Saturday, September 20, 2008

Travels and Travails

I left the house yesterday morning at around 11.  On my way to the Minquan MRT station, I crossed Zhongshan N. Road, which was under construction.  It hadn't been under construction the day before, but today there were machines and men and the general milling about that comes with road repair.  Except.

The milling was significantly less aimless than that to which I'm accustomed.  There were more than three guys there, and none of them were standing around doing nothing.  Not only that, but when I came home at 6:00 pm, and pay careful attention to this part, the road was finished.  Not just kind of finished, but still blocked off.  Finished.  And repainted.  And dry.  Ahem, Chicago.  Ahem, Madison.  Ahem, everywhere I've ever lived before.  A friend once told me that a city that didn't have construction going on somewhere was a city that was dying.  Taipei's got the not-dying process thoroughly expedited.

People have been asking about that last post.  I apologize for being obscure.  The ARC card is like a green card or a work visa.  It allows us to get paid here without being deported, which is convenient.  It was easily achieved, with only a morning spent in the DMV-like National Immigration Agency.  I may have to go back to add my other school to my card, but the card itself is in my possession and shiny and new.  Now I can do things like open a bank account and get a cell phone.

...which I have done.  Katy and I went with Chris, Debby, Jill and Dave (a couple from Canada) today to purchase cell phones and SIM cards.  And now we have them.  Mine even has an English to Chinese dictionary on it, but no indication of pronunciation.  It also has modified Tetris (I fear for my productivity), and a coin-flipping program for all your most important decisions.  After we bought the cell phones, we all went and ate pasta at a pseudo-Italian place, which was Orientalized in the same way that it's Americanized in the States.  We sat and talked for a while, then started making our way to Taipei 101 for the bookstore and its Dictionary.  Katy and I both purchased one, and I presently remembered what pasta does to my metabolism.  The Wife and I dragged ourselves, zombie-like, from Taipei 101 back home, where we both passed out for 6 and 3 hours, respectively.  I guess we're not quite adjusted to our schedules yet.

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