Sandy and “Symbiosis”

Sandy Chiang landed on our rooftop yesterday afternoon. I didn’t know she was coming to see us until she was already in Pondicherry, having taken a flight at the crack of dawn from Ahmedabad (where she spent a typically amazing week at Manav Sadhna) to Chennai, then a four hour bus ride to Pondicherry. She is here for a few days before heading to Taiwan for a month on a secret mission to collect stories from her relatives for a bilingual tribute to her parents while they are still alive.

I lost no time in putting her to work.  Since Sandy speaks Taiwanese and Mandarin, and has done a lot of translations for Reverend Heng Sure and the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, I took her to the BookBox office to see if they needed any help in translation or narration.  Indeed, they needed a Mandarin translator for several stories.  It seemed to me that there was about a week’s worth of work.  I felt a little guilty after leaving her in the clutches of the the BookBox staff, hoping that I hadn’t overloaded her with work.  After all, she’d come to Pondicherry to hang out with us and eat South Indian food.

Sandy showed up for lunch two hours later, having completed the available work – editing four stories:  Symbiosis, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Tucket the Bucket, and Little Star of Bethlehem (not yet available for download).  A good thing too, since it turned out that Souvenir Travels was able to find her a direct flight to Taiwan from Chennai (as opposed to Delhi or Mumbai), but the only available flight is tomorrow night.

Four meals (Sandy is a passionate (and compassionate) eater), two hours of service, a walking tour of the heritage buildings in Pondicherry (led by INTACH), and she’s off to savor the tastes of Taiwan.


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