Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Half Day

Urgh.....I got home around 5:30 a.m. Slept until almost noon, not enough. Now 2:18 p.m., first day of 2006 half over, me half awake.

First of all let me say that this New Year's Eve was a unique one for me, and not just because I spent it in Taiwan. No, what made it unique is that I didn't have one single drop of alcohol. No beer. No wine. No tequila. And no champagne. Wow. I don't think I've passed a New Year's Eve in my adulthood that didn't include excessive drinking. Wow.

I left my house at 9:00 a.m. yesterday, headed into Taipei to meet Lisa. We first went for breakfast at a little place she recommended (I had 大腸棉線, which is a bowl of thin noodles with oysters and pieces of.....intestines. I love it.), and then we made a mad dash through the jade market. Since Lisa had arrived late, and since we stopped for breakfast, we didn't have as much time to shop as I'd hoped. Rats!

We met Hiyoshi at noon and then headed off for our movie. The tickets for the showing we wanted were sold out, so we bought ones for the later show, which meant we had time to kill. So, we wandered around the mall and then went to Starbucks for some overpriced coffee. Hiyoshi and I went to see The Promise, and Lisa and her boyfriend, William, went to see King Kong. The Promise was OK, but wasn't the great epic I'd hoped for. Still, Nic Tse and Jang Dong-Gun were looking mighty fine, so it was cool.

We thought the XL performance was going to begin at 7:00 at Miramar, so we decided we'd better head over to that part of town right away, in case there were traffic jams. Stopped on the way to buy some deep-fried sweet potato balls, some fried octopus tentacle, and some fish balls to munch on in the car. Yummy! Once we got to Miramar we had to park quite a distance away and walk, and there we discovered that XL wouldn't be starting until 9:20. Again, time to kill. We ran into Xiao Sui, who had come up from Taichung to see the show, so the five of us decided to ride the big ferris wheel. Didn't matter we'd have to stand in line for a hour, since we had nothing else to do!

This ferris wheel is probably the most boring one in the world. It just inches its way around, taking about 17 minutes to make the full loop. And Lisa kept her eyes closed most of the time, and hung onto the door as if she was going to fall out! I told them if they rode a ferris wheel at a carnival in the US, with no cage to sit in, just and open swing, they'd have something to be worried about.

We got off the ride just in time to arrive at the stage for XL. As usual, they put on a great show, and we were close enough to the front to get some good video shots. The only other band we were interested in was Mojo, but they weren't going to begin until 11:30. Since we didn't want to relinquish our places at the front, we stayed for the other performances, suffering through many appearances of two incredibly annoying women who talked without stopping for a breath and tossed silly gifts into the crowd, causing everyone to push and shove trying to catch these things. I'm sure the men in the crowd appreciated the shortness of the white skirt....

So, finally, Mojo hit the stage! Guoxi was full of energy, despite having completed a prior performance. He left at 8:30 this morning for his flight to New York, and I'm sure he was so exhausted that he's fast asleep right now. But he and the rest of the band, Mo the bass player and Robert the drummer, put everything they had into the show. At 11:50 they stopped so we could do the countdown and watch the fireworks, then they started up again, even giving us an encore.

OK, so now it's after 1:00 a.m., and we're all tired from standing so long. Trip to the bathroom before heading off for the next venue - another XL performance! This time it was near Taipei 101, slated to begin at 2:40 a.m. We began the long walk back to the car, and William forgot where he parked. He had a few moments of panic when his car was nowhere to be found, as he'd put his laptop in the trunk (worth more than the car!). But, we found it, after he listened to us when we said he was on the wrong street :) Traffic was bad getting to Taipei 101, and we again had to park far away and walk - half dead by this time. Got there just in time for the show, one hour of kickass music. Sad, though, because this is one of the last times we'll be able to see the band, since the drummer has to go for his mandatory military duty this year, and the other guys will also have to go soon. I was coerced by Xiao Sui into having my photo taken with the band after the show, despite my protests that I was only interested in pictures of them, not me. They remembered me from our chats at the Indie festival (not hard, since I'm probably the only American fan they have).

We hung around that area until after 4:00 a.m. There were still huge crowds of people around, including small children. Taiwan folks really know how to ring in the new year! We dropped Xiao Sui at the MRT station, and then William and Lisa took Hiyoshi and me to Taipei Main Station. Hiyoshi said he wanted to wait for the first bus to Wan Li so he'd get home in time to sleep, and I was very happy the MRT was running 24 hours so I could get home. It was 5:33 a.m. when the train hit my station, and I think I fell into bed at 6:00. Although I wanted more sleep, I got up close to noon, because I knew if I didn't, I won't sleep tonight - and I have school tomorrow!

1 comment:

Romita said...

新年快乐!

Sounds like you had a hell of a time and no sleep!

It is now 00:24 here in the City of Angeles. I'm up cooking part of New Year's Day dinner for friends and family. But now I'm on my way to bed. Peace!