July 17th, 2005

Tinkerbell revisited - end of trip

I am in Taipei city now. In the same seedy cybercafe that I was in just before the start of my trip to Chiayi and my reunion with Tinkerbell. Outside, the first typhoon of this year is raging and howling away. There had been periodic calms before the rain and winds resumed their fury once more. The eye of the typhoon is estimated to pass over Taipei city sometime in the morning. My flight out of Taipei is supposed to be at 2:35 pm on monday. I have not checked with China Airlines yet, but somehow, I do think my stay in Taiwan will be extended at least another day.

On Friday evening, before I went to the Internet, I was lucky to obtain a train seat leaving Chiayi today on Sunday at 1pm reaching Taipei at about 6 pm. The train was 15 minutes late. That was caused by incredible number of people trying to make it to wherever they were trying to go before the typhoon hit. When I thought no more could be packed in, the next stations kept proving me wrong as more and more forced their way in. The aisles of the train I was in were jammed pack with people. That made it difficult for people to get off and for people to get on. I eyed those in the aisle with sympathy. I could have been so nearly one of them. When I decided at the last moment to extend another day with Tink, I was very aware that I might had to stand all the way back to Taipei.

Now here I am with the likelihood of yet another day in Taiwan but alas, with me in Taipei hiding from a typhoon and Tinkerbell in Chiayi.

Sat 16 Jul

Yu had earlier told me that he would take us out in his car for the day. I thought at first of declining his offer so I could be just with Tinkerbell. I was glad I accepted. When I had to abruptly stop that friday night update, to the extent I did not even had the time to change the heading, I badly need sleep. I felt it too churlish if I declined his offer. Being just with Tink, I might get too maudling.

During the drive, I told him that over the last few days, Tinkerbell surprised me with a new word she vocalised. At first I thought that word was a softly spoken 'peekaboo', then thought it was her name 'tinkerbell'. She voiced that a few times which I had not wanted to accept as I thought that just could not be before I accepted it finally. She was softly saying 'singapore'. I was surprised as you know my feelings about that place I was borned in, to the extent I disliked even using that name. Yu used chinese and even if that was mentioned to Tink, the sound would have been sing-jia-pore. The sound is more different that it might appear to you as chinese language also have tones to difficult for me to describe to you.

I asked Yu whether he mentioned the place I came from in English to Tink and was not surprised when he said no. Then, Tink joined in from her other vocalising she was making in the car at that time to say just that word. I felt strange inside.

My sleep debt was still not fully discharged and I was glad for the chance to sleep in his car in the drive.

His son SS came with us too. After a brief discussion as to where to go, Kuantseling was our destination. I asked SS to take along Peter Pan. As much as I cared for Tink, I knew that there could only be so much of looking her with gooyi eyes. I found coaching SS to be interesting and refreshing in between the times with Tink over the last few days. With SS around, it would be that much easier to tell Yu to take a hike and leave the three of us alone. Then periodic exercises for SS took care of him so I could be just with Tink.

Since the air was humid and hot in the pre-typhoon period, it was always nicer to get to higher altitudes as the temples in Kuantzeling would provide.

It was not as high as Dragon Eye or even BTY. But then, there were so many temples in KTL of which I only went to a few during my trips there.

I was taken to yet another temple in KTL, the name is quite immaterial especially I did not even took note of it. But there was this nice little hill at the back of that temple. Not heavily forested which would make it difficult to walk about, but with a thin wood but with heavy canopy of branches and leaves above that cast a cool green light underneath. Some picnic spots were arranged about there with huge boulders very roughly smoothen on top arranged like domens (?? spelling??) to form big tables. Arranged around them would be smaller boulders to form seats.

Yu never grasped what I did with SS, but was pleased enough to leave us as I told him to take a walk.

I had torn away the fear of SS of English enough for him to realised that he could understand enough English not be be afraid to read English. I needed him to love English as well. On Friday, I created a rip in the veil between his Chinese thinking and mindset and that of the English world. He had seen some of the beauty of English language which could not be translatable into Chinese even if the meaning could be brought across. I wanted him to peep a bit more through that ever widening rip.

So I worked on out with him, and the inevitable exercises that he needed to be left along. Which he was and I walked a bit in the woods with Tink. In those private moments, I was so happy yet again to be with her.

Then it was time to leave KTL and go to Yu's home.

Found the karoke was to be at a home. It was the house of the guy I mentioned a few weeks back when we were munching on crickets at dinner.

He was Mr Leow and he had this very traditional house on the mountain where that BTY was. He had fruit trees and last year when I was there, we had longans as that was in season.

As Tinkerbell was with us the whole day, we thought it best to leave her at home as we might be there until very late. Since we all would be out, that perhaps it might be safer to keep her in her cage. We made the mistake of discussing that with Tink next to us. In the past, with Joy, some of the discussions were conducted in Chinese as we rather not let Tink knew what we planned. I forgetten that after nearly a year with Yu, Tink must have knew enough of Chinese that she would be caged.

I placed her on the cage and removed her harness and about to ask her to step up. The moment I took off her harness and with a hand on her back to prevent her from flying, she immediately backed down the bars with soft chirps and coos that she knew penetrated my heart. All attempts to get her to step up were meet with her beak pressed in to the bars so I could not sweep my hand under her breast. It was heart rending to hear her pleading away and her movements to avoid that step up. I raised my hands from her and she flew, hit the edge of a chair and landed on the floor. She looked at me and chirped so forlornly that I melted. I apologised to her for trying to get her into the cage and promised her no tricks from me and all I wanted was to give her a head rub and would not make her do things she did not want. I moved to her on the floor and she stepped up on my hand to look at me. She got her headrubs and soft talk from me. She then flew up to the basket atop of her bedroom bookshelf. We decided as it was going to get dark soon, she would then go naturally to her bedroom and should be safe until we got back.

Yu agreed it was a mistake for us to have talked in front of her of our plans to put her back in the cage for her safety. That it would have been better to have left the room to discuss out of her hearing.

We then went to Leow's house. This was to be a kind of farewell party from the HSUs and the WUs as well. That house was kind of up the mountain slope and surrounded by fruit trees. As it was the lychee season this time, the lychees harvested were being sorted as we reached there in the early evening.

This house was in traditional style of 'heart and two arms' in the form of a three sided rectangle and an open courtyard. The main building would have the prayer hall in the center and the suite of rooms to the left of the prayer hall would be taken up by the eldest son with his wife and the suite of room the the right by the 2nd son and wife. Before their marriage, they could sleep anywhere in the two buildings build as the arms to surround the courtyard.

Then in the courtyard, there would be a huge low table for the important tea drinking. That table would be a large slab of granite stone very smooth on the top surrounded by small granite stones to serve as seats.

Leow's extended family and friends joined us as more and more delicacies were piled on that huge table. Big plate of the freshest sashimi I have had with the most burning wasabit grown locally on Alishan mountain. Snails, goose necks, and much other stuff I could not, and did not care to identify came and came. That was washed down by Leows delectable and firey lychee wine
and tea brewed constantly by him.

This started as a trip to see Tinkerbell. It ended as a trip where the time I spend with my Taiwanese friends were also important and delightful as a tribute to friendship and happy times.

Then, we went to the hall of right 'arm' building with its superb karoke and sound system for more drinks to help the songs be sung and appreciated better.

I was given a box from Hsu and Wu with things to take back with me for Joy against my protests. I said it before and again. Hospitality from Taiwanese can be very overwhelming. I felt even more embarassed that I nix Joy's attempt to get me to carry the gifts she bought for them as being too bulky and heavy to poor me to carry.

It ended up so late that Yu drove me directly to the SWN rather than let me take the bike from his house to weave a wobbly way to Internet cafe.
As that was nearing 2 am , he did have a point.

I felt sorry I was not able to see Tink to say goodnight to her. But at 2 am, maybe Tink might not appreciate me waking her to do that.

Sunday 17 July

I called Yu from the SWN in the morning for him to ride over to pick me up on the bike to his place.

Tink was in her cage. She had been told for a few days now that I had to leave her again. I called to her, and she pressed her head to my fingers and I gave her headrubs to my softly spoken words. I got her out to harness her and left her on the tower. Lychees given the night before were taken out,

Tink flew down to my shoulder. I was touched but tempered by the realization that I was eating lychees and that she might have liked that. Mrs Yu then reached over to over a piece of cake she was eating to Tink. Tink turned her head away from the cake. I then hold up the lychee to her and she turned her head the other way.

Her point made, she bowed down and chirped softly for headrubs. That was unusual too as she normally would not do that so early in the day. I felt horrified how crassed I was to think she was mercenary and that Tink flew to me to be with me. In between being a horror and a bitch, she melts my heart. My heart is always hers anyway.

We then took all the stuff I left with them further embarrased with further gifts from Hsu. We went to his temple to offer some prayers and I lit some incense for my wish to be back in Taiwan again.


After lunch with Yu family, I was taken to the train station at about 1230. I was thinking of some photos there with Yu and Tinkerbell and to say farewells. But fringes of the typhoon came to us with heavy rains. That put paid to those plans. A shortened farewell was said and I got to the platform to wait for the train.


My feelings have been at different levels. I missed my Tinkerbell. I cannot but miss her and yearn for her. But while I am not that happy not to have my Tink, neither am I that burned and pained with grief as that time I first had to leave her behind. It was very clear to me on this trip of her love in ways I never imagined. That she was loved and looked after by the entire Yu family could not be doubted anymore by me.

The future is still there to bring surprises to all of us. But as I have said before.

Tinkerbell is only a flight away from me. Whether we are together physically or not, we love each other.

I have taken sweet memories of the time we spend yet together again.

I am satisfied.

Do think nice thoughts for my Tinkerbell and wish for her continued happiness.

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