Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jan 23 2008

Wei-ya Dinner

The streets are filled with people carrying packages home these days, prizes they won at their companies’ year-end dinners. I hadn’t won anything for three years straight, so I didn’t expect much last night when I walked into the Formosa Regent Hotel ballroom, the same ballroom where my friend Azuma got married a while back, and now the site of our company’s year-end dinner. In order to spend as little time as possible sitting awkwardly at a table full of strangers who all knew each other listening to speeches about the company’s financial performance, I lingered outside watching co-workers play a Wii game featuring a cartoon character standing on one leg. When they were done, I took pictures of the silverware in the hallway.

silverwareEventually I was corralled by a group of co-workers who saw me outside, and herded into a seat just as the speeches began. The food arrived, but as a consequence of my late arrival, I’d managed to obtain the seat next to where the server uses to serve the food, so most of the dinner was spent leaning to one side while various goopy substances were ladled out. At one point a small roach scurried across one of the plates; the server whisked it away quickly and acted as if nothing had happened. I did manage to win a small-ish prize, the second smallest on the list, which was heartening in that it was enough money to make a dent in my bills but not enough to arouse too much animosity amongst my co-workers.

After the ceremony I was talking to one of my bosses about the sad news concerning the demise of the company’s badminton club* when another guy walked up and addressed my boss: “Say, this guy doesn’t happen to have a flickr account, does he?” he asked excitedly. My boss pointed at me.

“You know, you could just ask him; he’s standing right here,” he said. My boss is cool.

The new guy then turned to me. “Are you….” he began, apparently nervous. “Are you….Poagao?”

“Uh, yeah,” I said.

“THE Poagao? The photographer?”

“I’m pretty sure I am.” I was becoming a bit concerned about his reaction. But it turns out that he’s just naturally exuberant and has been following me on flickr.com for a while. He had no idea that we were actually co-workers and was more excited by the coincidence than anything I can take credit for.

He told me that the company actually has a photo club. I’d talked to the official dinner photographer, a young guy who had just purchased a new Canon 5D along with a 24-105L lens as his first DSLR to learn about taking pictures, as well as an older guy who also had a 5D with a battery grip, and they said I might try coming to a meeting some time. I just might, if only to drool over all the nice cameras they have.

So the evening ended on a good note, though I spent most of the dinner drawing cartoons on the back of my lottery tickets. Afterwards I walked past the old US embassy to the MRT station and took the train home.

The Ramblers play SapphoThis weekend is going to be another busy one; the Muddy Basin Ramblers are going to play at the 70’s Discotheque Sappho de Base, which is located on Anhe Road’s Lane 102 in the basement of #1, on Saturday night starting at about 10:30. After spending months playing the same songs over and over for the album, we’ve recently been practicing a few hot new numbers, and it should be interesting to see how they go in a public setting.

Otherwise, I will hopefully be doing looping/ADR sessions with some actors for the film. The rest of the time should be spent editing, among other things.

*The demise of the badminton club is bad news, because it was good to play with people who actually take it seriously. I say this because there’s been an addition to the pug-nosed women I play with on Monday nights. Yes, dear readers, it’s true: Whiny Woman is back.

It’s not the same woman, but it might as well be. She’s in her mid-to-late 40’s but seems to think that she’s really only 11, except it’s more of an I’m-on-Japanese-TV kind of 11. This includes talking in an excruciatingly cute approximation of a child’s voice and walking with her knees bent inwards and hands in the air. Her laugh, if it can be described thus, can cause birds within a 100-foot radius to relieve themselves in mid-air. I find myself missing the days when it was just me and the pug-nosed women.

posted by Poagao at 4:14 am  


  1. Twist of fate may have it that you’ll be blessed with both soon enough! They could both be in this Photo Club? Imagine your situation then!!

    Comment by Hadi — January 23, 2008 @ 11:50 pm

  2. No! Don’t even think that!

    Comment by Poagao — January 23, 2008 @ 11:54 pm

  3. I like the way you describe her voice. Funny. I can see and hear it.


    Comment by Michael — January 25, 2008 @ 1:10 am

  4. Whiny Woman. She is truly missed.

    Comment by Prince Roy — January 26, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  5. […] artcles about the dreaded wei-ya company dinner that everyone in Taiwan attends this time of year, but I like Paogao’s story this week, the best. Yup, you’re famous. Get over it. Btw, Paogao, I have 2 words for you: “D […]

    Pingback by TheNHBushman.com | Bushman’s Picks, January 27, 2008 — January 27, 2008 @ 6:08 am

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