Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 21 2011

A fairly interesting weekend

A fairly interesting weekend. On Saturday Chenbl and I went out to Banqiao to a big campaign rally for President Ma. It was held in a stadium, the stage in the center of the field, surrounded by a sea of seats. Vendors were selling various paraphernalia around the track. It began to rain almost immediately after we arrived, but that didn’t stop droves of people flowing into the stadium. I helped out on stage by wrangling some of the people dressed in those blow-up costumes of various anthropomorphized items, such as drinks, other goods, and airplanes on stage during one of the shows. I led either a 747 or some kind of dragon around by the wing lest the person inside fall down in an embarrassing manner. At least they were protected from the rain, though I wouldn’t relish having a battery hookup in there to keep the thing inflated in that kind of weather.

President Ma and his running mate Premier Wu spent a lot of time shaking hands and talking with people before they got up to the stage, where Eric Chu and other KMT officials were filling time with speeches, permeated with a lot of “Diu-m-diu! (Right?)”

DIU!” the crowd shouted back in between mouthfuls of lunch. We took advantage of a short lull in the rain to slip away after the president’s speech, following a steady stream of people making their way through the downpour to the train station. I spent the rest of the day among hundreds of prints on my living room floor, trying to make some sense out of it before I meet with the publisher.

The sun was peeking out on Sunday morning, so I decided to go to 2/28 park for taichi practice. Most of our usual practice area was covered in water from the previous day’s rain, but I found a sufficiently large patch to practice the forms and some sword before going over to practice tuishou with some of our group, who had congregated on the pavement in front of the fountain. It was a good, refreshing practice.

After some lunch at Mos Burger, I headed over to the new Bobwundaye for Lo Sirong’s CD launch party. David and Conor played on the album, and they played several songs from the album while we munched on some delicious snacks prepared by Katrina and sipped whiskey provided by Sirong for the event. It was a beautiful afternoon outside. Most of the other Ramblers were in attendance, with the notable exception of Slim, who was indisposed, so we followed with a couple of sets of our own. Slim was notable by his absence, and I couldn’t hear the bass, so I played as well as I could by feeling the vibration in my foot on the tub. It wasn’t a bad set, but rather rough around the edges.

Afterwards David introduced me to his taichi group, which practices at Xinglong Park in Muzha on the weekends. They were very interested in the whole lineage thing, who I studied with, which always reminds me of parties at the Hamptons where people ask which family you’re from (I’m guessing, having never been to the Hamptons and all). When I mentioned Teacher X, they said, “Oh, he is the student of our master!”

“His masters are dead,” I said. Which is true, both Master Yu and Master Song died years ago. Only Little Qin, my “elder brother”, also studied with Master Yu for a short time before the latter’s passing.

They were very nice, and invited me to join them at the park some time. But one older fellow, a tall, slim man named Mr. Li, seemed eager to try me out then and there. He kept making little illustrative pushes as we talked, as if he were sounding me out, and when I put down my bass string he advanced in earnest.

Mr. Li is very good, and, both of us having more than a few drinks under our belts, things got a little, uh, animated. My response was probably ill-advised, but then again I’m not used to doing tuishou in bars. We went back and forth rapidly a few times, but Mr. Li was making annoyingly quick grabbing moves, and I ended up pulling him around me. As he stumbled, his glasses flew out of his pocket and hit the floor. I could feel everyone staring at us, and I apologized to Mr. Li as I helped him pick up his glasses, which thankfully weren’t broken.

I felt bad about it, though, and I’m sure I made a horrible impression on the group after they were so nice to me. They left (I can’t blame them), and I took a seat at the bar and had some more whiskey while chatting with David, Kat, Conor and Jay until late. Though Kat had pulled the steel door halfway down and doused the exterior lights, such is the location of the new place that groups of patrons kept pouring in every so often, all “just for one drink, we promise!” I think they’re going to do quite well.

David and I shared a cab back, a Toyota Wish with skylights, and I spent the latter half of the journey staring at the lights shining out of the windows of various expensive apartment towers living the rivers of New Taipei City.

posted by Poagao at 10:10 am  

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