Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Feb 16 2003

Yesterday being my last day up on the mountain, I …

Yesterday being my last day up on the mountain, I went walking in the hills one last time. I decided to take another path up Neigou Mountain, one that Mr. Gao had told me was a bit steeper than the others. He wasn’t kidding. After following a small stream up the hillside a ways, the path, indicated by white ribbons, led straight up a cliff so steep I had to haul myself up vines. It was like climbing a huge tree with boulders in its branches. About an hour later I emerged at the peak, my hands cut and bleeding from the rocks and treebark, to find a group of well-to-do holidaymakers discussing the merits of various international educational institutes while their children tortured spiders nearby. I had, apparently, taken the hard way up. A smooth, level path led down the other side. I contemplated going back down the way I had come up just to be perverse, but sanity won out and I took the easy way down. Plus it was getting dark. When I reached the lake at the bottom I came across a family relaxing along the bank. One of the children saw me and ran over to stare at me. “Hey!” she shouted back at her friends or siblings, “Come look at the foreigner!” The whole herd came thundering over, stopping in a line about twenty feet away from me. They just stared, their open mouths prompting various airborn insects to alight inside. I stopped and stared back for a moment, turned around to let them have a good look, and then waited a moment before saying “Well? Are you finished staring yet?”

“Go on, speak English to it!” one of the parents called over. They were rich, of course. Seems like rich people here are almost exclusively the most ill-mannered. The kids didn’t saying anything, so I shrugged and walked on. When I got back to the apartment complex I used my last coupon by swimming in the indoor pool and then luxuriating (and hopefully not bleeding too much) in the hot swirling waters of the jacuzzi for a bit. Felt great.

The friend I was housesitting for came back last night, so this morning I packed up and returned to downtown Taipei, aka The Big Smoke. It sure looked the part today anyway, as the air’s been full of swirling, misty precipitation that’s not quite fog and not quite rain. I made another awful meal today. I think I’ve established that substandard ingredients do actually affect the quality of a meal now. Of course, not knowing how to cook might also be a factor. My place feels a lot smaller after having a whole apartment to myself for three weeks.

I added a link in the menu to the Chinese page, although there’s not much content there. In fact, there probably won’t ever be a whole lot there; it’s just for when I feel like writing in it. It’s still kind of buggy, but I’ll see if I can’t fix it up a bit.

Tomorrow’s Monday, of course, the first real Monday since before Chinese New Year it seems. Hopefully I’ll be getting a call to work soon. It’s a bit depressing knowing that there aren’t any more holidays until the Dragonboat Festival, but after the recent slew of festivity, I think we all need a break from breaks, so to speak. Tall Paul could be getting a little production together, in which case we need to to scope out his locations, and I’m working on a little something myself on the side before we dive into production for the ghost story. I still need to get a mic and a light kit somehow. The former I’ll probably have to buy, but the latter I think I can borrow from friends. Recently I’ve been boning up on production technique, re-reading some of the texts we studied in New York, but there’s no substitute for practice. I need to get my hands dirty.

posted by Poagao at 2:09 pm  

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