Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 22 2003

I was invited to a barbeque in Taoyuan on Saturday…

I was invited to a barbeque in Taoyuan on Saturday night by someone I met at a party. I didn’t know the guy at all, but some people I knew were going, and I do need to get out more, so I decided to go. A carful of guys I didn’t know picked me up in front of California Gym (of course) and we headed towards the highway. This is how news stories start out, I was thinking.

I said I needed to get out more, and this place was pretty far out. It was an ordinary house on a small lane off an isolated road, and surrounded by empty grassland. Normally this setting would make an unsettling place to be taken at night with a carload of strange men, but they had set up a nice party area on the rooftop, with trance music and plastic chairs. Occasionally it would rain a little bit and then stop. Jets taking off from CKS airport flew overhead every so often. One of the guys I knew, Jonathan, seemed know where each one was going. “That’s the one to Singapore,” he would say. “The one to LA will be coming over in a few minutes.”

I talked with a few guys, ignored some others and was ignored by still more. I would say it felt a lot like Fresh had been transported out into the middle of nowhere, but that would be damning indeed, and it really wasn’t that bad. I still need to get out more.

On Sunday I met Harry and Mark at B&Q while I was looking at rugs. I had thought they might help me decide what to get, but I should have recalled what Harry’s house looks like. We ended up going back to Xindian. Harry, none too happy with the state of my doorway’s Fengshui (he’s probably inventing an elaborate system of eight-sided curved mirrors as we speak), wanted to take me over to a Daoist Temple just across the river. It’s not really even a proper temple, it’s a lingtai, an alter surrounded in front by a semicircle of glass panes. To the side several people sat at a table, one of them singing another’s fortune in Taiwanese. In the back a man was reciting a prayer while going through some pretty athletic motions in front of the rear alter.

We almost didn’t get over there, but luckily the boatman noticed us standing on the Xindian side and paddled over to pick us up. On the way back I asked him how long he’d been ferrying people across the river, since he looked like he’d been doing it forever, but he said he’d been doing it for three years. There are two ferrymen, and they take turns, one day ferrying, one day off. The boat, however, was several decades old. I took some video of Harry and Mark on the boat, but I’ve been having trouble compressing these videos enough to put them up on here. I might just need to either get another website or add space to this one.

I’ve begun to suspect that a large group of ants has managed to successfully impersonate a large ant poison corporation over the Internet, thus manipulating the production of ant delicacies marketed as ant poison. I say this because, after buying little containers of ant poison and placing them in various corners of my kitchen, the ants now seem to be having an unending banquet at my expense. They congregate inside the little plastic containers, supposedly full of poison, and have little ant beach parties. I can almost hear music from tiny boomboxes.

I was in the Warner Village area one day last week to see about some money Ogilvy still owes me. The entire company was on vacation, however, so I went and saw S.W.A.T, which I enjoyed immensely, and not just because LL Cool J and Page Kennedy are gods. It was also just a simple, fun movie.

posted by Poagao at 7:17 am  

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