Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 25 2007

A day of eating

One of my college roommates, Yao Fu-wen, got married today. The banquet was held at a fancy Dunhua North Road restaurant starting at noon. He picked a nice day; the weather was bright and the air fresh, possibly due to the proximity of a late-season typhoon down in the Philippines. Once I’d handed in my red envelope and signed my name, I walked inside the elaborate hall and found three tables of Tunghai University classmates, some of whom I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years. Yu Long-tong, another roommate with who I got into fights with in the dorm for reasons I can’t recall except that he was completely insane, was there with his wife and children. We used to talk a lot about politics back then, and I learned to ride on his little red 100cc motorcycle in the cow pastures below the campus proper.

Also present was Cai Jian-shu, who was my friend Boogie’s roommate back then. Tong-ah, who is rather green, dabbled in political promotions for a while but is now doing research at Academia Sinica, and Jian-shu is teaching at a university in Kaohsiung. With the exception of the grey in Tong-ah’s hair, neither of them had changed that much. They said that I have, however, in that I look a lot more like a terrorist now.

The dinner started off with lights, music, bubbles and a parade of chefs with LED-lit trays. Before we could eat, we had to listen to various officials from the KMT (Fu-wen’s employer) give speeches about how good a worker Fu-wen is, and how perfect the happy couple are for each other, and what a good, useful-around-the-house kind of gal the new bride is. The food, when it came, was good and plentiful. We ate and chatted and gave toasts until about 3pm, when the food ran out, and we lined up to get candy from Fu-wen and his new bride.

Outside, we decided to go to a teahouse and catch up with each other, so we all piled into various cars and met up again at a place on Dongxing Road, not far from the old China News office. Tong-ah kept telling Jian-shu he should move back to Kinmen, where he’s from, but when Jian-shu asked Tong-ah why he hadn’t moved back to his old family home in Penghu, Tong-ah was silent. “Don’t think I haven’t considered it,” he finally said. We talked about marriage, politics, stocks, cars, the economy (Jian-shu got his PhD in economics), and many other things. It was a good time. We finished around 6pm, and walked out of the teahouse to find it was raining and blustery outside. Jian-shu had was going to catch a ride with another schoolmate back down to Kaohsiung, a long car ride. I said I’d visit him after Kaohsiung’s MRT system finally opens. It’s been delayed for a while, but I’m guessing they’ll do their best to get it open before the elections next year.

I said goodbye to the group and walked through the rain down Dongxing Road, recalling the days when I worked at the News office there and there was nothing to eat except biandangs from downstairs. The area’s changed a bit, though, with a lot of new buildings and even a Mister Donuts. I made my way to the City Hall MRT station to take a train back to Xindian, where my friends Gordon and Xian-rui were hosting a genuine, full-fledged Thanksgiving feast at their house at New Garden City. Gordon had truly outdone himself, and I found myself regretting having eaten so much earlier. Still, I managed to eat two servings of turkey, dressing, candied yams, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and string beans, as well as the chocolate mousse and mince pie afterwards. It was delicious. They had also invited Xiu-juan, a woman Xian-rui and I play badminton with, as well as her husband, a Filipina woman who exclaimed, “Your Mandarin is better than mine!” when she heard me talking, and a Canadian woman named Glennis (not sure how it’s spelled), so the dinner had an appropriately festive, semi-familial feel to it. There was also wine.

After we’d all stuffed ourselves, we sat around talking and digesting while Amour, our hosts’ dog, explored the floor around the table in case anyone had dropped anything. The lights of Taipei glittered outside through the raindrops on the windows.

posted by Poagao at 12:05 pm  

1 Comment »

  1. […] Poagao’s Journal – A day of eating Poagao writes about a wedding and Thanksgiving dinner with his usual style (aka it’s good). I had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner myself with my coworkers at the Cosmopolitan. I was rather shocked to find great stuffing in Taiwan! Highly recommended. (tags: LifeInTaiwan) […]

    Pingback by links for 2007-11-26 | bent — November 26, 2007 @ 1:30 am

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