Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 24 2002

I went to Tui-shou (pushing hands) practice last n…

I went to Tui-shou (pushing hands) practice last night. The school is located not far from where I study sword, and my sword teacher’s son lives there. The floors as well as all of the walls are covered in green mats, and you take off your shoes before you go in. The students were mostly men, with the exception of a couple of women. I recognized a couple of guys from sword class. Everyone was wearing T-shirts, and I had a long-sleeved shirt on since it was cool and misty outside, so I ducked over to the nearest convenience store to buy a tank top to wear really quick before class.

Class started just after I got back. Everyone paired off and began sort of wrestling with each other. The objective is to get the other guy off balance enough to push him over. It’s quite complicated, and hard to learn except through practice. I soon learned what the mats on the walls were for; some of the more experienced guys could shoot their opponents across the room as if they’d been shot out of a cannon, slamming them into the opposite wall. It was amazing, and great fun. Every guy I wrestled with had a different style, and some were easier than others, or perhaps they were just going easy on me as I was a newcomer. My previous martial arts experience seemed to help, though. It’s really a matter of attitude and philosophy, a way of thinking about the physical world that allows development in that art. I’ve decided I want to continue in that direction, so I plan to go every Thursday, although I am going to have to miss it next week because of the Oriented Truce Hour, when everyone lays down their weapons and has drinks together.

After practice I walked through the neighborhood around Minsheng and Xinzhong St where I used to live so long ago, over through eerily empty public housing blocks, past Asiaworld to the Nanjing E. Road MRT station, and home. My knees ached from all of the exertion. When I checked my email I found a response to a guy who had a room to rent, so I drove up Xinsheng S. Road to take a look.

It was cool, reasonably large and bright and not overly noisey. I was disappointed to find that it was actually on a major road as opposed to in a quiet alley, so you could hear the traffic downstairs, and the rent is at the upper limit of my financial capabilities, but it has a nice big semi-private balcony and comes halfway furnished. I have to meet the actual landlords, though, and see if 1)they’ll come down on the price, 2) whether I can have my residency there, and 3) if they allow cats. I plan to take a tour of Xindian this Sunday with Maoman and Sandman to see what’s up down there, and then I’ll make a decision early next week as to whether or not this place is a go or not. I dunno, should one spend over a quarter of their salary on rent? Is that too much? I’ve done it before, but perhaps that’s not a hard-and-fast rule.

I was so excited at the prospect of moving that I had a hard time sleeping last night. I’ve been feeling nervous and distracted all day today. Is this love? Or just the badly warmed-up frozen dinner I had last night before bed? Probably the latter, as I’ve been feeling a bit off all day today. In any case, I’ve been at my present location for almost two and a half years, so it’s probably time for a move.

Along with the Xindian Tour and Mindcrime’s upcoming visit, I’m also being picked up at 8am tomorrow and being whisked off to an undisclosed location in Taoyuan to be interrogated on camera about Tai-chi-related matters. No rest for the itises, but there it is.

posted by Poagao at 7:23 am  

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