Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

the first of two monumental visits

first wife is here on her clandestine visit, so posts will be probably be fewer and further between until wednesday when she returns to the angelic place from whence she came.

thus far it has been a fantastic visit, not only because she is here, but because she is totally fascinated by, and adoring of, my normal life-you know, the crazy haircut girls who love me, my access to the nightmarket (where we both bought truly phenomenal pairs of glasses on the super cheap. in fact, i uttered this sentence, which i frankly sort of hoped i would never be able to utter, but which was amusing nonetheless--"i'm so glad i didn't have to choose between the anna sui and the dolce and gabbana, because i really wanted them both!") my phenomenal coworkers, my imperialist country club, the babies at the orphanage, etc. which makes it very easy on me. she comes along with me as i live and we eat and are merry. i learnt this travel tactic from beth daniel when i visited her in morocco. i find that immersing yourself in someone's daily life not only inadvertently introduces you to tourist sights you would normally want to see and a much deeper and more vivid understanding of the culture of the country, but also allows you to have this fantastic glimpse and bond into a formative time of their life. of course, this is only exciting if you actually love the person you are visiting and are interested in people rather than saying that you've been to such and such a place and seen such and such impressive things.

in any case, huzzah for taiwanese health care. yitaitai has been sick with a cough, a nasty hacking cough that has possibly turned into an infection. on her first day here, uninsured, we got her an appointment and a truckload of meds for about 20 US dollars. on her first day she also accompanied me to a speech contest. these are the types of things that are essential for people to see. only people like julia, who know what a complete disaster of a person i have been in the past, can appreciate the irony, and yet sweetness and redemption, of me being considered an expert, a respected adult who dispenses wise advice and gives encouragement and passes judgment toward anyone. judgment in terms of lingual ability. not, you know, JUDGMENT!!
the speech contest was wondrous because they were given prepared topics, one of which was "my ideal husband" and one girl said that she needed an optimistic and humorous boy so he could be her "pistachio nut" and help drive the clouds of depression away. we think she came up with that herself and is referring to the two halves of a pistachio shell. i hope taiwanese boys are able to change to accomodate the modern dreams these girls have. most of them wanted someone kind and responsible who would share the housework and childraising duties because they would both be working...and if he looked like the korean star Rain, so much the better! one girl said she could have a guy with eyes bigger than hers...fashinating. another topic was "my ambition" and it was also sort of uplifting though because it turns out that most of them had ambitions to delve into very diverse and interesting occupations: reporter, music teacher, diplomat, etc. i told them i was excited about the future of taiwan after listening to their speeches and how they not only have big dreams but know they deserve to be treated well. yes, i have the capacity for great cheesiness.

anyway, today we went to visit the orphanage for like 2 hours and i got to introduce jules to my favorite babies. Gu En, in particular, and then yu hong, the little red jade emperor king who is already slated to be a total hottie when he grows up and who used to be afraid of me, but now regards me as a great pal, because i fly him around like an airplane, of course. i told julia that if yuhong and wu youyou, a new and particularly perfect looking little 2 month old, ever got together they would produce stunningly perfect babies. and suddenly we glimpsed how ancient matchmaking worked. hilarious. there's a really touching board at the entrance to the orphanage that shows some of the orphans who have grown up. major potential for choking up. orphans at graduation, orphans who had cleft palates, now looking adorable in their 4th grade pics, orphans who are married and now have kids of their own. Gu En cries a lot and a few of the nurses commented that she would have to stop that when she went to her new home. but i said that westerners like women with loud voices and opinions. and so we all agreed that it was fortunate that Gu En is being sent to Australia.

eating has gone over well, as it so often does in taiwan, and she has yet to try din tai feng. once tasted, i am wondering how many times she will force us to go back there, to the mothership: the purveyors of the best xiaolongbao in history! other delicacies that have been wholeheartedly embraced are: riceporridge, porkplumscallion wrapped in fried thick onion tortilla, korean hot pot, night market veggie and meat fried baozi, lionshead noodles at brother noodles with their testy soup nazi-esque boss, and mango shaved ice. and yitaitai is very excited about the pub trivia for charity which is being held tomorrow at the brass monkey. i shall try to keep you updated on the results :)

she paves the way for Ma Hartle, whose visit is in T minus 7 days.

oh yeah, so in a sidenote: i heard so many bad things about the league of extraordinary gentlemen that i expected it to be one of the worst movies i ahve ever seen, but actually i liked it. i had a major love for captain nemo's sword of the sea boat. holy heaven. and his hot car.
anyway, happy sunday everyone.


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