Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas is half over

and I just woke up....

Went to Betty's party last night, what a blast. Upon arrival I was urged to don a Santa hat blazoned with "Heineken" across the front, probably scored from Hooter's, where Natari works. Since Charlene and I had arrived late, almost everyone else was already there: Xiao Niu, Xiao Sui, Natari, Betty, and her new hubby. Xiao Yu showed up a little bit later, since she had to come all the way from Keelung. We headed into the dining room, where the hot pot was waiting for us, smelling so delicious.

What more can one ask for in a party than to have a Wu Bai concert DVD playing while one is stuffing oneself with various seafood, vegetables, and sliced meat cooked up in a pot of boiling liquid while energetically chatting in Chinese (or in my case, listening and drinking beer) and taking photos? Getting together with Wu Bai fans is always such a pleasure - but I think Betty's new husband was a little overwhelmed at having a houseful of crazy women all talking at once!

After dinner we headed into the living room to watch the DVD while we opened our presents. I scored a nice knit hat and scarf from Xiao Yu, so now I have four scarves to keep me warm during the short winter season here. Had I known in advance that I'd be getting some as gifts, I wouldn't have bought the one for myself!

While I was waiting for Charlene to show up at the MRT station so we could go to Betty's together, I'd called Hiyoshi to see if he'd been OK during the day, since he'd had a bit of whiskey the night before. I discovered that he hadn't even been home yet, but was still with Lisa, William, Vivi, and Marx! They were heading into a movie and asked me if I wanted to go with them after to take Hiyoshi back to Wan Li. Since I'd never seen his place, I said sure, and they picked me up at 11:00. First we headed to the new Eslite Bookstore that just opened up near Taipei 101, touted as the largest bookstore in Asia. I was excited until I saw that 98% of the books were in Chinese, with just a tiny little section of English ones. Boo hoo! I guess I'm stuck with shopping at Page One, the outrageously expensive store. We wandered around there for a long time, and spent another long time waiting outside for William and Marx, who were lost in the computer books section. The weather was so nice, not cold at all, so it was nice to be outside instead of crammed in with all those people. It was around 12:45 a.m. when we finally headed out of Taipei to Wan Li.

I'm amazed that Hiyoshi travels this route every day to school. He has to take a bus, and during the day when there's so much traffic it takes a little over an hour to get to Taipei. It only took about 30 minutes in the car at 1:00 a.m., though. When we arrived in Wan Li, Hiyoshi pointed out where the bus drops him off, and then we proceeded to drive up a steep, winding road that climbs the mountain - and he has to walk that up and down every day! William kept saying, "Wow, Hiyoshi, you're my hero! You do this every day? Wow!"

Hiyoshi's place is an older building, which has been springing a lot of leaks lately, and is also quite cold in the winter, since it's right by the ocean and the weather is usually very windy and rainy. Poor guy has pans set all over to catch the drips, and the ceiling is looking pretty bad in places. But, it's actually a fairly large apartment, and it was surprisingly clean for a bachelor's place, especially one who didn't expect he'd have company! He showed us around and then took us up to the next floor, which is where his church is. Hiyoshi's faith is a Japanese religion called Tenrikyo (see Wikipedia entry:, and their worship services employ music and dancing. He showed us the many instruments they use and even played a little bit on the flute for us (as did William, who is very talented). It was very interesting to listen to Hiyoshi talk about their method of "bai bai" or worship.

Well, by this time it was after 3:00 a.m., and we were all pretty trashed - and Lisa's father called her to ask where the hell she was. We said our goodbyes and wished Hiyoshi a Merry Christmas and headed back to Taipei. William had to drive me all the way up to Zhuwei and then turn around and go all the way back to Nanshijiao, a considerable distance! It was about 4:30 a.m. when I finally got into bed, and I slept until almost 1:00 p.m. today.

So, now it's almost 2:00, and Christmas is half gone, and I haven't done a darned thing! My plans for heading into Taipei to shop have changed, since I'm feeling extremely lazy and don't even want to get dressed. Maybe after more coffee I'll feel differently ;)

1 comment:

Ranger Steve said...

Feliz Navidad...or at least a late one. Glad to see that you seem to have had a good Christmas!