Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 31 2001

Lord, I’m tired. I’ve been aching to fall asleep a…

Lord, I’m tired. I’ve been aching to fall asleep at my desk all day. This was my schedule last night:

2:46 am: After having visited every single site on the Internet, decide to call it a night and go to bed.

4:03 am: Realize that it’s much too hot to sleep. I get up and turn down the A/C. But now I can’t sleep, so I read something. Anything.

4:51-6:26 am: Watch the sun rise over the park. Wake up Jacques and Diva. Play with turtles. ‘Ooh’ and ‘aah’ over their new waterpark.

7:37 am: Try to sleep again and fail miserably. Tidy up room. Trim dead foliage from plants.

8:06 am: Take out the garbage and, in a fit of exasperation, come to work early.

9:00 am – 6:00 pm: Yawn.

I was listening to Lenny Kravitz’s ‘5’. Just hearing ‘Black Velveteen’ and ‘Fly Away’ took me back to when I was in LA for the millenium, and I played those songs over and over as I walked up and down Manhattan and Redondo beaches all day and night.

Another CD making itself useful by keeping me awake today: Lo Ta-yu’s album ‘Hometown’ today. This is one great album; my favorite song is ‘Hometown II’ where he goes through Taiwanese history in the lyrics. “Story of the Train” is good since I have always liked to take the train here instead of the bus. The video has him walking through train car after train car, each one full of both strange and familiar characters. One car, I remember, had ‘Jiangshi”, or Chinese vampires, with their arms held straight out, hopping to the beat. There’s also a song called “From me to you to him” with Lo, Zhao Chuan, Emil Chou and Li Zong-sheng, who back then were all really popular. I know this really dates me, but I think it is really cool the way these guys do this song together, especially when Zhao Chuan does his screaming bit.

This album also reminds me of how much I’ve changed since 1991, when it came out. Back then I only one of my friends was a foreigner. I was an assistant cameraman at a Taiwanese TV company. I hardly ever even spoke English to anyone. I was hooked on the 8 o’clock soap operas like “Jing Cheng Si Shao”(“The Four Gentlemen of the Capital City”) and “Bi Hai Qing Tian” every night. I ate biandangs and dumplings almost exclusively. When employed, I made NT$15,000 a month and paid NT3,500 in rent for a closet-sized, un-air conditioned room in a 5th-floor walkup near Hsinhai Rd. For fun I would go out to the beach during the day or to pubs like Funky and Tchaikovsky at night. A lot of that time was spent in dire straits of one sort or another.

Yet, somehow, listening to this album makes me feel like I’ve sold out in the time since then, especially since I got out of the army. Like I’ve betrayed some part of myself or something. I know Taiwan has changed a lot since then; so have I, but it’s still a strange feeling. Maybe I just need some sleep, but somehow I think I need something else as well.

posted by Poagao at 8:52 am  

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