Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Aug 03 2002

I don’t know why people begin posts with "I woke u…

I don’t know why people begin posts with “I woke up this morning.” I realize that I’m guilty of this, but really, is it necessary? Am I typing in my sleep? Am I hovering about somewhere having an out-of-body experience? No, I woke up this morning.

It was a nice day today so I took the MRT to the Fuxinggang Station, near the Political Warfare College where all the Army XO’s graduate. I’d been through there on the back of Harry’s scooter once when we went to a temple in the valley behind it, but I’d never really walked around the area. I really enjoy walking around places I’ve never been before, exploring them. The weather made it an imperative in today’s case.

I was the only one on the train to get off at that stop, and the station itself was empty except for a couple of bored staff members. A bare brick apartment complex stood uncompleted just outside the entrance. It’s been like that for years and years. I walked across the main road, stopping by a 7-Eleven for a snack, and then up the hill beyond. I was surprised to find several abandoned houses just up the hill. It looked like an ideal place, quiet, near mountains with a wonderful view of the Taipei basin, yet the houses had obviously been abandoned for decades, with trees growing through the roofs and broken-down walls. I wonder how much they would charge for rent.

I continued on to find a promotion center for a new apartment complex going up. They obviously had some trouble with the dictionary, for while the Chinese name of the complex is “Aman Journey”, the English on all the banners is “Aman Junkie“. Several rich-looking couples were looking around inside, oblivious to the ridiculous name and startled at my guffaws coming from the parking lot. I felt particularly sorry for the poor guy sentenced to standing out in the street waving a flag with “Aman Junkie” on it. I decided not to ask him for a hit. Instead I walked westwards towards the Zhongyi Station, encountering a crazy kid who wanted to borrow money from me. “Why should I lend money to you?” I asked, stupidly.

“Because you’re a foreigner,” he said.

“Good-bye,” I replied. The area has a surprisingly rural feeling. Lots of old people sitting out in wicker chairs, enjoying the sun. I passed a small temple dedicated to a large tree, several small factories and old traditional houses that looked actually lived in. One old device looked decidedly anthropomorphic. Then I passed the Xingtian Temple, a huge complex, so I popped in for a look. I hadn’t been to a temple in a while, so I lingered, enjoying the smells and sounds and making proper obeisance to the local gods. It was clean, pleasant and peaceful. People were lined up to be blessed by women dressed in blue, who rotated between that duty and praying. As I walked out, I noticed a bright rainbow over downtown Taipei, and all of the mothers in the vicinity pointed it out to their children.

Taijiquan practice was at 6, or so I thought, so I took the MRT back early. Turns out it was at 7, so I got a biandang and took my time eating it before class. During class we did some form work and then a lot of Tuishou. Hopefully I’m getting better at that; the teacher says so, anyway. I’m so used to it being on Sunday I keep thinking I have work tomorrow. Nice to realize that I don’t. It’s also nice to realize that this week is my last week. Kind of wierd, that, but in a good way. I’m looking forward to the change.

Oh, and there’s a new picture in the photos section.

posted by Poagao at 4:52 pm  

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