Sunday, April 18, 2010

Taipei here and now

TOday I went on a bike ride in the rain through the back alleys of taipei, but it was sunday so there were many many pedestrains and poeple window shopping, the national sport of the buergoisie taiwan.... i was in a lane in a neighborhood near my apartment, and since today was my first free day in a long time on account of me being sick and desirious of a day of a rest , i decided to stop by a local temple that caught my eye as i was pedaling. i went in and asked the burgher if i can take a look, and he was all smiles that i could speak chinese and insisted on aiding me in using the divination sticks to read my fortune, a rather complex process involving dropping two small peices of wood that look like the curved half a shoe horn, dropping the shoe horns on the ground. First I say my last name, address, and ask a question, and depending on which way the shoe horns are facing when they are dropped, it is a yes/no. If it is yes one proceeds by drawing a long stick with a number inscribed on that refers to the numbered proverb poem of wisdom derived from the Yi Jing, the ancient book of changes. after helping me through this multilayered process, and finding the proverb of my destiny, we discovered that he is illeterate, and couldnt read me my fortune. then another really old woman, about half my height, and half my amount of teeth, proceeded to discourse on my fortune, and she asked me what My question was ("Is my paht of life right or wrong"), and when I told her that, she said the mystic poem reads not too hesitate when mulling over something in my heart, but go straight for it, and dont start many things at once. She continued to lecture me on the proper path of my lfie, and correctly guessed I was a Chinese student and English teacher, and then decided to exhort me on the proper way of going down those paths. She even inquired what my salary was, but at this time she had lost all consideration of my Chinese bieng only half-fluent, and proceeded to speak to me in the thick drawl of Taiwanese Chinese charactestic of an "ama", or grandma..........I then found my opening to conclude the sermon, and proceeded on pedaling down my path in life....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back In Taipei

Dear friends and family, I am back in Taipei after an exhausting nineteen hour lugage-less flight from DC to LA to Taipei. Its cold and rainy here, and I am staying in my freinds apartment who is in the phillipines. I finally got over the jet lag. I think I went a whole week without proper sleep! I have been looking for a job, had a few interviews and offers, and am substitute teaching at a school for a friend this week. Im also back at Tai Chi class, which keeps getting more dificult and my teacher keeps getting more strict. And if only I could understnad him, what with him being 94 years old and with a thick Beijing accent. This morning I got up early and went to the mountains, where I found a big rock in front of a boulder and sat down to meditate. It was wonderful to be sourrounded by the rush of the water, the sound of the wind in the dense foliage, and the birds and creatures arising to meet another day. And it even stopped raining for a bit during my meditation! Im excited to be here practicing Chinese and connecting with Taiwanese and ex-pat friends alike, though I miss you all dearly. I still havent moved into my new apartment - I'm waiting for my freind to go back to Italy before I can move into his apartment. Though I am enjoying the boundless kindness and thoughtfulness of my freind Patrick who left me the keys to his apartment and motorbike while he is in the Phillipines. It was wonderful seeing everyone in the US and to everyone I didnt get a chance to see, I'm sorry and I still hold you dear in my heart. Below is a link to my flickr website with photos I took while I was in America this fall. Love David