Man. Nothing like a trip across the world to breathe some life back into these near-dead typing fingers. I’ve been working on a blog surplus this entire week, constantly shifting content from one entry to a buffered rough of the next day’s because they are too long. It’s good for me because it gives me some confidence in my writing again, and I guess it’s good for anyone (there are people, right?) who reads this because you have more junk to waste your time on.
Sharaun left the US this morning, and last night before she left she was IMing me at work every 10 seconds to ask a question about what she should bring. Yes, Sharaun, they have shampoo in Taiwan, and it’s not even made out of nuts or berries. And yes, they have shaving cream, the island is not overrun with unshorn sasquatches (sasquai?). Oh, and yes, they have irons here – I mean it’s true that, up until last year, they would simply make a weekly pilgrimage to the dragon’s cave and leave their clothes overnight so his fiery breath would smooth out all the wrinkles (which, incidentally, are caused by small evil clothes-wrinkling spirits and can be warded off with a concoction of mud, grass, and dung applied to the scrotum each evening). After this discussion had tailspun out of control, I decided to spice it up a bit:
Good one, right?
Last night I met some guy in the bar. He was from New York, and he spoke fluent, and excellent, Mandarin. I was impressed at the way he conversed with the bar staff. He was a large, Andre-the-Giant-ish looking man, with a goofy face and out-of-place looking black moustache that matched his curly and tousled black hair. He had a deep voice which I pegged as tobacco-induced. He was talking to Tracy and she was all smiles, but when she turned her back to him she screwed up her face in disgust as a signal to me that she wasn’t that pleased with Mr. New York-can-speak-Mandarin. Later on the topic turned, as if often does here for some reason, to that of “fun” in Taipei. Of course, being like 90% of the Westerners here, Mr. NYCSM treats this city as his own sexual playground. He actually said to me, without so much as a flinch or hint of hesitation, that he considers these Taiwanese women to be, “… nothing but shit, but great for a fuck.” Yeah.
If you know me, you know I can take just about anything with a smile… staying polite above all, while keeping my opinions to myself. I’m generally agreeable, and would rather listen to your crap and politely excuse myself in hopes of never seeing you again than invite drama and uncomfortable situations by openly disagreeing or challenging you. It’s much easier for me to write you off as a buffoon who I’ll never have the displeasure of meeting again than try and engage you with how my views differ from yours. But… all I could do in reaction to that was sit there stone-faced and say, “Damn, Mr. NYCSM. That’s a little rough.” He laughed. Having already noticed his wedding ring, shamelessly displayed, I got a bit confrontational (for me) and said, “So, you got a family back home in New York?” Mr. NYCSM replied, “Who knows. I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to call my wife and wish her a happy Mother’s Day.” Now, I guess that could mean a lot of things, but I took it to mean that he’s forsaken his family to the point where he doesn’t know if they’ll be there when he gets back, or perhaps their relationship is bad enough that saying they’re “waiting for him” is just an unknown.
Ten minutes of conversation and I hated this man. He’s been coming to Asia for twenty-five years and “… knows where to find trouble in every city you can think of.” I could almost see the slime oozing from his skin, smell the foul scent of rotten. The guy was so deplorable to me, I nearly left. But in the end, I held my own and stayed at the bar. Mr. NYCSM seemed extremely jealous of the way I seemed to be friends with the bar staff, and talked about going out with them later on during the week. I mean, here he is, he can speak Chinese, he can talk to them, he’s been coming here for a quarter-century, and this fat be-sideburned young whippersnapper is having better luck making friends with the staff than he is. It was my small victory over his disgustingness.
As he finished his last flute of champagne (no kidding), he stood up and walked over to me. “What are you doing tonight,” he asked. “Oh, tonight? I actually have plans with some friends.” “I hope they’re good plans,” he said, insinuating. “Yeah, yeah they are,” I replied. He went on, “I was thinking you and I could go find some trouble tonight.” “Sorry, can’t make it,” I said, trying to sound as uninterested as possible. “Later this week then,” he continued, “We’ll do something special; go halvsies.” “I’ll let you know,” I say, “What room are you in? I’ll try and give you a call,” anything to get him to just leave. Mr. NYCSM slips me his room number, and leaves me with a meaty handshake from his huge paw. As soon as he leaves, Tracy comes to me and says, “He is your friend?” “No,” I reply, “I hate him.” “Good,” she says, “He is very dirty.” And so, we agree.
Good people are everywhere I suppose, and so are bad people… it just helps to have an eye for the good ones. I couldn’t live like that… it’s just not me. I’m just a big pussy through and through.
Time’s up. See ya.