I haven’t been in a hurricane since I was a child. I remember hurricane Bob on Long Island, filling the tubs before, playing in the new world left in the aftermath. I had a bit more Calvin and Hobbes in me back then. I found some of it out here in the world, but we never really become children again.
We had the threat in Mexico, and part of me hopes this will be the same, but part of me wants to do kung fu in the tempest. From what I’ve seen on the news, this one won’t do much here. A few inches of rain, maybe a day off work, but I don’t expect the storm to last.
The days have been clear here, a friend told me that usually happens just before a typhoon. The storm pulls everything into it, clearing the smog and the clouds. I kind of want to go up to the top of Taipei 101, try to catch a sunset before the rain. I doubt I’ll be so lucky, but I might try anyway. Maybe I’ll get some pictures of the storm coming.
There still is something about a storm that makes me smile, standing out in the rain, even if it’s just under an awning. I wish the rain was cold here, but I can’t always look forward to the purple and green lightning of New York, or the fog late in the year. I get tired of the humid nights, but the weather here is nice and warm most of the time. I still miss the beach, but I probably always will.
I sway back and forth between wanting to stay in Taiwan and wanting to move on. I want to learn Mandarin, but I also want to learn something new. I think that’s just part of being stuck in school like I am. One month left to get my bachelor’s and I’m hating it. I’m tired of the research, the wasted weekends, the long nights writing. It’s not difficult, just time consuming and tedious. I love learning, but there is only so long I can grind through a system before I just want out. One month, then I’ll probably focus on another system, another grind, but with Mandarin I can use it in the streets, and that makes all the difference.
I find that I speak very differently when I’m studying and when I’m in the street. I focus so intently in class, trying to refine and perfect every word and syllable. When I go out, I just speak, and it usually comes out in fragments, but I don’t care as much. I usually speak a mix of Mandarin and Spanish, with some English thrown in. It’s a mess, but it usually is enough to get me what I need. When it fails, pointing and grunting has been our way since our time began. As long as I don’t fall into the trap of speaking loudly and slowly, the universal sign of the tourist.
I never wanted to be a tourist, not since I spent that time in Greece. It was beautiful, but rushed and irritating. I couldn’t speak the language at all, and I didn’t really know what I was looking for. I think about going back, but I am not who I was, and Greece has fallen far from what I was allowed to see back then. That’s the problem with memories, we never know if the failing is in the world or in ourselves.