Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 03 2001

The rain continues unabated. I woke up this mornin…

The rain continues unabated. I woke up this morning to a thunderous deluge outside my window. I wonder if anyone is still worried about dropping water levels in the Feitsui Reservoir. You’d think it was perfect writing weather, but I only wrote a little over 4,000 words this weekend, and yet I feel so tired. I still think I should be able to finish the rough draft of my book by the end of this month, though. My goal is to have it completely done and ready to publish by my birthday, which is Christmas.

Today would have been my first day at the job I didn’t get. Some guy’s over there now, doing his couple of hours’ work, after which he’ll go home and go about his business, all for more money than I make working from 9:30-6:00 every day. Lucky bastard. I should invite him out for drinks and learn his secret.

I’ve come up with a little icon for your bookmarks. It is the Chinese character for “Monkey” (the “gao” part of “Poagao“) and it came out looking like an oft-used Mahjong tile. Take it home and play with it.

I called Henrik yesterday afternoon, rousing him out of his usual hangover/stupor. He’s the guy I took over for here almost a year ago, so he knows the job well, and he said he could fill in for me while I am on vacation, hopefully, in Australia. And boy, do I need a vacation. This is definitely not the kind of job that lures people with on-the-job satisfaction, but rather the benefits entailed in compensating for the job itself. I’ve had worse, though. I just need to stop meeting all of these people with better jobs than I have; I should hang out with those truck drivers huddled in the empty cargo container by the river wall over in Banchiao.

Here’s an interesting, if a bit controversial, issue I’ve been thinking about: Why do so many foreigners in Taiwan seem to be so pro-independence? Most Taiwanese people support keeping the status quo, wanting neither independence nor immediate reunification with China, so why should the foreigners seem so ardent about the subject (other than the fact that foreigners by definition have foreign passports and can leave a lot more easily in case Taiwan claiming independence results in a mainland Chinese attack)? My theory is that a lot of foreigners, especially if they haven’t been here long, seem to be really psyched about Taiwan, and feel the need to support some sort of cause or another, so they try to show their new-found patriotism by spouting anti-China/pro-independence slogans and the like. Another thing is that most of the foreigners here are men, in spite of the growing presence of female foreigners, and most of these guys seem to have Taiwanese girlfriends. Perhaps they feel that it is just a bit…er, emasculating to have to be led around by a woman all the time here, since most of them don’t know the culture or speak the language, and they are compensating for that by a need to ‘protect’ Taiwan (and thereby their girlfriends) from mainland Chinese aggression, in order to fulfill what they see as their protective role in the relationship.

Or maybe this is a clear sign that I have way too much time on my hands. I should stop this before I get all psychoanalytic and stuff. Ew.

posted by Poagao at 4:49 am  

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