30 September 2005


The pattern of the picnic continued to darken and spread.

27 September 2005

Turandot Variation

I have a headache that cannot be killed by Panadol, nor the Plus. It's the kind of migraine that makes one feel like crap, well, not exactly crap, but your whole body cannot find the source to extract the energy, well, not that you can't muster the energy but rather that when you're in that mood you don't want to, and there's only one thing on your mind that you know for sure, 100 percent, that is the cause yet somehow you're hesitant and don't know what to do, should you go ahead and take action or should you just let it go? It may seem stupid to do nothing despite the fact that you can pinpoint the intruder blindfolded, however there're things to consider.

Things to consider, things like the fact that you're in graduate school and busy as hell and can't really spend the time doing things other than studying and working, things like you instinctly know, from the experiences over the years, that you'll fail again, things like that you're 4 years older...things like...things like... However, you want to, it's irrational, but you just want it. Your troubleshooting apparatus breaks down and the tourblesome organ takes over. And you have a terrible headache that connot be cured by Panadol, nor the Plus.

21 September 2005

Tribute to Irma

Even though it took Alonso Quijano 4 days to come up with a meaningful name which pleased him greatly for his horse and 8 days for himself, it took me even longer to name my new bike (the one I toured Oz with, well, not that new anymore).

The first one that came to my mind was Siberia because the name conjures up images of the great land mass, the harsh environment, the spirit. And I thought what could be a more apporiate name for a touring bike which was designed to bear the weight and do the long haul?

But due to my indecisive nature I had other ideas in my head. The second candidate was Althea because I wanted to follow the "tradition" of naming my bikes after the girls that haunted me greatly and made no sign of disapearing from my mind.

Now let me introduce the third challenger, Australia. You know I was thinking since it was the place that the bike's virgin voyage would be, it would be rather appropriate to baptize her by naming the beauty after the place.

Then entered the fourth contender Jai Guru Dev. Three reasons behind the inclusion of this one: first, it was from the song Across the Universe that I loved very much because it was the one that played in the café when we were together for the last time in Reykjavik. Second: becasue Jai Guru Dev means "I give thanks to heavenly teacher" which is pretty good, very meaningful. And third, my surname is Devn, it would be cool that me and my bike we share the same name.

So if we draw a comparison chart and choosing by the points, we would see that JGD has undoubedtly the upperhand. So the answer is pretty obvious isn't it?

Well, not really, as you probably already knew either from the photos of the trip or the title itself, she is called Irma. Irma?! why? Who the hell is Irma? And does she mean so much to you that she beats all the other rivals?

No, the answer is no. I don't know any Irmas, and it has nothing to do with Picnic at Hanging Rock either. I finally settled with Irma simply because I loved that name the first time I heard it. And that was it, no big great profound mind-buggering philosophical ideologies whatsoever behind the scenes, I just love that name. Why everything has to have a reason? Why is has to mean something? No wonder why don Quijote says to Sancho, "Ahí está el punto y esa es la fineza de mi negocio. Que volverse loco un caballero andante con causa, ni grado ni gracias; el toque está en desatinar sin ocasión".

10 September 2005

The Inner or Deep Part of an Animal or Plant Structure

After a couple of days of locking inside the house I decided that it was time to venture out into the wilderness so at the dawn of transferring the base to the uni which is tomorrow I went to the music store this afternoon and there by pure chance I came upon the Björk Medúlla double DVD that I was looking for a while back but yielded no success. I was really surprised to see it on the shelf and promptly (snatched it, of course) the sense of marvel gave way to the kind of joy that represents the meeting with a good old friend.

After dinner I double-clicked on the Iceland pictures folder and,... ah... Ísland... how different from the Australian Outback and both hauntingly beautiful and attractive in their unique ways… And I saw Rebecca sitting in the café in front of me, in the youth hostel, in the botanic garden, on the bench, on the streets, and I wandered, and I wondered...


My old man scolded me for spending my whole summer vacation "fooling around while others were busy fighting hardly and decently for their future." While the same attitude was shared by relatives and other members of the family.

I didn't want to argue simply because I will never win because they are always "doing it for your own good, don't be such a brat, you should be grateful for that."

In Taiwanese and Mandarin when you ask someone if he had a good time travelling around you would naturally say "was it a good place to play?" (Translation mine, it's a compromise between the severals conjured up by my mind. (My sister wrote me the other day while I was on the road asking if "you have some funny?" At first I didn't understand what she was trying to say, then when I was walking on the street I suddenly realized that she was inquiring if I had a good time.) I've thought a lot about a more proper translation, but couldn't come up with a satisfying one. If you happen to know a better one let me know). Here in Taiwan (have to admit that I don't know what's the situation among other cultures) travelling equals playing, waste of time, an excuse for not working, and someone like that is to be rightfully regarded as indecent. If you want to be respected you need to have a job, and it's best to be a secured office job then you'll get all the respect you'll ever need for 100 lives. Can't really blame the people around me for having that attitude, they are simply following the invisible guideline of the culture. You can't really blame someone who don't know what they are doing.


I need to get out of here. Can't live with that my whole life.

07 September 2005

Tour Report: All Is Full of Love

Because Malaysiair gave me free airport accomodation and the fact that on both of my international flights I had to stay in the airport for quite a long time I went to look for it. Well, the hotel was a real luxury but still I would prefer something less fancy (I actually did feel quite awkard when having my free meal in the hotel restaurant, the people were way too polite, you know). Anyway, on the flight out of Taiwan 70 days ago I took the wrong train and ended up in the midst of Kuala Lumpur with only an hour and a half left till my connecting flight; this time, with my new and sharpened navigation skill, I was able to successfully track down the signs and locate the hotel shuttle bus with only a minor episode of queuing up in the hotel lobby for more than an hour and only to be told later that I was in the wrong place.

On the bus while I was explaining to the good-humoured bus driver the reason why he was being called back after he had left the airport 2 minutes ago and was already on the highway sprinting towards the hotel and all of a sudden I noticed the Aussie accent in my words and I realized I was in Oz no more. Held between my hands were the postcards I bought while I was in Darwin; on the way to the Greyhound station she was looking at one of them for quite a while and it was also the very one that met my eyes when I lowered my vision after I found out that I was away from the place that was my home for the last 69 days. That postcard saw both of us that night, but now all that I can see was it solo. I wondered when can I see her again in real life. Then I experienced a series of flashbacks and I saw the peoples I met on the road and the places I've been to and I felt, once more and not surprisingly, terribly alone, but, unexpectedly, it wasn't a Greek tragady like it used to be. What has to come will come, what is meant to be will be.

While I was in Sydney Grace told me that he saw a coffee table book on Iceland with a 5-dollars price tag on it in one of the charity shops! He asked me if he should get it for me before I went back to Adelaide, but then changed his mind because "nobody loves Iceland as much as you do".

He, knowing or unknowingly, pointed out the key element and the greatest thing about travelling which didn't even cross my mind until that moment. All that I cared about before was the mental growth, the learning curve, but that brief conversation over the phone revealed before me the truth and I realized that it was all about love, the love for another country and her people. Before I went to Spain and Iceland I wasn't really interested in them and as for Australia, a couple of years back I was actually wondering who the hell would want to go there. Yet every single time I fell hard for them sheilas. I feel good just by the sight of their names and the sound of their accents and everything related to them. Unless something had gone terribly wrong, would you hurt your loved ones?