Helping her mother find that hobby, to boost her self-confidence, and, she was able to, and now, the parent goes everywhere with her camera, translated…
“Let me tell you, my photos got sold! Yeah, yeah, my daughter sold them for me online………”, that familiar conversation came from the living room, I’d counted it, my aunts, the next door neighbor, that’s, the FOURTH call today.
Since I’d told my mother this morning, that I’d sold her photograph, my mom didn’t react that much, but, within an hour’s time, she’d, called up FOUR of our relatives and friends, to share this, big news.
After she got off the phones, she couldn’t, hold back that grin, walked next to me told me, “I think the rest of the photos are pretty darn good, won’t you, load them up onto the internet for me too?”
“Oh, okay!”, I’d nodded, and, how she’d, looked like she was, slowly being, lifted up into the air, and she’d, started mumbling on, “I can go to the parks, to take more photos…”
Recalling a few years back, every time I’d gone traveling with mom, we’d always fought over the photos, either that she’d felt I’d spent too much time, to make sure the angle was right, using her as a human tripod, or that I’d, complained that she’d, severed my head, or my feet off, we were both, very heated.
After I’d thought hard, I’d, decided, to teach my mother some skills, the setting up of the photograph, then, I’d added in, a ton of encouragements, then, shortly thereafter, mom found the fun; as she’d become the best photographer amongst all her friends, it ran out of control, I was greeted each and every morn, by her photographed “good mornings”.
Since then when we’d gone traveling, the two of us, no longer argued about shooting the photos, mom would find the sights to take the pictures and, as the photos came out pretty, everybody’s, happy. Recently, she’d, started, selling the photos she’d shot online, and, a foreigner immediately bought from her, it’d, made her, even more, confident.
“Do you think we should develop this one, and hang it in a frame in the living room?”, she’d wandered back to me again.
“What if, it’s, a frameless picture?”, she’d nodded, and, strutted back to the living room, satisfactorily.
Not long thereafter, came her voice on the phones, “tell you what, my daughter’s making my shots into the frameless paintings!”
And so, this helps the parent gain more self-confidence, and, the elderly woman found something she loves doing, because her daughter gave her the encouragements, and, people found her photos pretty, and want to buy from her.
One will, drive the other, CRAZY that’s for sure, and yet, they are, members of a family! Isn’t that something??? On how the opposites complimented one another, how they work things out, and stay in love for the long haul, translated…
Awhile ago, pops because of buying a car, got the vouchers to stay at a hotel, he’d planned a three-day trip to Kaohsiung with mom, my older sister who is experienced with these things, helped them plan the trip, made a form for them, so our parents can, see everything.
The night before departure, mom started nagging on, “there’s something wrong with the GPS on your dad’s car, I’d told him to go figure it out, he’d refused, I’d told him to have the systems checked out by the garage, he wouldn’t, that day, your older brother-in-law taught him to use the GPS navigator on his cell phone, and I don’t know if he got it down!”, pops half-jokingly replied, “What’s the hurry, huh? It’s not like I’m going to, drive you off somewhere, and sell you off, even if I sold you off, you wouldn’t be, worth, that much!”, although, dad was able to use his sense of humor, to dissolve my mother’s displease, but, to prevent them getting into argument on the trip again, my husband and I worked out a plan, I’d used a pop-quiz to test my dad’s knowledge of the GPS system, while my husband went to check my dad’s car, fixing up all the problems that he could find with the GPS install in my father’s car, then, set up all the sights to see into the GPS, so they can select at their will. After this was finished, my parents thanked us, and my mother seemed, relieved.
The two of them are, completely opposites, my dad preferred to go at it slowly, he is fitted for those, French restaurants that served the meal course by course; while my mother focuses on speed, she is fitted for the regular food shops where you go in and eat, and get out, and so, I’d felt, that they were a slow-poke, and a type-A personality, meshed together; but after close to forty years of marriage, they were still, very much in love, and, we the children came to understand, that these minor disagreements that they have, are ways they show each other I love you!
And so, this showed, how the opposites attracted, the mother was quick, the father, slow, and, they complement one another, perfectly, and, surely, there would be the disagreements from day to day, but, these members of the family knew, that they loved each other, and so, they will, work out their differences, in getting along with one another.
A preacher, with the work of God, in helping to reform the inmates who are released, giving them a set of viable skills that they can make a living off, so they are less than likely, to return back to their former ways of life, a life of crimes, off of the Newspapers, translated…
The pastor from the Ming-Der Rehabilitation Center of Tainan Penitentiary System Hu was once a successful businessman, after his failed ventures in business, after he hit her all-time low in he life, she went into the seminary school, and started spreading the gospels to the inmates in prison, saw a lot of how the drug addicts failed in getting cleaned up, she’d set up the “Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms”, to help the reformed inmates have a viable way to make a living, he’d stayed at the far all day long with the released inmates, from the beginning of the program, there’d only been one individual and now there’s, ten, the Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms became a halfway house for the released drug addicts, where they get to set up their own means to make a living for the rest of their lives.
Hu had the ups and downs in working in business, due to owing too much in debts in his business ventures, he’d lost support from his own families, became severely depressed, originally wanted to commit suicide to end his own life, he was, saved, and, made a miraculous complete recovery, he’d believed, that God saved him for a reason, and gained a whole new lease on life, in his family’s encouragement, he went into seminary school, and started spreading the gospels in prison regularly.
the photo of the man, setting up a halfway house for the released prisoners, off of UDN.com
He’d preached to the Ming-Der Rehabilitation Center of Tainan for over a year, and stayed with the addicts, and understood why many of the cases why they’d failed, primarily due to how after the inmates releases, they’d wanted to return back to the society, but lacked the environment that served as a middle ground.
He’d selected a farm as a halfway house for the reformed, released convicts, and stayed with these released inmates twenty-four seven at his farm. He said, that the halfway house acts to help an unsteady sapling, with the four sticks on four sides, the ropes, steadying the young sapling, to have it set its roots down in the stable environment, then, it can grow on its own to become, stronger.
Hu told, that the primary produces of the farm were mangoes, vegetables, and all of the released inmates at the beginning told him that they couldn’t plant it, and now, they’re, sweating along, growing the foods that they’re consuming, he bore witness to how the reformed inmates are, getting their lives back on the right tracks step by step.
Hu Supervised the Released Inmates to Get Certified.
It was three years ago when Hu started up the Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms, recently, he’d set up the “Take Me Home Workshop” in Yongkang, Tainan, selling the handmade buns with feelings, the traditional Chinese buns, and dumplings made by the inmates who’d been released from prison, helping those addicts who are trying to stay clean to have a stable sources of income, and the skills, to start off a business of their own.
“Guo”, who’d been successful in getting cleaned, had perfect skills in making the dumplings, he’d only worked odds and ends from before, thought that he couldn’t be successful, after a little over a year’s training and learning, he’d become, a certified professional.
Another released inmate, Yang already, passed his level C certification in baking, at first he’d told, “certification for me? Not possible!”, Hu asked the instructors to train him in his baking skills, and, forced him to take the skills certifications exams, “the pressure had been, enormous, but, in his pushing me, I actually, passed, I’m, encouraged by the man completely.”
And so, this is the wonderful thing this man is doing, for the released inmates, because they lacked the skills, and had been in prison for, many years, they are normally, detached from the rest of the outside world, and, this workshop served as a halfway place, a transitional place for these reformed, released inmates to acquire a skill that they can live off, to help them better support themselves, so there would be less of a chance, they’re to, return back to their former lives of crimes.
The perfect example of how to age gracefully, translated…
“Great grandma lives too far away now!”, my son told. My daughter great grandmother moved in with my aunt in Kaohsiung now, to the adults, it isn’t, that far away, but, to my daughter, who easily gets heat strokes, in a wheelchair, it’s nothing easy, going to Kaohsiung, where the sun shines constantly during the day, the temperatures, too high, and so, the winters became the only season we are able to, travel as a family.
At the start of the year, we’d taken the two kids to Kaohsiung to visit their great grandmother, and for a road trip too. We’d first arrived at the pineapple factory, where the tour guide explained the process of manufacturing of pineapples, the history of the industry, then, we’d, headed to that old ironclad hang bridge, out of my expectation there were, the people standing on the bridge; standing on that old bridge, we watched the trains speed past, hearing the noises from all around, but, what entered into my ears, were the laughter of my own children.
As their ninety-nine-year-old great grandmother saw the great grandchildren, she’d smiled that long-time-no-see smile of hers, slowly got up, walked slowly next to my daughter’s wheelchair to a stool, sat herself down, and asked, “Wen-Wen, are you tired?”, she was still very gentle and kind as I’d, remembered that she’d been to me, in the past when I’d taken my daughter to physical therapy, great grandma would come out from her house opposite to where we used to live, to hold the umbrella to cover my daughter up, compared to how aloof their grandfather who lives with us had been, my great grandmother’s show of care and concerns to our family, I was, touched by, and, felt, ever the more, grateful for.
As I’d asked about my great grandmother’s life after she’d moved to Kaohsiung with my aunt and uncle, she could still eat her favorite, pork’s feet and the crabapples too, and, she’s, just as agile as the rest of us! She’s probably, the healthiest, the most special elder I’d known, in her eighties, she would get up in the middle of the nights to watch the American Major Leagues games, in her nineties, she’d, walked herself out to buy the fried chickens she wanted to eat, and told the shop owner to not slice it to pieces, because she’d wanted to experience how the younger generations, grabbed the chickens, and started chewing them down……………
As we carried on in our conversations, the fatigue I’d felt from the trip, disappeared, little by little, as we’d, visited, my grandmother.
And so, this, is how you can, age, gracefully, like how this, elderly woman stayed active, by continue to socialize with her external environment, by having that optimism of life, by enjoying every day she has, like it was her final day on earth.
Going that extra mile in customer service skills, and this occurs only in the, distant locations, where not that many people comes by to visit, rarely in the bigger cities, because we all get caught up in our own lives in the big cities that we are living in, translated…
This is, the last gas station, before we drive up Taiping Mountain on Taiwan Seventh. The tourists would normally, fill up their gas tanks here, go to the restrooms, or maybe, bring along, a hot cup of, coffee. The elevations are going up, the roads, winding more and more, and the temperatures are surely to, drop, sharply.
In that small shop, that is a part of the gas station, the tea stewed eggs called out to me. “We have tasty eggs made with the teas, you can bring a couple up the mountains, it tastes wonderful even when it’s cold!” We were, persuaded, “if you liked these, as you pass by here when you come back down from the mountain, you can, bring a few more eggs home, it’s good for a few days.”, the worker’s smile like the sun shining, swept away the small displease of how it was, raining, we’d loved, how the store clerk was, confident about what he was, selling.
Another wok was steaming in the store, the clerk lifted up the lid for us to see. “We are the only one who sell this item here of all the chain in Taiwan, it’s the specialty food item from Hualien, very delicious, we had many frequent customers.” Seeing how his eyes lit up as he’d told us about the food, with that genuine feel of an old friend, we were, once more, convinced.
With the two eggs, two specialty food item, two hot cups of coffee, we’d, headed toward Taiping Mountain. At this time, other than the aromas of the foods, there’s, that kindness, that wonderful feel of the care and concern from the clerk. With his mentioning to us what we need to watch out for, his blessings, we’d found a perfect beginning to our trip.
And, he’d not, let us down one bit. There days later after we came back down the mountains, we went into the shop to buy some more things, thanked his suggestions, and like old friends, letting one another know that we’re, okay. And, even though, the sights were breathtaking, but, every time we’d thought back to this trip that we took, the work ethics, the kindness, of that shop clerk, was the most beautiful scene we’d, encountered on that trip.
And so, this, is on how someone who’s just doing his job, who’d, shown you a little extra care and concern, that’s, made everything better for you, and this also showed how important customer service skills are, you’re NOT just selling the items off the racks, you’re, helping someone with fulfilling her/his needs too. And, if every worker can carry this sort of an attitude, then, everyone can become, employee of the month.
Reason W-H-Y, MERS-CoV is still, on this, earth is because, we can’t coexist with it, because we all feared death too much, we keep on, trying, to ERADICATE this, virus, instead of, learning, to CO-exist in PEACE (but how, with the contraction rate getting higher, the death rate from MERS-CoV higher by the second here!!!) with it.
Think about it, like how influenza worked, from when it first came on (to the world), the humans DIED, after catching it, so they (humans from way back when!) started developing all those, flu shots, to inoculate themselves, to defend themselves against it, which in turn, caused, the FLU to HIT harder, harder, harder, AND harder each, and every year, and that, is how the MERS-CoV virus is, developing too, because it’s, a HELL of a lot, more intelligent than we humans, and it is, driven by, SURVIVAL! (unlike how we are driven, by the FEARS of, the inevitable, DEATH!).
So had we, STUPID humans (yeah, that’s what we all, ARE!!!), allow this new “breed” of virus, to TAKE enough lives away (I know, I sound cruel, don’t I??? But HECK, that, is how the truth is!!!), then, it would’ve, dissipated on its own, instead of, snowballing, growing, mutating, too quickly, compared to how those, effective vaccines are, coming out right now.
When are we (as a species!) going to learn, that we CAN’T defeat, DEATH, that if you’re meant to die, you will D-I-E, there’s NO chance in HELL (been there already, by the way!) you will, EVER, dodge, that Horseman of the Apocalypse!
Giving thanks, to something, too ordinary, noting that someone else, had been, working so hard, to keep the environment cleanly, so we can have a better place to, live in, an act of, kindness, shown, to a female janitor, translated…
Before I’d gone to the platforms to wait for the trains, I’d made my way into the restrooms, and, I’d often seen a woman in her fifties, arching her back, buried her head down, as she’d, cleaned up, the environment. I took it as matter-of-face, and never gave her an extra look.
Once, as I was washing my hands outside of the restrooms, on the other side of the ladies’ rooms, a woman came out, and, courteously, told the woman who was mopping up, “thank you for working so hard!”, the woman seemed, a little, unprepared, but she’d responded, in a light voice, “thank you.”
Before I exited I’d, taken an extra look, at the cleaning lady closely, found that there was, that light smile that’s, curled up, from her lips then, that there was, some sort of joys that was inside of her heart then.
the hard work of these, men and women, often, taken, for granted…
I’d, contemplated on it although, her job seemed, unimportant, but, as she’d, worked too hard, she’d needed, the encouragements from time to time too.
I’d watched the woman who thanked the janitor leave slowly, felt that her word, “thank you for working so very hard, entered into my heart, as that surge of, warmth too.
That plain warmth, the goings on of day-to-day the people still, coming and going, in, and out, of that, train station.
But, even if, it was, an ordinary day, you’d, bore witness, to a miracle, how that woman who’d cleaned up the restroom’s day got made, brighter, with an ordinary stranger’s commending her on how hard she’d, put in the energy, to keep the environment clean for the guests coming and going, in and out, of the stations, and these are the miniscule matters that we tend to, miss, because we’re all, running to and from, too quickly, that we normally, don’t, slow down, and notice, these, small acts of, kindness that can, have, a huge, effect on another’s life.
Oh, you want to, share my bed, death??? Sure, but, just, don’t hog all the covers, take away, all the heat!
On your, deathbed, there’s, nothing, but the final breaths in your bodies, you tried, to cling so hard onto, not wanting, to let go, ‘cuz as you do……BEEP!!! STAT! charge! STAT!
On your, deathbed, why are people so afraid of that dude, in that, black cloak, with that scythe in hand anyways??? On your, deathbed, there’s nothing, but who you used to be, no traces of anything you physical that’s, been, left behind, for you’re, already, hauled away, and, that fire’s coming, to turn you, into, a skewer kebab!
On your, deathbed, you got nothing, it’s too late to ask for forgiveness, you’re not gonna get it anyways, as for all those done-me-wrongs, done-you-wrongs, yeah, none of that’s gonna get, reclaimed, reowned, by you again that’s for sure.
On your, deathbed, there’s, nothing to see, just these, dead skin, covering up the rotting away flesh, and that skeletal frame from within, all of that, nothing, more.
The customers aren’t, ALWAYS right, because, we all had, encountered, MORE than, our shares of, unreasonable, customers, right??? Am I right, (everybody, high-five me!!!), off of the Front Page Sections, translated…
In a local grocery store in Minnesota, recently, there was a man in his sixties, who’d wanted to buy the Campbell imported cheeses. He was at home, staying out of the outbreaks for too long, and, it was a rare occasion that he’d made it out for a shopping trip, he’d gone around the grocery store, didn’t find it, had the store clerks look for it, which the store clerks didn’t find; and he’d, demanded that the clerk go to the warehouse to see if there are any, and, the store clerk checked for the stock on the computer in the storage, none. Then, the customer raged out of control, started making a huge scene. This was, the frequent encounters of the employees of the service industries in the past two years in the U.S., the consumers had become, more and more, difficult to handle by the days.
The store clerk, Loona told of the experience, that the atmosphere at the grocery shop was anger, confusion, and fear. She’d believed, that as everybody watched the man go off, people must be thinking, that the outrage the man was acting out on, probably, had, NOTHING to do with the imported cheese.
What’s before us, is, a weird era, with the outbreaks continuing on. As people are in the shops, on the airplanes, and talking with the customers’ service reps, there were the outbursts of angers from the consumers: “I want to speak with your manager”.
And, these maliciousness made the owners of the business rethink the prime principle of “the customers are always right!” in the service industries. If those working in the service industries have to play the role of calming therapists to the customers, then, their superiors, managers, became the bodyguards who must, keep the safety and wellbeing of their, workers. And, every single time, as these “bodyguards” showed up, they should not tell the workers, “you’re fired”, instead, to the customers, “you are on the blacklist, don’t come here again!”
what the modern day consumers got, spoiled into
But yeah, that’s never going to happen, because, we all want our businesses to be flourishing, don’t we? And so, even IF the consumers are acting up and out, for unjustified reasons, we can’t do anything about it, we can only, blame those cashers, store clerks, for not calming their customers down, after all, this is an industry where, we are, solely, reliant on our customers happiness, their satisfactions at our shops, to make a living, as for the rights, the wellbeing of those workers hired by our companies, yeah, let them deal with it on their own.
And so, this, is still, how messed up, the values are, and it’s all because, of how the businesses are, spoiling the consumers, rotten, telling them, that they’re, ALWAYS, right, when they’re, not!
The words we should all, live by, especially in this, materialistic, modern day, world we are currently, living in, translated…
That Kymco Scooter had been with me for twenty years is already, too ill that it should be, declared DEAD.
A few days ago, as I rode it home from my pottery class, as I tried to ride it, it’d, stopped, just as I’d, accelerated, the heart just, stopped running several times on my way home, the engine suddenly, went, dead, I’d, turned the gas handles, nothing! “Oh my god, it’s, leaving me!”, I’d cried inside, as I’d, pretended to calm myself, back down. After all, it’d carried me across half of Taiwan since I was in my twenties, whether it be the rides from Tainan to Hualien in college many times, or as I’d started finding work in the various cities, and now, it took me back, to the residence I’d stayed at in my college years, became my feet, and it’s, just about time, that it gets to that, final place of, rest.
“If I recalled correctly, I bought that scooter for you back in the year when the major earthquakes occurred on September 21, back in 1999.” Dad told me, as he’d ridden it, to check the areas hit by the earthquake around where we lived, and everything was still, fresh in his mind. Back then I was still a student in high school, not known how to ride a scooter, nor did I have a license to operate yet, and, I can only, look upon it with, admiration, it was, brand new; while, my father who’d cherished everything he owned had told me, “the lifespan of the items is reliant on the users’ ways of using them.”, and, being rough and tumble, I still, couldn’t quite, acquire my own father’s gentleness, or, patience. After I left home for college, the scooter was signed over to me, and it’d become, my major, “livelihood”, my only means of, getting around, and, I’d, ridden it, through thousands of kilometers, on my youthful years then.
Guess I should, start, finding me a replacement for it then, living in the southern cities, there are too many alleys and streets to weave in and out of, with those, overpriced parking spaces, and I’d, become, reliant on the scooter as a means of getting me around town. I’d, looked online for the costs, and learned, that everything had, skyrocketed, the electric scooters are what’s in, in the era of alternative energies, the trends also reflected on the designs of things, and, the countless deals of trade-in were all, too confusing, and, it all came up toward me, and reminded me of how the online shopping deals of 1111, logging on, it was as if, the world is, applauding you, enticing you to, spend your cash, I became annoyed by these offers, that tried to, tap into my wallet, and I’d, stopped surfing online, to reduce the temptations, as I’d worried, that I may go on a shopping spree, bought a whole lot of things that I didn’t actually need, instead of what was, necessary, and end up, losing, tons of my, saved up, cash.
In the past, working for the environmentalist groups it’d, helped me become immune, and I’d started, being really careful with my money when I spend, don’t buy those items with too much plastic contents, items that can only be used once, things that may be overbought, too much wrapping, nope, the items with a higher market of carbon foot tracks, no, items that are cheap, and takes away the cost-benefit of the environment, nope………….as I’d set too many principles, it seemed, that I was, doing away, with all the temptations too, to stay faithful to my principles of buying, as the “necessities” are my, priorities, I’d much rather, save the money I would’ve spent on these items that I don’t really need, and put the money into self-enrichment classes for myself, for instance, the courses for advance potters, or to make the donations, to support my causes, and, these sorts of extensions, intangible values, are way more, satisfying than the gourmet dining experiences, the high-end couture.
Observing the lacking in life, actually, I really, don’t have that much that I’d, lacked. Then, a joke from a partner who’d gone to the Black Tides beach cleaning activities came to mind, “modern day people who cried that they are poor, aren’t really so, it wasn’t from not being able to afford an apple, but from not being able to buy the Apple products”, and his words, made my lips curled, upward. In the basis of the fundamental needs being fulfilled, if we pursued the materials, it’s like falling into that blackhole, it won’t ever get filled up, and as we’d tried to fill the blackhole up, it’d left us, emptier, than, ever. Could it be possible, that we actually, don’t need to have, everything?
So I’d, turned off that website that led me to finding a new scooter, thought of how a park I live next to has the Ubikes, while, the bus stops are right outside of my apartment. I just, got too used to, having access of the vehicles I needed to get around with, that not only did it turn costly when I needed to get it maintained, I’d lacked that sense of how convenient the city government had, made our lives, with the Ubikes, the buses. This was, quite different, than when I’d traveled to a foreign place, and for the sake of not getting lost, I’d had to, memorize every means of transportation available to me, and even as I’d taken a wrong turn, spent the extra time, I’d, also, bumped into the unexpected sights, and, gotten the opportunity, to examine the details of the cities I’d come to visit, making the destinations, that much more, unforgettable to me—and maybe, as we’d, switched to another state of mind, allowing us to not have that much, we may gain even more, satisfaction of life itself.
And so, we are all too, driven by the materialisms, and it’d become, an addiction of sorts to all of us, we all want more of, whatever it is we already owned, cars, we wanted brand new ones, not because the ones we got are old, but because, there’s a new model out, new cell phones, not because the ones we’re using started malfunctioning, because we’d been using it, for the past, couple of years, but because, there’s this, brand new iPhone out, and, through our, endless pursuits of these, materials, we will, lost sight of what we already have, and that’s not good at all.