Tuesday, August 23, 2005

More posting

There is a demand for more posts, so I am going to put more quick ones up. These will not be edited and will be far less literary (or attempted literary). I just want to actually tell you about some of the more interesting or funny day-to-day happenings here in Taiwan.

One, there are at least ten tea stands on my block. Not even the whole perimeter of the block, just the side in front of my apartment. I have my regular tea stand, but I have decided to explore more. So now, I am trying as many as possible. I did not even realize how many of them there are, I have even accidentally discovered a couple (some are hidden by food stands). I think I have tried six or so; the street is not even that big and I have plenty more to go. At each I order one of the tea staples here (nigh tsa is how I say it, and that usually works), which is milky Chai like thing. They are so good, but they can really range in quality, so it is a fair battle. Right now, one of the stands has a clear lead, with a nigh tsa that just about killed me with goodness.

Two, as I am writing this sentence, jets are passing overhead, four or five at least. They do that, low flying military jets. I am not the only foreigner who can't help but think it sends the wrong signal. I assume it is supposed to give the people here the impression that they are safe from China. However the people are not stupid. China has more jets by, lets say, a dozen, maybe even a touch more. So I would think that the daily fly bys would just seem kind of sad. Plus, who knows when those jets will actually be Chinese jets and not Taiwanese.

Third, telemarketers like to call me. They have adopted the technique of getting all the information out before you can say hello. So I pick up the phone and then a flood of Chinese flows over me. In normal conversation I can now catch a few words. However, the telemarketers are trying specifically to talk as fast as possible, so I get nothing. Then I usually say “I can't speak Chinese” or “Do you speak English” and then we laugh. That is basically it. So, next time you guys get a telemarketer, say you can't speak English, and you can laugh and laugh.

Four, I bought the camera. I realize it’s only been a few hours, and I did not wait for any responses, but I could not help it. I suddenly remembered being a little kid, looking at a camera half as good as the one in question for $3,000 wondering if I could ever afford a digital SLR. When I was 16 I bought my first digital camera at $616 give or take. The camera in question now is only $100 more and way better than the cameras I dreamt about as a kid.

I realize the extension of that logic, this camera will some day be $8 and not worth it. But by then, I will have moved on, however, in that time, I want to have moved. I love photography, and even if I can’t do it professionally, I can do it. The same goes for writing. A lack of excellence should not deter me, or even bother me. If that was the case, I would give up Chinese, as I will never become fluent without dedicating myself to it. However, I enjoy Chinese, I enjoy photography, and I enjoy writing, so I will try to do all three.


Kat! said...

So I haven't caught up in a while (sorry!)... but at least I am leaving a comment!
(a) super congrats on the camera!
and (b) you should do photography professionally, because you could!!

Anonymous said...

Matt - your Aunt Martha here -- haven't checked your blog for a while as we've been in and out of town. I think your photos are very impressive. You have an intuitive gift and an artful eye. And I love the postings (I read your newer one before I read this one), especially when you are descriptive of scenes around you. I think developing your writing happens as you develop the capacity for description, and the literary piece is the result of some gestation period, you know?... where these daily scenes begin to create a context and a meaning that has some heft to it. So I'd like, in addition to the great digital photos you take, some pictures of the life around you drawn by the written word. I'll wait to read your book when time has helped you birth it! I'm very proud of you for taking on this adventure, and I know the dividends will be vast.

Matthew K Warner said...

Well we will see what I do with the real camera, but check out www.camereye.com. He just floors me.

I will try to describe more of the regular stuff. That enclave from insantiy is really how I view my balcony in the rain.

Thanks Kat and Martha, that is sweet, and I will try to post something more knowing people are reading.

I don't know about a book, I think my writing is fun at times, but I can't picture something longer right now.