him. He liked Tink and was fascinated by her. But he had this paranoia of getting bitten by Tink. Tink whom I wished would mauled the strangers who tried to pet her without ever asking was so fascinated by SS fear of her that she delighted in scaring SS even further. In between the English workouts yesterday, and day before, I tried to get SS to beakrub Tink. SS would with great persuasion from me gathered enough courage to reach out his finger and failed to go that quarter inch to Tinks beak wavering and trembling near her eyes. I could not blame Tink for being fascinated at that trembling finger. I was fascinated by that myself. Tink of course lunged and SS would jumped. My arguments to him that in all the time they had him, Tink never bite he or brother and sister or their parents. With great persuasions and the debt he owed me for English, I got him to allow Tink to step on his hand and shoulder. I was actually considering powerful martial arts technique to immobilise his finger so Tink can get that elusive beak rub from him. I knew I should have bought that thumbscrews from that quaint shop when I was in Bavaria.

After we gotten our essentials, drinks for Tink (she turned her nose on water and love a combination of isotonic and craneberry I had to mix for her) , drink for him, and ciggies coffee for me, we went down to under that bridge spanning the lake to do English.

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I made him realised he could understand English, with some techniques and insults and mental browbeating too brutal for me even to whisper here. I was going to make him LOVE English language now using reverse psychology and stuff more related to voodooism and incantations.

Tink oversaw all that with fascination at the stupidity humans could stoop to. Lessons to SS were given in sincerity, and exercises were tough and mandatory, but resulted in enough spare time for me to take Tink out and walk around a fair bit.

SS was getting seriously into English enough and I knew after a few hours, I got him to love the beauty of English language as well. I watched him from the corner of my eyes while I pretend to look at the page while explaining to him the different expressions used in English and how the Chinese equivalent could never matched the original. No translated book could ever match or even come close to the book in its original language.

In one of my periodic walkabouts around the lakeside, I was calling Tink from only 15 meters away. Tink was annoyed at me for some reason. I knew I should have gone nearer. The sun having got into my brains caused me to pig headedly to refused. Then, SS walked to us. Tink took off, overflight me which set my heart pumping away, and flew towards SS. I was not worried, only scared out of my head. You can see in those photos of lakeside, there were lots of treess there. Tink was heading towards him, partly to show she was cheesed off by me and that she thought it was a good idea to land on SS.

I shouted dire warnings to SS that he freezed and let Tink land.

(my overdrawned sleep debt is catching up with me and I must go nothwithstanding this is only 1 am now)