Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Mar 24 2002

It’s been cloudy and rainy the entire weekend. I s…

It’s been cloudy and rainy the entire weekend. I stayed in and slept most of Saturday, but then roused myself to get up and walk around the neighborhood in a feeble attempt to look for another place to live. One of the ads on the community bulletin board near Shi-da had a familiar address on it; it was located right across the alley from where I used to live in 1991-2. As I walked over there to have a look, I passed through the vegetable market near Heping E. Road, a rather disgusting area. Then I passed a funeral, then an old lady describing in needless detail her vomiting habits to another old lady who was nodding appreciatively, as if this were some fine art, and then a couple of mating cats. By the time I reached the old alley I used to live it, I wasn’t feeling too keen on the area, so I passed on and strolled towards Fuhsing S. Road. I seemed to recall that my friend Richard lived around there somewhere, so I gave him a call, and he wasn’t doing anything, so I went over. He lives in a nice individual room at the top of a small building with no elevator and stairs made for dwarves, but he has a nice balcony and quiet surroundings, which are nice. He pays a bit more than I do, but it’s not half bad.

We went out for some noodles and ran into some South African friends of his (he is from South Africa, by the way), who were on their way to a wedding get together, so we joined them, even though I was a total stranger. They were very nice, but I didn’t feel like I belonged there, so I excused myself and came back home feeling much better for having been with people. Sometimes you need some human contact to pull yourself out of a cloudy-weekend stupor. At least I do.

I spent most of today resting as well, but when heavy rain began to fall this afternoon, I thought what better time to test out my new shoes, so I set out for the new Quizno’s on Heping E. Rd near the intersection with Dunhua S. Rd. The shoes did a great job of keeping my feet dry, but they are dangerously slippery on smooth surfaces. Hopefully normal wear will rectify that aspect, but in the meantime I’m going to have to be really careful I don’t fall flat on my face.

There were several people sitting and eating at Quizno’s but the place was oddly quiet, as if someone had just said something really embarrasing, but the quiet continued after I made my order and sat down. I felt like I was having lunch in a library. The food wasn’t bad, but nowhere nearly as good as the Quizno’s I had in Sydney. It’s too bad they couldn’t get it right here. Unless they improve, I give them a couple of months before they go out of business.

I kept walking around the area after lunch, looking at all of the little parks. This is one thing Taipei has in abundance: little parks hidden among the neighborhoods, with small playgrounds and benches. I would love to live on one of them, in a small alleyway. Surely it’s not impossible to find an individual room with a decent balcony on one of those parks.

I made my way to sword practice as evening fell, although it had seemed like evening the entire day, and the approach of night was so gradual I couldn’t tell when it arrived. The reporter from TVBS Weekly was there with a photographer, and they took pictures as we practiced. I felt a bit nervous with them there, and the flash of the camera threw me a bit, so the pictures are probably going to come out really badly. The instructors seemed to really enjoy the publicity, however.

After class the reporter, photographer and I went to the Chunghsiao-Fuhsing MRT station for more photographs. We chatted a bit and then went out for Taiwanese food at a place called “Hao-ji” on Changchun St. The food was really good, especially the soft fried tofu. I got more comfortable talking with the reporter, who is just starting out in the society section after reporting on technology and business stories for a while. He’s a big fan of martial arts novels. “Do you write your articles like kung-fu novels?” I asked jokingly, but he nodded.

“Yes, I do. At least, people tell me I write like that.” He was serious.

“Well, as long as you don’t have me flying through forests with my sword,” I replied. He seemed alright. Hopefully the article will come across ok as well, but it might take a while before it’s done. A few weeks at least.

I’m sick of oriented.org. It used to be rather entertaining in a passing-a-car-wreck sort of way, but recently it’s become just one big conversation between Richard Hartzell and some guy in Las Vegas who is obsessed with the San Francisco Peace Treaty. He claims that, under this treaty, which neither the PRC nor the ROC signed or even attended the conference for, Taiwan is some sort of protected territory of the US military, which is sort of like Bolivia passing a law that says it owns Poland. And now, it seems that every single thread on the website eventually ends up a dialogue between these two, and how they can use the SFPT to gain more priveleges for Westerners in Taiwan. It’s so ludicrous that I feel some more articles for the next edition of the News from the Renegade Province coming on.

Speaking of wasting time, I added individual pages for each of my films on my film page, with more about the process of making them. Since Ifilm.com isn’t answering my queries as to why my films have vanished from their site, I thought I would add a little something to take their place. Enjoy.

posted by Poagao at 3:03 pm  

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