16 Junie 2014

Tribute to Mel

Remembering you and Taipei.... the jungle of sugary sweet bread of all the colours of the rainbow, night markets with their unmistakable stinky tofu smells (I never could get close enough to try it) and thousands and thousands of people. Half of the them bloody mouthed rotting toothed spitting beetlenut.. ahem, lets be nice, gentlemen. We sought out the stalls with good soy milk drinks, coffee shops that sold pumpkin pie (Grandma Nitties) and nice big mugs of coffee, the not-so-crowded mountain walks (do you remember the spider webs?) the tea farms.
Cried together when we missed home and the smog was horrible to run in and the kids became too much.

Up Toroko Gorge in the big bus which hung so far over the precipices that we had to close our eyes or look the other way. I am glad that we only heard afterwards that every one in so many buses get flattened by rock falls and do not make the turns.  Down Toroko Gorge in the last mini bus with the movie that started over each time the bus went through a dip in the road. We must have seen the start of that movie  50 times (was it die hard 2? I can't remember, but that would have been funny)
And the very smelly gentleman sitting behind you who liked your hair so much...

Sitting on the beach at Hualien, watching the approaching taiphoon, and wondering when a good time would be to take the train back to Taipei. Or if we should just hole in and have a good reason not to go to school the next day. I still think we should have... when will we ever have time to experience a taiphoon THAT close again?

The earthquake and the really really weird unearthly rumbling that went before it. the fear of not knowing whether it will get worse or go away. The torrential rain of the taiphoons - going out to inspect the damage in the streets as soon as we could go outside without getting swept away.

And the orchids, oh wow the orchids!  The market under the bridge every weekend, sending orchids home in a box labeled stationary every few weeks.  Vaguely knowing that its not really allowed, never knowing that a few years later I would be intimately acquainted with the SA plant quarantine system and it's people. 

 One of them still survives.
I wish I could remember more Chinese...I do say hi and how are you and count to 10 with the lady at the china shop who gives toys and hugs to my son when he walks out with a basket that he thought we could use, without even thinking about the fact that we should buy it first. The beautiful innocence of youth. 

You were and always will be an inspiration to me, Mel. I am proud to be your friend. I hope we get to meet again someday. 

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