Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 16 2001

Yesterday I was eating a delicious brunch at Grand…

Yesterday I was eating a delicious brunch at Grandma Nitti’s when Fish walked up. I hadn’t seen Fish, who is Canadian (it seems my life is full of Canadians lately), in a while, so after we finished eating, we decided to walk up to the Taipei Guest House, which is open to the public this weekend, and have a look around.

For those of you who don’t live in Taipei, the Taipei Guest House, built in 1901, is an imposing, slightly dilapidated grey edifice near the East Gate on Zhongshan S. Road. Foreigners call it the Addam’s Family House. We tried to walk into one gate but were turned away by a couple of gruff young men in suits who looked like they used words like “cut” in interesting and varied ways. We went to the proper entrance and walked in to find an overgrown front lawn with a fountain and a line of people spilling out from under the portico. We got in the line, which slowly moved inside the house…

…and right back out again. We were ushered through the main hall, glimpsed a couple of side rooms and then we were out the back door, standing on the portico overlooking a sizable lake and more overgrown grounds. Pictures of the Guest House were stuck on a couple of boards, but otherwise, that was it. We were rushed out by more gruff young men who seemed perturbed by the gall of whomever had allowed entrance to all of these pesky tourists.

I also made a start on editing the rough draft of my book yesterday. This is going to take quite a while, I think, since it needs a lot of editing, as well as background and other research. Still, it’s just a matter of plodding through it and getting it done. Today is perfect for such goings on, since the Typhoon That Wouldn’t Leave is still hanging around our northern coast. At noon today I went out to buy some groceries and have some lunch at the vegetarian place on Heping E. Road that has really good fried rice. Besides heavy rain, the occasional gust of wind and heavy, fast-moving clouds rushing across the sky, one couldn’t tell that there was a typhoon here, yet the eye is supposedly supposed to pass over Taipei later today. I hope we get at least one day of vacation for this. I also hope that this doesn’t affect my trip to Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Have I mentioned that? Our company, in an attempt to keep employees around in spite of the fact that we don’t get paid well, sponsors an annual company trip, and we could choose from excursions to Germany, Egypt, Japan, Bali, Hong Kong and Kenting. The company pays NT$10,000 of the trip cost, so while this would be just a small portion of the trip to Germany or Egypt, it is the majority of the Hong Kong trip and all of the Kenting trip. Since I can get to Kenting on my own very cheaply, I decided to take the Hong Kong option and pay a few thousand NT for round-trip airfare and four days in Hong Kong, with my own room at the Hyatt in TST for three nights. This is, of course, if neither the typhoon nor the Cathay Pacific pilots strike manage to fuck it up. When I’m there, hopefully, I’ll be able to see some of my old co-workers from the paper as well as some other old friends. If I’m extremely lucky, I’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the fabled BWG.

posted by Poagao at 6:50 am  

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