The Era Back When We Brought the Lunches from Home

Memories of our younger school days during the lunch hours, those, WERE the good ol’ days, that’s for sure!!! Translated…

Before the nutritious lunches were provided by the schools, bringing our lunches from home was the norm. Every morning, other than our heavy backpacks, we’d also needed to take that extra packed lunch box. And because what was packed in the lunches, were usually leftovers from the night before, there’s, naturally, that lack of expectation for us.

here’s a sample of what the lunches from home looked like, photo from online…

And, although we’d lacked that sense of expectation for lunch, but, if we’d forgotten to bring our boxed up lunches, we’d be in trouble. Because we’d wanted some extra time to sleep, we’d often forgotten, the important thing (our stomach’s needs) by the entry of our houses or just, left them on the dinner tables, and if we’d not asked our parents to bring it to us, then, we had to, wait until lunchtime, and go to the school shop to buy the breads and the milk. But, I had an alternative way: with a pair of chopsticks in hand, and, go from classmate to classmate to see what they have for lunch, “reviewing” over the foods that my classmates’ parents packed, and do a “gourmet review” at the same time. We’d all great friends, and my classmates never minded, and they’d enjoyed, sharing their lunches with me too.

On my last year of middle school, I’d had my growth spurt and had an increased appetite, and my originally just ONE lunch box became too, and, “In the bigger lunch box, rice, the small one, the vegetables and meats”, became how my classmates made fun of me then.

and now, here are the school lunches provided at school now…photo also from online…

So, there’s, a LOT of memories, from your younger years of packing those lunches you steamed in your classrooms, and, back then, the students were very connected, because they’re one another’s friends in class, that is why there’s this, sort of an intimacy, closeness that they’d shared with each other.


A Ten-Day Trip Around the Island with Mom

The thoughts that goes into this trip around the island, her kids’ thoughtfulness of keeping her body as fit as it can become, translated…

My friend Yun started having changes in her body awhile ago, her left side started becoming lethargic and weak, and after she’d gone through the health exams, it was Parkinson’s in the starting stages, this made all of her three teenagers in puberty become adults overnight.

The youngest son started hanging out the clothes before he goes off to school in the morn, the youngest daughter started cleaning up the kitchens, and the eldest just entered into college, he’d used his summers to find outings to take her traveling around the island. I hadn’t seen Yun in over a year now, she’d shared with me everything she’d felt in their journeys together, I was in awe at how much love they had for one another, facing the trials of their lives, and, her happiness was, redefined by her illness too.

查看來源圖片one way to do it…by bicycle…not my photo…

Yun told me, she’d dreamed about traveling around the island for long. She’d originally wanted to bicycle around the island, but her illness caused her to lose her agility, the doctor recommended that she could walk more to help build up her muscle strengths, and after her eldest son learned this, he’d taken her around the island by foot, and insisted that they walk twenty kilometers a day.

“The first day, I’d never walked as much, by the time I got to the hotel at night, I’d fallen limp, the very next day my son asked if I was all right? That if I could walk some more, I’d told him I can, but my body told me otherwise, then, I’d walked for about an hour, and, collapsed, and so, my son took me by a cab to the hotel we were supposed to stay in on the second day. He’d told me, with his eye all red, “Never lie to me again, don’t make me worry, we must, face this bravely, okay?”, and that, was the moment I knew, that my son, is a man.

As they walked to Sanyi, Yun’s husband dropped off some stewed beef to them. The eldest son still adjusted the distance they’re to walk based off of Yun’s physical wellbeing, he’d even done Yun’s laundry too!

or by foot, not my photo…徒步環島 的圖片結果

Trekking the island for ten days was not just for Yun’s overall health, but it was an opportunity for Yun and her son to establish their connection. She’d smiled, with tears circling in her eyes, “Don’t know how long my life will be? Or how I will deteriorate? I’d not worried about that just yet, I can only take advantage of the present, especially, with the love of my husband and kids, they’re what keeps me moving, I’m truly grateful, and fulfilled!”

So, this woman’s sons were very kind and understand, and they did all they could, to help their mother maintain her physical ability, and, her illness became a blessing in disguise, because it brought her and her loved ones closer together.

That Night in Kamakura

The last trip we took together as lovers, to figure things out between us, translated…

That evening, as we walked to the aquarium in Kamakura, the lights were already, dimmed down inside, but, not far off, the tower on Enoshima was still flickering.

The wide streets extended out of the vast oceans, and the vacation homes by the beach, only a few had the lights turned on inside, we’d followed the roads, and there were, sporadic super convenience marts and restaurants, there was a huge but not at all crowded barbeque shop billboard, like those gigantic easily missed, but hard to ignored billboards by the freeways, with a few of the youths who were just, skateboarding in the plaza by the beach.

what the city looks like at night, photo from online…

Don’t know if we’d lived farther away from the stations, the streets were quieter, and opening the windows, we saw those lower older styled buildings, and the goings on of the lives of locals, with a very unique sort of a Japanese way of life to it.

Even though it was May, but the breezes in the early evenings had already, cooled back down. We sat on the steps, where we could hear the tides, singing away, there were night runners passing us by, and those pairs of friends or lovers, lighting up the fairy sticks by the beach, making it even more resembling to the scenes in the Japanese movies, with those sparks of bliss, lighting up sporadically in the dark of night.

Afterwards, we’d decided we should run home, and, the streets without the stoplights, the cars, almost sped by us fast, I, in my flipflops, and you dressed very casually, we’d still NOT had any destinations, but wanted to breathe in each and every moment hard, with the darkening of the oceans, perhaps, we’d both, wanted a guiding light, answering our inquiries of: are we our best selves already? The two souls that were sent adrift in the seas, to me, that was, the scent of being lost at age twenty-three, with the craziness, dimming out slowly, but, it was still, a happy time in our lives together.

查看來源圖片the beach in Kamakura, photo from online…

So, there’s, that strong scent of nostalgia here, of sharing something intimate with someone that you loved, and yet, perhaps, you two realized, that you’d, wanted different things in life, that, is why you took this trip together, to figure things out, and, unfortunately, it looked like, that the two of you didn’t last for the long run………

Friend, Long Time No See

Bumping into an old friend, and all the memories of your younger years just, all came back, translated…

I accidentally bumped into a classmate of mine from the elementary school years, Hsieh. There weren’t any reunions since we graduated. And it’d been, thirty years since, and, as we’d bumped into one another, “we’re both middle-aged men and women with the bellies now”, we’d made fun of one another.

“Oh, I think you’d not changed at all, you’d been chubby since you were a kid”, Hsieh added, and her words had, roused up ALL those long-forgot memories of my younger years.

“Do you recall once as we were practicing volleyball with the team at school, sudden, there was, a draft…”, before she’d finished talking, I’d hollered out in excitement, “I thought I was the only one who still remembered!”

That day, the sudden draft caused the dust and the dirt to turn into a dust storm on the fields, and, we weren’t worldly yet, and had all, hollered in excitement, “Look a cyclone!”, the few volleyballs on the ground were, rolling all over the places, and this “cyclone” had carried up the hats the students placed by the side of the volleyball court.

Watching those orangy-yellow caps turning in the wind, we’d all become, dumbfounded, treated the hats as people, we’d screamed, “Help! Help!” and the hats were carried off, about a dozen meters, causing this huge ripple in our simplistic elementary school years.

“But, I’d remembered the most, that we were all practicing sports, and you were singing by us, ‘let me tell you a secret place………’ then, the cyclone came.” Hsieh’s memories roused up mine too. Back then, I was nicknamed Fatso, but because they’d needed extra players on the team, so I got called up. And, the practices every morning wasn’t what Fatso was supposed to do, but, unfortunately, I can only help pick up the balls, and used my own way, to self-entertain.

“I saw you on the papers, I’m really glad for what you’d accomplished and what you’re doing now”, Hsieh turned the subject, and I don’t know if I was mistaken, but I think I saw a hint of sorrow from her eyes.

“Reading the news, I knew you still lived in Shulin, and that your parents were gone. I remember, that once a couple of us went to your parents’ shops, and Mrs. Yao gave each of us a bowl of shaved ice, with the toppings filled to the top…”, Hsieh seemed to have been even more immersed in the past now, each word she’d spoken, was with fuller emotion.

“You know, I actually stayed here too, and now, I’d, moved back home. It’s weird, how we’re, living in the same areas, and, this place is so small, and yet, it took us a whole of thirty years, to bump into one another.” What I was thinking of, as I heard this from her, got taken aback, I’d feared, that I may have, roused up something in the past for her.

“What are you doing now?”, I’d inquired, I’d wanted to switch to a more manageable topic, so we can carry on in conversation.

“Nothing much, I’m a housewife, I didn’t go to college, unlike you.”, ‘d recalled, that in the elementary years, she’d always made the high grades, and gone on behalf of the school to compete in a drawing contest, she was, multi-talented; don’t know if she’s being humble, or that she wanted to divert from talking about herself. As she talked, the wrinkles from the corners of her eyes would become this deep groove, I’d tried hard, to picture what she looked like as a child in my memories, that naturally curly hair, with a somewhat noble look, like the Sweet Girl from the cartoons—what had happened to through the years, and in her life, that’s, made us, into who we are right now?

“You loved to sing so, and, became a mime.”, I recall how we both fought for the first-place title of the singing competitions, we were both nervous, both wanted to win, there was a period, when I’d hummed, “I’ll wait for you by the docks, there’s a light drizzle coming down…”, I’d really wanted to ask this newfound classmate from my childhood, “You’d loved to draw so much, do you still draw now?”, but I just, couldn’t manage it out.

“We’ll see one another more then, old classmate!”, Hsieh, with her shopping basket in hand, and patted me gently, I’d held her wrinkled hands tight, it was, warm, and firm.

I think, everybody has her/his own stories, the way they coped with their separate lives, with a story of our own, it’s just, that it goes, without telling.

So, this is, bumping into an old classmate from your elementary school years, and, over twenty years had passed since, and, you are both, no longer who you were back then, so many things had, changed, you’d weathered through the separate storms of your separate lives, to get to where you currently are in life right now…

The Hesitant Autumn Heat

The heat doesn’t seem to subside, does it, although it’s, already the autumn now, translated…

He’d Taken the Large Strides Step by Step, Walked Along Ren-Ai Road

Recalling Everything that’s Happened in the Summertime

Like the Jungles of Africa

With that Scent of Busyness of Life

查看來源圖片like this???  Photo from online…

He’d Returned by Accident

And, Felt Compelled to Go on a Hunt Now

But Toward the Sudden Return of Summer Past

People Felt Displeased, and that’d Made Him Hesitant

He’d Found a Hiding Place Behind the Trees

Watched the Passing by Lovebirds Fought Because of the Temperatures Rising Back Up

He’d Felt, a Bit, Ashamed Now

Perhaps, He Shouldn’t Have, Returned?

with the sun, still quite fierce in the autumn season, not my photograph…

But, His Bones are Still Quite Strong and Agile

Mind, Clearer than Ever Before———

And Yet He’d Become, the Heated Days of Autumn

A Handsome, But Unwelcomed Guest

He’d Still Followed Ren-Ai Road and Kept on His Way

Recalling the Endless Wonders of the Summertime

Along with the Endless Parties

And, that Unspoken Blood in Trace Amounts

查看來源圖片the autumn sun, firece like the tiger, not my cartoon…

He’d Felt, Perhaps, He’d Gone, Sentimental?

That He’d Become, Too Keen on the Memories

And Became So Doubtful on His Hunt Now

Without Knowing

That that Street He’d Trekked Down Had, Fallen into a Deep Sleep

So, this is on how suddenly, the seasons changed, and although the seasons changed, the heat was still there, and, that is how it’ll be now, the summer gets too hot, and, the autumn that follows it, won’t get cooled too much either!





If We Only Meet Once in Our Lifetimes

Walking through life, translated…

The masters are lecturing in the CKS Memorial Hall, “If we can turn back the hands of time, I’d rather not go back to my youth, I’d spent THIRTY years learning, studying, finally, I’d gotten, to where I currently am today, why would I want to return to before?  Why must I, relive the past?”, everybody in the audience is composed of the elderly generations, I looked around me, some agreed, and smiled on, and others shook their heads, naturally, they didn’t agree with this view.  “Now is the perfect time”, the master told us.

As the lecture was over, my friend and I walked, down Xinyi Road.  I’d prodded at her with the words of the master, “Do you think this is the best moment too?”, without a second thought, she’d stated, “Of course.”  My friend is around my age, lived for three decades in the U.S., until her husband passed away from illness, and her two daughters found wonderful husbands to marry, then, she’d picked herself up, to return to Taiwan to live.  Because she’d worked hard in her younger years, saved up enough, that was how she was able to not have any worries of money, with more than enough money to spend, she’d regularly volunteered at the hospitals, and took up many classes at the community colleges, and traveled around too.  “This sort of a life, so leisurely, so free, this, IS the best moment in my life right now.”, she’d stated, then, she’d turned to me, asked, “Don’t you think so too?”

We took a rest at Da-An Forest Park, the forefront of this park was the illegally built residents, as I just got married, I’d, lived here once for ten years, the house was so awful, every time it’d rained outside, the roof would leak too.  In the decade we lived there, there were, a total of NINE big and small fires, the most serious time came around winter of 1982, I’d come home from work, shocked, to find over a hundred residences, got swallowed by the blazes, and, our place of stay, destroyed completely, the family of six of us suddenly was, without a place to stay, and yet, my dumb husband carried the stack of photo albums and gloated to me, that he’d, risked his life, rushed back into the fires, to save these.  At that very moment, I’d realized, how blessed I actually was, that losing anything material was no big deal, we’d originally didn’t have anything, and, this, is as WORST as it gets, we can start over again, but, with a soulmate who’d, cherished, who knew me well, that, is precious!

I’d always loved Xinyi Road, I’d often strolled, and, in a moment’s time, I’d, arrived to Da-An Forest Park, I’d once passed through the hardest time of my life, the darkest, and, those awful pasts, as I’d, touched them, they’d, still hurt, and yet, why am I still, hanging on?  IF I can walk through time, go back to the past, I’d still chosen these illegally built places, with the whole family, cramped together, and dreamed of a better life for all of us, staring up, at that leaky rooftop.not my photograph…

But my friend wasn’t convinced, she’d, minced her lips said, “Are you crazy?  You’d wanted to get back to that?  Then, you’re, willing, to throw away ALL of your hard work through all these years then?”, she’d believed, that now should be, the best time of my life, that I’d already, weathered through the hardships of my life, that I should start, enjoying the rest of my life from here on out.

And I get all of that.  There’s nothing that lasts eternally in the world here, seeing it as is, the skies, either sunny or gray; people, either together, or apart; the roads, high, or low.  Everything that’s past, because but smokes, it’s just, I’d, stopped, from time to time, to trace the steps I took to get here, and I’d often thought: if everything is happening for the very first time in our lives, wouldn’t it, be wonderful?

So, this, is something, that someone with the years underneath her/his feet can come to, because this woman had weathered through the majority parts of the trials of her life, and she’d been through the ups, and the downs, that nothing will ever, scare her, she has her loved ones with her still, and that, is all that mattered to her…

A Picture of You I Still Kept…

There’s, a picture of you I still kept, inside the folds on my wallet, I guess, as a reminder, of what?  I can’t recall now!

A picture of you I still kept, I wanted, the memories of us to keep on flowing, like that ever-winding river we had that first picnic, where you’d told me you love me for the very first time.

A picture of you I still kept, but why?  I got no need, for these memories that are already, flushed down the toilets, and yet, I still, can’t quite, throw away, these better shared days of our lives together, why is tt, huh?  Did I not, mourn long enough, for this love I’d lost in you already?  Or, am I just, torturing myself here???

something like this??? Photo from online…

A picture of you I still kept, no I don’t, I have ZERO need for photos, photos fade, remember???  And, when we get our photos done, we always say “CHEESE!”, and, how long do you think that “cheese!” will last, forever?  My facial muscles are getting sore here!!!

So no, I don’t keep ANY pictures, because I have a photographic memory, and, who needs pictures, to remind me of my FUCKED up younger days as a child?  Burned that entire pile up already (Well, more like torn it all up to bits and pieces!!!