Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 16 2005

It turned out that David and Robyn were on the sa…

It turned out that David and Robyn were on the same MRT train out to Danshui that I was, but we didn’t meet up until we got out the gate at Hongshulin Station. After a few minutes Tim showed up in the Thumpermobile; we piled in and set off.

About 50 feet down the road, however, we realized we didn’t know where we were going, so David got out and asked a shopkeeper the way to Wayaokeng. Luckily it wasn’t raining as we drove up into the hills, following the steep, dark and curvy road.

I think we were all expecting a small dinner get-together, but the media circus we found there was anything but small. Several guys with cameras were milling around, big lights illuminated the three-section house’s courtyard, where several large tables had been set up and piled with dishes for the guests. Apparently Sheng Xiang had invited the entire village, and there were several low-level officials there as well. Our place was at the head of the table in the center front position, a rather embarrassing site and right in front of the “stage” where Sheng Xiang and Water3 set up to play. We had some good food, Mark the harmonica player making fun of my chopstick technique, or lack thereof, while our host individually thanked everyone there.

Water3 played a few tunes, and afterwards Sheng Xiang called David, Tim and me up to play a couple of things. I had my pocket trumpet, but the third valve was sticking terribly, so that I would suddenly only be able to play a very limited amount of notes. I need to get that thing fixed; it’s crapped out on me too many times. Xiao Liu played bass for us and did ok, especially considering it was the first time he’d heard some of the tunes.

Sheng Xiang then proceeded to call on people to come up and perform, and there were many. One woman was so nervous she spent several minutes talking about how nervous she was, how she didn’t usually do this kind of thing, etc. A few elders got up and sang traditional tunes, including one in German.

I don’t know how long the party had been going on by the time we got there, but at least some of the villagers had definitely been drinking all afternoon. One woman, the cook I think was staggering drunk and had to be dragged off after falling down several times. Another woman, one I originally took to be a reporter as she had a bright green microphone to point in the face of everybody on stage, was apparently also a bit soused. She stuck her camera right in everyone’s faces. I don’t know who she was, but she sure has a future in Taiwanese media. Unfortunately.

The aborigine fellow who was handling sound went up and played a few very nice songs, but when one of the elderly guys brought out a songbook and started singing from it, we pretty much knew it was time to go. It was a lot of fun, but it was getting late, Tim was getting antsy, and that songbook looked really thick.

posted by Poagao at 7:35 am  

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