So-much-makes-sense-once-we-get-the-connections3

LEAVING PERTH AND SWAN RIVER BEHIND

Rowing away on the Swan River ready to explore a foreing vessel
Rowing away on the Swan River ready to explore a foreing vessel
A pirate ship from Thailand on the Swan River
A pirate ship from Thailand on the Swan River
Leaving Perth behind
Leaving Perth behind
I just love sailing. Is there any  better place in the world than Swan River and Perth?
I just love sailing. Is there any better place in the world than Swan River and Perth?
Towing away on the Swan River
Towing away on the Swan River
It is hard to leave the place you are familiar with
It is hard to leave the place you are familiar with
Leaving the Perth holiday island - Rottnest
Leaving the Perth holiday island - Rottnest
See you pelicans, I will come back
See you pelicans, I will come back
What is awaiting us on our travels
What is awaiting us on our travels
Mr Nine took our picture from our hotel balcony in Bangkok. In 1782 Bang Makok or 'Place of Olives' became Thailand's capital.
Mr Nine took our picture from our hotel balcony in Bangkok. In 1782 Bang Makok or 'Place of Olives' became Thailand's capital.
Bangkok before the monsoon rain from our hotel window. 'Place of Olives' or Bang Makok, later Bangkok had been a trading post since the mid-16th century.
Bangkok before the monsoon rain from our hotel window. 'Place of Olives' or Bang Makok, later Bangkok had been a trading post since the mid-16th century.
The view of the city from the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok. Population of Bangkok is 9 million but most people live in extended family groups because of the chronic shortage of real estates.
The view of the city from the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok. Population of Bangkok is 9 million but most people live in extended family groups because of the chronic shortage of real estates.
On the stairs to the temple in Bangkok. Around 92% of residents are Buddhists.
On the stairs to the temple in Bangkok. Around 92% of residents are Buddhists.
The old and the new in Bangkok. Almost all Thai men ordain as Budhist monks at some point. Monks are treated with universal respect. After all most Thai men have been there themselves.
The old and the new in Bangkok. Almost all Thai men ordain as Budhist monks at some point. Monks are treated with universal respect. After all most Thai men have been there themselves.
In the public park in Bangkok. Avoiding confrontation is a core element of Budhist Philosophy. The numerous parks with massage parlours offering Indian medicine and Chinese acupuncture help to restore between body and mind, restore peace and calmness
In the public park in Bangkok. Avoiding confrontation is a core element of Budhist Philosophy. The numerous parks with massage parlours offering Indian medicine and Chinese acupuncture help to restore between body and mind, restore peace and calmness
The golden Buddha in Bangkok. THere 250,000 Chinese, 100,000 Indians, 45 000 Europeans and 30,000 Japanese and most of them are very respectful of main Buddhist Religion.
The golden Buddha in Bangkok. THere 250,000 Chinese, 100,000 Indians, 45 000 Europeans and 30,000 Japanese and most of them are very respectful of main Buddhist Religion.
Before the massage in Bangkok
Before the massage in Bangkok
The city is slowly sinking into the floodplain - engineers face a daily battle to keep teh river out of Bangkok basement.
The city is slowly sinking into the floodplain - engineers face a daily battle to keep teh river out of Bangkok basement.
On the banks of Phraya River in Bangkok on our last day
On the banks of Phraya River in Bangkok on our last day
Back to the peaceful life on the Swan River. We are back from our holiday, safe and sound, little bit more wiser and more sad, but enriched by new experiences.
Back to the peaceful life on the Swan River. We are back from our holiday, safe and sound, little bit more wiser and more sad, but enriched by new experiences.
Our yacht is waiting for us and we can start sailing again. Back home on the Swan River in Perth.
Our yacht is waiting for us and we can start sailing again. Back home on the Swan River in Perth.
My son after five years is approaching his teenager years but he still remembers Mr Nine and his pirate flag does not miss to catch the wind on every sailing trip.
My son after five years is approaching his teenager years but he still remembers Mr Nine and his pirate flag does not miss to catch the wind on every sailing trip.
Reading 'Mao's Last Dancer' autobiography by Li Cunxin on our last sailing trip.
Reading 'Mao's Last Dancer' autobiography by Li Cunxin on our last sailing trip.
Back sailing on our Swan River, the water is shimmering in the afternoon sun and we have found our peace and contenment. Maybe this river is for us what beautiful parks with massage parlours are for Thai people.
Back sailing on our Swan River, the water is shimmering in the afternoon sun and we have found our peace and contenment. Maybe this river is for us what beautiful parks with massage parlours are for Thai people.
Instead of one old boat we have two new ones in a tow. You have been right Mr Nine, we are all slaves to crazy consumerism.
Instead of one old boat we have two new ones in a tow. You have been right Mr Nine, we are all slaves to crazy consumerism.
Mr Nine pirate flag flights cheerfully above my son's head.
Mr Nine pirate flag flights cheerfully above my son's head.
Where are you Mr Nine? We hope you are happy in your city of angels, doing what you like most, painting ancient chinese pictures with a fine brush.
Where are you Mr Nine? We hope you are happy in your city of angels, doing what you like most, painting ancient chinese pictures with a fine brush.

Scattered Images in my mind 3


Five years ago

I took my youngest son

to meet his Grandparents in Europe

for the first time


Five years ago

he opened 'his diary'

looked on our aeroplane

and scribbled in it: THAI

while I bought a new book

on the Perth Airport

like always on long flights

'to kill the time'


'MAO'S LAST DANCER'

was the title

a true story of an Australian

who was born in Communist China

found freedom in America ...

" Mum, I am bored, when we go to fly?"

I stopped reading and looked at my son.


'Saturday 4-9-2004

I just ate my breakfast

on the Thai aeroplane.

I fly to Bangkok from Perth.

We stop in Phuket.'

My son has written in his diary

when I am reading it now

I imagine all this greenery

landing there we saw

until Phuket disapeared

following Christmas Day

under a big tidal wave.


' 4.24 pm back on the plane

I watched Garfield and Harry Potter

the Prisoner of Azbakan

My mum was looking for my passport

she cried, she lost it,

It is nowhere to be found.'

My son has written in his diary

when I am reading it now

I remember a long night

in Bangkok airport

listening to foreign sound

of suspicious tranzit officers

telling me that my son can not fly.


i hugged my son tightly

as he started to cry

suddenly a young Chinese man

sat next to us and said simply:

" Just call me Mr Nine"


He took us to the Hotel Samui

at midnight of Bangkok time

unpacking our laggage

my book: 'Mao's Last Dancer'

caught his eyes

and while my son slept soundily

he ordered a green curry

and a bottle of Singha beer

finnaly calmed me down.


He was also born in Communist China

a son number nine

his parents left for Thailand

when he was only five

We discussed the creative freedom

and a quest for self expression

that was what 'Mao's Last Dancer'

was looking for and paid a painful price.

He managed to be free

of communist ideology

Mr Nine was an artist too

and he was not scared of China

he was Thai

but with his minimal wage of 5 dollars

per day

he knew, I knew

taxi driving and any other odd jobs

he has to do instead of painting

if he wants to survive.


Three whole days

we stayed

while my son's new passport

was delayed

with our taxi driver

Mr Nine

we crisscrossed

Aka Krung Thep

City of Angels

Venice of the East

wide chaos everywhere

Phraya River which snakes through it

divides the historic old city

with temples and palaces

the districts of Dusit, Banglamphu

Ko Rattanokosin and Chinatwon

are full of Buddhist wats,

street markets and public parks.


On other side is a futuristic new city

with skycrapers, elevated highways

karaoke banquet halls and gigantic shopping malls

ancient tuk-tuks with urban trains and sleek skytrains

run through it all.


While my son ran through the Grand corridors made of gold

and touched the biggest golden Buddha

on his toe

Mr Nine looked sadly from the Royal palace window

on the city below us

where the old meets the new

where the Eastern slow contemplative tradition

is swallowed by fast crazy western consumerism


" We need a massage," Mr Nine winked at us

and we followed him without a clue.

In the park under the sweet smelling tree

a young Thai girl gently spread

Indian and Chinese oils on our bare arms and legs

" Your energy will flow now around your body freely,"

Mr Nine sighed with a relief: " Your body and your mind will be one."


" And what about Thai pirates?" My son jumped impatiently

brushing his oily cheek: " You promised me some..."


Mr Nine sighed again: " Oh, I see, you westerners and your speed,

it is a time for you to learn 'jai yen'."


" What does it mean?" My son jumped on his seat, while our

taxi honked and stopped on a crowded street

I watched passing tourists shouting hurriedly on tuk-tuks drivers

while drying their sweaty foreheads in a sticky heat

Mr Nine waved to a group of locals on other side

who sat calmly on their motorcycles

in a traffic jam waving back to him with a broad smile

" What is 'jai yen, Mr Nine? " My asked again: " Are we there yet,

and can you please put on more, the aircondition, I am hot now."


We stopped neat the River and watched the thin boat sail,

while Mr Nine told us a story from old days

about the pirates who ravaged the Thai coast

coming from Europe, India and the Persian Gulf

with the start of the monsoon wind and rain

they returned home rich

with their boats full of gold ready to sink

full of stolen Asian beauties wrapped in shimmering silk.

With his last words Mr Nine

smiled with a twinkle in his eyes

he gave my son a pirate flag

in black and white

and told him to be a Thai pirate

he needs 'jai yen' - a cool heart.


To me he gave a gentle water colour picture

painted with thin Chinese strokes

on the side with a line of empty rickshaws

painted with dark colour of brown

" It is called 'A journey from poverty'",

he said with a sad frown.


On our last day on the airport

when we said 'Good By'

I handed him the 'Mao's Last Dancer' book

with a thank you note inside.

" I can speak English, but I have to read more,"

He said with a sheepish smile.

" I plan to go to Beijign to study Chinese Art,

I will write."


We visited the Europe

and my son saw his Grandparents

before they died

and we returned to Western Australia

to sail on the Swan River,

to live on, to remember, to laugh and cry.


Mr Nine sent only one letter

from his Beijing studies

he wanted to learn more about art

than communists

and felt foreign and lost,

it is overcrowded

he met his Chinese family

living near the Yellow River,

looking on the vast plain around

the flat city goes forever,

new buildings appear overnight,

the roads are jammed with the latest cars,

the streets are full of fashionable people

with mobile phones clamped to their ears,

business and money

is what everyone wheels and deals

into multimillions

people live and die in vast shopping malls,

fighting for an exclusive foreign brands,

answering their mobile phone calls.


The ancient capital of Mongols,

Ming and Qing Emperors

is lost.

The Communist ideology destroyed it's culture.

The Western consumerism destroyed it's identity.

Beijing is one gigantic shopping mall,

it's environment is dying,

paying the living cost.


It is not a place for an ancient Chinese Artist.

Mr Nine left,

I hope Bangkok is still his home..


Five years past,

Li Cunxin autobiography

was made to a movie.

' Mao's Last Dancer'

we watched on a big screen.

Me and my son,

licking on icecreams,

we cried on his suffering

in a gruelling classical dancing class

in communist Beijing.

We cheered on his fight

to dance free and be famous in America,

then to fell in love

with an Australian

and to retire happy here,,

finally he knows what it means to be free.


We went to sail on the Swan River,

me and my son,

his pirate flag flying high,

black and white,

from Mr Nine.






















More by this Author


Comments 31 comments

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

A wonderful description of a fascinating trip. You express yourself well, and your writing has just that trace of East Europe accent about it. The photographs are very interesting, particularly to one who has never travelled in Asia. (Asia and Australia are the only continents I haven't visited.) So this peek into affairs there was greatly appreciated. Keep on writing.


Beata Stasak 6 years ago

Thank you Imamartin for another warm words of encouragement.

I will keep trying, I was asked to loose my Eastern European accent many times, but it does not bother me anymore, it is who I am.


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California

I enjoyed reading this. Your style of writing is engaging and the description of your journey was full of emotion. What a beautiful journey you painted for all of us to read! Thank you!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you so much for your encouragement, I have just finished writing a comment on your fun club as I enjoyed your hubs so much. Thank you also for answering my question. I feel that I have a new soulmate.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Lovely Hub with Gorgeous Pics. You must have lots of lovely memories and the people from that part of the world are so humble and friendly. Thanks again for sharing with us. :)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

I try to look for 'humanity' everywhere, it is strange but

it's look like less money you have and less luxury you enjoy, more time you have for other people...

Thank you for reading my 'travelling poem'.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

wow.. what a cool travelling poem it is!!!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks Carolina, I am happy you like it, I hope you come back again. All the best from Beata


MickS profile image

MickS 6 years ago from March, Cambridgeshire, England

Watcha Beata,

well written piece, must find a home in, probably, a woman's mag somewhere.

best

Mick


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks MickS for visiting me and leaving a nice comment behind...all the best to you and your writing...Beata


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

What a fabulous journey. The photos are all the better for being personal. Thanks


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you dear Ethel for visiting my hub and connecting with me through my words...


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

A wonderful description of a wonderful journey! Thank you Beata! You bring back such warm memories of Bangkok for me - the wats, the tuktuks - and the wonderful flavour of Singha beer!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Shalini for popping in, happy to share my memories with you....hopefully the situation will settle again and we will have more peaceful memories of Thailand...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

excellent prose poem. Sounds like a fun little trip!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

It happened such a long time ago:)...how the time flies, now my son is finishing the High School and we have lost contact with Mr Nine but miraculously I am reading again the story of the Mao's Last Dancer and that brought me back to the time of our ' stop over' in Bangkok and realised that although we lost the passport at that time we gained so much from that experience:)....thank you for stopping by and reminding me of that great time...all the best to you my friend:)


MobyWho profile image

MobyWho 4 years ago from Burlington VT

Oh, Beata - that is lyrical. Your poem flowed like the rivers it followed. I will read your others as my form of relaxation...and add my concerns for Mr. Nine and his art pursuit. Happy writing!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

So happy my dear fellow hubber, that you have found the time to stop by on my hubs...and even happier that your time was well spent:)....don't know what happened to Mr Nina, but my son still remembers him as if it happened yesterday:)...I think some people will leave lasting impressions on us doesn't matter if we meet them only for a day...unfortunately we lost contact with him but hopefully he is safe and sound, he was one of those people who are prepared for 'everything':)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

That's the joy of writing! Like photographs, they can remind us things forgotten. It can even job our memories as we're writing!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

So true, my fellow hubber, so true...happy you stopped by and hope you come back again for more:)


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Beautiful poetry Beata! Thanks for following me as I have now found another beautiful writer to follow as well. What beautiful memories for you and your son and such a fantastic learning experience. I am so glad your son was able to meet his grandparents even if it was only that one occasion!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you so much for follow Teresa, always happy to meet new and interesting hubbers...back to my story, life sometimes puts many obstacles in our journey and only later on we find out that the obstacles become our miracles:)...


carcro profile image

carcro 4 years ago from Winnipeg

Cool story, I have to remember to keep a diary of my travels though I doubt it would be nearly as interesting as yours. Thanks so much for sharing! Voted Up and Interesting!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Every story is worth recording....I just keep my eyes and ears open once I hit the road and there are stories 'waiting behind every corner'...just waiting to be told and shared:)

I am just a mere recorder of life around me:)....thank you Carcro for stopping by and start recording...I will stop by too...to read your next travel story:)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Beata, I will. I'm done with school for a month so I'll have more time to stop by now!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

That's great news 'karaoke guy'...have a great holiday, live your life to the full and stop by any time...looking forward to hear from you soon:)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

so, i had a whole month off, and not as much time as I thought I would. such is life, eh?


suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

This hub is beyond any beautiful words I could type . What a fantastic trip. Thanks for following me so I had the opportunity to see this!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

It is a special story, my dear suzzycue, the one I share with my son, who is growing up so fast and yet the black and white flag of Mr Nine is still fying high above his head, I hope it will never cease to inspire him...


ThussaysNanaMarie profile image

ThussaysNanaMarie 4 years ago from In my oyster

What an opportunity and to share it with your son- priceless! You did make the connection.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, dear NanaMarie for taking my outstretched hand and for following me on my journey...the journey comes alive with every new response I get:)

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