Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Formosa (Beautiful) 3

Today Sarj concludes his lyric poem that describes some of his experiences in Taiwan:

(Beautiful) 3
Living in the city

Life was interesting so say the least
At night I would sit on my balcony
Up and down the streets the vendors strolled
Singing the words that told of their wares

Noodles, dumplings, knife sharpeners
Pots and pans repaired and for sale
Hard working folks pushing heavy carts
Even masseuses that, by the way, were blind

Daylight brings about more people and my neighbors
A family across the street with children interest me
The boy like many others wears pants with the crotch open
I see why, when he relieves himself in the open ditch

I see a different way to discipline the children
I learn what it means to “save face”
People work hard yet don’t seem upset
The country is changing and I can see it

Living Taiwan

The Cuban Missile Crisis extends my tour
I get married and now have a large Chinese family
My wife and I honeymoon in Kao Shung in the south
We sight-see and stay in a hotel on the “Love River”

On the road we see many things
We see a mile of noodles drying along the road
Mourners marching along in funeral dress
Women and men hard at work in the fields

Kids in small villages rush to the car to see us
I imagine some have never seen an American
Big Nose, and foreign devil they shout
I learn to say these words first to surprise them

In my neighborhood there is a big funeral
The ceremony goes on for days
A lot of shrill singing and gongs and such
It must have been a rich man to have such a big event

Leaving Taiwan

I know that my time is short and I want to see more
Going to places where not many Americans have been
Learning the language or at least trying to
Maybe I could get a job here and stay for.....?

We go to beaches and places even now my wife cannot remember
I love driving in the country and seeing the houses and terraced fields
There are mountains and plants just as you would see in paintings
Every where the people are gracious and accommodating

I drive my wife’s Uncle and Aunt to tour their stores
They own general stores in a few southern towns
I get to see more areas that are not on a tour map
The people impress me the way they bow and honor others

I have to leave there is no chance to stay
I now wish I would’ve taken more photographs
If I only would have gone to more places
Now sadly we wave goodbye from the ship to My Beautiful Formosa


George said...


Nice work. I can relate.

May I ask if you and the wife are still married? If so, there is almost a "golden" anniversary coming up soon?


Anonymous said...

What wonderful words of reflection. It touched my spirit. Taiwan, beautiful Formosa, its beauty, its people, none surpassed. Kent

sarj said...

No George we not married anymore. We were together 23 years and have 4 wonderful children. We are friends and talk often.. I'm working on another 23 years this year with second wife.

sarj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George said...


It's good that you can still talk amicably. Nice to hear and...Good for you! The memories are still there.