Did anything happen yesterday?
My breakfast counter ran out of 蘿蔔糕 turnip cakes by the time I got there, so it was 蛋餅 a Taiwanese breakfast burrito with bacon and egg. Lunch at Kiwi Gourmet Burger, practice Chinese with Taiwan Amy
Afterward, I did my evening walk in 公館 Gongguan neighborhood, and stopped at Picnic, a charming cafe which appears to be all whimsical and casual and crafty, but the staff is very professional, silent behind the counter, and the food is immaculately prepared and presented and I spent almost 300塊 on a slice of quiche, a salad, and a little pot of iced tea. Totally worth it. Totally worth it. Plus, it would have been more expensive in the states; and probably less polished and a little bit irritating. The menus were all hand bound, hand illustrated, hand lettered books that my old man eyeballs could barely read, and I didn’t really get any pictures of it except for the wifi password, which is someone’s phone number so I won’t post it. Sorry, Frankalicious.
I got all my homework done there, and then walked home. Had a little chat with my roommates.
What else is going on? There’s a typhoon coming; from the satellite photos it looks like it’s coming STRAIGHT FOR ME. Not worried, but class might be cancelled. Tomorrow is laundry day anyway.
I’ve broken through the two-week headache barrier that I had spoken about before. I’m happy to report that on the other side of that headache barrier is a lazy attitude. I’ve felt this in France, Guatemala, Italy, and the last time I was in Taipei… that the first two weeks I try really hard to speak correctly, and that is accompanied by a headache (I’m not claiming a causal relationship). Now that that period has passed, I’m feeling pretty lazy about making language acquisition happen. Actually I know it’s happening, so I feel like I can just go about my day and talk my face off to people and make mistakes and get misunderstood and corrected and that’s just how it is. I’m not longer feeling like I have to hustle to make myself understood.
You know the scene in The Matrix, when they shove a guitar cable in the back of Keanu Reeves’ head, and he convulses in the chair, and then it stops, and his eyes open wide, and he says “I know Kung Fu.” That’s what the first two weeks feels like; like it’s all flooding in.
Unlike Neo the One, the information is still coming at me in a torrent. However, it no longer feels overwhelming.
I have, however, started to worry about going home. There are a LOT of social calls I haven’t made yet, and I have less than two weeks to make them all. I also worry about going home and not getting to practice Chinese every day.
Some ideas I have about future posts:
- Why I’m all about 正體字 Traditional characters now.
- Why I’m all about 注音符號 Bopomofo phonetics now (i.e., ㄅㄆㄇㄈ…)
- Some people study too hard; it’s counter productive.
- I hate the way they use the term 西方 “Western” here.
- Cute animal! DON’T PET IT, STUPID.
- Why we don’t go around calling people “Foreigner.”
- Tagalog next summer? or Japanese? Or Portuguese? Or back to Italian or French? Pros and cons of each.
Finally, the an update on my cockroach friend. I walked into my shower this morning and found Mr. Cockroach halfway up the door, his legs caught in the hinge. When I opened the door, he fell into my room. So I swept him up with the dustpan and brought him to the common room, where there is a motel. He’s now halfway in the hotel, and I don’t think he’s coming out.
I like to think that there was just one cockroach that I kept seeing repeatedly, and that my shower porch was just a spot he was passing through. There’s nothing there for him but dry surfaces and lonely times. Now that he’s checked into the motel, I have a feeling that the rest of my stay in Taipei will be roach free.
DO NOT BURST MY BUBBLE PEOPLE. DO. NOT.