Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Mar 08 2002

The newest trend, it seems, is the "100 Things abo…

The newest trend, it seems, is the “100 Things about Me” meme. It’s sort of like the old “One of These Ten Things Isn’t True” meme from a while back.

Are you really interested in knowing 100 things about Poagao? Let me know, and I’ll think about it. Also tell me if you want me to make stuff up.

I wanted to eat outside in the nice weather today for lunch, so I went to the Au Bon Pain sandwich shop on the side of the New York, New York shopping center today. It was filled with people who, for some reason, really annoyed me. It was bizarre. They weren’t doing anything particularly annoying, like rubbing my head or saying things like “total solutions”. It was just the aura. I got my sandwich, sat down outside and tried to figure out what it was that was annoying me. The crowd was about half pretentious white businessmen and half pretentious Taiwanese girls, pretty much evenly paired off. Perhaps they were all from nearby high-powered corporations, because they all had Powersuits with Powerties and Powerhair. They were all carrying the various accoutrements of a Powerjob, like PDAs and black leather suitcases, and they were all speaking English, even those who couldn’t really manage it.

I felt like I was a million miles away. It occurred to me that I could have been having lunch in downtown San Francisco. It would have been exactly the same. And while that would have been fine for San Francisco, but here in Taipei, it just feels like a desecration. But why should it? These are obviously well-off, sucessful, ostensibly happy people. Is this a remnant of my first decade here, when I knew a total of at most two foreigners in Taiwan and spent 95% of my time speaking, eating, -I guess you could say living- in Chinese? Or is this just the way Taiwan is changing, becoming more international in a McWorld sort of way?

I know that this is a mere pocket of Westerners in Taiwan, but working here every day, and seeing more and more Taiwanese equating “Western” with superiorty and “Chinese” with inferiority, looking down on themselves and throwing themselves away in an attempt to gain social standing by affecting the Western McLifestyle, gives me the impression that the ocean of things I love about this place, this island, this culture, is slowly but steadily retreating from my sunburnt feet.

But I digress. The Taiwan Urban Nomad Film Festival is set to start tonight. It looks like it will pretty much be the same program every night, so I assume they are thinking that people will just come for one night. Hopefully there will be some good stuff there. If not, at least I’ll see some people I know, and the weather is nice enough. If it keeps it up on the weekend, I might want to ride up into the mountains and visit a hot springs or something. Mmmmmm….hot springs…

posted by Poagao at 6:39 am  

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