Sunday, August 30, 2009

Don't Miss A Thing

Lee Huang Lai gobbled her lunch while keeping an eye on the road outside the Forever Prosperity Restaurant. She could not wait for her sisters a minute longer, afraid she would miss the return of Uncle Tu on the 12:25 bus from the big city.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mei Mei Follows Her Brother

Mei Mei thought is best to follow her brother to the bus terminal to greet Uncle Tu.

Di Di Waits for Uncle Tu

Di Di, the youngest boy in the Chen family, agreed to go to the bus terminal to wait for Uncle Tu. He kept his eye out for hints of Exceeding Joy.

~Farewell my dear Leigh. Your brother has spotted your exceeding joy too.
~ Mama

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Coral Earrings

Shao Pang was very proud of her coral earrings. Many had guessed that Mr. Wang-Tu Lee had given them to her the night she sang a lovely tune during the Feast of Excited Insects. But Shao Pang was no longer sure that this gift from Uncle Tu was something to be proud of. All week, the escape and subsequent joy ride of Uncle Tu's bird, Exceeding Joy, had unleashed a string of discussions on love and freedom among the women of Wu Fung Road.

When rumors flew that Exceeding Joy had been seen on the edge of town, Shao Pang was sad. "If it were me, I would have flown ten thousand li away and never returned to sing for Uncle Tu, no matter how nice my cage. Stupid Bird."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Good Omen

Jya Lee, the eldest daughter of Mrs. Chen returned from the market and went straight to her mother to announce very good news. "I have seen Uncle Tu's song bird at the edge of town. Don't worry Mother, I am sure Exceeding Joy will return before Uncle does."

Mrs Chen sighed deeply. "Ah, my daughter. This is certainly a good omen."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Uncle Tu's Bad Trip

When Uncle Tu made his journey to the big city, he would never in ten thousand years imagine that his bird, Exceeding Joy, would be lost.

~home from the big city.

Friday, August 14, 2009

No Idea

Mrs. Sung's kitchen girl answered the door just before dinner. It was one of the many Chen boys stopping by to inquire if she had seen Exceeding Joy, Uncle Tu's wayward bird, flitting about.

Little Kwai answered. "I have no idea where that bird has gone. Why would you expect it ever to come back?"

~writing from New York

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Suzy Sung's Choir

In her youth, Mrs. Sung had sung in the Peking Opera. It was to her dismay that her husband, an official in the Kuo Ming Tang, had to flee for his life to the island of Formosa. It later became even worse, when he fell out of favor with Taipei authorities and was assigned to our small village as a magistrate. Not only did Suzy lament the loss of face, but the lack of dramatic opportunities. Still, the enterprising singer was quite successful in starting our first operatic troupe. The fact that the choir was made up mainly of members of her own household staff and a few disgruntled veterans did not diminish our enjoyment.

The only person who missed the performance of The Lonely Maiden was the Magistrate.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Miss Chen's Red Comb

Chen Shiao Jye was not a fan of Uncle Tu’s bird, Exceeding Joy. The song bird, however just loved Miss Chen's shiny lacquer red comb and was drawn to it. Exceeding Joy dreamed someday of having a comb just like it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Warm Night

Lee Shiao Jye was bored. So far, not a single customer had dropped in at the Forever Fortune Tea Room. Perhaps this was because Mrs. Soong's new opera, A Lonesome Maiden, was to be performed tonight for the first time in the courtyard of the Wu Fung Temple. Or it could also be that everyone had been preoccupied with the escape of Uncle Tu's song bird. But finally Miss Lee decided it was just too muggy to drink hot tea.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Wife, Perhaps

When Exceeding Joy, Uncle Tu's escaped bird began to sing to Lau Da, he finally understood why this song bird made the old man so love sick. He thought that perhaps he might suggest to his mother that she find Uncle Tu a wife.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Exceeding Satisfaction

When Mrs. Chen's youngest daughter realized that her brother had let Uncle Tu's bird, Exceeding Joy, escape, Mei Mei could not believe her good fortune. She had been quite bitter that Uncle Tu and her mother had chosen Lau San, instead of her, to be the bird's caretaker. She could not help but feel her own exceeding joy and satisfaction. "Ha!"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tai Tai Hears The Door

Tai Tai was waiting for her neighbors to join her for a night of tea, foot massages, and mahjong. It would be a long evening of clucking and clacking.