Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 07 2008

In the park

Since construction has completely enveloped the opera hall veranda, and the staff didn’t much like our tromping on the grass in the park at CKS Hall, Teacher X decided to move our weekend practice sessions to 2/28 Park, formerly Taipei New Park. The park is a traditional arena for pushhands and other martial arts groups to train, in the shade under the trees on nice, flat (if dusty) ground.

Our group was easily identifiable by our purple uniforms. Later, Little Mountain Pig told me he doesn’t think we should wear uniforms, as he says it causes other people to be hesitant about engaging us. Pig almost never wears his own uniform, though. He says he’s “not the uniform type” and simply let his wear out. I suspect he places a certain amount of value in the fact that he’s been studying so long he’s worn his uniforms out, and doesn’t want to be seen as a newbie student. I could be wrong, but he seems keen on assuming a teacher-brother” role in the group, especially since he fell out with Little Qin.

Teacher X was talking about a guy wearing a red shirt leading a nearby group. “He loves to brag,” he said, telling us how the guy boasted that he was then-President Clinton’s Tai-chi advisor when all he really did was make a weekend trip to the US. I wondered if there was some history there, as the guy was almost near enough to hear what Teacher X was saying. It’s not really my business, though, so I didn’t ask any further.

Nearby drink machines ate my money like the stock market, so, unlike the average US house buyer, I decided not to give them any more and went out of the park to a 7-Eleven for water. Pig said the water fountains in the park were safe to drink from, but I decided to play it safe for now.

I pushed with the UPS guy and Yang Qing-feng, who hasn’t shown up in a while. NL Guy and Mr. V were there as well, grappling around with each other. Although the ground is level and smooth, every gust of wind blew up a miniature sandstorm that left us coughing.

I felt a lot more on display at the park than I usually do at other practice locations. Although I didn’t catch anyone staring openly, I got the feeling that people were curious about us. I’ve heard many stories about outrageous challenges and fights going down in the park between rival groups. “Some of those guys will stop at nothing to make sure you lose a bout,” Teacher X told me, which explained a little how Weeble was so interested in practicing there. Still, practicing with other groups could be educational.

Teacher X is climbing Yushan this weekend, though, so no class. He wasn’t at Sun Yat-sen Hall last night, either. I’m sure the other students will go, but I probably won’t. The weather’s supposed to be crappy, anyway.

posted by Poagao at 12:56 pm  


  1. Did the weekend-hip-hop-cheer-squad girls move with you guys? Little Mountain Pig drinks the water from the fountain? Amazing.

    Comment by Daniel — November 10, 2008 @ 11:08 am

  2. No cheerleaders, thankfully. LMG does drink from the fountain. He says they’ve been inspected.

    Comment by Poagao — November 12, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

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