Lin, a Chinese friend giggled at my feeble, say,
pedestrian attempt at Cantonese,
the Chinese word for butterfly or dragon even moth just vanished down the throat of one so eager yet befuddled,
turning egg shell noodles under spit fire lanterns,
our laughter rose and fell amid the sotto voce banter now in train.
Me the woodland boffin, immersed in esoteric marshland plant life,
the sort that rules the grand designs of green leaf activists.
Lin, the restless late teen nomad,
who had yet to sink deep roots,
often dwelt in backstreet fruit and flora stalls,
on occasions even flexing sylvan muscles on craggy
Her flawless English honed through years of rough sea ferry ventures,
on holidays abroad in trendy sunspots,
at major meadow festivals where gaiety and buzz words sprout.
We keep in touch thru text and pen as often as we can.
Meeting up is fun.
I hope one day my knowledge of those mystic eastern tongues will stray beyond the basics of some tawdry travel phrase book, the one I’m prone to cart around the world but seldom use.
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