Chiff

Ah, I have spent the last two weeks (has it been that long since I wrote here?) being ill. I have been afflicted with a strange bug that doctors have taken two tests to find out and now still require another third one before they find out what it is.

So I wait. And now, today I found some energy to open my mails and write. This is the peak season for mails to pour in for me – not friends but from strangers. They usually come from people who read one or two of my articles on Transitions Abroad and write in with a question or two on China and teaching there.

There are usually two peak seasons, come to think of it. The June to September season and then the Jan to March season. It is sometimes hurtful to write to them – it makes me wish I was back there, enjoying the relatively stress-free life that comes with the China teaching package rather than these endless hours navigating through traffic and the even more monotonous hours in the glass chamber. Sigh. It always seems like something better is out there waiting for us, doesn’t it?

Here, the rain stayed away. The clouds played for a while. It’s a joke in the office – the three women in our team, we daily send weather reports first thing in the morning after checking on MSN weather forecast – and I find myself dreaming of white snow and yellow flowers. I even really dreamed about it some night – of an iced lake and snow falling. Just the thought of it in my mind made me calmer the next day. And now after reading what Do wrote about autumn leaves, I wished I could see the change of seasons here. Or perhaps this too is a change – change from the summer to the long monsoon and now this slow petering off into the dry warm winter.

I found my lucky charm! And it is a fish!! I was going through my little knick knack collection from China, Thailand and other south Asian countries. And I found that last year, Victor, had given me this pair of stone fish. Set in jade or some such stone, they sit in their white nest in a red box. One of the fins had been chipped during the journey (Flish might be saddened to hear of such injury to one of his kin) but I remember Victor saying that they represent the yin and the yang – the male and the female – and are considered lucky in China. So now I keep one. Smooth cold stone to run my hands over and feel its energy on days when life makes you dissipated. JAB has the other.

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