Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 28 2001

This morning as I walked to the MRT station, I was…

This morning as I walked to the MRT station, I was crossing under the Jianguo overpass when one woman nearby me asked another woman, “Excuse me, I’m looking for the American Institute in Taiwan. Can you tell me where it is?”

The woman told her that it was just up Xinyi Road, in the direction we were headed. We continued walking, but when when we got to AIT, with its lines, guards and signs indicating where to line up for visas, etc., the woman walked right by it. She obviously thought that the American Institute in Taiwan, which basically is the US embassy, would be housed in something a bit more elaborate than a couple of run-down shacks with tin roofs. I suppose she thought that the high-rise next door that houses the National Health Insurance Bureau looked more suitable, because that is where she went, looking around her confusedly. I walked discreetly on, thinking that she would find it eventually, and even though I would have liked to see the look on her face, I wanted to get to work on time today for a change, since my annual review is coming up and hopefully I’ll get a decent raise. And while I’m dreaming, I might as well hope for a place on the New York Times’ Best-seller list when my book comes out.

My parents finally responded to my constant emails concerning a possible trip back to see my grandmother or possibly attend her funeral. I guess they figured they couldn’t ignore me any longer.

“You’ve made your life in Taiwan,” my mother wrote from the small town in Oklahoma where they live now, about an hour’s drive from the even-smaller town where my grandparents live. “Your friends and ‘family’ are there and I think to try to recreate some sort of ‘family’ here would be a mistake. You must remember that your grandparents have shown no love to you in many years, if ever.”


posted by Poagao at 6:50 am  

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