DV8, the musty, wood-covered site of many late nights after work at the newspaper as well as a scene in the movie, is closing its doors for good after Chinese New Year’s, so David, Thumper and I met up there on Friday night to see it once more. A fair share of people were there, including Gavin, Bob from Carnegies and Matthew Lian. We did the traditional DV8 thing, that is we drank, hunted through the music collection, argued about politics and played some pool downstairs.
Our old co-worker Ronnie, who is now at the Taipei Times, wrote a story on the old place’s imminent demise. It was good, but one part made me laugh:
Kenbo Liao remembers one such hazy moment in 1996, when China was launching missiles over Taiwan. Lots of people had left Taiwan, but he was here with a few regulars. “The missiles were probably shooting over our heads,” he said. Around 2am they got together and pledged to defend Taiwan against China. “We were comrades,” Liao said.
Ah, Kenbo. What a character. It’s hard for me to get all weepy about his selfless act of heroism in drinking in a bar, however, as at the time my military unit in Hsinchu was on high alert, so with all the snap drills I didn’t have the chance to express my patriotism in such an eloquent fashion.
David was roaring drunk by the time we hit the street in the wee hours of the morning. He had a flight the next day to Australia, the lucky sod. After we had walked about 50 feet from the door, I turned him around to face the bar, from which music was still emanating, and said, “There it is. You can see it, and you can hear it.”
The next day was Chinese New Year’s Eve, and I spent the evening at a friends house in Nangang eating good food and playing with their new Wii. They only sell the Japanese version here, so we spent a bit of time squinting at the squiggles on the screen, trying to guess what they meant. It was a lot of fun, though. The tennis was probably my favorite, though I didn’t get to play the pingpong. The bowling was ok, as was the baseball. The boxing was just frustrating, as the punches seemed to bear no relation to one’s hand motions.
I got back to Bitan, exhausted from the food and the Wii-related activities, at about 2am, and the fireworks were going strong. I longed for sleep, but the constant barrage outside my window made it impossible. I tried going downstairs to the common room, but it was just as loud there. Then I tried my bathtub, which was even worse as it cut off my circulation and made me dizzy. In the end I just laid on my bed waiting for it to die down, and took a nap the next morning.
When I went down to the lobby, I saw a newspaper article posted on the bulletin board, about the strict anti-fireworks measures being undertaken by the Bitan Police. Patrols every hour, on the hour! The residents are suffering! More news from bizarro-land, ’cause it ain’t happening here.
Tonight looks to be more of the same, colorful explosions-wise. In fact, it will probably continue for several nights, and as I’m a bit short on money this month, I can’t afford to go stay at the Love Hotel just up the road for a night or two. I wonder if I have any old all-night sauna coupons left…