U, Who Uses His Body to Express Himself

The path, of a performer, it’s, never going to be easy!  Translated…

Since my trip to Denmark last year, I’d become, more than willing, to take a long commute, to see the performances.  Back then, in a certain Modern Arts Museum in Denmark, the light in my mind suddenly, turned on, it wasn’t just a light, a star, more of, twinkling on and on, never dimming—it’d, arrived, to the other end of the world, even, there’s, no reason for me, to slack off in Taiwan, this tiny island.  And so, I’d alighted the MRT, transferred onto a train, arrived to the “wilderness”.

photo from online…

This is a café normally, at the cramped up alley between old apartment buildings.  A performance arts space, in this sort of an desolate, older residential area, this place should be called “Savannah”!  The café is spacious, which the place was made out of, with the audience, arriving, the show can begin—a table, a percussionist, two dancers, one man one woman, this, was a dance created by U.

U has a special background, born in Taiwan, raised in Indonesia, went to U.S. to study films, danced in the Netherlands.  He said he’d become, multi-lingual as a kid, but, felt, that he couldn’t, clearly express the innermost meanings well enough, until he’d discovered dance, like how I’d found my own way, to communicate with the world.  This unique, made-up way of “original language”.

Shortly after my return to Taiwan, U found, that the modern dancers here are just as good as those abroad, but, there’s, a small market for audiences, and, the field doesn’t look optimistic at all.  He’d asked, how come such great things, you just brush aside?  He’d seen a free performance at Bellavita, the dancers performed in the halls of a high-end shop, as he was really into watching the performances, he realized, that there was, a young boy, who was also, intrigued, the child asked his mother, “what, are they doing?”, the mother glanced over, said impatiently, “They’re CRAZY!”, then, pulled the child away.

male dance solo 的圖片結果like this???  Photo from online…

“As I heard that, I was, heartbroken.  How come this, was what the arts education in Taiwan had been reduced to?  I know, a lot of people would tell me, modern dance is hard to understand.  But why must it be understood?  The process of watching the performances, there would be an emotional response, something that’s, beyond verbal expressions, that, is what’s, most important.”  He’d, told me.

U’s performance was short, afterwards, he’d gotten the audience involved in a small activity.  We’d needed to, remain silent, for our partners to perform the actions we’d, wanted them to, or have them understand, what we’d wanted them to do.  My partner was a beautiful girl, she gave up easily, after one to two charades and she’d not guessed it right, she’d felt anxious, and it’d, forced me, to think of an alternative way, to express myself.  In the process, I’d found, that we were, staring deeply, into each other’s eyes than usual, and, worked harder, to listen to each other, than we normally would.

U said, he’d planned, to perform in Taiwan, at the same time, he’d wanted to, direct some short films on dancing.  I know the hardships he’s weathering, what is unsure is, the path he’d, walked on, or the path he’s about, to walk onto, which one would be, harder?  As the performances are over, I’d wanted to, walk over to him and tell him, but, I’d feared, that staring into my eyes, U may see my worries for him, so, I kept, to myself.

As I walked slowly, back to the station from the wilderness, then, transfer on the MRT back to Taipei, this almost-an-hour ride, doesn’t feel, that long at all.

like this show for the public???  photo from online…

So, this, is on chasing one’s own dreams, the writer is also a performer like the person U, so, she’d, understood the hardships that he is facing, has faced, and is about to face for his future, because she’d, weathered through it, or is, weathering through it right now, and, there are, NO easy way, if you want to be successful, you can’t find shortcuts, you just have to, bite down, and, take the trials as they come, and, fight hard, and, you might (still not a definite though…) be successful in the end!

It’s a Blessing, Changing Tracks

Quitting, because of a misunderstanding had, opened up a door of opportunity for the woman, while those who’d stayed at her former job, well, they’re not, doing so well, translated…

That day, I received a call from my former coworker, May, she’d told me she wanted to talk to me about something, and I’d known right away, that she’d hit a bump at work again.

At first, she’d worked as an accountant at her last job, she’d gotten along with her two assistant at first, but later on, they’d gotten on bad terms because of the assignments of tasks, they’d started blaming me for not making the right calls; it’d put me, who was stuck between my manager and my subordinates, in a difficult position.

May who works in the auditing department who started working four months before I had, because of our age, we’d become, the best of friends, and had spent lunch and gotten off work together often. I’d originally thought, that May understood me, but once, my assistant had gone over me, to complain about me, May didn’t stand up for me right away, and believed in the exaggerated claims of my assistant. Later on, we’d argued for almost an hour in the manager’s office, as I’d stepped out of the office feeling disappointed, I’d bumped into my boss, and, I told him, that I wanted, to quit, and, not knowing what had happened, he’d not said a word, and signed off on my resignation.

On my last day of work, I’d asked May to head to the rooftop restaurant for lunch with me. During the time, May was displeased at how I’d just, quit my job, not consulted her first. She’d believed, that there is, room for discussion still, but I was already, a defeated soldier, ready, to leave.

After a month of break time, I’d started working at my current company as an executive accountant, although I’d made a lower pay compared to before, but, the coworkers got along very well with each other. During this time, I’d still kept contact with May, and she’d from time to time, told me of the office goings-on since I’d left.

Later on, May finally learned what her assistance was all about, and felt bad about having misunderstood me from before. Every time she’d told me about the happenings at my former workplace, I’d felt, so very glad, that I’d, quitted that job from before.

I’d heard, that the new executive accountant was excellent working, and the superior depended greatly on her, and the two assistants both left the job one by one, because they have different ideals about the company. And because the workers came and went too quickly, May started becoming left out by the boss, and from time to time, she’d become, the scapegoat of things, she’d felt trying.

Tonight, May lined me, and we’d shared the goings-on of our separate lives, I’d told May, that I’d not blamed her for misunderstanding me from before, instead, I was, more than grateful toward her. Having tripped and fallen, it’d made me realize a lot of things, and now, I’d learned, to become more humbled in interacting with others, and I’d not evaded my responsibilities, when troubles come up in the workplace either. I know, that maybe, May’s future may be filled with bumps, but I believe, that she too, will be like me, finding her own path in life as well.

So, this, is the goings on of an office, because the woman’s manager misunderstood her, didn’t hear both side of the story, and caused her to quit, and, this just shows, that there’s, problem from the top down, because if it’s a company that runs well, meaning that the CEO, the boss, oversees everything, then, everything and everyone below the CEO should also, work out smoothly, but it didn’t, so, it’s the operations of the company that’s having the problems, and, the narrator had, quit, and switched to a better job because of it.

An Architect Who Once Set Up a Roadside Stand to Sell Things

Living one’s own dreams, in an alternative way, translated…

As I surpassed midlife, my career is stable, my kids left the nest, it seemed, that it’s time, to be more nostalgic now; after the baptism of time, a lot of the hardships I’d weathered, stopped feeling so bitter, instead, they’d, turned sweet.

Taiwan from thirty years ago, most families couldn’t afford to send the children abroad to study. Although my husband was full of zest, worked in the firm, and studied for his TOEFL exams, but, his pay was limited, after he’d saved up every last dollar, studying abroad was still, a distant dream. Back then, my husband’s high school best friend was a contracted maker of uniforms that made the uniforms for a ton of colleges, my husband quit his job, and planned to sell the clothes for a year, to get the money for his studies abroad.

擺攤 的圖片結果selling things like these by the road side…NOT my photo…

It was, a very difficult road, my husband and his friend called up the major colleges and universities on their own, and, set up the styles, the colors, the logo, the designs, picked out the materials, then, sent the clothes to the factories to be dyed, sewn up, packaged, then, delivered to the various schools. If any of these small areas had problems, then, the orders get delayed, and they’d be grilled by the schools; sometimes, the clients didn’t like the colors or the styles, and returned the shipments, and, they’d stashed their storage sky-high, and, all of their friends, relatives, families got the benefits—everybody gets the exercise clothes for free.

Very often, my husband was rushing to send the shipments of orders out, he’d ridden his motorcycle from Taipei to Taoyuan, and along the way, there was NO other company but the stars, and the cold wind that came at him hard, riding on the roadways, he’d become half-asleep as he’d ridden his motorcycle, I can’t figure out how he’d arrived back in Taipei in one piece. Once I’d gone up to Taipei to see him, I’d waited until two in the morn, when he’d made his way into the apartment, I saw he’d, forced that smile on his face, and started crying.

Even though, he’d worked so very hard, and still, the money he’d made was, about the same as a regular nine-to-five office worker, and, a regular nine-to-five worker doesn’t even need to get so stressed out in the mind, AND the body, and work through the nights.

But, the excesses need to be rid off, and, he’d thought of an idea, called up his cousin, and, set up a roadside stand, with nothing more than a plastic mat, started selling the shirts by the roadside.

The two grown men didn’t know a single thing about vending, wrote on a cardboard, $300 each, all the passersby chuckled at them, and, after they’d lowered the prices to $200 each, still, NOBODY showed ANY interests; at which time, a woman who’d sold hair accessories hollered out to them, “The Police are Here!”, the two of them rolled up their items in a panic, ran into hiding. They’d set up these roadside stands for just ten days, and they were only, able to sell THREE sets of workout clothes total.

to this…NOT my photo…

He’s dreams of going abroad to study went bust, and can only return to the firm to work again, after we married, he’d worked and studied, and finally, earned his licensure as an architect. Because he was never able to live his own dreams, he’d used that softer attitude, as well as a more humane approach, to design houses that people would want to live in, and, he’d sponsored many children from the poverty stricken areas of the world, hoping to help them live their dreams.

Over the years, his work stood erect, on the streets of various cities, he’d even given his employees the opportunities to shine, gave them the rewards; only because he’d understood the hardships of working hard, and not being able to reach his own dreams, it’d, made him, cherish what he has right now, and give more back to others.

So, this, is how a man, turned his own inability to reach his own dreams, into the drive to help others reach their dreams, because he’d weathered through the hardships himself, so, he can empathize with others who are having a hard time striving toward their dreams right now, and that makes him a good boss to work under, and, he’d become, famous, with his designed buildings, all over the cities now.

My Neigbor, a Basket-Carrier Maker

a dying kind of handiwork…NOT my photo…

Memories from the childhood years, translated…

As Mr. Chang moved in next door, I was about four or five, because I’d heard those coming and going out of his home call him “drifting school teacher” in Taiwanese coming and going, I couldn’t help but wondered, could Mr. Chang have gotten so used to drifting, otherwise, how did he get the nickname? But, it’d never occurred to me, to ask my parents about it.

I don’t know what Mr. Chang used to do, just knew, that he’s already retired, kept a few dogs, very good with his hands, he could fix anything from hair dryer, radio, electric fans, bicycles, or anything electric………, and there would be often that people would come to him, to get him to fix something, and, he was glad, to make the extra incomes from it too.

As I grew up, I’d still visited him a lot, I’d especially loved watching him fix things, make things. Once, Mr. Chang was bored, and wanted to make some woodwork to pass his time, he’d dragged home a piece of wood from the old train tracks, started hacking away at it, told me, “This, is cypress, a very good kind of wood, don’t look at how dirty it appears to be, it’s actually quite sturdy inside.” He’d shown me the inside, and the air was, filled with the aromas. I’d asked him, what he was using it for? He’d told me, “Just watch!”

And, two days later, the project was finally, taking form, it was, a “wooden sword”! About 4’5, a little taller than I was. After sanding it down, it’d shown that natural shine and slipperiness, and I’d loved it so. But, Mr. Chang said it wasn’t for a child to play with, but, he couldn’t deal with my begging and pleading, and finally, agreed, to give it to me. Ever since, I’d gone everywhere with that wooden sword, I’d taken it to bed with me, and slept with it too!

In a blink of an eye, forty years flew by, and, Uncle Chang died over thirty years ago too, and yet, that wooden sword looked like, it’d just been, forged from his hands, I’d, kept it, inside my closets.

a disappearing form of art, not my photograph…

I’d recalled after Mr. Chang passed on, I’d asked mom, “Why does everybody call Uncle Chang drifting instructor?” My mother told me, “Because before he’d retired, Uncle Chang worked in the woods, making the basket carriers!” Using the sturdy materials, made them into carriers, to put things or people in, then, hang it up on the railings, to cross the rivers.

So, this, was from the interaction you had with an old neighbor, and, he’d made you a toy, and, you’d kept it, and, you remember the kindness and what you’d learned from the man when you were a young child.

Happy at Work

Finding ways, to make the work routine less boring, it’s all, in your attitude! Translated…

It’s five in the evening, I’d rode home with the setting sun. I was, waiting at a red light, and saw the security guard smiling at the office close by, and, conducted the cars going in and out of the building like he was, dancing.

His arms waved up and down, his toes tapped the pavement lightly, bobbed his head up and down rhythmically, it’d made me smile. And, the rest of the passersby must be thinking: he must, really love his job.

Happy Workers 的圖片結果job satisfaction is what makes a person stays at her/his job longer…NOT my photo…

Every day, I would pass by this community on my way to work, compared to the straight face that the morning shift security guard wears, this security guard seemed to be enjoying his work even more, or maybe, he’s good at, adding a little excitement to his boring routines. With his smiles, offering his services to the residents, and managed to, infect others with his sense of joy too.

My friend once asked me, isn’t it bored, to work in the offices of a school? I’d smiled and told that it wasn’t, so long as I’m an interesting person, no matter what I do, I will find fun in it. And, no matter how interesting the work, as you’d done it longer, it would become, boring and matter-of-fact, and, how to enjoy oneself working, is all in your attitude.

The office work at school is really formatted, but, my conversational side made me excited, when I’m around others, and, other than doing my office work, I’d enjoyed carry on in conversations with the students, as well as the instructors too. Some of the instructors would share with me, their secrets of memorizing ALL the characters in the dictionaries, that when he’d gone abroad to study, he’d even competed in the Spelling Bees with the American students, and managed, to defeat them one by one; there was a student who’d shared with me her flirtations with a boy that she’d kept a secret from everybody she knew, or the gossips of the departments. And, all of these to me, was like reading up on the short stories, adding that extra “zing” to my work.

ifonly, work can be like this every single day, WHO would quit???  Not my photo…

While I was still in school, I’d carried so many hopes and dreams about work, and, I’d set up the goal, of working in someplace interesting, that I would’ve, NEVER considered an office job; but, I’d worked in the cram schools, media, and in the tech industries, I’d found, that as I’d started each of my jobs, I’d felt thrilled because it’s all new, and after awhile, burnout sets in, after I’d gotten used to working, and that because of the goals of work, I’d become, pressured, because there’s that standard operating procedure that I must follow down to the “t” that it’d become, boring, that only with a heart, happy at work, I won’t have the workday blues.

So, this, is something that someone notices about herself, that she gets bored easily, and, there was that freshness that comes with each and every new job she’d had, and, after the honeymoon phase, she’d felt bored again, and, it wasn’t until she’d realized this, did she finally, find a way, to change her own perceptions, and watching the man directing the traffic flow of the community, seeing how someone can enjoy himself that much, doing such a boring job every single day, was a wakeup call she’d needed!

Philosophy of Eating at Noon

The lunch hours are here!!! Translated…

For the years past, I’d had my lunches at the station of the hospital ward where I worked, being a fast-eater was a habit I’d picked up back then. Normally, I would have my lunches, in front of the computer screens, and, skimming through the websites, webpages, after I’m done with my lunch, then, it’s time, to get back up, to take care of everything in the afternoon hours.

lunch hour at the office 的圖片結果just RUSH, RUSH, and R-U-S-H through it!!!  Not my photo…

I’d always felt, that how a person treats her/himself reflected how s/he lives her/his life, or how s/he handles the various situations that comes towards her/him—eating the healthier food items, it was, for the sakes of our health, and, eating so we don’t work on an empty stomach, that, was for the sake of livelihood; eating leisurely, it’d showed how easy life is for the individual, and, eating fast, because we were forced to. I’m probably the latter, just like those members of the working class, gazing up at the clock, and always, to find, that this small moment of joy called lunch time is almost up.

And so, as I’d looked forward to those weekends when I wasn’t on duty, I’d waken up close to noon, and, ate my first meal as lunch, or even, afternoon tea. And only on this day, I’d chewed my foods so thoroughly, and, put all my focuses on “eating”, that, was a luxury of time, the philosophy of slow-eating—or, maybe, I’m just, comforting myself, like a person who’d played tricks: look, I am, nice to you, every once in a while, aren’t I???

or, you can, treat yourselves kinder like this…but, there’s that chance, of being “blacklisted” by your superiors…NOT my comic!!!

So, we all, rush through lunch, because life has us pressed hard, we’re at the office, and, seeing how much work we still have, piled UP on our desks, we felt compelled, to finish what we’re all working on, so, we often, don’t pay that much attention to lunch, or sometimes, we may, even, SKIP lunch, then, go out for some afternoon tea time as our workloads become lighter, because that, is how the workplace puts strains on our schedules, and what can we do? Nothing, because, we need to work, to make the money, so, we can afford the necessities of roof over our heads, etc., etc., etc.

Sisters Who Worked as Modern-Day Midwives, the Features of Women

Jobs, that give you the satisfactions, translated…

A short while ago, the two daughters who are both midwives shared their experiences on homebirths in Taichung and Pingdong separately, they’d taken in the award-winning documentary about their work from the 2016 Hsinbei City Documentary award, “Congratulate to Me for Being Pregnant”, to share with us.

This was a film spanning across four years, every time the subject of childbirth comes up, people would think of “hospitals” and “pains”, some of the women would even get so scared that they dared not have children at all; in order to break the myths, the directors, Yu-Ting Su and Yu-Ching Chen, who were both mothers followed several pregnant women around, filmed their experiences of giving birth, and, made it into a complete film.

In the short thirty-minute worth of film, the pregnant women who’d chosen homebirths, not only were they accompanied by their husbands and other children through the process of giving birth, with the help of the midwives, the mothers-to-be were all very relaxed, which was a strong contrast to the tensions, the anxieties present at the hospital births.

這對姊妹花彼此為對方接生寶貝,年近耳順的我,在本月也將迎接第四個外孫的到來,身為...from UDN.com…

My two daughters in this documentary played both the roles of midwives AND mothers-to-be. Watching this film, it’d, impacted me a lot. Seeing the process of my daughters giving birth, I can’t help, but recall to when I gave birth for the first time some thirty odd years ago at the hospital; the only way to describe what happened was, chaos. Back then, I lay there, on that icy cold hospital bed, hurt like crazy, I’d felt, more isolated and alone than I ever felt, compared to how the mothers-to-be in the film, accompanied by the gentle massages of the midwives, guidance, in a familiar environment, their home, to give birth, and being able to hold their own newborns in their arms as the infants came, it’s, a total, contradiction.

Back then, my youngest daughter held on to her own beliefs, chosen the nursing major with her high grades, wanted to be in the realms of nursing at the hospitals, to help on the frontlines; in her sophomore year, she’d started interning with an experienced midwife to learn the skills. During her time in grad school, her older sister was having her first child, and, in the help of her instructor, she’d, helped delivered the very FIRST baby of her career as a midwife—her own nephew. My eldest who’s also a nurse, after experiencing the feelings of homebirth, she’d worked hard, to study, so she could into the graduate study of working as a midwife, after several years’ worth of professional training, she’d become a member of the occupation alongside her younger sister.

a professional midwife checking on her patient, photo from online…

These sisters helped each other delivered their babies, close to age sixty, I’m about to, welcome my fourth grandchild this year, I’m truly proud, to be the mother, of these two, modern day midwives!

So, this, is totally different from giving birth in the hospitals, because, you’re at home, in a familiar place, that, is why you’d probably be, very relaxed, compared to the hospitals’ delivery rooms, and, who wouldn’t want to give birth to babies in a calm and collected environment, right???