Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 31 2002

I’m feeling almost normal these days. Tired, but m…

I’m feeling almost normal these days. Tired, but more-or-less normal. I have to go to an APEC conference tomorrow at the Grand Hotel, which means I will have to wear Ze Zoot again. Actually, I might have lost enough weight to wear Ze Originale Zoot, the one my parents bought me when I graduated from college. But that might be stretching things. I just hope I don’t screw up things too badly for APEC this time around.

The move yesterday went well and swiftly. Stephen only brought one other guy and one van, but it was over within an hour. The new place is smaller than my old one, and it looks even smaller with all my stuff in it. I will need to arrange it properly before I have any space to myself. Last night after handing over the keys to the Chungking Mansions (technically the place I’m living now is a ‘mansions’, but a lot less like the famous dive in Hong Kong) to the new tennant, I went to meet Dean and Kay at the train station. We bought tickets and boarded a train to Keelung, a port city on the northeast coast of Taiwan.

The trip took less than an hour, but it felt good to get out of Taipei for a while. The last time I was in Keelung was when we took the Cruise to Nowhere on the Norwegian Star, which has since been replaced by the Aries Star. I needed to eat something before we embarked on the next leg of our journey, so we went to Rico’s, a new fast-food place on the harbor front just outside the train station. The food was pretty bad, but it was better than nothing. It was as if they had taken the much-degraded food production skills of “Gold In Tex” down another notch, if that’s possible.

Full of greasy chicken, we caught a taxi out to the Ocean University, all the while wondering if the cabbie would charge extra for driving us to an underwater destination. It turns out that the university is merely on the ocean, not in it, but it was still interesting. We were there at that hour of the night to help a friend of ours, Paul Barlow, aka “Norman Szabo” aka “Tall Paul” in the making of a short film. Paul met us at the gate and ushered us to the back of the campus where he had set up a small set in an abandoned earthquake-damaged building. He had a Sony PD150 DV cam that worked fine once the focus was on. My job was holding the boom mike, while Paul filmed and Dean cast shadows and read corny lines into a lime-green 70’s era telephone. It was fun.

On the train back we were talking about getting in touch with someone, and Dean suggested I send an email. “Yeah, right, an email,” I said before realizing that I said the word “email” in the same scathing tone one would have said “letter” in the mid-nineties. In these days of instant communication via web and cellphone, the email now seems like a dinosaur, a formal document one sends to business acquaintences about merger deals. The difference is, of course, I still have letters from people in the 80’s. My sister has letters from me to her when she went off to college in the late 70’s. Who’s going to have a space for all of their emails, much less their IM conversations and phone messages anywhere even a year from now? Even if you do back them up, it’s hard to hold a burned CD in your hand and think of friends past.

posted by Poagao at 7:53 am  

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