A quick look over the start of this blog and its current state shows a dramatic difference. Those differences largely compose where my life has gone and what has happened here. When time passes, opportunities either become realities or they become missed. Throughout this process, my enthusiasm and optimism has faded, and thus my writing has stuffed.
Now I can look over the grand majority of my time in Taiwan in the light of what really happened. I did not become a writer. This will likely not become a book. That said, I did pretty well on my goal’s list, and I had a fairly substantial year. Now its time to make the most of the ten weeks I have left, so that I can someday read these blog entries with pride rather than regret.
Last night Allison, John, and I went to the best nearby Chinese restaurant. That sounds odd, but my house is surrounded by Taiwanese food. There is only one restaurant that is truly Chinese, offering a striking variety of foods, most of which are “true” Chinese dishes (at least Sichuan 四川, the West’s favorite province of China).
Afterwards, we went to a small store across the street I had never noticed. It was a store of ancient Chinese and Japanese stuff, mostly swords. The store’s collection was really impressive; from calligraphy to ancient swords it was a really beautiful place. The storeowner asked me where I lived. When I told him I lived in Southern Country (南國), which was the next building over, he got really excited and invited us to sit and drink tea.
We drank for a long time and chatted. It was nice because they had only thin Taiwanese accents, so their Mandarin was far easier to understand than I have become accustom.
It turns out that the storeowner taught martial arts. This got me immediately excited, as martial arts was near the top of my list on things I wanted to learn in Taiwan. So tomorrow I am going to go there and start learning. Hopefully it will be affordable and fun.
This is not really a dramatic or funny entry, though I would like to return to that style. What is dramatic for me is that I am glad to be starting something. These last ten weeks have just seemed like finishing things up, so it’s nice to start something new. I like the idea of rather than everything going away or generally putting away, that there is one thing I met yet pick up.
During our time chilling, he showed up his num chuck skills (chipping a banister above his head in a flurry of drama in the process). Showed me real meditation balls (he could take three sizable 4.4 pound metal balls and spin them in his hand like nothing). And taught me to flip a stick similar to a policeman’s baton.
I may never be a Hong Kong street fighter, but a student in Taiwan? I can do that.