Barrelled Thoughts #12 – Morakot day 2

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Typhoon watch: Day two.

While I was having lunch, the news showed the damage the typhoon had caused to Taiwan. Southern Taiwan was enveloped in murky water from the hill side agriculture, and everybody was walking around waist-deep in miles and miles of flooded streets. Upon inspection of the weather chart displaying the typhoon’s movement, it seemed, funnily enough, that being in the eye of the storm for the better part of two days, Taipei remained unscathed by the brute force of cyclone Morakot. Even as parts of Taiwan registered category 13 and 14 cyclone developments during the day, all that Taipei felt of the weather was nothing more than mere drizzle. Long lasting drizzle, but drizzle nonetheless. The flooding was particularly bad in the south, where most people’s houses were deemed unusable from the first floor up. There was even a hotel on the news that collapsed because of severe corrosion, and some coastal townships were flooded and abandoned altogether, in retreat of the biggest typhoon for half a century. Gosh, I hope Anna’s house is OK. I just remembered that she lives there, too. Best of luck to the government cleaning that mess up.

The other night, Alex and I were on one of our manly missions again, searching for more birthday presents. I say it’s a manly task, because men don’t shop, we just go in and buy stuff. That night was different, though, because while I was at it, I had to buy my friend, Annie, a magazine for her trip the following week. More on that later.

Determined to make light work of the gift-buying, Alex and I stormed into Eslite at Dun Hua and headed straight for the Human Touch store. I’ve literally fallen in love with that store. They sell cups and other specially designed stuff, and I’ve decided that all my gifts this year are going to be from that store. Absolute bliss.

We walked into the Human Touch store and immediately went searching for cups. We picked ones that suited their personalities and defined their persona, and that was that. End of story. No more ‘shopping’ for today. I was starving, so it was dinner time.

We got ourselves some dinner and started talking about what we were going to do for the rest of the summer. I don’t know how many times I’ve said “You know that last week before class starts again? Yeah we’ll go then,” but I know that the last week is the only week I’m going to have before the shit hits the fan. We had Italian again and started chatting about our usual topics. Before we sat down to eat, we saw one of the instructors from NOCSH. Partly awkward and partly happy to see a familiar face so far from home, we greeted him and he introduced us to his wife who, by the looks of it, is a good five or six months pregnant.

After dinner was when the hard part started. As I mentioned earlier, my friend, Annie, was going on a trip next week around Taiwan. Not a trip most students would take at this time of their lives, with finals in a few months. This was different though. A study group from China is making their way over to Taiwan, and they’re stopping in Taipei first. Annie is going to represent Taiwan, and NOCSH and act as their guide and our spokesperson. We’re all really proud of you, Annie! There’s no better person for the job! Go go go! Knock ’em dead! Oh, no wait. Don’t do that, that’ll be bad for relations, ha ha. Just, uh, Have a great time!
I said I would buy Annie a magazine to read while she’s stuck with the commies. Uh, what I actually meant to say was…while she was stuck with the Chinese. So we went to the Eslite bookstore to find one.

The task of finding Annie a magazine was supposed to be a simple job. She’d specifically told me she wanted something to do with history, and preferably in Chinese. That’s fine, I thought, this should be easy.
Looking around the magazine section, I saw all the magazines I wanted to buy for myself, but nothing she’d take interest in. Not because our interests were different, but because everything was in English and she told me she wanted a Chinese one.
Time, Newsweek, ELLE, GQ, FHM, Reader’s Digest…
I was tempted to buy all of them to read for myself, ha ha ha, but I had to stay on point!
“History, history, history, history, history…” I murmured, but after an hour of walking around, nothing. I was even more disappointed to find out that they don’t print the Chinese version of Time in Taiwan anymore, and all the other magazines I wanted to buy for her didn’t have Chinese versions. Bah. This is going to be harder than I thought.

After leaving several missed calls on her cellphone without reply, Alex and I decided to pick one ourselves. I remember her taking a liking for Business Weekly, so I wanted to buy that, but then I thought about history, history, history again, so I held back. Arg! I decided to wait until she called, meaning I would have to find another day to buy it. Sorry, Alex…at least we got the cups, right? High five.

After our bookstore debacle, we went downstairs to the section where they sell expensive stuff like jewelry and assorted artistically designed stuff, like watches, sunglasses, wineglasses etc…
We went through another one of our ‘when I get rich’ moments:

“Yeah, when I get rich, I’ll buy one of those for you.”
“Are you serious?”
“No.”
“Asshole.”

Talk like that is not very productive, because everybody knows rich people are actually very conservative and never spend unless absolutely necessary. How do you think they got so rich in the first place?
Gotta’ save, dude. Gotta’ save.

The same night, I received a call from Annie. She told me that Business Weekly would be fine, so I bought her one the following day.

Back to huddle in my little room! Can’t wait for Monday. JSF.

P.S.

Sympathies for Daniel Jarque’s family. It’s always a shame to see something like that happen in the world of football. What a dedicated man.

The Recession - It's epic.

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