Saturday, February 28, 2004

Taiwan, 228

It was August 6th, 1945, the US drop of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the beginning of the end of the Japanese empire.
Soon after the Japanese surrender and withdraw from the occupied China. Chiang Kai-Shek, the chairman of the Nationalists (KMT) send troops from China to Taiwan, to liberate the island from 50 years of Japanese occupation and rule.
This liberation turned out to be a new occupation and Taiwan became ruled by the Nationalists.
The liberators were initially welcome as they got rid of the Japanese, however they soon took over all the political and social power, leaving the Taiwanese in the same situation as when the Japanese were ruling.
The situation deteriorated even more and the Taiwanese people were starting to feel revolt.
On February 28, 1947 the people of Taiwan came out to the streets and took justice on their hands.
As a result additional troops were sent from China, to re-establish order. Things did calm down a lot but just because an enormous amount of people (10 to 20000) were arrested, beaten and shot. Among those people were the elite and educated class.
That day was just a confirmation that the only thing changed from the Japanese occupation of the occupier. The Taiwanese developed servant, obedient and compliant attitude in facing the new rulers

“They took a slavish character in order to ensure their personal safety, never daring to resist their rulers. On the other hand, the people both feared and were disillusioned by politics. Such paranoia and indifference towards politics suited the one-party totalitarism of the new occupiers. Taipei Times 28.02.04”

Two years after this incident, in the Main Land China, the Nationalists (KMT) were defeated by the Communists and seek refuge in Taiwan, conveniently ruled by the KMT.
This refuge was suppose to be temporary as the KMT, claimed to represent China and would eventually go back to take over the Main Land from the Communist.
Taiwan was designated by the Republic of China, while the main land China was designated by Mao Tze Tsung, The People’s Republic of China.
Taiwan was officially recognized by UN to represent the whole China until early 1970’s.
The KMT never got re-organized nor had the international support to go back to china and take over the country, from the communist.
The communist always claimed that Taiwan was another province of china to were the defeated army ran away to.
The politicians of both sides, pretty much seek the same: to rule both sides as one country.

Today, the situation remains unsolved, the lack of communication and diplomatic talks are contributing for a raise in the cross straight tensions.

Today, 28 February 2004, the Taiwanese are holding hands, in about one hour they will make history again. At 2:28 pm, local time, more than 1 million people are expected to hold hands in a nearly 600 km chain from the north to south.
Today they are holding hands to protest against the 446 missiles that China has pointed at the island.
Today the Taiwanese, are protesting against the enemy of their enemy back in 28.02.47…
One may say, "the enemy of the enemy! does not make much sense" and it is arguable... but whatever one's opinion and side, at least they are free to express their thoughts again!

Spring in southern Taiwan (Formosa Island)

Last night something extraordinary must have happened in the southern tip of this island.
It’s Saturday and I have to work, I should feel shitty about it but hey… it’s not the case.
I looked outside and the sky is blue, unusual in Tainan city at this time of the day. as its always hazy in the morning. Today I could see the sea, 7 km from my window.
I went down to catch the lift to the office and didn’t sleep on the way, as I usually do. I start looking out the window as the car was moving and realized that so much has changed since yesterday. All of the sudden Tainan is covered with flowers, all kinds of pink, scarlet red, orange, purple and yellow. The naked trees have blown up into this flowery explosion. It almost looks like, overnite, an artist had done a great job... Tainan looks like an oil painting.
Amazing how it could have happened in a single night, the power of nature is amazing. Spring came over night and it looked like nature was planning this so well that it didn’t miss a single detail. The show was well prepared and here it was being proudly exhibited.
As the van drove out of the city, the bands of birds dancing waltzes on the air, over the sugar cane fields, validated my thoughts, they were the announcers!
The sun, a red ball of fire trespassing over the palm tree leaves, completed the perfect post card.
Spring is definitely here!
I suppose that my ancestors must have arrived in Taiwan on a day like today and that is why they called "Ilha Formosa"*!

*Ilha means Island in portuguese
Formosa means beautiful in classic portuguese

Thursday, February 26, 2004


"Tudo o que semeardes, colhereis"
lê-se na Bíblia, em Gálatas, VI, 7

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Volta ao Mundo

Quando for grande, quero dar a volta ao mundo.
Foi sempre um desejo meu, desde pequeno. Conhecer terras, gentes, costumes e sei lá mais o quê.
O que é certo é que por enquanto ainda conheço pouco.
Ouço dizer por vezes que a nossa terra não é onde nascemos, mas onde nos sentimos bem. E já vi alguém que dizia isto, "pousar" não sei em quantos lugares diferentes e voltar à terra onde nasceu. Ironias do destino? Qual destino, qual quê!
Será que nos acomodamos demais quando envelhecemos? Será que desistimos assim de ânimo leve dos nossos sonhos?
Será que mesmo acomodados, somos felizes? Talvez dependa da definição de "felicidade" que cada um de nós tem.
Facto é que quem não conhece, não sente falta. Ninguém me diga o contrário.
Sou inconformado por natureza. "Estou bem onde não estou, porque só quero ir onde eu não vou." É bem verdade. Por isto e por vezes, chamam-me louco.
Mas quem é quem, hoje e sempre, para chamar alguém de louco? Porque bases e padrões se rege alguém para chamar louco a outro alguém? Pelas bases e padrões impostos pela sociedade?
E somente por uma pessoa não se regular pelas ideias impostas pela sociedade que o rodeia, é louco? Estranha forma de deixar viver. "Não... Não vou por aí."
E falta sempre qualquer coisa. Nunca se está bem. Ou melhor, está-se bem, mas podia-se estar bem melhor. Há qualquer coisa que não se tem, que não se viu, que não se sentiu.
No fundo, há um mundo por descobrir.
Há gente que não nasceu para estar parada. Que não se prende a uma terra, a um lugar, a uma casa, um carro.

Há gente que não se prende ao materialismo da vida.
Conheço gente que nasceu para crescer, trabalhar, comprar uma casa, um carro, ter um, dois, três ou mais filhos e depois de tudo isto, calçar um par de chinelos e ver televisão, recostado no sofá que até é de pele de não sei quê e custou três ordenados e é do maior conforto possível e não critico ninguém por isso.
Mas conheço gente a quem isso não lhes diz absolutamente nada.
"Um dia, vais sentir necessidade de parar, de arranjar um canto onde possas descansar."
Não digo que não. E quando esse dia chegar logo se vê. Logo se arranja.
Onde é a nossa terra? Onde é o nosso lugar? Onde é o meu lugar? E o teu, já o encontraste?
Se calhar estás no meu lugar e nem eu nem tu sabemos.
E estás inconformado. Porque esse lugar não é o teu. E estou inconformado. Porque não estou onde deveria estar.
E se calhar o meu lugar é aqui, mas não é agora.
Será que acabas por encontrar esse teu lugar? Será que acabo por parar, e assentar, e deixar de me revoltar, e deixar-me ficar?
Por agora e se assim te apetece, corre mundo, vê, ouve, vive e volta cá para contares o que viste, o que aprendeste, mesmo que não te apeteça depois cá ficar.
Vai valer mais do que ficar parado e inconformado.
Um dia, tu vais morrer, eu vou morrer.
Podemos até não deixar nada, nem casa, nem carro, nem aquelas acções tão bem cotadas na bolsa, nem o sofá confortável e ergonómico, nem a televisão com ecran plano e som stereo, nem o Hi-Fi com 500 Watts e sistema Surround Sound, nada. Mas vimos, ouvimos e aprendemos muito. E isso será sempre nosso. E isso, vamos nós levar connosco.
Mesmo que nessa altura não nos sirva de nada. Mesmo que nessa altura nos sirva tanto como as horas por outros passadas no sofá, a olhar para a tal televisão, a ouvir o tal CD preferido no tal Hi-Fi topo de gama. Mesmo assim.
Vais ver que te sentes melhor contigo próprio.
Vais ver que valeu a pena.
Vai lá, não hesites.
No fim, vais ver, vamos ver que fizemos bem.
Vamos embora.

Helder Blayer "Opramim" - Açores, Ponta Delgada

Friendship in life

Many people walk in and out of your life. But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger. If someone betrays you once, it is his fault; If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.
He, who loses money, loses much; He, who loses a friend, loses much more; He, who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature.
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me ..... You brought another friend. And then there were 3 .... We started our group ... Our circle of friends .... There is no beginning or end ....
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

by unknown source sent by Mikka in Hensinkia, Finland - feb.2004

Monday, February 23, 2004

Love only exists until certain conditions do....

I tend, now, to see things on their bright and positive side.
Nothing that ever happened with us can or should be regretted, everything contributed to build what we are today, even an ‘abusive’ relationship.
Why are we abused? One may ask, it is essentially because we are not strong enough to defend ourselves. So we need to go through the pain of being abused, to learn how to protect ourselves from eventual new abusers.
That is, if we do not develop the masochist tendency of searching for pain…
To get to the level where lost loves are just remembered with a nostalgic smile, takes time and a bit of pain and distance does give great long term results!
When I first felt in love... I completely lost control of my life... and when I lost it, I really thought that living no longer made any sense... I cried and I cried and I cried and I never ever forget that love, even today!
There are 3 or 4 songs that if I listen to them... the grief becomes so real as if it had left yesterday... there is one song in particular that can make me feel and see so clear that Saturday afternoon, 21December 1999, around 4 pm, gray sky, I remember so well and I can see and feel that scene more clear than in a movie... cool hein?
Feelings can be recalled from the past, as if they were so present!... but that love is archived... locked in a special place in my heart... locked to make sure that the sweet memories will not interfere in my current life.
I do allow myself, once and a while, to open the gate, the key is a song and there I go… fly back in time. But… I don’t stay there, I come back, because I know now that there is so much more to be lived, to desire, to experience, to loose, to cry for and to remember.
Oh the pain for a lost love... illustrated so well in the Portuguese FADO, it is considered by maby, the most inspiring source! People can write the most profound words when they feel it... dealing with it eventually turns you into a strong person!
Some even say if you never have experienced it, you never truly lived....
If the situation is too difficult to maintain and brings a lot of stress then we should let it go.
Life should be simple and easy to carry, we should free ourselves from avoid heavy weights, they just suck a lot from you, distracting you from other beauties all around you!
Live, smile and keep your eyes open.