Taipei 2014 Day 15: Bad News Day

Yesterday the news kept getting worse and worse. Those kids in Gaza getting gunned down at the beach; the plane shot down over Ukraine… When Typhoon James sent me a image of a storm system headed straight for Taiwan in a couple of days, it almost seemed like like good news, since there’s still a chance that storm might veer east and tear up Luzón instead.

I showed up for my 11:30 class and the elevator was out. So I had to walk up 12 flights of stairs. It was silent in the stairwell, so all you could hear was the sound of my sandals on the tile and the sound of my left knee clicking. When I got to the top, J and the Desk told me I had missed my 9 am session. I had totally spaced it out; at 9 I was in the cafe sipping my iced coffee and wishing they’d schedule me for the 9 o’clock sessions. Oh well.

For lunch I went to a cantonese BBQ place with 喬丹 and T. You will all be glad to know that I’m proficient at ordering roast pork on rice. However the veggies they threw in were 苦瓜 ampalaya (bitter mellon). Although I am my mother’s son, I don’t eat the ampalaya. Which is too bad, because my mama gives an indignant speech about people who don’t know what real pinkakbet is.

After lunch, we all went to Benny’s to try to plan some day trips, but we failed. We left around nap time without having decided anything because we are some Hemmingway style-expats who talk, decide nothing, and schedule naps. I had a bowl of chirashi for dinner.

Then I met Aussie L and Lorraine; we got a cab to the train station and stopped at a ramen counter. I told him his new name was 高澳貓, which is not haoting, but it backfired on me because I had written it in simplified. Simplified!

We caught the bus out to Taoyuan, got the man checked in, stopped for a last bottle of water, and then escorted that pirate to security, and he caught his flight back to Brisbane. He cursed me with a clippy koala toy and a 3-pack of snacks.

With Aussie L out of our hair, we went to the bus stand; Lorraine helped me get a ticket to the train station and then ran off to catch a different bus. As for me, I wasn’t clear on where to go or stand, so I bought a bottle of water and sat down for a little bit. When the time seemed right on the big board, I went back outside to get on a bus, and the guy told me I had missed it. After a good five minutes of being baffled and trying to reassess my situation, I bought another bus ticket, this one to a different location, and then found my way home. I wasted USD $4 because I didn’t know how to take a bus!

On the way back my phone died, and I was able to get off a message that I wouldn’t be joining my friends for KTV, due to the bus fiasco. I got off at 古亭站 and walked the rest of the way home. I stopped for a bowl of 乾麵 “dry noodles” at a cart on the street corner, and then I went home and slept.

Today will be better. I already did all my laundry. I’ll be meeting a friend for some 牛肉麵 beef noodle soup up in 新北投 today. I think it’s supposed to be a Spanish lesson.

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