Thank you for all the letters that you have written to me and the comments that you made. I read all of them. They go a long way to pulling me out from where I was. I am sorry that I will not be able to reply to all of them individually as I should.
The passing of time is very strange to me now. That 3 days passed by and yet that felt so long ago, and yet felt like just a few hours had passed since I finished writing what happened within the last couple of weeks. I find it hard to recall the happiness I felt when I first landed in Taipei on 20 Dec 07. I like to say I am all right now. I can still function. But a part of me is missing.
The physical achs were the easy part to be taken care of. I went back to that blind masseur just 100 ++ meters after that Tamshui MRT station after I send that last report. I told him I strained my legs and back in strenuous mountain walks. After 30 minutes of the most excruciating treatment from him, I found my achs largely gone. My wife who always refused massages in the past accepted it this time. It worked on her too.
We tried to become tourists again in the few days prior to our having to fly off to Brisbane tomorrow evening. After all, Taiwan is still an absolutely enchanting country with many places that delighted and enthralled us in the past. Very pointedly, the places we went to were places that only just the two of us had been to in the past.
I could have taken the High Speed Train and be back again in Chiayi in 1 1/2 hour time. I did not do so for deliberate reason that was as painful as deciding to leave Chiayi to come to Taipei.
I felt the getting of Tinkerbell back had shifted to a longer term approach.
In terms of absolute temperature, Taiwan is relatively mid and considered a subtropical country. Other than riding motorbike at 4-5 am in the morning, this winter here seemed to be a T shirt kind of winter. After I had definate reliable sighting that Tinkerbell was alive and had survived the dangerous first few days and had gone to lower altitude, she was at a level where the eagles and large predators do not go down to. The area consist of forests, vegetable farms and mixed fruit orchards. In the past when we went riding up this area, I was delighted to see with different month, different fruits from mulberry, to longans, to lychees, to li fruits, to persimmons would ripened. That meant Tink would not starve and hence, might not approach humans for a long time yet.
From what I read in the past, and from the recent comments made to my last entry, of greys that gave their owners premature aging, they could be out for weeks or months before being reunited.
I hoped of course that Tinkerbell would be reunited with Mr Yu sooner rather than later. My going back to Chiayi tempting as it was for me, would not get Tinkerbell back that much faster. Instead that would raise expectations of getting her back to a higher degree with a corresponding greater drop of hope when I could not get Tink back within the day. The looks on all their faces when we got back with empty carrier made my already difficult day out that much more painful to bear. They had hoped so much that I would be able to get her back everyday and had not the advantage I have had in being in so many forums to realise getting back of a lost parrot relied much more on the long haul and setting up of networks to get that parrot back.
I had thought of placing up advertisements. Except newspaper advertisments in Taiwan are all at National level. It would not do much good to have people in Taipei, or Hualien or even Chiayi city knowing that a grey was missing. The important people would be those that lived in that area and that final circle of the bird shops in case Tink was captured and sold to.
I set those circles in place. While hoping to get Tink back every day of the search, I kept reinforcing those circles which are my main hope then and now for Tink return.
I also plan to contact Taiwanese parrot forums specifically for parrot owners in Chiayi to organise longer term measures to get Tink back with the Yu family. Mr Yu and I had deep discussions on the prospects and the long term expectations on what to do before I left him. Over the last couple of days, we were again in touch via the phone on various details.
After being the person responsible for the loss of Tinkerbell regardless of what the Gods say or all the Murphies alongside, you appreciate that I will find it extremely difficult to push Mr Yu on what to do. I believe the love he has for Tinkerbell will do that pushing. I hope to give him the strength to endure until that reunion.
He and his family are now having to live with an empty cage, empty parrot tower and all her stuff that I and my wife had to pass by to and from the search for Tinkerbll.
I have a lot less regard that my holiday is ending soon. I would go AWOL and if my company tossed me out, it mattered little to me. What I had to care about is that my visitor visa here was for just a month. With flights so packed that if I did not leave on 13 Jan, the next available seat is a month later by which I overstayed my visa and not allowed back into Taiwan ever again.
I thought about that day after that line was cut and Tink could fly down but she did not. Since I got back to her, her recalls on cue had been so superb on all our outings. All the recalls we did on that day prior to her spooking had been flawless. She had been trembling with anticipation and flew on the cue 'come'. Even when at home and off harness, it was a joy to call her and had her flying to me even if she chosed Yu to give her her goodnight headrubs.
She had flown down to me from greater heights than that branch. But the forest environment was so starkly different from what she knew before. And at the end when it really mattered, she did not come until it was too late and that 2nd big spook by the squirrels.
From her first flyaway, she brought me and the Yu family and all his friends and families to me.
With this flyaway, she brought to me the beauty of that area of Bantienyen that I only viewed in the past as a traveller looking through a window to one who lived and known the people who lived there and the warmth and compassion that they gave to me of during that search. She brought to me also all the love and compassion that you all have given to us ever since you knew of her no longer being with us.
She is now living in an area of exquisite beauty with people who love her and looking out for her.
And with time, she will also be back with all of us. I ask only that you all think good thoughts of her and her well being wherever and whoever she chooses to live with.