Man or mouse ?

November 4, 2008

Since I am more or less the “chief crane” of the family, it’s my “chiefly decree” that all crane offspring must offer themselves to the “test” before admission into the inner flock.

Well, Chas passed the test on his first day here .. with flying colors.

And Peter bravely took the same test yesterday after summoning enough inner fire spirit.

So let it be known in all directions that anyone harboring any thoughts of visiting me to train ….. be prepared.

You have to conquer the “king of fruits” before we touch hands.

This fruit, durian, is loved everywhere in SE Asia by all, regardless of race, language or religion.

I sometimes think it’s the gel that bonds the many races we have in these parts.

Devoid of doubt, it’s the one common passion that defies logic.

But then, ask a westerner for comment after popping one in the mouth, you are likely to hear “taste like cheese with garlic”, “cheese left out in the sun for too long” or even worse “smells like yesterday’s fart”.

Tsk, tsk tsk ….. now we know what is the real great divide !

I say man, the UN got a long way to go …….


Peter in obvious agony.


Happier moment.

Finally, I got my student Chas Fisher and his student, Peter Morson here in Kuching with me.

The entire month of November will see visits by students from different parts of the US.

Besides doing the tourist thing; visiting some of the places that Anthony Bourdain did when he was in town, I am taking my students with me to make courtesy call with some of the masters around here – to pay respect so to speak.

Starting with my Whooping Crane mentor, Sifu Leong Ti Lien, the visit quickly turned into a touch hand session – any less would be a downer as far as I am concerned.

And watching/shooting them at work, I am thinking that this is what traditional Chinese Kung Fu should be all about – meeting friends through the arts.

In this case, it’s more like a family reunion of sort.

Cranes from all over congregating and resonating….in a way that transcends words.

The next few days will be crammed with sessions like this…

The same evening, we all had dinner  with my boss/partner Tina, Simon and the CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board, Gracie Geki at a local restaurant/pub.

So with bull frogs croaking in the back, wine on the table and the “Eagles” from the speakers, we ended the day bantering about American politics.

In the words of my fellow cobbler, Russ Smith, this is all good.

And its going to get better 🙂