Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 21 2001

I’m back. Back in the old office. Nothing has chan…

I’m back. Back in the old office. Nothing has changed at all: people are playing their stereos too loud, Whiny Woman, dressed in a baby blue jumpsuit today for some reason I will not even guess at, is doing The Whiny Thing, the air conditioning is way too high. I feel a bit numb, not just from the air conditioning, but almost as if I am not willing to continue participating in this existance as I did before. Or maybe unable. I don’t know. That’s the beauty of getting a change of perspective. I just hope it lasts.

I managed to forget the vinegar chips, leaving them at Simon’s house when I got in the cab for the airport. The driver was a talkative middle-aged Israeli woman with blond hair who happened to live nearby and needed to get up the next morning to take a test, I learned before we arrived at the airport, which appeared almost deserted. Fortunately this meant that there were no lines to deal with, and I spent the extra time browsing magazines at the news agents.

I would have liked to sleep on the airplane, but I just couldn’t get comfortable in spite of the contortionist angle and the cooler-sized space that was so generously provided for me by the airline. We did get to watch movies, though, so it wasn’t entirely awful. I wandered around the Singapore airport for three hours, almost falling asleep in a chair before boarding the flight back to Taipei.

Arriving back in Taipei was surreal, and not a little depressing, especially seeing the dim light that was able to penetrate the thick clouds that often smother the city as I got off the bus from the airport near the train station and hailed a cab back to my room on Hsinsheng S. Road. It looked so ugly after the beautiful urban designs and wonderful weather of Australian cities, and the cold pollution blowing down the dusty streets didn’t help either. The old veteran guy downstairs looked shocked when I walked in the door. “I thought you’d gone missing,” he told me.

Thankfully my plants were still alive, if only just, after a month without being watered. My little room looked downright squalid, but it was nice to have a familiar place to come home to. The election offices downstairs are in full swing now, however, and there are several trucks adorned with loudspeakers cacophonically praising the candidates over and over in the most annoying fashion possible. I’m tempted to go down there and say very loudly “Hey, I was originally going to give you my vote, but after seeing the way you have no qualms about annoying everyone around you, I’ve decided to vote for your direct competitor.” The only thing is, their competitors are very likely being just as annoying, so it’s not much of an argument. If only people would vote for candidates which are the least annoying, rather than the opposite. Then we’d see some progress.

Fortunately the weather has improved somewhat today, and the sun is shining again. Every time I return to Taiwan after an extended period abroad, it takes me a while to realize that it’s the people that define Taiwan and give this place it’s unique appeal, rather than the physical infrastructure. I suppose re-realize this is part of what vacations are all about.

posted by Poagao at 4:06 am  

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