Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Dec 14 2001

I think the police must read this account. The rea…

I think the police must read this account. The reason I think this is that last night on my way home from work, one of them, apparently just to taunt me for considering a career in their illustrious profession, pulled me over and shook me down for over NT$600, which is, I know from experience, roughly the amount needed to keep a cabbie with a crowbar from seriously fucking you up after denting his fender with your head. Actually, I think the fact that I made an illegal turn also had something to do with the cop pulling me over, unless the other two people he pulled over had also recently confessed in their online journals to once being interested in the wonderful world of bribes/law-enforcement.

After the officer wrote me the ticket, I asked him how much it was going to cost me. “I don’t know. I think these are over NT$1,000 or something,” he said absently, waving me off. I spoke to the police in Chinese because I don’t believe in the old “Oh, I’m a foreigner and therefore beyond the reach your petty third-world authority” spiel. I could do it, but I also know that it pisses them off. If he sees that I am not Chinese and waves me through, that’s his business, but I am not going to put on a whole song and dance act just to get out of paying a NT$600 ticket. I was stewing about it, sure, but I was also more angry at myself for not noticing the guy standing there early enough to avoid a ticket than I was at the cop himself.

After I got home, Kirk, Victor and I went out for hot pot at the new three-story, neon-emblazoned “Ke Ke Ya” Hot-pot Palace on Heping E. Rd. and Tai-shun St. The hot-pot materials were on the second floor, while we were seated on the third floor. The pot itself was too small, however, and the food wasn’t terribly appetizing. This didn’t phase Kirk, who piled plate after plate on the table until Victor and I were taking bets on just when he would explode.

I had been crabby after getting the ticket, but after a couple of hours of the piss-taking that usually occurs when we three get together, I was feeling much better. We discussed the various aspects of pet ownership, got an honest of Windows XP (nice, but not necessary) from Victor, who works at a computer shop, and Kirk and I corrected each others grammatical mistakes. All good fun; the kind of interaction with the outside world I need more of, especially after a day in this big white Fridgaire of an office.

After I went home I watched Enemy at the Gates on DVD. Clumsy but inventive cinematography and repetative music didn’t do nearly as much damage to the interesting story as the tacked-on romantic interest. Had potential, though. Bit of a shame it didn’t realize it. Actually pronouncing their own names correctly might have helped as well.

This morning I woke up to find the thermometer on my air conditioner reading a comfy 8 degrees celsius, although the weather report said it was 12 outside. Still cold enough for my big red jacket, though. When I got into the office I found waiting for me a very nice email from a reader in the Chicago area, so nice that I will not divulge too much about Friday, since he is looking forward to it and doesn’t want me to spoil the surprise.

I will mention one thing, though. Since I had to go to the post office in order to pay my traffic ticket, I stopped of at the G’Day Cafe for lunch, since it is nearby. There I ran into my friend Graham, who has taken over the lease of the 70’s Airport Love Palace, and a co-worker of his named Dan. Both of them were quite impressed by my chicken sandwich. G’Day always has good chicken, and the Taiwanese aboriginals who run it are really nice people. They especially like my aborigine hats and are in general the only ones who aren’t laboring under the rather heavy illusion that my hats are all of middle-eastern/arabic origin.

That’s all I’m going to say about Friday for now. Wouldn’t want to spoil it.

posted by Poagao at 7:43 am  

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