Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A place with plenty

Tzung-en(左營) is also a place of plenty. Let me tell you more about this place today! Not only does it produce well all the fruits and vegetables that are planted there, but it also has quite a number of local varieties, which may have been planted by the Japanese quite a while earlier: such as mangoes(芒果), star fruits(楊挑), guava(番石榴 ), rose apples(蓮霧),and longan(龍眼). There were so many fruit trees that we had fresh fruits all year around. We took advantage, literally day-in and day-out, to eat these fruits. Since I had quit my 4th grade class, I had quite a bit time to explore the forests nearby fully. I knew all the trees - which ones produced sweet fruits and which ones produced larger ones, etc.

Then, on different occasions, I discovered two more important resources for spending my time. There were quite a number bamboo trees around the area. I walked into a thick stand of bamboo trees and found a lot of shoots. The bamboo hair made me itch all over for quite a while. I took a few shoots back to Mother and she loved them. From then on, we had fresh bamboo shoots on our table. On another occasion, I was at a pond along a small creek about half a mile from where we lived; my small improvised bamboo pole with a hook caught a small bluegill. For a period, the fish that I caught provided the only source of "meat" on our table. After Father joined us from Hong Kong, he joined me to fish daily so that we had "meat" on the table on the regular basis. I did not realize until much later that, since the family had no income at that time, what we caught was very important to supplement our diet.

Later, my uncle Yauyau joined us to go fishing whenever he could. And he started to take us, first to bigger ponds, and then to large lakes, to catch other kinds of fish, especially bigger fish. I remembered that once we caught nine large fish, each weighing more than two pounds. I had to take off my pants and tie the ends together so we could carry the fish and walk home. We were so ecstatic thinking that we could have "meat" for a whole week! Fishing became Yauyau's life-long hobby and it started there!

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