Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 29 2001

I had a feeling that the bamboo grove in the park …

I had a feeling that the bamboo grove in the park at night, being an unlit and rather spooky area, would prove a tempting venue for a ambush by Seamus, so after I returned home and picked up my swords, running across Hsinsheng S. Road in the middle of traffic, I approached the grove with no small amount of caution. I soon spotted Dean in the distance. He was being tracked by Seamus. I called Dean on his cell phone.

“Hey, where are you?” I asked innocently.

“I’m in the park. Where are you?” he replied.

“I’m at the grove. Have you seen Seamus?” I saw him look around for Seamus, who began to run towards him.

“Yeah, I think I see him,” Dean said as he began edging away from the approaching shadow-that-might-be-Seamus. “I’ll see you soon.”

Eventually they circled the small hill in the park, Seamus at one point taking a spectacular dive and then rolling back up again, and began to approach the bamboo grove again. I cut across, sat down in the grove, and waited for them to notice me. They were virtually on top of me before they saw me. We moved to a more open space and began practicing sword techniques, moving once when a group of Japanese students decided that we would be appropriate viewing entertaining for their evening picnic.

It was a good workout, topped off by free-style fighting with Seamus at the end. I took a couple of pictures before we headed over to DV8, which was practically empty. We ordered drinks and a pizza and sat down to talk. Eventually Graham showed up, it being his day off from the newspaper. It was strange to be with old friends at our old watering hole again. We proceeded to get quite inebriated, since Seamus is leaving for Japan on Friday and we won’t be seeing him until he gets back, if he ever returns. He was lamenting his decision to go to India, which he describes eloquently as “Covered in three feet of shit”, but also very excited that he was going to Japan.

Eventually we left after a long series of rum, coke, beer, Bailey’s and god knows what else. Seamus had a sudden desire for Ke-le-guo, which are spicey twisted chips, so we went to the nearest 7-Eleven and got some to snack on as we stood outside and passed a can of Taiwan beer around. Normally I don’t drink beer, but by that point I didn’t really care what I was drinking. We stood outside, Dean and Seamus talking about Asian women and Western women while I oogled a guy inside the 7-Eleven, apparently a friend of the cashier’s.

“What is it about slightly cross-eyed guys?” I mused aloud when Seamus was inside buying more beer. Dean noticed and took exception to my taste, saying I could do much better than that. I didn’t mention my observation to Seamus when he came back out with the beer, since he has told me that he is going to find a woman for me someday; far be it from me to ruin such a grand plan!

Eventually we put Dean in a cab, but not before Seamus took his sword away and gave it to me, so that we would have an excuse to get together and practice. He was quite adamant about this, so I took the sword in spite of Dean’s drunken protests. I can give it back to him anytime, after all, and I didn’t feel like annoying a drunken Seamus, especially where swords were involved.

So, needless to say, I came to work this morning not a little tired and hung over. When I came down this morning, I found a heavy-set fellow dressed in red sitting on my motorcycle. I don’t know what it is about my motorcycle that seems so inviting, but I am constantly finding idle passers-by just plopping themselves down on it and proceeded to chew the fat with their friends.

The guy got off when I approached, brandishing my key ring. “Sorry,” he said in Chinese. One of the other, similarly dressed, rough-looking guys who were squatting nearby upbraided him, saying “Why did you bothing saying ‘sorry’ in Chinese to a foreigner?”

I know, I know. I should have just walked away, as I was already late to work, but I felt some sort of response was in order, so I struck up a conversation with the guys, using the convenient conversation-starting fact that I am Chinese-but-not-Chinese. It turned out that they were helping out their pal Pang Jian-guo, whose election office is one of those just downstairs from me, by riding around in the back of one of those little blue trucks that are so ubiquitous in Taiwan and beating a large drum, literally drumming up support for their candidate, except that most of those within earshot will most likely only wonder who is making all that racket instead of “Hey! Some guy is beating a drum in the back of a surprisingly small truck! That’s just the kind of leadership we need right now! I should vote for that guy!”

They asked me if I had a girlfriend, shocked at my revelation that I lived alone, and asked where I went when I went out. We debated the relative merits of bars, pubs and hotels, with them noting that one could get a girl for as little as NT$300 at many hotels. That was my cue to leave, so I excused myself, saying that I was late for work, which I actually was. The fact that I am always late to work didn’t bear mentioning at that particular moment.

The weather today was wonderful if a bit hazy, just the kind of day I’d like spend wandering around mountains and streams, so it was particularly hard to keep my mind on my work, which seemed exceptionally boring and senseless. WHiny Woman started out the day coughing and wheezing with an apparent cold, but then recoverd miraculously and proceeded to spend the rest of the day on the phone with various daycare centers asking inane questions. I skipped the company meeting we had just now as I knew I would just end up falling asleep and embarrassing myself. Tonight I would like to do some more work on my website and perhaps a little writing, but my most-likely agenda will be:

7pm: eat

9pm: sleep

I’ll bet you wish you had such an exciting evening planned. I’ll bet you’re just green with envy.


posted by Poagao at 10:03 am  

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