Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 03 2002

Yesterday was the first day of my new work schedul…

Yesterday was the first day of my new work schedule, the more-or-less permanent one. I slept late and went to work at 2pm. Got off at 5pm. It felt pretty normal. But today I went in at 9am and worked until noon. At noon I took the elevator downstairs, walked outside, and was immediately floored by the paradigm-shifting reality of getting off work at noon.

“I don’t have to go back to work today,” I informed a woman walking by. She quickened her pace, staring nervously over her shoulder to see if I was following her. “I don’t have to go to work tomorrow at all!” I exclaimed gleefully to a man in a suit, who took out his cellphone and began to dial emergency numbers while keeping an eye on me. I didn’t care. I wandered through the alleyways, went to Ikea to buy a clock, took it home and then went to the West Gate District to look at digital video cameras, all the while savoring my new-found freedom. Yeah, it cost me a slice of my salary and a take-home check most foreigners here wouldn’t find acceptable, but I can get by on it fine. I’ve gotten by on far less in the past. When I was working at TVBS as a cameraman I made still less than I am making now, although my rent was more than I am paying now at the Chungking Mansions Taipei.

The weather today accompanied my mood. There’s actually a bit of autumn in the air these days, if not a definite coolness, at least a bit of non-heat-stroke inducing temperatures, which is a refreshing change. I jumped in a cab at one point (because I actually wanted to go somewhere, not just because I felt like it; I wasn’t feeling quite that silly today) and found that my driver’s name sounded exactly like that of the Mayor of Kaohsiung, Xie Chang-ting. “Call me Mr. Mayor!” he told me. He seemed in as good a mood as I was and proceeded to tell me how he should actually run for mayor of Taipei. “Everyone knows that Ma Ying-jeou is going to win, but you could vote for me anyway, right? It’s just one vote.”

“Sure, I’ll vote for you,” I replied. “That is, unless I’m running myself.” He chuckled at this.

It had been a while since I’d been around the old city center, and I was surprised to see that nearly a block of old buildings had been torn down in favor of a monstrous new building along Heng-yang Street. Even more surprising was the fact that the developers had elected to keep the old Japanese-era storefronts along the road, or at least reasonable replicas thereof. The finished product should be interesting. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live over there, within the old city walls. It’s not a very residential area, however, and it’s a bit too close to the West Gate District for me these days. Still, all of the remaining old faux European-style buildings are quite interesting, and even a bit sad, sandwiched as they are between the ugly monoliths leftover from the 70’s.

It didn’t take me long to establish that the price of the Sony VX2000 hasn’t dropped an iota in the two years I’ve been considering buying one. The GL2 is even more expensive, and I didn’t actually see any for sale. Hopefully there will be some available soon, however. It only came out in the states not long ago, and hopefully the price will drop once it’s not ‘just out’ anymore. Perhaps by that time the G4s will be cheaper as well. One can hope.

Last night I took a bath in my bathtub. It’s been years since I’ve had a proper bathtub, so I decided to make an event of it. I lit an incense candle, put on some opera followed by some jazz, and just lay back in the stone tub and soaked in the hot water for exactly as long as I felt like it. I realize that this is a very un-TC-like thing to do, but I’ve got to do something to keep you guys guessing.

posted by Poagao at 3:41 pm  

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