September 29th, 2016 | Snuff Dreams

The 1st time I set foot in Hiroshima was at the Hiroshima railway station in 2013. (In this lifetime …)
The Boy Who Could Fly (1986 Australian Day bill movie poster)
My teachers assistant Lola. Reminding them of class rules in Mandarin.

Kaohsiung. Taiwan.

Overcast. 26C.

1p.m. Woke suddenly from a mid day nap. I just had what I call a ‘Snuff Dream’, which feel very real, intense and frightening. Snuff dreams are dreams that you experience your own sudden death. I’ve had a few of them through the years. And they certainly make you evaluate your life.  In my dream today I had just crossed over a bridge to the other side of a river. It was the bridge in Hiroshima, Japan near the A-Bomb dome, which I’ve walked over several times during visits there in the past. Anyhow there was a sudden earthquake or boom and I looked up into the sky directly above me. I saw a large section of the top of a building (something like the top piece of the Empire State Building in New York.) falling down through the air towards me. I stood still trying not to panic, although my heart was pounding, thinking it’s going to miss me, its going to hit the ground behind me. Ill be okay. But thats when it turned on its side to reveal its true mass. It was huge and there was no way I could escape it. I stared upward and swallowed. This things going to kill me. Damn. Then I thought. Okay, lets do it. I don’t want to die. But I guess this is how it ends. I was consumed by its shadow as it speed toward me. I took my last breath. Darkness. But I seemed to be still alive. Then still staring upward the great monolithic shape was going back up into the sky, as if it had bounced like a gigantic ball onto the earth. Wholly hell. I ran as fast as I could before it came back down again. I woke up in bed. Very thankful.

This however was not my first snuff  dream in Hiroshima. I have had several throughout my life. Some were before I had learnt about Hiroshima or the Atomic Bomb! The most terrifying one I had was a very long time ago. I was standing in a room full of scientists. In the center of the room was a device (Which I later realised was possibly ‘Little Boy’ the bomb dropped on Hiroshima). The scientists were leaning over the device. I was standing behind them and I moved in for a closer look. When I was about 2 meters from it the scientists all suddenly paniced and  ran away terrified. The device had been accidentally activated. I stared at it. It looked like somekind of bomb and so I realised what was about to happen. Within seconds I felt a horrific scorching temperature that washed through my body in a split second. It was so intense that I went numb. Then I was in pitch darkness. I could hear my thoughts crying out. Dont Die, don’t die. Stay alive, stay alive. Keep thinking, keep think. I got to survive. I really thought I had died from which I later realized was a nuclear explosion. I woke up. Very shaken for days. This was one of several dreams. Others I was in buildings that suddenly collapsed from somekind of sideways moving force and I was burried alive. Some I was looking at a clear blue sky and saw an intense flash and watched a wall of fire sweep towards me. Each one different but seemed to be the same event.

I told my wife about these dreams and she gave me a straight up opinion. HOw can you dream of a place that you’ve never been to, unless you were there? She was suggesting that in fact I had been in Hiroshima during the event. Perhaps I was one of those killed in the explosion and now I am having regressive memories. WoW. Anything is possible.

2:40 pm On my way to Tainan I stopped at a large intersection. Two school buses were about to turn. As I waited I noticed some kid waving at me from the front of the bus. So I waved back. Then he or she waved again. So I waved back in return. Then as the bus began to turn away all the other students started waving. How funny they were. I bet that moment was more memorable than the school outing they were returning from! And you never know what positive effects will result from such a friendly moment. Everything you do, matters.

4:00 pm Arrived in Tainan. Afternoon tea at school was seafood meatballs in soup. I’ll be giving that a miss. I had a banana and bottle of lemon water. That carried me through the next few hours.

4:10 p.m. Chia just sent me a text message about Alexander.

It read:”Alex was asking me to get his sucker (pacifier) on the wall, then I took the sucker and told him to say 謝謝, you know he did!! He was shy but he did say 謝謝!!! Lol so adorable of him ”

The Chinese character 謝謝 (pronouced Xie Xie) means ‘Thankyou’.
5:00 pm to 630p.m. Young learners class. My teaching assistant was Lola. Most schools will have a chinese speaking teacher in English class to keep kids in line. Although you don’t always have the luxuary. I only require a TA for young leaners (who can start wars if you turn.your back). My other classes don’t need one.They are older and more civilised!

6:30 pm Paytime. I pick up my wage on the last work day of each month. I dont expect it to be very good with those two typhoons screwing up my teaching schedule this month.

6:40.p.m. September pay was $20100 NT. Should have been $26100. So the typhoons caused a loss of 6000NT which is equal to almost 1 month of daycare for Alexander. Bugger! So lets see what’s left from this pay. I have the following bills:

  1. FarEastOne cellphone data plan: $1399NT.
  2. Chunghwa Telecom MOD/landline/ADSL plan: $153oNT
  3. National Health Insurance: $1498NT
  4. Childcare Fee $9000NT.

Total in bills is: $13,247NT to be paid tomorrow. This leaves me with $6853 to get through the month of November. Not much is it? Now you see why I depend on weekend students. Without that extra cash flow things would get pretty miserable. Taiwan’s bottom income level is around $20080 per month ($640 USD). So I have just scraped in. This would make us what they describe in Australia as Aussie Battlers. So I guess we could call ourselves Taiwanese Battlers.

8:00 p.m. After arriving back in Kaohsiung I headed straight to my neighbourhood scooter shop. My faithful scooter needed a much wanted oil change. That red light on the dash has been flashing well over a couple of weeks. I never usually let it go for so long. An oil change costs $200 Nt. Although it can cost more depending on the brand of oil you use.  I just use a standard brand.

I will also get my scooter seat re-skinned tomorrow. There are several holes caused by 9 years of intense sunlight, rainwater, typhoons and general wear. I’ve tried to patch them, but enough is enough. Time to give the girl a facelift.

9:00 pm. Home again, home again.jiggery jig.

11:oo p.m. Watched a great movie tonight that I havent seen for perhaps 30 years. 30 years I can’t believe it! It was called “The Boy Who Could Fly”. It was as good now as it was then. Very positive. Lovely film. Speaking of positive, Alexander’s eyes have recovered from conjunctivitis. Thank Goodness. However I will still keep him at home tomorrow. He can go back to daycare next week. I want to have the weekend sickness free thank you!



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