The Nomadic Adman

Just an ordinary day of working his job, translated…

“I can’t see the traffic light change behind me, so I keep an eye out on the lights up front.  It would change a few seconds sooner compared to the one behind me, I’d gotten out of the way of the coming traffic, and stay off to the side of the roads, or the island in the middle of the road.”

He’d told me that since he left his job at an computer company, he’d originally wanted to treat this job as a transitional thing, and yet, he’d spent two whole years, passing out the ad papers on the streets; and perhaps, the streets were like a river, going between the cars in the traffic could, help him pass the days quicker.

“I’m not that old, so I get assigned to passing out the adds, those holding out the signs were mostly elderly or handicapped folks.  In the mornings, the pick up drivers leave us at the locations, and as the day ended, the pick up drivers would come and pick us up, sometimes, I’d felt, like we’re, people who were, left to graze on our own.”

illustration from the papers online【青春名人堂】阮光民/放牧派報人

“Then, would you work in the same locations?”

“Not normally”, at this time, the lights turned red, he’d, bid me farewell, “Well, I’m off now.”  But I’d not left, watched him going in-between the traffic.  As he’d returned to the side of the roads, I’d asked him, “Why don’t you just pass these ads out outside the malls?”

“I’d get chased off by the security guards, I’d always, stayed far off from the entrances of the shops, even as it rained, I’d still selected the public spaces, like the busstops or other public places.”

A group of people started going across with the signaling of the little green man now, he’d told me, “bye-bye now, I’m off.”

There may be so many times he says goodbye during a day, he knew, that he wouldn’t be here at this location tomorrow.

As I left I’d found, that I’d not, helped him with even ONE flyer.

And so, this, is how this man in transition worked, and, this transitional position he’d found, became kinda permanent, and, he’s, very content staying where he is, and passing out the flyers here on the streets is considered a job that nobody would want to do, or that it would be people’s last resorts, and yet, this man takes pride in what he was doing.

 

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Just Another Man Who Broke Her Heart…

Just another man who broke her heart, only, only, it wasn’t, quite the same like all the last times!  She’d, actually, felt something, she doesn’t quite know yet what that was, for him…

It was, the very first time she’d ever felt so connected, with another person, and this, was something, she’d always, hoped to find, in a man, and then, just like, ALL those LOSERS she’d ever dated, he’d gone, and broken her heart too.

like thisimage from online

At first, she’d still, attempted to convince herself, that he wasn’t like all those, other LOSERS, that there was a VALID reason for why he did what he’d done to her, it must’ve been her fault, for he was, perfect, in every way!

Just another man who broke her heart, nothing more, she’d, heard her mind tell her heart… “you’ll find another man who really, truly, cherishes and loves you soon”.  But, her mind was in doubt, ‘cuz, he was, the best she’d ever had, and now, it was, over…………

Just another man who broke her heart, and her heart was, never the same again, after she’d, trusted him wholeheartedly, with her own heart, and after he’d, thrown it away, tossed it to the floors, watched it break, and just, left her, broken heart.

The Discoveries of Camels

攝影/梁正宏photo that came attached to the article, courtesy of UDN.com

Lessons of life, and love, with a photography attached, translated…

I’d found myself, in the vast desert of Morocco at the end of winter.

Woke up really early, I was ecstatic as I saw under the sun that’s rising up slow, the camels were, kneeled down, like those old Buddhist masters in meditation.

I can’t help but be reminded of the sunset from the day before.

My friend set up the herd of camels to take us to the top of the sand dunes to watch the sunset.

All the way, that vast extension of the desert seemed endless, resembling the beliefs of what made us human in the Buddhist beliefs.

I sat on the camelback, followed the lead of that old Buddhist master, flipped through the verses of the years, trying to understand life.

Does everybody have a set of her/his own verses?

My friend said, many years ago, she’d fallen for a man who lives on the Moroccan desert.

As they were contemplating on marrying, as the man came to Taiwan to ask her father for her hand, her father got angered, and refused to see the man.

He’d patiently waited out by the door, begged the whole night through.

And finally, he’d moved her father by saying, “I’d rather STARVE to death than to put your daughter through any pains.”, finally, successfully, got her father to nod to their marriage……………

As I heard, I’d remembered the past, and yesterday, my friend didn’t ride on camel back, instead, she’d, walked alongside.

Yeah, certainly, she’d, already come to understand, that her father was like that old Buddhist master, can only, lead her part of the way in her life.

And so, this woman learned, that true love is what her friend sought, and she’d, found it too, in a man from a distant land, and, her father was finally, okay with the fact, that she was, marrying into a distant land, where there is, a lacking of resources, because the man had a ton of love for his daughter.

An Elderly American Visiting Taiwan on Her Own

An elderly woman, choosing her independent lifestyle, flying solo to places in the world, this, is a role model of how the elderly years should be, translated…

The American, Angie, was an elderly woman I looked after as I worked as a caretaker of the elderly when I’d lived in the midwestern states in the U.S. a couple of years ago, she had an open heart surgery, had the stents, she lived alone since her divorce.  My primary duty when I visted her was when she bathed, and I’d heard any noises, I was to, rush in, and dial 9-1-1 for her.

like this???查看來源圖片photo found online

Thankfully, I’d not needed to do that, in the small living room of her house, with the huge wooden racks, the two of us, around the same age, got along just fine.  Turns out, that Angie worked for the Postal Services, at age fifity, due to her arthritis, she couldn’t stand for a long time, so she’d, retired.  The wooden racks was bought from the post office, there were, the dozens of slots, used, to display these items; there was also, a porcelain doll dressed in traditional Chinese clothes, and the lamps close by shone that gentle light.  Don’t know if it was because Angie’s daughter working in Japan, or she just loved the Asian things, she’d gone to the Buddhist ritauls in Vietnam; and as she’d met me, who’s also, a Buddhist, she’d felt awful, why couldn’t we have, met up sooner!

Before my return back to Taiwan, she’d invited me to her home, with three dogs, five cats to eat, there were, the freshly picked cherries, fresh out of the oven apple pie, pizza, and, there was, a row of various teas in her kitchen, even the tea leaves from the higher up altitudes of Taiwan too.  After I’d returned to Taiwan, we’d chatted every now and then via Facebook, two years later, she’d gone to Japan to visit her daughter, and asked if she could visit me in Taiwan too?  I was more than ecstatic, to have this friend from afar who was coming to visit me, especially, an American who is, so into, Eastern Asian cultures.

Angie booked her own flight, her hotel online, she got on the shuttle bus of the hotel she was staying, and asked to meet me in Taipei.  I’d gone, and, as I walked in, I saw that blonde woman, with her cane in the lobby, she’d first flown for twenty hours to join a Japanese tour group locally, then, made her way to Taiwan for a short visit with me, and, several days as her daughter had the time, she will be flying back to Japan to meet up with her, then, she is to fly back to the U.S.  She’d not felt it trying, having to make so many stops on her trip, that was, very surprising to me.

We’d gone to visit the local temples, unsurprisingly, being an eastern culture fanatic, she’d loved the century old temple; as she walked, she was in awe of what she saw, and, we’d bumped into the early evenining rituals, I’d found her a Buddhist verse volume, and she’d, sat on the walkways, and started, reciting along with the monks.  There was a Chinese character that she couldn’t recognize, she’d still carried the book of Buddhist verses, and, as the chants continued, she’d, read it aloud, and, got the passersby’s attention.

We’d gone to visit the C.K.S. Memorial Hall, as the guards were changing their shifts, it’d made her so excited, said she’d never seen anything quite like it; we’d gone to the nighit markets, she became so surprised, that there can be, som any different lives that are happening at the same time on just one street; I took her home to stay, my dog started barking like crazy, it’d, scared her so.  The following day I took her to a nearby hotel, and, we’d found her room, unlocked the door, there was a small elevator on the right side, on the left, there was her room.  And the elevator was, specifically, set up for her personal use, we’d looked at one another, said, “Unique!”, and later, as I read the advertizements of the place—Motel for Rendezvous, and I’d understood, what the elevators were, but I’d not, explained it to her, she came from a small conservative town.

As we entered into the room, Angie placed that golden statue of the Goddess of Mercy, along with the bag of all her needed medications onto the counters.  The room was surprisingly huge, the doublebed behind the small living room had that romantic drape around it, Angie said, perhaps, it’s because she’s a foreigner, and the hotel wanted to give her a good impression, that was why they’d, set up her room like such.  Other than the sauna in the bathroom, there was a small-sized bathtub resembling that of a small swimming pool, she’d immediately told me to stay with her, to enjoy the hot tub with her!

I’d gone home to get my change of clothes, as I made my way through her motel room door, she had her hair tied up, she had on her glasses, with her long black robe, sat, reading a very thick book, she was so serene, with that fierceness of a high level manager of an office.  I’d told her how it’d made me feel, seeing her like this, “Really?”, she’d lifted up her brows, answered lightly, and, I’d, gazed over into her luggage, saw there were, six, seven more books!  And, I thought about how my best friend and I would only bring the empty suitcases so we can fill them up with all of the things we bought on our trips, it’d made me feel ashamed, it’s a wonder, that she had that flair about her.

Getting the sea breezes, going to the tea restaurants, having the charcoal spicy fish, several days later, she’d told me, that she’d not felt well at all, and suddenly, it’d dawned on me, that she had, needed the tentative care of a nurse, and yet, I’d, dragged her to all those places, if something were to happlen to her, what will I tell her daughter?  Should I, take her to the hospitals?  Angie diagnosed herself, “so many weird foods these past couple of days, I think my digestive tract is missing the U.S. now!”  is it the burgers and the fries?  And so, in the pouring rain, we carried that overturned umbrella hid out into a taxi, searching for what she needed, “simple spaghetti with cheese.”

As we entered into an Italian restaurant, Angie gestured and articulated to the chef how the American spaghetti is made, as she’d devoured the plate of food from the no menu restaurant, I saw how color returned back to her face, and that look of satisfaction from her, and it’d made me realized, that “the human stomach is the MOST patriotic organ!”  Like how I’d walked the streets of the U.S., in the drizzling rain, searched, for the traditional Taiwanese noodle soups…………

Seeing how weak she still is, I’d, canceled out all of our itinerary for the final day, we’d, squatted in the motel to read, and to chat, that was when she’d told me something thrilling, that she’d just, undergone a surgery.  I’d noted how she’d used her towels repeatedly, that she’d not wanted the maids to come into our room to change the sheets, other than protecting her own privacy, she’d felt that the sheets aren’t that dirty yet, and, this was sharply in contrast with “I’m spending the money, to get all the services!”

The following day, Angie turned back to normal, and was on her way to Japan, and, I’d waved goodbye, to Angie, who was flying solo again, and, imagined if I could one day, fly over tens of thousands of miles away from home, if I’m, immobilized like she.

And so, this, is how this American woman chose to live her life independent even as she is older, and that, is aging gracefully, she’s living her dreams, traveling to all the places she wants to travel to, visiting all the sights, making a ton of new friends, and staying in touch with her old acquaintances too.

A Barista

Altered his dreams, set his goals, and, he’s, well on his way, to achieving everything in his life, translated…

“Had it not been the car wreck I got in, I may still be kneading the doughs, learning how to make the breads.”

He said, every time the cold wind blows, his right hand and foot would still feel sore, and, as his body felt sore, he’d gotten reminded of the segments of his crash.  “Drinking down the coffee, having all the memories of what the coffees meant, how it’d felt to you, committed to your brains, it’s a similar process; it’s just that it’d relied on the repeated interaction of connecting my olfactory sense and gustatory sense.”

As he’d healed from his car wreck, he’d sent out numerous résumés, in the end, only two companies wanted to hire him, like the shape of the beans, everything started, at ZERO for him.

“It took me three months to learn to grind up the beans, the machines I’d used at the beginning couldn’t set up the amount of the ground coffees, I’d needed to use my feel and my experience, then I’d learned to make the foams, and then, make the patterns, four years later, I’d learned how to make the coffees by hand.”

He’d poured the hot water in a circular motion, down onto the filter, the found coffee started bubbling, I’d asked him why it was like this?

the sketch from the papers【青春名人堂】阮光民/零咖逼courtesy of UDN.com

“ ‘Steaming’, this only happens when you make the freshly grounded coffee.  It’s a process of how the water and the ground coffee interacted, to create carbon dioxide.” He’d watched the powders take in the water, and, used the time the coffee is dripping to explain to me.

“Did you also learn how to bake the coffee beans too?”

“All baristas would want to learn it, and we’d all, wanted to be, certified as well.  And, becoming certified is for how we can tell how much time goes into baking of the beans, and even if I will be able to, bake the beans to give off the taste I liked, it would give me a higher sense of achievement, than just being certified as a barista.”

And so, this man has his dreams, and it’s all due to his accident, and, he’d found something, that he can connect his experience of being in that car wreck from a day to day basis, and, he’d, learned to live with what happened to him, found a hobby of making the coffees, and now, he set up his goals, in the area of expertise he’s working towards, being a professional baker of coffee beans.

The Day I Got Printed on the Newspapers

Something you did, that made everybody aware, that’s, changed you, in ways you didn’t even realize, translated…

On the day my illustration was printed out on paper, that was the day my friends and I gathered for our archery practices.  Back then, as we were all starting to pack up our things, putting up the bows, folding our clothes up needly, suddenly, B took out a section of the papers, silently, placed it on the tables, opened it up, C saw the article he’d shared on FB earlier this morning, his eyes lit up, “So, it’s printed out!”, he held up his cell phone, and said, as he captured the image of the paper onto his camera, and everybody became excited like we all found a new species of living organism, cramped around the table, “Wow, amazing, we’re all, printed on the papers now!”, B said, that he ran to many shops, and was only able to, buy a copy of United Daily News, and at this very moment, I got to take a look of how it’d looked, in print ofr the very first time.  “Yep, other than the websites, you can all find it in the printed version of the newspaper too.”  I’d replied, and wondered, why it was, that everybody was, so very, excitd like children discovering a star as they saw the paper.

and here’s the illustration, from UDN.com…我為自己寫的〈弓道〉所繪製的插畫。 圖/Noveala

That’s about right, it’s, this part of me, taking on the casese, I’m already, used to having my illustrations printed on the papers now.  But, thinking back, the very first time, my illustration was printed out on paper, I don’t remember ever getting so excited like my group members……but, it was mom who woke up bright and early, went to the super convenience shop to get a copy of the papers, and all day long, she’d, gloated.  Everybody around me had already been, my “readers”, and I became, a part, of this bigger “production” of things, it’s just, that seeing everybody getting all excited, I’d felt, very proud of myself.

I’d written the article for the “Illustration & Words” column, the column got started back in April of 2018, and, my very first time getting printed, was saved, and, it got folded up to weird shapes, and pinned by the magnets on the bulletin board of our dojo.  Seeing how the colors of gray and white originally, slowly turning yellow, I thought of how taking up archery related to my own life, and, how will next year, and the year after next go?  The art of bowing wasn’t even hard of two, three years ago, and now, it’d, become a huge part of my life.  I’d also thought about, how back in college, I’d, never imagined to be doing the illustrations for this long a time, and, I’d produced this work back in 2018, how will 2019 go?  Who, what will I bump into in the future, I’m truly, looking forward to everything in my future.

here’s the writer’s “self-portrait” from UDN.com自畫像。 圖/Noveala

And so, this, is a sort of a track-back to the start of your career as an illustration artist, and, your friends’ and families’ excitement sort of, infected you, you’d not felt that special about it, like it was, only a sort of a job, but for your friends and families, they are, very excited to see the articles, the illustrations about them that you did get printed out on the papers.

The Exorcisms of Memories of You, of Us

I’m possessed still, by these memories of you, of us, and I’m, in desperate need, of an effective, exorcism!  And so, I’d, called up a priest, but, he’d not helped at all, because, even AFTER he’d performed the rituals, the memories of you, of us, are still, active and alive and well, inside of my mind!

what I’m in desperate need of查看來源圖片photo found online

The exorcisms of the memories of you, of us, of how you’d, made me feel, I can still, feel your fingers, running up and down my body (yeah right, and get REAL, you LOSERS!!!), how you’d, planted your, sweetened kiss on my ab, how you’d, stroked me here, and there (ewwwwwwwwwwwww, get AWAY from me, you PERVERT!!!).  All of that, still, lingered on, like the detectable scent of you in my life.

The exorcisms of the memories of you, of us, I really need to, get rid of them all, I’d already, TRASHED every physical memories of you and I, burned ALL those love letters, the photos, in that HUGE bonfire of a home wrecked, but, as the smokes started rising, the ashes, they’d, STUCK, and the scent of the burns, it’d, clung on my sweater, too tightly, and no matter how many washes I’d done on my clothes, they’re all, still there, and I’m at my wits end, on what I can do…

查看來源圖片artwork found online

The exorcisms of the memories of you, of us, I’d even, done a séance to make its passing smoothly, and I thought, I was, already done, but, last night, as I’d, drifted into sleep, those memories came back, to BITE me again!!!

I really don’t know what I can do, to RID myself of all these memories, maybe, I should, get out there, on the dating scene again, but I’m still, not yet over you, and so, I am still, not quite ready yet, to get back out there………