Barrelled Thoughts #16

Friday, August 21. 2009

“Be happy, for at least you have someone to quarrel with.”

I haven’t written a memo in a while. I’ve been caught up with the rushing end of summer school. Things are boiling up as we prepare for the final day, and the forth-coming ‘Registration Day’ for all the new-coming overseas students.

A few days ago, I found out that a friend of mine had been having some bitterness with her family, and I told her a phrase I’d heard before: “You should be happy, at least you have someone to fight with.” I told her about how some people don’t realise that having someone there is something to be happy about, and not to be used as a scapegoat for their problems – whether rational or not.

“You don’t miss your water until the well runs dry,” they say.

A few days ago, I bought my first bottle of cologne in Taiwan: a transparent blue, 100ml bottle of Versace Pour Homme. “Versace – for men,” as Katherine puts it.
Alex, Anna and Katherine went with me to Taipei City to pick a bottle that I liked, and a fragrance that they thought would suit me. CK, Huge Boss, BVLGARI, Armani…there were tonnes of different colognes to choose from. In the end, all our noses had just about maxed out their abilities, but we eventually came up with a winner. The second I caught a whiff of that Pour Homme scent, I knew I would like it. “I like it!” said Katherine, “Me, too!” shouted Anna. I was all ready to make a final decision when Alex said, “Dude! You’re a man! Buy CK<! Buy CK Summer! Buy CK Euphoria<!”

Two reasons why I didn't like Calvin Klein – Euphoria:
1. It was too sweet.
2. Alex had already bought a bottle of CK Euphoria.

Surely he doesn't expect me to buy the same thing?!

"It's good!" he would say; but as good as it may be, I just didn't want to buy that one, it wasn't my cup of tea.

After we picked out the Versace, we went to McDonald's because Alex was, once again, hungry. We sat and spoke about what Alex likes to call, "Life, man."

Although the trip to Taipei's purpose was to buy me a bottle of cologne, I found it quite entertaining in the sense that I haven't gone 'shopping' in a good year or so, and it was fantastic going out with the guys again, to walk, to chat, to bond.

We seem to always have a lot of things to talk about, and most of the time we talk for hours on end. Sadly though, we eventually have to head home. We promised each we'd do this again, maybe for a bottle of Hugo Boss next time, ha ha.

Friday was registration day when all the new students come in, and quite a few of us signed up to help out. Me, Alex, Anna, Katherine, Beatrice, Fifi, Ranique, Kelly and Michael, just to name a few. The day started with us in our respective posts. I was at stage one with Fifi, meeting and greeting all the parents and students, and then directing them off to stage two, where Katherine and Kelly were busy bees helping to fill out registration forms. Stage three was manned by Anna and Beatrice, who were in charge of examining the incoming forms. They gave a stamp and an OK for the students to carry on through to stages four, five, six and seven. Ranique, Michael and Alex were wobbling around the center of the library, helping whoever they could. After about 20 minutes though, Alex was nowhere to be seen until we noticed him next to a blonde-haired babe from Papua New Guinea. Alex you sly dog, I thought. He was so sly, in fact, that she had offered him her number and got his in return. Ha ha ha, go Alex!

We all did our part: I pushed the first set of papers and got the people moving on. All the while I made event announcements in English from time to time, “Ladies and gentlemen, the third and final round of language tests is about to commence. If you have signed up, please make your way to the third floor of the library. Thank you.” At stage two; Katherine basically got a glimpse of all the pretty girls and hot guys. I don’t think she was too impressed though. Shame, poor girl. Ha ha.

We were expecting an excess of 120 people. Although only about 95 came, we were still racing to finish before our deadline of 12:30 p.m. We eventually got everyone through one to seven and finished at 12:15 p.m. Celebrations are at hand!

After a morning of new faces, I was exhausted. But Alex, Katherine and I still planned on going to Taipei 101.
Ranique informed me that she wanted to tag along too, and so did Jenny. The more the merrier! So eventually it was me, Alex, Katherine, Ranique, Aldrich, Jenny, and “Rambo”, and we all met up at 101.

When we arrived at about 3:30 p.m., I was starving. So Katherine and I decided to get Subway. Alex said that Subway was, and I quote, “Not food”, so he bought a Japanese dish. He hated it. We finished up lunch, and started chatting. Aldrich bought the best pretzels in the world and we blabbered off for about two hours.

Later on, Jenny decided she wanted to go shop-lifting. Uh, I mean, shopping. And so she dragged Katherine and Ranique with her and off they went. The few of us staying behind knew damn well that we wouldn’t be seeing them again for quite a while. As we sat there chilling, Alex starting giving his life speech again, about how he lives with a Scorpio who stings him whenever he so much as forgets to make his bed. I sort of felt sorry for him, but knowing Alex, he’ll get over it soon enough. Don’t worry, Alex. You’ll be fine, boet.

Aldrich suggested we go and walk around, so we walked around 101, passing all the expensive brands and flashy watch stores. He showed us a custom design home audio store, which had a set of speakers for NT$370,000. Fuck me. He walked us into a cellphone shop that sold a hand crafted gold phone for NT$1,999,000. Oh my, God. You must be on drugs to buy something like that.
The motto for that store should’ve been, “Sell one phone, retire for life!”

We eventually got the top and went to the Page One book store. We headed back down after about 20 minutes and arrived back at our original meeting place in the food court after about an hour, with the girls still nowhere to be seen.

Eventually the girls came back and we headed home. It was another fantastic night out with the guys and gals. The multi-national gatherings we do always intrigue me, and I definitely want to do it again.
Time for home. Time for rest. Until we meet again! JSF.

Cape Town's scent of the moment: Versace Pour Homme.

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