“Adventures Abroad” by Ricky Tsang

about the author:

Ricky Tsang was a pillar in our Duchenne community for years. From his website DearRicky.com, to his Facebook group We Are Dystrophin, to his first book, Ridiculous: The Mindful Nonsense of Ricky’s Brain, Ricky’s priority was helping and advocating for our community – well, that and romancing women.

Shortly before passing away in 2016, Ricky shared the manuscript for his second book with me. It was never published and we would like to share it now with our DMD community.

Adventures Abroad
“Inspirational: My Big Mechanical Derriere”
—Chapter 1, Part 5—

It was a wonderful life we had in the great big city of Hong Kong, but traveling outside its realms provided much excitement, and Japan was at the top of our list. Jackie had already been there and visited Aunt Celia and Uncle Tong.

I saw snowflakes for the very first time. We tobogganed in the blinding white landscape and warmed ourselves to the cozy fires of a shabushabu, even going to Disneyland.

The funniest part about the trip had to be when the airport authorities flagged me for carrying a toy gun. I ended up carrying a fake weapon in a paper bag with red tape all over it. I was a three-year-old potential terrorist in a foreign country.

Los Angeles gave Dad much frustration when his expensive camera got stolen at the airport. However, we had fun in Hollywood and Universal Studios, even when the jaws ride made me afraid to spread my arms.

We then flew over to Ontario where Uncle Louis and Aunt Dolly resided. I had never met my cousins, Daniel and Eva, until those moments, and it was a strange time because of our language barrier.

They spoke Mandarin and English, while I only knew Cantonese. I felt left out a lot, especially with their cousins, but took out my frustrations on Daniel, always picking on him because he was smaller than me. In retrospect, I was kind of mean to my cousins… except Sunnie. She beat up her teachers.

Departing from the Canadian borders and a preview of our future, we met up with Uncle Tong, who saw his brother with Aunt Celia. They left a day earlier for our rendezvous in New York. It was there that I encountered Lady Liberty, whom I eventually realized more than a decade later, was in fact her gender. 

On route home, we visited Uncle Tommy and Auntie Irene, who were Dad’s old friends, in San Francisco. I had never seen the sun so bright in my life. I’m still tickled in the heart, thinking of all the fresh strawberries kissed by its golden rays. I got the magic set from them. Along with my sister, Arthur and cousins, they played tricks on younger me whenever I wasn’t looking, fun times – for them. 

California introduced me to my first amorous affair with an older woman. Natalie was five after all. I never had a love/hate relationship until I met her. It was so amusing how we bickered with such passion about the dumbest issues, only to make up every night before bedtime. I hated the day we left as I missed our childish fights.

While leaving I was blessed to have had some Legos on board, but I realized I was in possession of a rare computer piece. Of course, I was afraid of going to prison, but glad because for one, it was retribution, and secondly, I thought it gave us a reason for returning to the golden state. 

On our last vacation of that era, we went to Beijing and walked the Great Wall of China. It was there that I started to notice a bit of exhaustion in my legs and Dad had to carry me, but there wasn’t much concern as it was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I had my first horseback ride but didn’t appreciate having that huge whiff of wild turd muffins. What I remember most was the cheapskate return flight. It was a miracle we made it home alive in that piece of junk.

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