Tuesday, 26 December 2006

New start

Things seem to be coming together these days.

I'm finally getting the hang of reporting, getting used to the pressure, getting used to the long hours and getting much faster at writing Chinese scripts. I still haven't gotten used to my boss, which I hear is quite normal.

And best of all, I found a wonderful place to live in the city. It's only three bus stops from work, in a classy residential area with both fine dining restaurants and a night market nearby and just about right in the middle of the city. With Mom and Dad's help, I got all the things I needed and finished moving in one afternoon. The following day, the Musketeers came for the ceremonial housewarming, the purpose of which is to bring good energy from successful people into my new home. It was a wonderful start. The place is comfortable, in a wonderful area and from the fortune telling point of view, I've moved in at a good time and into a good address. My landlady is a bit on the paranoid side, but the way she makes up the imperfection to this, I am more than grateful. I can deal with her. Nothing is perfect, but I'm glad I only have her to deal with.

A few months ago, a fortune teller said I would see signs of a good year that is to come in December. Funny how things are coming together. How lucky I am.

This year has been especially tough, and I can't believe I made it through. Apparently, some friends of mine had bet with each other that I wouldn't last. Ha! I sure showed them.

I go back to Tokyo on the 31st for New Year's to see Mama, Grandpa, Grandpa and other family. I've been waiting for this for 360-some days. It is finally here and this horrendous year is finally ending. Hallelujah!

Sunday, 17 December 2006


Hello, I'm back from the dead!

Osaka was a good trip. I learned a great deal about whiskey and about the bars of two of Japan's top bartenders, Sato Shoki (佐藤章喜) and Konishi Hirotaka (小西広高). I also got some really good advice from some media veterans that were on the trip as well. Unfortunately, the relationship with my cameraman fell apart after the trip.

In a nutshell, much has happened, and everything has turned out for the best. I have a topic to become an expert on - red wine; I have new friends in media; and I have a new cameraman, who is even less experienced than me, but just as willing to work hard and to stand out.

These days, I've finally stopped trying to come up with new ideas and to "just work." This advice was given to me at the beginning of this year, and I wish I took it earlier, because it would have saved so much agony. All the ideas I've brought to my boss have been rejected (although others seem to like them), and it seems the less I try to be different, the more chances are given to me. Somehow that's a bit counterintuitional. In any case, I've learned what works and what doesn't around here, for good or for worse.

December has been a tough month for reporters here. Our off days were blacked out the entire week before and during the Taipei and Kaohsiung elections, they were blacked out again on Friday for the First Lady's trial day, and it should get blacked out again next Friday when she is to reappear in court. In other words, it's media madness again in Taiwan, and reporters are getting worked to death producing news that makes the country a worse place to live. Lovely.

How I wish I can graduate from reporter soon. I'd like to move into more general programming. I want to do something that is entertaining, but quite educational/interesting too. Perhaps shows that the Travel and Living Channel airs would be suitable. But until the day I have enough experience, contacts and charm, I'll have to grind it out with some very uncharming, unpleasing and unnecessary nonsense.

I'm to have lunch with Dr H tomorrow. I'm not quite sure what the ocassion is, but hopefully she'll give me some advice on how to be a good reporter. I'm a bit nervous, since she wields so much power as the MD of News at our station and her temper and logic is next to impossible to read. However, since she likes to smile at me, I suppose I can be a little more optimistic.

Wish me luck.

Here's a picture of me at a ramen shop in Osaka. It was taken by Richard Yu, who says it should appear in his magazine, Golden Bottle 美酒誌, in January.