My Way 07: Lijiang

Saturday, July 29. 2006
The train was to a place called Panzhihua, right at the bottom of Sichuan province. The overnight train was about 14 hours and arrived at somewhere past six am. Mica and I were woken up by the conductor and she looked rather angry, but that was standard for her, and to be fair we were five minutes from the end of the line. We had been the last to sleep, I am certain, so being the last to wake was no surprise.

Out into the early morning rain we stumbled and found a bus going from the station to the bus depot on the other side of town. Once there we bought tickets for Lijiang and both had an attack requiring a running visit to another candidate for Worst Toilet In China, which was followed by an awesome breakfast.

The bus to Lijiang was not so bad. The ride takes about eight hours, so leaving early is essential. It stopped only a few times and the toilet breaks all made top ten in the shortlist for the toilet award. Horrific, is the right word. We were passing through rural China at its greatest. Either side of the road spread paddocks, fields and dotted with simple clay and brick housing. The locals were all farmers, exclusively farmers, the road itself was mostly paved, occasionally not. Ideals like running water and shopping streets were a foreign concept out there, in the valleys scattered among the ever growing hills that gave way to mountains. Slowly the last vestiges of industrial China gave way to the true rural heart of the land. So much of the lifeforce that keeps the nation running and fed comes from places like this and all too much beauty surrounds the lives of the locals. Yet this may be the poorest place I have ever been to, this might be the most destitute of the destitute. Surrounded by beauty, these farmers do their seemingly thankless task on land they can never own and make just enough money to survive. They will never leave, most of them, they will never get out of their system. Mica told me that they might be the happiest people in the world. I think he might be right.

Running water is essential for the kinds of toilets we desire in the west. Without it, you are just shitting in a hole. That is what you have to do out there. Then you wash your hands in a bucket.

It was the middle of the afternoon when Lijiang came into view. The new town, built by the Chinese to assist the tourism industry, is grey and bleak, like any city in China. The old town is a ancient Naxi village and is all cobbled streets and wood houses. It is unlike anything else Ive seen and nothing short of amazing. It was in the old town we found a guest house, run by a lovely family. We dropped our bags and set out to look through the streets.

Tourism is the lifeblood of places like this, souvenir stands crowd the street and restaurants fill the rest. It is a special place and rightly protected. Imagine if this place was all like the new town, and no-one would ever visit. Yet if no-one stepped in and said, no, it would have already happened. Such is the way in modern China. We spent enough tourist money to satisfy ourselves and others, looked around the streets and ate. It was dark but the lighting only served to highlight the streets and houses. Indeed, a wonderful place.

The Naxi people are one of the many ethnic minorities in China. The vast majority of the billion souls are Han Chinese, around the edges you find the more well-known Tibetans and Uigurs. In the south there are about ten more smaller tribes in northern Yunnan the Naxi and Mosu are the living relics. Tourism drives their very survival. Their houses are what people come to see and they dress like the old days to accommodate expectations. Money is what saves these people and cultures from extinction, after their demise was all but assured at the hands of the joint monsters of communism and poverty. To deride them for essentially playing dress-up and keeping their houses free of modern convenience so visitors might have an authentic experience is easy, but survival is at any cost, I guess.

Protected, sheltered. We were only there for a day, but it is a truly amazing place. So far from anywhere, people do come days to see it. I know personally at least one person who stayed for a whole month. It is worth it, believe me.

My Way 06: Chengdu

Friday, July 28. 2006
The plan went like this. Train to Chengdu. Do stuff there. Train to Xian. Do more stuff there. Train to Beijing, move along. This is not how it went.

I did go to Chengdu, as you know. A half-eaten post pointed out a few things that happened there. Here it is for the sake of consistency.

Since I left you, since I left Beijing, the rollercoaster has not stopped long enough to think. It was maybe a good thing that my hardware was hardwired, but I attempted to fix it and failed that night in the capital. Stayed up drinking until ten in the morning then scrambled to make the train to Chengdu, where I passed hours in unconsciousness. Chengdu arrived some thirty or so hours later and I was glad. The south was the plan, I had a plane to catch some weeks later and until then I would see what I could see. It was a grand plan.

It quickly became boring. The hostel I elected to stay at was uninteresting and I regretted the choice as I shared a room with a dying cow (at least that is what the snoring sounded like) and it rarely had hot water or power. This was bad.

I went to the panda farm (its actually a research and breeding centre, but I call it a farm) and my pain was alleviated when my saviors appeared from the mists. The Mexicans from Beijing, still here! I thought they would be long gone by now, but here before my eyes they were. Happy, happier I could not have been.

The scene was set.

Set it was. We went to the Sichuan Opera, which is absolutely fantastic, we hung around the hostel making friends and watching the all important World Cup. We saw both our countries bow out And that was it. We had to decide what to do and I put forth the plan that we go to Emei-shan, to the south of Chengdu, and climb the mountain there. It was a few days climb each way and there were temples to stay at on the way. Sounds cool, right? So they decided to come with me. We decided to go together. I would have gone on my own, but heading there with them was tenfold.

We took a bus, getting away late (this happened often) and it took about two hours. We took a break for food at the Teddy Bear caf at the bottom of the mountain, grabbed some sticks and left at about 2 in the afternoon. We wandered around the bottom, trying to figure out the right way. We argued and joked about whether we were going the right way. Gesturing and furious gesturing, waving the map we had, and we kept to the right path. I was a bit tired to begin with because the day before we had gone off to play soccer. We borrowed a ball and we had heard about a park we could play in nearby, so we went off to find it. We failed, but we saw a school nearby We went in and asked of we could play there. Surprisingly, the guard said yes. We went in. There were still kids there, playing basketball. Soon enough we organized a game of basketball between us and them, foreigners versus Chinese kids. We won, on account of us being bigger. But skills-wise, they had it all over us. Really. Then we played soccer and it was the same story they had some real skills but size and strength won the day. It was awesome fun but left me knackered for the next day.

So we find the right path and follow it, find the right steps and start climbing. It was one long stairway, really, this path up the mountain, but it goes through a forest and the scenery gradually becomes more and more spectacular. It was hot and sweaty, we were soon soaking wet. We took our shirts off and kept going. We greeted all the people we saw coming the other way and they replied. They stared, but they stare anyway. We talked science, philosophy, religion. Everything. We bounced, we climbed. We stopped for water and to eat, we talked and listened. Always listen, you dont know what might be out there.

Several times there was confusion about the path, but we got where we were going. No monkeys were seen that first day, to our disgust. We were looking forward to the monkeys but none appeared. It became dark and we decided to start looking for somewhere to stay. The next temple we came across was looking good, but the monks tried to get more money out of us for a room then we wanted to pay, so we decided to keep going and stay at the next place. On the way out the door, a Chinese man stops us. Dont go out there, he tell us. You will die. Please stay here tonight. What? We ask for more information. The next temple is a long way away and its hard going, you wont make it in the dark. Really? But they want too much money here, so we are leaving. Wait, he tells us. He goes and talks to the monks for us and we got our price. Sweet, it is settled. We go to our room and thank the man.

We come back in search of bottled water and toilet paper. Again the Chinese guy helps us (after miming toilet paper to quite a few people) and we talk more to him and his group. They are students, he is the teacher, they are on holidays. He has been here before, the students have not. They are animation students. Really? Can you draw something on our clothes? Really? Yes. So we get nice pictures on our t-shirts and shorts. And some new friends. We talk for a while and plan to go together the next morning. They warn us about packs of twenty to thirty monkeys harassing tourists Three of us would not be a good idea, so its a good thing you met us. Right. I could enjoy fighting off a pack of monkeys

We had about seven hours of sleep, probably less. No breakfast, either. I was less willing to be climbing than the day before. More muscle pain, you see, but off we went with the Chinese people. And they were right. The trail became ten times harder and steeper. If we had kept going the night before, I would not be here writing this to you, I would be crumpled in a canyon somewhere. We saw a few monkeys and fell behind the Chinese people. We caught up to them when they stopped to rest. We ate at one the many small restaurant-like places up the mountain no-one is in any danger of being caught short for food or drink up there, I promise. Every ten to fifteen minutes there is somewhere to rest and restock. And if you get too tired, you can pay to be carried. No kidding. Plenty of old people do the climb, it being something of a Buddhist pilgrimage, so this is understandable. Unforgivable if you are under 60 years old, but understandable.

The going was slower and harder. For about ten hours we climber up the stairs, passing people on the way down and temple after temple. Clouds and fog came and went, but it remained humid as hell and repressive. Still we forged on and talked the same talk, marveled at where we were and felt alive.

The path meets up with the road near the top. There are busses to ferry the too-weary up and down, and a cable car if you are extra-soft. We stopped for a break there. It was another two hours to the top after that, to Golden Peak Temple. The Chinese people got us another good deal on a hotel there (one of the worst I have ever seen, there was not even running water!) and we went to the top. A giant golden statue of Buddha rests there alongside the temple and a nunnery. We were there in time for the sunset. A more beautiful sunset you could not hope to see. We were above the clouds, a view usually reserved for aero plane passengers and the colours of the sunset were reflected a full 360 degrees around us. The colours grew stronger and stronger. We felt like we were sitting on top of the world, sitting in heaven, floating over the land. It was glorious. The most rewarding sight we could have found up there, the greatest sunset and the beauty of it all was almost too much.

We went back to eat and watch soccer. We must have slept at two am. And we were awake hours later because we heard the sunrise was around four am. It was freezing cold and none of us had any decent clothing (I had nothing dry) and we were, it turns out, hours early. We sat in the freezing cold and waited for a sunrise that we would not have seen anyway the clouds obscured the view and we were left disappointed. The sunset made up for it in out minds and we left to go back to sleep.

And sleep to midday we did. Cleaning our stuff up, we left the hotel just as check out time rolled around. I felt sick, having sat in the cold for so long, but had no choice but to walk back at least to the bus stop. We did some shopping and took the bus to the bottom and went back to the Teddy Bear. We did it and it took all of three days, but three amazing days. We ate and rested. The Mexicans saw someone they knew in there it was Mix, owner of the Mix Hostel in Chengdu, where we were staying. So we had a chat and took the bus back together. Mix is a really nice guy, you dont meet hostel owners like that often. In fact, you almost never meet the owner. So a big shout out to Mix (and his whole crew there in Chengdu, you all rule!) and the House of the Dragon prize for Best Hostel goes to you man I know Im not finished yet but no-one is beating you.

We were back in Chengdu in time for the soccer.

The next day plans were made. My passport was in getting my visa extended, so I was stuck in Chengdu till Thursday. Blu was off to Tibet, while Mica had another route in mind. I scrapped the plan to go back toward Xian and would head south with Mica toward Tiger Leaping Gorge. We had some fun around the city and sent Blu on his way. I didnt manage to wake up, because I had been up watching France win some game. He made it and had awesome adventures.

Thursday came. A trip to the post office and the local swimming pool, then I hit the PSB to get my passport back. Then to the bank to get more cash and it was sorted. Mica had met a girl and was cavorting as only he can.

We waited for each other and there was much confusion. It only ended when we realised we were waiting for each other in different places. Too bad this was only resolved when we had twenty minutes to get to the station. All the staff were helping us find each other and Mix himself was running around trying to help us. We jumped in a taxi and headed off. We ran, bags swinging, hitting old people, jumping over children To be told too late that we were not in time. Bullshit! I cried, to no avail. We had missed the train. Carefully laid plans were wasted. What to do? There was nothing else to do but change the tickets for tomorrow and go back, tails between our legs. Shouting, were gonna fucking make that goddamn train, as I left made it a little harder. Some Chinese people helped up change our tickets and we decided to walk back. On the way we got our ears pierced, and a tradition was born. A new piercing for every missed bus, plane, train or otherwise.

We came back and the looks of surprise were welcoming. We chatted to Sara outside and told the story for the first time and she only could laugh. Then we said we were going to check in and she shook her head. Were full tonight, boys Oh crap. We went inside and told the whole story again, to much laughter, and we got to sleep on the couch. Lucky for us, I guess. They were really nice there, it was awesome.

Mix was shocked when he saw us again, I can tell you that. We spent the night with Micas girl, around the city and later on the roof of her building (34 floors up!) and it was more memorable than I could have imagined.

The next day we went swimming again. We took it easy and when it came time to leave, all the staff came out to say goodbye and Mix hailed the taxi. We made it, and finally left Chengdu. Unforgettable does not even begin to cover it.

My Way 05: Beijing

Thursday, July 27. 2006
Author's note:
When I wrote this, things were good. Then someone bought an iPod. They plugged it into the computer at the hostel. The computer was the Thai whore of hostel computers riddled with viruses. So the brand new iPod became host to W32.Rontobro.D@mm, among other fanciful crap along for the ride. These nasties dont do anything particularly malicious, so all your files are fine. But they are hard to track down and destroy, and very annoying. It also copies itself to removable drives. An iPod, for all its wonder, is essentially that. Just a removable drive.

I then allowed infected iPod to be plugged into my computer. I was down. It took me a long time (time I didnt have) and a lot of resources (that are mostly a long way from China) to fix. Only now, weeks later, am I sure enough that things are ok. Along the way, the things I did to try and get it out involved deleting a bunch of stuff (at someones suggestion) and I was without Word for a long time. Until yesterday, in fact. So this bandwagon is back on the road, but due to the catch up required, things might be a little less detailed than before. Lets make it work, because that is exactly My Way.

When you think things cant get any worse, you end up trapped on a train in a seat half your size for fourteen hours with a Chinese man asleep on your shoulder, snoring his way to Beijing. Yep, it was a good thing I could consider it a low point there because in my head I would need a bottom point to push back up from Beijing would be a real challenge and no doubting, I just didnt know it yet.

As I schlepped my way out of the station, somewhat invigorated by the fact I had reached what was in my mind a real target destination, I hustled down to the subway and was stopped by the lack of ticket vending machine. Damn. What station did I need? How was I to communicate this? Then I saw that all tickets were three Yuan and all you needed to do was hand it over and get a ticket back. Easy, primitive, keeps people employed. Welcome to Beijing, not quite as ready for the 21st century as it might think, not quite up to the standard but pushing.

The hostel was easily found close to a station and clearly marked. Both things I like quite a lot. For thirty Yuan a night it was also the cheapest so far, in the most expensive city so far. Go figure that one out.

I lay around adjusting for the better part of the rest of the day. My daze was interrupted only by the arrival of some noisy revellers. They would turn out to be Penny and the Mexican Boys, fresh from adventure on the Great Wall and still full of energy. Not long after they were followed by Ami the Road Warrior, in Beijing to perform final rights on his journey. The stage was set for the next few days.

I also sent out a fateful e-mail. Beijing looked like it was getting ready to attack, but I did not recognise the signs yet. All in good time.

I awoke with the clutter of things being dropped. Eight thirty and the day was beginning. Earlier than that Ami had set out for the wall. The night before we had sat around drinking two Yuan beers and heard how Penny and the Mexican Boys had stayed overnight on the wall, filling me with dangerous thoughts. Ami was to go back to Israel that night. This was the last roll of the dice for him. I spent the day looking around Tiananmen Square and the shops to the south of it, as well as running around organising plane tickets and all sorts of bullshit with Penny. That night we dined on Peking Duck and more two Yuan beer. Life was good for a while.

The next morning Penny joined Ami in the exodus away from the Chinese capital. I had a reply from the e-mail and spent the day in the company of an old friend, of a person I go along way back with, a person of more history than I like to think of. It was a good day. The Summer Palace is exquisite, an oasis away from the gunbarrel streets and firepower traffic. We walked all around the lake and the six bridges thereof, we talked and planned, missed the past but did not mention it at all.

I fell ill the next two days. I lay around cursing my luck, the dirty air and quietly musing about how it was only a few Yuan a night to get over it. I had some meds. I took them, not knowing if they would do much, and felt better. I spent a day looking around the Forbidden City and Wangfujing shopping area with some other travellers, haggling my way to stardom. It was the weekend by then, somehow I felt like I had seen nothing.

My friend took me shopping on Sunday. I thought I was good at whittling a good price from greedy Chinese hands. She showed me otherwise and I saw a new side of her. Depth can only be seen from the right perspective. It was again a good day but troubling. I knew not and both at the same time what ailed me, for I knew I could easily hang around Beijing just for the chance of an occasional day like that. Time in between would go astray and I would never make my goals. Something needed to be done.

I sent another e-mail, I saw another temple. It was getting hotter and I had plans to experience the wall. A reply didnt come, I wasted another day. I took a lot of chances ordering from Chinese menus without pictures and will never forget the results. Haggling and mystery food will stay two of my favourite China memories. Civilization never felt further away or closer to my heart.

Tuesday morning and I was on a bus. Jinshanling is about two hours from Beijing and a four hour hike down the wall to Simatai. The sights were among the most amazing things I have seen in my life. Awe inspiring and breathtaking, muscle killing and backbreaking. Not for the faint of heart or weak of leg, the wall is not an easy hike. Some of the inclines go further than seventy degrees, many sections are reduced to loose rocks. Danger and vertigo are constant companions. I will not complain here about the hawkers and touts who invade the wall daily to harass tourists but the day will come when I crack and murder someone.

At the small town of Simatai I went behind the wall to a restaurant. My information told me I would get help there. I did, as the man running the show told me when to make my way further up the wall after he saw the guards leaving. I did just that and another hour later I was as far as I could go. The twelfth tower was the end of the walkable path. I slept there that night, the ghosts of coldness swirling around me.

I went back down before the guards came at eight. Sitting around Simatai waiting for a bus I reflected on things. The Great Wall indeed deserved the name and I had been a part of it, stone and cold and broken for just long enough. I made it back to Beijing and the same hostel in time for dinner.

I was not in the same room as last time but across the hall. In the ten-person dorm was a German girl. I helped put some songs on her new mp3-player and I had another new friend. She was going to Moscow on the train, something I had wanted to do but had let go in favour of spending more time in China. This held my resolve to make the most of the time I had given myself and I let go of a few thoughts and bought two tickets. One was my ride out of there, in July, the other a train ticket for that coming Tuesday. I had made some choices and it was only ever going to be for the best.

Post-Great wall recovery I also saw the Temple of Heaven and did some more shopping. I cleaned out my bags and got rid of things I could live without. I streamlined and rationalised. I prepared.

I got spellbindingly drunk and almost missed the train. But I didnt, and I made it out of Beijing alive. So long, I thought, as I passed out in my sleeper bed.

Black Eyed Peas tomorrow fuckers

Monday, July 24. 2006
Awww yeeah another week goes by and I didn't write the things I promised. Instead I'm here to remind you that I'm going to see BEP tomorrow night. I hope they play some old shit (though I know they probably won't).

Also going to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2 tonight, after my singing lesson. Oh yeah. I started singing lessons last week.


Tuesday, July 18. 2006
One week today till the Black Eyed Peas. Woohoo! Also I'll be playing this Saturday with Sons on Pablo - if you're in Taipei and want to see me looking nervous on drums come on down. I'll post details later.

Stayed tuned today for my update about a weekend in hell, then later in the week when I write about why, as of the eighth of this month, I am the last dragon standing.


Thursday, July 13. 2006
After a week of flawless weather while my parents were here, the weather has returned to its usual pattern of rain. As tropical storm Bilis approached Taiwan, the weather literally changed every half an hour - from walls of pouring rain to boiling sun in a matter of minutes.

According to forecasts we were going to get a typhoon holiday day tomorrow when the storm actually hit Taiwan, but it has become apparent that although the storm is already here it has blown itself out. This is a let down - I was looking forward to a long weekend after putting up with riding to work everyday in pissing rain and wind.

My parents left Taiwan on Monday, after 10 days here. It was a great week; I took time off from work to hang out with them. We traveled a little and I took photographs with the camera they gave me. Yes, I am finally able to take pictures again. I'll post some as well as a rundown on what we did later.

Part of my plan for this post was to mention the Black Eyed Peas are coming to town, and that I don't have tickets, but wasn't so concerned because I wasn't that rapt about their latest album. (I bought Monkey Business at the airport the last time I went to Hong Kong on a visa run so I must admit that some songs have a special place in my heart; I was listening to them as I anxiously awaited my fate on the island and around Kowloon.) However, it transpired this afternoon that Dinna has actaully bought tickets for both of us and Xiao Lu - it's his birthday - and I have to say I am pretty excited about it. The tickets weren't cheap - more than AUD100. A ripoff for one act but I think the seats are pretty good.

I've been drumming a lot and enjoying it immensely. The typhoon weather prevented a scheduled rehearsal with the Sons of Pablo tonight, which I was anticipating but the break has given me some time to get some of my shit together.

I think that's about all I've got for tonight. Kerouac Cat appears not to be dead (though Europe is fucking him in the arse), and John is settling into London in his own way apparently. There is more good in the world than I thought.

Wind from the south

Wednesday, July 12. 2006
Out of my mind, the sky was talking to me
They came to show me, but they took my words as payment
I lay there and listened They told me nothing new
I still dont know what to do, but I will not run
I want to run away from this, I want to leave it behind
I want to forget, but how could I?
I came so far but now reality leaves me blind.

The sky gave me a look
that was all.
A look at you and then I followed
The sky took you away
before I even had a chance to take

A note about my absence. I was caught in a spell in China, a world now far behind. My computer was ill, a victim of a clever virus I could not beat. My means of writing to you was lost, so I left my note and decided not to worry about it. Something would come, something would happen and here on this clear blue day, I am doing something about it.

Since I left you, since I left Beijing, the rollercoaster has not stopped long enough to think. It was maybe a good thing that my hardware was hardwired, but I attempted to fix it and failed that night in the capital. Stayed up drinking until ten in the morning then scrambled to make the train to Chengdu, where I passed hours in unconsciousness. Chengdu arrived some thirty or so hours later and I was glad. The south was the plan, I had a plane to catch some weeks later and until then I would see what I could see. It was a grand plan.

It quickly became boring. The hostel I elected to stay at was uninteresting and I regretted the choice as I shared a room with a dying cow (at least that is what the snoring sounded like) and it rarely had hot water or power. This was bad.

I went to the panda farm (its actually a research and breeding centre, but I call it a farm) and my pain was alleviated when my saviours appeared from the mists. The Mexicans from Beijing, still here! I thought they would be long gone by now, but here before my eyes they were. Happy, happier I could not have been.

The scene was set.

Overwhelmed, I am. There are parts missing I dont feel like storytelling right now. Here is the current state of events. No good can come of this, no good at all.

Lie on the edge of the eternal day
a moment now captured
A body turning gray
I rock back and forth, I roll
in this sea, bleed out my
ambition and newfound
I lie here, its three am in my head
This beat sees me falling
and this vision, this vision

Love is so empty
Love is a bomb
Love is my graveyard
Love is so wrong

Love is as deep as a lake
Love ends here, cut bleeding and red
Love is a world, a universe perverse
Love is my sweet broken heart
Love is all torn and weak at the knees
Love cannot win away
Love cannot sin
Love is a man condemned to himself
Love is all over the floor like a rug
Love is just over,
Love is beaten dumb.

Love is dyslexic, blind deaf and dumb
Love leaves me crying, wailing and numb
Love is now sighing and looking away
Love can go drown itself in the bay
Love has no meaning

Sit up now, tingle, Im awake.
A chilli in the eye, sleep is all gone.


Wednesday, July 12. 2006
You know everything is falling apart when all the work gets subcontracted out to third-world nations like England. John noticed that noone does any work around this place anymore and took it upon himself to submit the following, which I think might be a transcription of Kerouac Cat's suicide note (after I threatened to have one of my goons rape him and send pictures to KC's mother). Also, I apologize for the woeful capitalization in this, but you've got to understand John is an English major. Cheers John.

A Fond Farewell

I thought i'd write, i thought i'd let you know...
or rather you did.

Months of silence

i thought i'd lanced the sore, cut you off
and limped on, one hand clutching the place you used to be.

And you had to spoil it, throw me a line, nothing more than a hello, how are you,
that i can't even read without breaking down.

I read half, i'm sure that in a few days i'll be able to read the rest...

So here's the reply you won't be getting:

I'd love to tell you I'm fine, I'd love to tell you that i don't spend most nights drunk,
and high, careening through the old dart with people i barely know in places that i shouldn't
be. I'd love to tell you that every day i don't wake up shocked that i woke up.
I'd love to tell you that i don't sometimes forget that you're gone and think to tell you something,
then torn from the dream "i waked, she fled, and day brought back my night".
I'd love to tell you that i don't compose the letter of explanation I'll never write
or send every morning as i stumble home through a silent city.
I'd love to tell you that this is not my life... It's just a fond farewell to a friend.

i'd love...but i'm too tired.

So i'll ignore your missive.

Stone Cold, but i can't get any distance while we talk, even from the other side of the world.
Because i can't read a line without being reminded of how i love everything you are.

And this will take pride of place in my Patchwork Cloak of Guilt that I flourish melodramatically at
anyone who'll look.

I hope some day hence i'll be together enough to explain, I hope you'll be together enough to forgive.

But if I don't, then i don't;
and if you won't, then you won't.