Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Niki visits Taipei

Niki, whom I rowed with on UCI Women’s Crew visited the other day! I hadn’t seen her since my junior year in college, which was eight or nine years ago. In the last eight years, she’s lived in Australia, gotten a MA, got married, had two boys and is now working in Stanford’s women’s studies program. Soon, she’ll be in New Zealand to finish her PhD degree on Maori health care. I always looked up to her, both figuratively and literally, when we were rowing. She was a great rower, quiet and always calm (I don’t think I’ve ever heard her swear, which is rare among rowers). She is also like nine feet tall. OK, maybe just six feet. But that’s still really tall. I had on heels when we met for breakfast at the Taipei Sheraton and asked, “hey, did you grow taller?” Obviously, she also remembered how short I was.

We had some really interesting and intelligent conversations while I showed her around Taipei. I was pretty brain dead, but tried hard to hold up my end of it and was just so surprised that we had so much to talk about. When I was rowing in college, I didn’t have much to talk about with my teammates for some reason. I had plenty to talk about with Carrie, our coach, though. I always enjoyed intelligent conversations more than anything.

We went through Dihua Street, one of the oldest commercial streets in Taipei, where boats used to load and unload fabric and dried foods for sale, and then to Xinyi Eslite, in the newest part of Taipei, and then to Shinyeh at the top of Taipei 101. Our vegetarian fare was dishes of mushroom, mushroom and more mushroom, but when you’re eating up there, it’s to be expected that food isn’t the main attraction.

Ah, it was so nice to see Niki. Perhaps in March I can take more time off and go back to San Francisco and LA. Crew Classic is in March.

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