Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 07 2013


After some reserve stuff this morning and afternoon, I went down to the Taipei World Trade Center to meet up with Chenbl at the musical instrument expo that was going on there. Thankfully, the downpour that nearly engulfed my bus had eased somewhat, so I didn’t get too wet before I made it to the door, but it was still a puddlicious experience.

Inside, the area devoted to musical instruments, just a small part of the cavernous hall, hosted a cacophony of various bleats, blats, and 74 amateur drummers all doing the same thing on every drum set in sight. I tried out a fiberglass sousaphone at a mainland Chinese stall, then gave the general public a preview of the songs on our upcoming album using some other brass instruments I’d never played, at least the ones with valves. Neither I nor they were much good, though a lot of people took my picture as I was playing.

Chenbl was looking for flutes and violins, and as he haggled prices with seller, I grew quite weary of the constant bad drumming and other noise, and by the time we left I had the beginning of a migraine, which didn’t put me in the best of moods as we waited for one of the u-bikes to become available at the bike stand on the other side of the street. We were both taking bad pictures of Taipei 101 when I spotted an elderly fellow in front of me take a shot with his cellphone. He then turned to me.

“You have to delete that photo,” he said, in accented English.


“You must delete your photo,” he repeated. I was confused.


“Because of my right to privacy, you can’t take a photo with me in it without my permission.”

“I’m fairly sure I can.”

“No, you must respect our laws when you come here, just like us Taiwanese.”

“Uh, I am Taiwanese.”

He switched to Chinese at this point. “Have you ever heard of personal privacy? Come on, we’re going to the police.”

I thought, oh boy, do you know who is standing next to me? Sure enough, as soon as we switched to Chinese, Chenbl, who had been uploading his own 101 shot to Facebook, joined in. “And just who are you?” he said. “Why should do anything you tell us to? You want to go to the police? Feel free.”

“How do I know you won’t be gone by the time I get back?” the man said.

“You don’t. Why should we care? You have no evidence of anything; we haven’t done anything wrong.”

“So, if someone were to throw something at you, and you didn’t have any evidence, it wouldn’t be wrong?” he said. I looked at Chenbl.

“Is that a threat?” I said, glaring at the man. Up until now the conversation hadn’t been particularly hostile, but it was taking a nasty turn. Chenbl held up his phone.

“If anyone throws anything, I have this conversation taped, and I’m pretty sure it would implicate you in any such act.” The old man laughed harshly.

“You guys are really something. You win this one, but it’s a small city; we’ll meet again.” Jesus, this is straight out of a comic book, I thought, and all because he thought I’d taken his picture. The man walked to the other side of the street, playing with his phone and hopefully not calling 20 of his best friends to resolve the situation. We didn’t hang around long enough to find out, electing to find bicycles elsewhere. We’d been planning to go see some friends play at Huashan, but my headache convinced me to go for a massage at the underground mall instead.

posted by Poagao at 11:52 pm  

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment