Dumpling Sister's Thoughts
3.20.2007 Traveling South (Chinese Version)
Riding in a bus that was going south from Taipei, when the rain was drizzling along the streets of the Taipei city, the scene changed one after another. The faint sound of the rain as it hit the roof of the bus. I couldn’t hear the sound of the cars outside but only the sounds of two school kids exchanging French fries. I saw my reflection from the window, and noticed that it had turned dark outside. The faint yellow street lights led the way to home for each travels on the street, and the faint light of the overhead light in the bus shone upon my notebook.
Busy streets with high volume of traffic, outside the window
Quiet moment with the self and with slight worries, inside of the window
A mountain after another being passed by, a car after another being passed up, it was clear to spot my silence.
A street light after another flashed by, many cars were going south, as they left Taipei to their homes, maybe it was for the New Year’s, maybe no particular reason at all.
continued, the driver had put down his cell phone, and time
Last night I was out on the night market until past ten. I was very thrilled to tell my tale of not doing any price haggling yet was able to get some movies as freebies from the store owner by having a smooth conversation. Though in the back of my mind, I was constantly anticipating that my grandpa would still be up waiting for us to go home. Expectedly, the light to his room was still lit when we arrived home. I went up to knock on the windows and he opened the door. He was complaining why we came home so late. Then he asked if there was any hot water for showering and if there was any blankets for us.
“Grandpa, I will sleep with you. You move over and make me some room,” I immediately replied but Grandpa didn’t make any sounds and walked away. I couldn’t hear his foot steps anymore so naturally I thought he went to sleep. I remembered when I just walked I noticed he was watching TV. That was usual, but what was unusual was that he was watching “Lord of the Ring”, possibly the second one, and it was not dubbed. So my grandpa was listening to English, not to mention some may sound like medieval English? That was much to my surprise. What an upgrade! Could he understand?
subtitle on it.” Grandpa answered without hesitation, though
I doubted if he could follow the plot.
When I passed
the living room I saw there was still lights on. I went to
look to see what was going on.
“Dad, why are
“Oh, I am just
looking for some blankets for her to sleep with,” Grandpa
answered plainly as a kid being caught in action.
“She is got a
place to sleep”
are afraid that I might have to share the bed with you?’ I
“No, of course not, I am not afraid of that,” Grandpa argued yet he started to walk away before we heard any more sentences from him. It was almost like fleeting from the crime scene.
I recalled the
incident from last night as I sat in a bus, with a grin on
are thinner than mine, he walks lighter than I do, he never
argues with anyone his whole life, and I really mean that.
He only says and asks how everyone is, and if everyone is
ok, and that seems to be the only thing he cares about. He
rarely talks about the wrong dong people imposed onto him,
or most of times he just never mentions about it. He only
says, “As long as everyone has good heath that is the most
It ached my heart to see his swollen feet or to see him dozing off in a rocking chair, his loneliness. I can only occasionally knock him on his head and joke with him and making Grandma shaking her head and saying I was being “out of line” with him. In the Asian culture, it is considered not polite, especially, to talk to an elderly as if they were younger, but I do that a lot with my grandpa, since it is not in his nature to complain.
I so wish to say that I could have unloaded some of burdens that he carries, the burdens he carries through a good part of his life. I so wish I could make the rest of his days worry-free.
But I can only try to capture his act, from moment to moment. I took a video camera filming Grandpa as he walked among people in a temple during the New Year’s. I can still see the qualities of the ancient Taiwanese folks.
I am writing
this before his 90th birthday, wishing him all the best.