Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Aug 06 2006

I went to The Living Room on Friday night after wo…

I went to The Living Room on Friday night after work to go to a going-away party for Carmen, who writes nice things about our band in The China Post and is now going to study real journalism at Columbia. I took my time, taking pictures as I walked up Guangfu, knowing nobody would be there at the appointed time. Sure enough, though I was over half an hour late, nobody was there except one foreigner who was talking very loudly at a succession of Taiwanese girls at a table in the corner.

I had a small amount of chicken noodles in a very large bowl, washed it down with CC and ginger, and waited. People started to trickle in, including the bands that were playing later. David showed up with some friends. Turns out he’d been early too and gone across the street for Thai food.

I started to feel very tired. I hadn’t slept well the night before. The a/c was blowing on me, I couldn’t seem to think straight, and I couldn’t be bothered to talk much with anyone, which seemed to be fine as most people were happy to ignore me. By the time the first band started up, I was ready to leave. David and I walked to the MRT, and I took one half-hearted picture on the way. Back home, I wasted time online before crashing.

Woke up at 7am the next morning, sunshine shining through the blinds on my face. I couldn’t sleep any longer but felt anything but refreshed, so I took a short hike in the hills behind my building, doing some Tai-chi at one point along the way and taking lots of leaf pictures. I was meeting a guy who contacted me about my book a while ago, named Dan; he’s ex-US military and teaching at NTU for the summer. As usual, I waited until the last minute to get ready, and, as I was shaving my head, I accidentally screwed up, producing a gash of bare skin on the back of my head. I’d just bought a new electric razor from a pet store (cheaper that way, Sandman told me), and I wasn’t used to it. Fixing it took some time, so I was late for my meeting with Dan at The Wistaria Teahouse on Xinsheng South Road.

Dan was still there waiting, thankfully, and I ordered a light meal of pork soup and tea. We talked about various military-related and Taiwan-related subjects. I called Prince Roy and he arrived 20 minutes later to join our conversation, as he’s ex-military as well. Dan’s learning basic Chinese and shared some of his ideas on language learning, as well as telling some interesting stories about the US military. He has no idea why I can’t get my book published in English.

We wrapped up around 3 or 4pm, and I declared that I was going shopping in Tianmu to search for cake frosting for some brownies I was planning to bake, courtesy of Robyn, who donated the mix. Prince Roy decided to come along, so we walked to the MRT and, half an hour later found ourselves at Mingde Station. As we approached Wellman’s Grocery, PR mentioned that I probably could have found what I was looking for at City Super or Jason’s Market. I’d forgotten about those, but in any case it was nice weather for a walk on the north side of town.

I ended up buying more than cake frosting, of course, and my backpack was loaded when we left the store. We walked up to Tianmu Road and walked along it, noting the many Shanghai restaurants and Japanese restaurants. Tianmu used to be a foreign enclave, but it’s not really that special any more, ever since the supermarkets and the Xinyi District took off downtown. It’s a lot easier to be a foreigner in Taipei these days than back when you had to either live in Tianmu or accept a certain level of Taiwanese intrusion into your expat package-life elsewhere.

We ended up walking a pretty good ways, and I was tired again by the time we got back to Mingde Station to take a train back downtown. My friend Mark’s birthday party was being held at The Italian Job, which PR has expressed interest in sampling, so we headed over there together.

Mark, Harry, Lorens, Joe, Marty, and some others were all there already when we walked in. I normally enjoy the gnocci, but for some reason I had no appetite that night. PR came into mortal danger of eating soup that wasn’t vegetarian, but realized his peril at the last minute. The waiter was very apologetic; he told us that up until just recently, all the soups of the day were vegetarian, and they just hadn’t bothered to change the menu.

After dinner we walked over to Da-an Park, walking and talking. I was exhausted, and my backpack weighed heavily on me, as did the dinner inside me. Finally we sat down on a bench to chat. PR had to take off. Only three or four of us were left, and we chatted until I felt I could tackle the hike back to the MRT station. By the time I reached home, I was running on empty, and slept until I was awoken by thunderstorms at 1pm the next day, Sunday, i.e. today. I’ve done nothing today except upload a bunch of photos to flickr. Later I might go crazy and cook something. Tomorrow, another week begins.

posted by Poagao at 11:36 am  


  1. thanks for calling me. am always up for tea and good company. it was a nice day, so i’m glad we made the trip out to ??. was fun meeting your friends and I hope we can all hang out more in the future.

    I liked cosi a cosi better than the italian job. (maybe) the wine had something to do with it…

    Comment by Prince Roy — August 6, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

  2. Yeah, I think Cosi might be better, too. I was feeling wierd that night anyway, just too tired to be good company, I’m afraid.

    Comment by TC — August 6, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

  3. And you told me that I should meet up with your friends!!!! >_<

    Comment by Daniel — August 7, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

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