Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 30 2002

I was pretty tired when I got home on Friday night…

I was pretty tired when I got home on Friday night. Little P was in town, though, so we and rented some movies to watch at his place. I saw Ocean’s Eleven and liked it in spite of my desire for sleep. Now I want to see the original , just to see how the two stack up.

Mindcrime and Janice came up on Saturday, and while Janice went to Danshui for choir practice, Mindcrime and I met up with Dean, Kay, Shirzi and an unidentified German person of Chinese descent at the Ben Western Restaurant on Renai Rd next to the old Grace’s Party bar where I used to hang out in my wild youth. We talked over drinks and then went to the martial arts supply store to buy some swords. Shirzi got a single-edged sword while I bought a replacement for the sword I broke a few weeks back. They had a really nicely balanced black sword with the Taoist yin-yang symbol on the hilt and blood gutters, but it was a little short and also over NT$3,000, so I passed. I couldn’t fight with it anyway; it would just get scratched up. It would be nice for form competitions, though.

We proceeded to the bamboo grove in the park where we met Peter, who had been looking for a protest but settled for swordfighting instead. Mindcrime and Kay watched as Shirzi, Dean, Peter and I went at each other for a few hours. Although the sky was overcast by that point, I was sweating buckets.

It was a good workout. Afterwards Mindcrime and I dropped the swords off in my room and went up to the area around Caves. A party of some sort was in full swing at a small temple nearby, taking over the adjacent park. We then went over to Zhongxiao E. Road for a Sichuan-style dinner. I was famished after the swordplay that afternoon and ate three bowls of rice, along with the various dishes. Then, after going browsing at Fnac, the store whose name sounds like cross between a sneeze and a choke, we went our separate ways.

Little P called me that night, but I had just gotten home and taken a shower, so I didn’t feel like venturing out into the swelter once again, so I met up with him this morning instead. We had iced drinks at Starbucks and then walked up Roosevelt Rd to the new Source, where we talked with the owner for a bit before walking over to CKS Hall. Several tour buses were parked out in front, which is pretty normal, but an inordinate number of young men were hanging around the area. I could tell from their demeanor that they, like Little P, were all soldiers out on leave. Apparently the buses are almost exclusively for soldiers. Damn, I wish they had had that kind of service when I was in the army. I always took the train.

I saw Little P off and proceeded to Jake’s, where I met Dean and Kay again. Our merry group also included Dave, Peter, Shirzi, and Rowan. After brunch everyone walked over to the nearby theater, where Minority Report was on. I declined, though, since there were no good seats left. This account was beginning to sound rather too much like a social affairs report anyway. Instead I walked over the middle of Dunhua S. Road and over through the alleyways back home, where I picked up my gear for my Taijiquan class tonight. Since I haven’t yet acquired a new motorcycle helmet, I took the MRT and walked over.

I was 20 minutes late, but it was a good class; I must have totally replaced all the water in my body several times over a couple of hours. I was definitely walking slower when I left class than when I had arrived. I turned on my portable radio to some Bach fugues, the perfect accompaniment for well-lit alleys, soft yellow light spilling for dozens of windows. I checked on the progress of the World Cup, noting with pleasure that my favorite player Ronaldo was cleaning house despite his silly haircut (or perhaps because of it). The Bach program ended and I switched to a jazz station as I got on the train.

As I was walking home from the MRT station, I noticed that about a hundred yards of Jianguo South Road was strewn with spaghetti-like cassette tape. Apparently a container of tapes had fallen from a truck or something, and dozens of cassette tapes had been smashed and scattered across the roadway. A handful of tapes were still intact, but nobody paid them any attention. I gathered them up and put them next to a plant on the sidewalk, just in case anyone wanted them. That is, all except the Celine Dion one. That one I placed carefully in the middle of the road and loitered about until it was decimated by one of the little blue trucks that ply Taiwan’s streets. The sharp CRUNCH it made was music to my ears.

posted by Poagao at 3:23 pm  

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