Monday, 21 November 2005

Social Saturday

I planned to go see my printmaking teacher's exhibit at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立台灣美術館) in Taichung (台中) on Saturday morning, but my body refused, so I stayed in bed all morning. Taichung is two hours away by train. In the afternoon, I very reluctantly put on something half decent to meet three friends from Dominican, the Catholic school where I attended seventh and eighth grade, to attend the thanksgiving concert the school was having. It must have been the first time I've been back at the school, because I don't remember ever thinking how small all the desks and playground equipment were. The visit sure was nostalgic. Unfortunately, all the teachers that I had weren't there anymore, so the only people I could share memories with were the friends that I went with.

I had to leave for my next appointment before the concert was over, which was somewhat of a blessing. I wasn't quite sure what to think about the music or the (lack of) enthusiasm the kids seem to have.

Did that count as "hanging out"?

Next, I went to meet my parents at a party in Tianmu (天母). It was the welcoming party for the newest class in the National Policy Strategy course at the Ketagalan Institute (凱達格藍學校). Leaders from all areas go there to take classes and network. My mother went for a course on women leadership. They wanted to bring me along to meet people, and although my headache was telling me no no no, I knew I had to go and meet some some of those people. I got there before they did and wanted to leave right away. Somehow, I managed to make it through the opening speeches and started feeling better after some food. Perhaps I was low on sugar.

To my left was my mother, to my right was the executive vice president of Taiwan's First Bank (第一銀行), straight across from me was the CEO of a biotech company/cord blood bank called "Bionet" (訊聯科技), diagonally across from me was a diplomat that happened to work with one of my best friend's mother for many years in Chicago and Washington DC. Once the food was served and wine started flowing, things became a little more comfortable. Both the diplomat and banker kept trying to recruit me, but I smiled and politely declined, deciding to stay with my low-paying, disrespected but highly satisfying job.

Being the youngest and most inexperienced adult there, I was very intimidated and didn't do much mingling. Thank goodness for my mother, who introduced me to quite a few people. Some were nice, some weren't but most were quite interesting. There was a senior TV reporter there who kept seemed to say nothing but harsh things about reporters, reporting and Taiwan's TV media. She may have scared someone fresh out of college, but didn't phase me. In fact, I was just really annoyed, that's all. She did remind me of some things I had been thinking about lately, though--direction, goals etc. I sat next to Pasuya Yao, the director of the soon-to-be history Government Information Office, during the after-dinner speeches. After the who's whos finished their podium ramblings and egomaniacal kanpai's, we got to continue the mingling. There was a very nice couple who run a business together now. They were both born in Taiwan, but raised in the US. The husband later went to graduate school in Japan. I didn't have much time to speak with them, but I think I'll stay in touch with them. I think we may have lots more in common and things to talk about.

It was a tough day for me, although short, compared to a work day. By the time I got home, it was nearly 23h00, and I was so tired that I fell asleep on the floor. We haven't brought out the heaters and the floor is made of wood, so it was absolutely freezing! I woke up around 1h00, climbed into bed, still in my sweater and jeans and makeup, dozed for another couple of hours and then finally took off my make-up and showered at 3h30. At 5h00, I had to be up for the Taipei 101 Run-Up.

No such thing as rest on a rare day off.

1 comment:

fuigo said...

I respect you for doing what you actually enjoy so much. Sometimes, a lot of courage is needed to do such a thing. I am afraid that I am not strong enough.

In any event, you seemed to have a "eventful" day.

The art museum in Taizhong is amazing. I was there months ago with a colleague. I had to get away from the city. Plus, I visited a new boarding school that was trying to recruit me to teach. Anyway... Taizhing is a beautiful place compared to Taipei City. Taipei is what I call the "Gotham City" of Taiwan.