made in taiwan

I tell ya baby, Latifah’s had it up to here (From Monday/Tuesday 17 and 18th)

After scrambling the whole day I’m finally here in Taipei, at the Miramar golf country club which is a hotel that China Air paid for. Golf club sounds swanky – I can’t tell – it’s dark. Like setting up a tent, arriving somewhere new – in the dark is never choice one.

I feel like an imposing whitey westerner already – I go ask for things and all I can do to show my heartfelt appreciation is say “thankyou” which dosn’t seem enough, so I say it louder THANKYOU! I should’ve learnt thank youo in taiwanese. I know sweet FA about taiwan, since it was only the stopover country I didn’t do much besides check the weather and get some currency.

Man air travel is strange. Btwn Melb and Syd I was thinking I’m never in this much of a rush to do anything – when examining 1000km in an hour. Usually it’s an all day hitch-hike. The land looks so ordered from up in the sky – patches.

I let undue amounts of stress get the better of me when scrambling to terminals in the morning and between terminals at midday. All the extreme conditions had me responding to the emotional cues in the inflight movie, Wimbeldon, and also Taxi — just because Queen Latifah is so cool. The China Air style blurb for it got me – ‘A new york cop teams up with a zen-like woman taxi driver to solve a string of bank robberies’.

I have tried being talkative and making friends with some of the people who were running the same set of stops/transferrals, but they’ve mostly ended up being dickheads trying to be blase eventhough they’re no more knowledgable about all the procedures than me. may be picking the wrong people.

I couldn’t really see Taipei much from the minibus window, but what I did see looked kinda trashy, like Sydney.

My buddy Obs has been a gawdamn saint putting up with me these last couple days, and amazing me with all kinds of information and things.

I can’t believe I’m not in australia, and that I’m doing this.

Tues 18th – 10:30am
Like Sydney, the weather’s pretty filthy. I put deodourant on and a minute later am skanky. Turns out this place is pretty swanky in its own way. It’s owned by china airlines, which explains why we’re here. Roughly guessing, it might’ve been built in the 1930s or 40s. The golf course is big, the caddies are women and they have to dress like environmentally aware ewoks. There are guys but they get to drive the buggies, and all of whom have the asian mullet hairstyle in affect and look like they’re about to bust out some die-nasty martial-arts gangsta moves on us whiteys any minute. The whole thing reminds me of a scene from a James Bond Movie. There are no vending machines here. Pan-pipes renditions of Beatles tunes pipe right through the joint. There’s no floor four. I read it’s the same in s.korea — the words for four and death sound the same so they avoid it, either subbing ‘F’ or like this, it just ain’t there.

I think it’s a fair way into Taipei and they’re not exactly offering chairlifts there. So it’s hanging around here for the day until time to bus on back to Chang Kai Shek international airport. The ol’ Shek.

Watched some taiwanese telly last night. There’s over 80 channels although it included american cable stations. From memory, The Man and western cultural imperialism uses taiwan as the injection point to China, so maybe a lot of these stations are being bankrolled. Strange game/talk shows with liberal helpings of cartoon-style sound effects. Bad drama, the ubiquitous Jackie Chan movie, home shopping to the power of 3.

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