Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Dec 16 2002

Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day, unusua…

Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day, unusually bright and clear, so I decided to dust off Gendouyun and ride up to The Village, the Xizhi complex where such famous personalities as Alien and Maoman can be seen and, on occasion, talked to. When I fired up my bike, however, a cloud of blue smoke erupted from the tailpipe, no doubt a result of my having not started the engine in over a month. Five minutes later it was running fine, though. On the way a guy on an FZR challenged me to a race over the Minchuan Bridge. I really shouldn’t do this kind of thing, but it irks me that everyone who buys an FZR thinks he’s actually buying a racing bike instead of an underpowered turtle with a racing bike shell. Now I’ll be the first to admit defeat at the mere sight of anything over 500cc, but in the sub-150cc world, a four stroke engine is no match for an equivalent two-stroke engine. Mine isn’t even a 150; it’s 135cc and 14 years old to boot, and still had no problem blowing the mirrors off the FZR. I needed to clean out the ole pipes in any case, just to get the gunk out after leaving it idle for so long.

God, I sound like I’m 16 again.

Anyway, the rest of the ride out to The Village was nice, especially going through Neihu and seeing all of the newly constructed high-falutin’ apartment complexes popping up everywhere. When I arrived at my destination I had to park outside and walk down to Maoman’s place as I was unescorted. The Maoman residence was being prepared for a surprise baby shower, however, so we walked over to Alien’s flat, which is located in back and higher up, with a nice view of rolling hills and valleys to the northeast of the complex. Lots of people were sitting around eating, drinking, talking, posing, etc., so a few of us decided to take advantage of the indoor heated pools and the saunas downstairs. After that we watched some TV and chatted a bit at both places. The whole atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, and for the first time it felt a little bit like Christmas. Some people had strung lights around their balconies, and both Maoman and Alien had nice Christmas trees all decorated. It’s easy to forget that you’re in Taiwan in The Village, which is I suppose mostly the point of the place for many of its residents.

I wonder what it would be like to live alone in such a place, though. Maoman had some friends over from other apartments and we decided to visit one. As we exited the elevator, however, we all became aware of a powerful stench. I sincerely hoped it was restricted to the hallway, but when our host opened his door, our worst fears were realized: he had two beagles, a wife in denial about being Taiwanese, and insufficient common sense to deal with any of them. The dogs weren’t trained at all and pissed on the floor when they saw unfamiliar faces. All of the windows were closed, even though it was pleasant outside and the place was on the top floor. We looked around abit; I survived by hanging off the balcony most of the time, which you’d think would have tipped him off there was something amiss. We left as soon as we felt we could get out of there without seeming too rude, or at least before we started hurling quite impolitely on our host’s sofa.

Before I left I chatted with Alien and her boyfriend Xiao Shan until after midnight. Their little apartment is quite nice, though she warned me that the wind could get annoying at times. All in all it was a nice time. I needed to get out of the city on such a beautiful day, and I even managed to get out without being accosted by any giant white balloons. Can’t ask for much more than that.

posted by Poagao at 7:22 am  

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