Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 17 2001

I’ve been feeling very unmotivated lately. Very fr…

I’ve been feeling very unmotivated lately. Very frustrated, for some reason. Last night I went out to dinner at Grandma Nitti’s with friends Dean and Edward, and then to Roxy Jr. for one of my favorites: Bailey’s and nachos, but as much as I enjoyed the food and company, I’m afraid I ended up being rather bad company.

This could have something to do with the situation at work, when every time I close a document in Word here at the office, my computer crashes and then takes 10 minutes to boot up again. This only happens when the job is urgent, of course. I’ve been after the IT department to correct this problem, but all they do is give me that blank stare I usually associate with recent lobotomy patients. It’s the same look I get after I suggest to environmentalists here that burning ghost money just might contribute to the air pollution problem.

What’s really sad is that so many people in this company seem to be under the illusion that they are part of a large, international advertising company, when in reality we are quite ill-equipped to deal with anything above a the level of a small-scale Taiwanese business. The constant computer-crashing, spotty Internet connection, whining and pretentious ‘Bad-English dropping’ (when two Chinese people try to impress each other and any foreigners that happen to be in the vicinity by inserting inappropriate English into their Chinese conversation in an attempt to appear more cosmopolitan and sophisticated) are all starting to really get to me. I spent a lot of time yesterday wandering aimlessly around the office, kicking things and muttering threats while my computer rebooted after one of its several more spectacular crashes. An impromptu piece of art resulted from turning my monitor, proudly sporting the Blue Screen o’ Death, on its side and draping the radiation protector over the top for all to see.

Yesterday a taxi driving ahead of me spotted a potential customer and stopped so quickly I almost did a flip over the handlebars of my motorcycle trying to avoid crashing into him. As it was I almost managed a handstand; it was all quite dramatic. Ordinarily, though, I really enjoy riding around this city, especially on Sundays and around nice park areas. I should take a trip further afield, though, perhaps over to Wanli or up to Bali, both of which are on the coast. This is an island, after all. I was wondering why so few people who live on this island know how to swim, but if you look at the ring of pollution that surrounds Taiwan, much like the ring around a giant toilet bowl, I guess it isn’t such a surprise that people aren’t generally enthusiastic about getting into the water. Also, Ghost Month is coming up, and ghosts are known to like hanging around dark, watery areas. Too bad Ghost Month isn’t during the winter, when it’s too cold to swim anymore, but I guess it’s hard to schedule around ghosts.

There’s been a bit of debate on the romanization of Chinese lately on the Oriented website forums. My opinion is that, basically, the standard has already been set, and that standard is Pinyin, so there’s not much use in arguing over whether Taiwan should use something else or not. Some people see Pinyin as a ‘mainland China’ system, but hey, we’re speaking mandarin Chinese here, and that’s how it is romanized worldwide. Yet the political sparring continues, and Taiwan slips ever more surely into the backwaters of third-worldom. Surveys show that most people on this island support ‘the status quo’, but if this route is followed, China will surpass us, militarily, economically, socially, and in many other aspects, in the near future. My friend Steve says that the people’s will alone should dictate policy, but sometimes I wonder whether this is the wisest course to follow.

posted by Poagao at 4:00 am  

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