September 15th, 2016 | Gone With The Wind

A Mitsubishi car dealership steel pole and sign thrown to the ground.
A steel gate ripped off and flipped over.
This stick art house remains unscathed from the typhoon, yet around it large trees have fallen. What a curiosity.
A trees rests its weary limbs on an old friend.
Alex and his rubber T-Rex that he likes to feed cardboard.
My modern Starwars figurine collection.

Broken Clouds, 32°C

Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan


6:00 a.m. Woke up to the sound of rain and Alexander tinkering with some toys. As we live on the 6th floor of a 15 story building we have a good view of the surrounding area. Today all I could see on the streets below was a jungle of mangled trees and steel.

9:00 a.m. I decided to do some reconnaissance of the typhoon damage. There was a lot. It had hit the area harder than I thought. Lots of damaged trees, roofing and some cars. Scooters had been scattered everywhere like toys. The clean.up crews have a big task ahead of them today.

9:30 a.m. Amazing. Simply amazing. A straw-thatched hut that was created as an art work was standing where it had been for months without a broken twig. While around it great old trees had been snapped in half. Huh, what a curious thing indeed.

12:00 p.m. It dawned on me that the combination of the mid autumn festival and the typhoon had cost me 3 days of work. This was very upsetting. I had hoped to.start recovering from a long stretch of poor salary over the summer holiday season. It had been a struggle without a doubt. I don’t mind a little downtime but now it had to stop. This typhoon however had robbed me of my hopes. My salary has literally ‘gone with the wind’. Perhaps I should say what Clarke Gable said in the movie “Gone With The Wind” which was : ” Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

4:00 p.m. The sun had come out and only a few puffs of white clouds drifted through the light blue sky. It was as if the Typhoon had been a dream. Although there were still a lot of downed trees and drying leaves rubbishing the gutters and sidewalks. Within a few hours council workers had done a remarkable job. I guess they had to be quick. Another typhoon is due saturday and any debris now could become potentially dangerous projectiles later.

5 p.m. Alex decided to tear up the cardboard carton from a used filter for my air conditioner. He tore it up into little pieces and started feeding it to his rubber dinosaur. He wrapped his hands around the rubber dinosaurs mouth and made it chew the cardboard. Pretty smart for a boy that’s only one year and 6 months old.

5:30 p.m. Decided my (well actually Alexander’s) figurine shelf needed a dusting. I must admit the Starwars figures on that shelf sent me down memory lane to 1977 when I saw for the first time the movie ‘Starwars’. All I wanted that christmas was a stormtrooper action figure. And to my delight mum got me one. I would take it everywhere with me. One day however I was playing in the school yard with it under a fig tree, where I lost the stormtroopers blaster. That was very upsetting for a 7-year-old kid. I went back every afternoon looking for it for a week. Never did find it. Probably why I still remember it. It’s those dramatic events your mind seems to hold onto. But I’m sure everything else is in there somewhere. The trick is finding the right memory moment ‘key’ to unlock those other moments. The person who could master such a skill would truly be a Jedi!

7:00 p.m. Heard from an old friend Eva in Taipei who used to be my teaching assistant many years ago. She is coming down to Kaohsiung on Saturday and Sunday with her husband and two children. That will be nice to catch up with them on this special Moon Festival weekend. There are many people who live in Taipei simply for work but will return to their family homes in the south of Taiwan on special weekends or holidays.

9:42 p.m. Alex was knocked out by 8:00 p.m. And I’m ready to hit the hay myself. Feels like it’s been a long day. The night sky is clear with a full moon and I can even see a couple of stars. Yep, time to sleep.

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