Advertisement

Author Topic: Dear Morning Fog  (Read 7376 times)

0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #75 on: April 12, 2018, 09:25:16 AM »
Morning Fog,

While you're waiting for Steaming Bell and while I'm waiting for his news, let me tell you more about those matches at that other Thai village we had been in.

So, the first fighter stepping forward against the professional Thai boxers was a kind of Kung Fu guy. But, as you know, Kung Fu is so broad. There are many kinds. And his is one he created out of his daily living activities.

Known as Mischief, this young man originally practiced weapons with the rice-planting, ground-poking stick. He got pretty good that he even stabbed a few boars for his family's dinners and lunches but some times breakfasts, too, and those midday snacks. But when he realized he could not outdo his mother's tiny disciplining bamboo stick, he ended up having to do the family's laundry at the streams.

To dry their clothes faster, he kept swinging them and flipping into the air while shaking the water off.  One day he could just shake them with his hands and the clothes would be all dry.

That first fight, the Thai boxer raised up his gloves over the neck, bouncing back and forth.

Mischief slammed his right fist over the boxer's head. But that got blocked.

Then Mischief jumped into the air and flipped his feet back, underfoot going right between the boxer's two elbows and knocked the boxer's face down.

A victory was declared because the Thai boxer could not get up.

All the other boxers saluted him fairly.

But now the boxers were more motivated than ever and each night after, they would be more than prepared for their fights.

No Kung Fu student or master or other local boxers could hold a first or second round against any of the remaining four boxers.

A one-eyed master jumped in on the second night. Yeah, he actually jumped in.

He was known for his powerful punches to the ab and to the head. He had beaten some other Kung Fu masters before--one time just because someone didn't believe he could knock anyone out and that person held his plain head for the cyclop to hit at. True enough, one punch knocked that guy out.

Now, cyclop was hopping like his opponent, too. But that boxer just gave him one punch to the remaining eye and cyclop ended up holding onto his pain instead of focusing on the fight.

In and out for the next few nights, no one came close to touching any of the boxers. There were a few masters who didn't get in on the fights. But Steaming Bell said that didn't give us any encouragement that the locals still had some greats around.

Mischief was going to come back for another fight. But his wife discovered that mischief and ordered him to cease fighting forever.

"I'd rather you spend time and energies working the farms with me," she said. "No more fight. Or I leave."

Steaming Bell said that even if Mischief had come back, there was little hope for any victory--now that the Thai boxers were fully warmed up and more prepared than ever.







« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 05:43:37 PM by Reporter »

Like this post: 0

Adverstisement

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #76 on: April 22, 2018, 08:17:23 PM »
Morning Fog,

Steaming Bell's email came in last night.

He said he did meet up with the man who tortured his rooster while there some decades back. But the man is much older now, on a cane and poor. This man returned to Laos to smuggle a few refugees into Thailand and then decided not to migrate to the U.S. like the rest of us did. Instead, he blended into the local Thai-Hmong villagers and acted like he was no longer a refugee.

Steaming Bell searched and searched and even bribed some locals to give him tips on this man's whereabouts. All this with a consistent madness that he had carried with him all these years, too.

But when Steaming Bell finally saw the man, Steaming Bell's heart sank. The man was in a despair, very helpless and lived in a bamboo-walled thatch only, not even a wooden wall. You know how we we cherished wooden buildings over bamboo buildings. It's the difference between high class and low class.

Both old and helpless, the man apologized to Steaming Bell of the cruelty back in Ban Vinai.

A fight between them wouldn't have lasted very long.Their conversation lasted longer. In fact, the man invited Steaming Bell to stay for at least one night at his place so they could catch up on some refugee stories.

But Steaming Bell turned that down. He considered his mission accomplished after finding them.

The man felt it was a mistake to have ditched the admission to the U.S. years ago.

"Meskas is new people," he said to Steaming Bell. "Not Asians. I don't like to change. I afraid and I hateful to them. But now I know they care for our Hmong. They make Hmong smarter. I feel bad. Bad, bad luck."

Steaming Bell didn't say anything about that but just expressed his sympathy to the man's despair.

I have Steaming Bell's full email that I can forward to you. But I realize there's probably no email in the camp. So, that's okay. I'll keep everything here, and when you come, you can go through them yourself.






Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #77 on: April 27, 2018, 05:33:43 AM »
Dear Morning Fog,

I hope this message gets to you before Steaming Bell gets there.  Then I can tell you more things  before he tells you of things.

All these mails arenít just  his messages anymore. Somehow, Iíve grown to love telling you things now.

No, I have not grown fond of you or more passionate about you. I canít do that. But then thatís something that already happened when we were still there. Thatís why I took this journey to track Steaming Bell down for you.

Now that Steaming Bell is on his bus ride to Ban Vinai but to no other place, I can tell you other things in the mean time.

You may be curious what Steaming Bell and I have done since being in America in the 80s to now, besides me looking for him and him fighting all the times.

His activities and work, I already told you in a previous mail.  But me and Ta E? Well, you already read a bit about Ta E, too. But me? Not so, right?

What would you like to know? You havenít asked. But Iím assuming youíd be curious and I voluntarily impose my backgrounds on you. Iím not bragging or anything. Please donít take it as such, even if I speak like Iím putting myself higher than anyone else in these letters. In short, donít think anything of it, even with your smart mind.

Of course, you have the freewill to think and feel how you want to. Iím just saying I donít mean it that way.

Marriage, education, work, hobbiesóI know you wanna know. Sorry I didn't tell  you earlier. But then I had been focusing on getting Steaming Bell there.

Writing as I do to you and ďdetectivingĒ like tracking Steaming Bell down have been my two favorite hobbies this whole life time. I could not see anything better to do. So, there you have it!

But I did not even stay in school beyond the sixth grade. When we got here, I got registered at an elementary school because I was still very small and young. The refugee documents showed that, too. So, I got into the second grade.

I didnít like it at all. What I already knew there, they just used a different wayóa different languageóto tell me about them. I didnít like repeating things. It was a waste of time. So that one year, I sped my schools up and finished all the way through the sixth grade.

I got so tired of it and I quit after that.

This country wouldnít let me work yet at age 11 or so. But I could be a paperboy. Thatís a person who delivers newspapers from a newspaper printing place to people for money.

I donít remember how things came about, but I just kept working with newspapers and read and learned how to write like some of their writers or what they call journalists.

I could pick any topic and quickly research it and come out with a very, very interesting piece that people will learn something from. If I choose to, that is.

So, now I own this large newspaper delivery service down the block of seaview lane. A few of my paperboys are girls.

Iíll send you another mail about relationships later on.


« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 06:55:35 AM by Reporter »

Like this post: 0

Offline Dok_Champa

  • Sr. Poster
  • ****
  • Posts: 5753
  • Respect: +80
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #78 on: April 27, 2018, 09:02:21 AM »
You have an interesting imagination ;D ;D ;D ;D Maybe later you should add Writers to your life's resume.



Like this post: 0
But true love is a durable fire, In the mind ever burning, Never sick, never old, never dead, From itself never turning.<br />               --Sir Walter Raleigh

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #79 on: May 22, 2018, 06:41:40 AM »
Thanks. I will. But it's real. lol

You have an interesting imagination ;D ;D ;D ;D Maybe later you should add Writers to your life's resume.


« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 06:54:23 AM by Reporter »

Like this post: 0

Offline ProudLao

  • Mekong In My Heart
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4206
  • Still a little boy running free in Laos
  • Respect: +178
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #80 on: May 22, 2018, 06:45:31 AM »
I thought so.



Like this post: 0
I take refuge in the Buddha.
I take refuge in the dharma.
I take refuge in the sangha.

Theravada

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #81 on: May 22, 2018, 06:55:56 AM »



Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #82 on: May 22, 2018, 07:41:19 AM »
Morning Fog,

Steaming Bell just emailed me that he's in the hospital in Chiang Mai now. He got into a real bad fight and got hurt pretty bad.

Of course, no fight is good, right?

That is why he isn't there yet.

I will look into his conditions more and tell you more later.

But yesterday I ran into this old man we heard about in the camp. I heard him here, too. His name was so loud, I heard it in every corner of our community here for years. And one time I even saw him running in the soccer field but just didn't get to meet him.

Well, it so happened that the other day he came to knock on my door after various friends and relatives spread the words around that I was giving out free smelts--one gallon bag each person.

My little girl--you know, that little girl I've been babysitting but not my own?--she looked out the second floor window when the door bell rang. We normally don't open doors to strangers. So, we checked thoroughly each time before we opened the door.

"It's a man, dark hair. Short in shorts. Old. He has a phone in his hands," she said.

I couldn't tell who that was.

"And thereís a car  parked on the street, not in the driveway."

"I don't know who that is," I said.

But I decided to open the door anyway.

True enough, it was that man you, Steaming Bell and I had heard of there. We had heard of many but this manís story is unique at the time.

Yeah, that man. I donít know his real name. And he didnít introduce himself, because he thought we all already knew who he was. I acted like I already knew, too, just so I wouldnít offend him.

Back there, he was in love with a girl that his family didnít approve. It wasnít that they didnít like the girl; they didnít want him to get married yet. Thatís because he was a loseróevery time he played soccer, his team would lose. Two times that he wasnít with the team, they won. So, his family and many people took that to be his luck or ability or something.

The family felt he would flunk at life and they would then be responsible for his wifeís funeral and raising his children if she died before they. And she would die before some of them anyway, right?

So, they didnít let him marry her. But in order not to offend him, they said they just didnít approve of the girl. They even went so far as to say her family didnít have a good background to match theirs.

You know how it is in our culture: the parents and relatives must do the wedding or you don't get to live together. So, he didn't get to love publicly, even when both wanted to marry each other and she was already pregnant with his doing.

Two days later, they couldnít find him but a note on his bamboo bed.

ďI die if I donít marry her,Ē he wrote. ďYou wonít see me again.Ē

A cousin carrying a wooden crossbow returning to camp from a hunting trip said the cousin just saw the man sitting by a tree behind those little hills pass Lake Ber up the stream.

Thatís near where the older girls would be washing and pounding their clothes each afternoon.

So, his father rushed everybody to the tree. He was sitting with a rope, looking at the tree. He was either still thinking up how he could get the rope to form a noose down from the branch or whether he should really do the hanging.

ďSon, donít do it. Come back, we will get her for you,Ē his mother scream in tears.

Wedding had, two kids born to them were brought here with them. But then he divorced her ďlike throwing away trash,Ē a person here said.

He then insisted on marrying another woman, whom he later tossed out with no feelings, too.

By the time he came to my door, he had already married his third wifeóthis one brought from Laos, now with two kids.

"I was around the block at relative's," he said. "They do shaman today. I'm walking around and I'm thirsty. Can I get some water here?"

I realized he could have just walked back around the block for water but chose not to. So, there must have been another reason he knocked on my door. Then the smelts came to mind. Words must have gotten around the block, too.

I invited him to sit down. I poured him a glass of my distilled water--the kind we used to wash high school biology lab equipment with but that is now allowed for drinking.

We talked and talked. He said he knew martial arts, too, and that he liked my nunchuck set on the wall.

"This is a secret," he said. "Don't tell anyone. But I did Karate back in the camp and I was very good at this nunchuck. There were only four of us who got Karate black belts.Ē

I honored that achievement so much, I offered to watch him demonstrate some nunchuck moves to me.

I handed him my set.

He said he didnít want to do it yet and that he would do it another time.

Then I said he could have mine as a gift.

I handed it to him.

He turned down my offer.

ďOne day when we meet up again on more official terms, I will take it,Ē he said.

But I gave him some smelts and he looked around my place before leaving. He didn't just leave right away, because that might suggest to me he came just for the smelts with no interest in my friendship or something.

I donít know what other times there would be for us to meet again. But I took that to mean he didnít know how to use the thing.

So, letís not tell anyone. Letís keep his secret for him: he doesnít do Karate and he doesnít know how to do nunchuck moves.


« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 08:19:19 PM by Reporter »

Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #83 on: July 05, 2018, 11:42:41 AM »
Morning Fog,

I have arranged another trip back to Thailand because Steaming Bell isn't getting any better after these weeks of hospitalizatio n.

I will update you again soon on that.

It has been awhile since I last wrote you, and I hope things have been well with you.  With Steaming Bell's condition right now, each night that the sun sets a touching sad feeling overpowers me so much that I have had to go out and run to get away from it. I cannot let it pressure me down like that.

Ta E also returned to his celestial palace in order to pacify a guy who just pulled the plug of a pool that has flooded all homes to devastation.  And I was wondering why we got so much rain the other day here.



« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 01:06:51 PM by Reporter »

Like this post: 0

Offline Thundersaurus

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 15709
  • Respect: +178
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #84 on: August 04, 2018, 09:59:42 PM »
Morning Fog,

I have arranged another trip back to Thailand because Steaming Bell isn't getting any better after these weeks of hospitalizatio n.

I will update you again soon on that.

It has been awhile since I last wrote you, and I hope things have been well with you.  With Steaming Bell's condition right now, each night that the sun sets a touching sad feeling overpowers me so much that I have had to go out and run to get away from it. I cannot let it pressure me down like that.

Ta E also returned to his celestial palace in order to pacify a guy who just pulled the plug of a pool that has flooded all homes to devastation.  And I was wondering why we got so much rain the other day here.

Hope Steaming Bell gets better soon.



Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #85 on: August 19, 2018, 12:21:22 AM »
Thanks.

Hope Steaming Bell gets better soon.



Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #86 on: August 24, 2018, 11:57:57 PM »
Dear Morning Fog,

I am terribly sorry for the long silence in my updates to you on Steaming Bell and anything else at all.

The main reason has been nothing more than that I had been searching everywhere for a good fishing spot. Not exactly everywhere, of course. That's really mislabeling it. I've observed three spots, each in a different  state: MN, of course; then SD and also ND.

I'm convinced those lakes have no bites. So, now I'm back home feeling really ... just really motivated about not fishing anymore this year.

But my ticket to Thailand has been secured. Steaming Bell's emails tell me he's not quite  recovered from the fight yet but that I need not rush back there.

Of course, I want to get back there  soon. You may have already guessed: Bamboo Flower's demand.

I have had to exercise the utmost restraint on myself so that I wouldn't be buying extremely pricey airfares just to see Bamboo Flower the same way she has always looked. I have told myself that a little wait wouldn't change anything but the plane ticket and time. So, I've held  back, delayed the flight  as much as possible  to allow others to rush there  first. Bamboo Flower says her heart has pumped up and down a few times just yesterday, now that I've bought a ticket for her to see me.

But I'm coming back there in two months or so.



Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2019, 04:42:12 PM »
Dear Morning Fog,

All these days without news have probably tormented you more than the silent decades that I had not brought up Steaming Bell. I know, the more I remind you of him, the more that idea torments you. Then the frequent updates would be your only cures. Or else the pain of silence could kill you. Would have been best not to mention him to you in the first place. Not until weíre at your door.  That would lessen the pain of waiting and also the immediacy of wanting to know more, where or how and even why things are.

Iím sorry for all the delays. I have had to make special arrangements to make sure my paperboys and girls are in control of my business before I could shake my hands off the responsibiliti es to hold Bamboo Flowerís in Thailand. You know how it is already with me and Bamboo Flower. Once weíre together, even years become just seconds and we canít tolerate being away from each other for longer thanÖ thanÖthan any time we aren't together.

Iím back in Thailand now. Remember I wrote in one of my last letters of Steaming Bell getting into a fight? Well, Bamboo Flower and I have finally met up with him yesterday. He had treated for his injuries, but heís no longer at Chiang Mai Hospital now. Heís at home with a sympathetic stranger he ran into. Weíre staying at a hotel nearby and I may be renting a place for him soon. The strangerís house is nice but does not come with the things of the American life we are used to. 

Steaming Bell is healing and only has some bruises. Donít worry. His look remains. They wonít turn into scars because the doctors and nurses here have taken really good care of his beatings. They combined modern tech treatments with traditional herbals to manage his pain and to prevent any wound from going bad. Part of his lifeís savings have been spent to make sure he got the care he needed. They have been happy about that. So has he about his cares. I still think your touches would heal him faster or at least his heart would beat more normally, but we arenít there yet.

How he had been delayed from coming to you was this: he did not take public transportation because he thought a bus or train would take longer. He could not take a chopper, either, because he could not find a private owner who would be willing to cross the provinces to Ban Vinai.
So, while he was wandering at the Chiang Mai Night Market one evening, he came upon a private truck driver who agreed to take him there.

Agreement made, the following morning the driver picked him up early. But the driver had four other men in their 20s with him.
At first, Steaming Bell did not want to go with them. They looked unfriendly to him. Not necessarily their looks but their number. So, he told them he wanted to cancel the ride. But the driver said he was brining company just so theyíd feel safer on the road.

"And we go before sunrise because it won't be so hot yet," he told me the driver told him.

So, he felt that was safer, too, especially after having heard of many people being robbed on the road.

But he was wrong. Those guys drove him for several hours out of town and then stopped somewhere  that was nowhere to Steaming Bell.

The four guys in the truck bed jumped down from it  and surrounded the truck. The driver insisted that Steaming Bell give them all his cash or else heíd be right where he was: nowhere.

They did not bring any gun. But there were five of them. They were probably hoping to scare him into giving them free money.

Ooops! Bamboo Flowerís womb is in pain, so Iíll have to take care of her. Iíll write more next time as we are on our way to you.


« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 04:47:54 PM by Reporter »

Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #88 on: February 25, 2019, 06:55:53 PM »
Dear Morning Fog,

Bamboo Flower says she's soon to have a baby. I mean, she already has it in her stomach but she will soon be giving birth to it.

We love surprises, so we haven't done any ultrasound on what kind of baby it is, whether it is a boy or a girl. We will just wait to see the truth on birth.

I'm very sure this is my baby. She was never pregnant until I met her a few months ago. And she is very loyal to me, so I know for sure this baby is mine.

But what surprises me the most is that this baby could be born at home and not at the hospital. Here, we have a choice. I said I prefer hospital cares. But Bamboo Flower says she does not like the various fancy intravenous gadgets the licensed midwives will be using on the baby.

So, she has decided to our baby as much a natural birth as possible. You know, just like the ancient times some centuries ago.

We agree the human body hasn't changed all that much, even if our environments have become artificial in many ways.

Bamboo Flower will be sitting by the fireplace. Her mother and aunt will be on each side of her.

They say I can't be there. But I will be listening to her sweet voice from outside the walls of their mountain thatch.

Anyway, Steaming Bell says when he was threatened in the truck, he slid the door lock and kicked the door open and confronted the guys on top of a nearby hill.




Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 74651
  • Respect: +412
    • View Profile
Re: Dear Morning Fog
« Reply #89 on: March 29, 2019, 01:48:08 PM »
Morning Fog,

So, since Steaming Bell knew he would be lost without those guys, he bargained that he would give them his money if they would tell him how to get back to Chiang Mai.

"You have no car," the driver said. "You know how to go back but you can't go back."

Steaming Bell punched him on the face and stomped the left front passenger's door. The window broke but the door did not open.

The driver rolled his head with a heavy sigh and reached for Steaming Bell.

Steaming Bell grabbed his backpack in the center console and slipped out the broken window.

The other guys chased him up a hill.

At first, they were just a few yards from him. But within two minutes, they were far houses away and  each of them, too, was far apart from one another.

The first guy caught up to Steaming Bell on the top of a hill.

Both were somewhat exhausted.

The guy was kneeling on the ground, panting.

"I just want some water," the guy said to Steaming Bell. "Give me your water please. Please."

Our friend shared one of his only two bottles of water with this guy.

"You go. I don't fight you," the guy said. "Thank you."



Like this post: 0

 

Advertisements