I Need Soul

Today was my day off. What did I do? I slept in until 8:00 (waking up at 105--niiiice!) and got a cup of cuppa Joe with a friend. I went to the bank and then went to look at little kitten, "Soul," whom I just adore. I filed the adoption papers today to Animals Taiwan. We'll see what comes of it all. Soul seemed sweet and laid back. He came right up to me and cuddled while the other kitten ran away and hid the whole time. The foster-mom (an American student from Connecticut) told me that Soul likes to eat fresh fish and chicken twice a day (hey, who doesn't!) and that he has never had cat food. Looks like I might have found a high-class, expensive kitten. I'd really like to adopt him. He's orange and so tiny and friendly. I am turning it over now. If it's meant to be, it'll be. If my adoption papers are not accepted, I'm taking it as a sign that now is not the time for me to adopt another cat. My two cats are well cared for in the States, but I sure do miss them. I don't think I'll be getting them back as Matt and my mom are uber-fond of them, and they are very content, well loved and cared for. I don't want to mess with that, so long as I have unlimited visitation privileges.

I had to transfer subway lines twice in order to visit "Soul," and it took me an hour, even though the apartment was not too far away. I could've taken a bus and it would've been a lot faster, but the buses in Taipei confuse the heck out of me. I get lost in my own neighborhood, so a bus with everything in Chinese and no clear indication of where I am is too risky for me. I took the subway. I like the subway. The MRT. It's easy and efficient. It's clean and neat and usually very busy. I had my iPod and was rockin' out, trying to ignore others. If you're interested, I went from my home in Gongguan (green line) to Da-an station (Brown Line), transferring at Main Station (red line).

There was an older Taiwanese woman who wouldn't stop staring at me in the subway car, because I'm a foreigner, a whitey, an unsmall, blue-eyed, Birkenstock clad American. Lately, I've been blatantly staring back as a means to get them to stop looking at me, but that didn't work on this lady. I got so uncomfortable at her constant glaring that I stared her down and abruptly turned the other way so all she had to stare at was my arse. Usually, it's fine, but it really bothered me today. The staring. The glaring. The comments.

I also experienced another blind massage today in the middle of the train station after taking a detour from the MRT to eat fresh nigiri eel and salmon off the conveyor belt at Sushi Express for only $5 (photo below). The massage helped my aching body. I like the fact that it only costs $9 to get a 30 minute massage, even if it's in the middle of the Taipei Main Station and not exactly relaxing. They use recklessly hard pressure and my Chinese is limited so I can't always express myself well since my usual body language/sign language antics don't work on the blind. Luckily, they can feel my knots and kinks and hot spots and help me without sight. Of course, they can hear and they know instantly that I'm a foreigner. They may be blind, but they still know a waiguoren or laowai, which I'll just translate as "foreigner." I'd never use the term "foreigner" in America to describe someone, but here it's very common. They have many nicknames, most rather unflattering, for non-Taiwanese folk living in Taiwan. In fact, the more I pick up Mandarin and Taiwanese, the more I realize how much people are talking about me, and not always in flattering terms. Picture Elaine on Seinfeld getting her Korean manicure. Something like that. Another American living here told me this would happen, and indeed, it's true, and frankly, quite disconcerting. I try to relax at a massage so I didn't try to speak any Mandarin to the blind masseuse, but they assumed I knew no Chinese and started gossiping and talking about me. Picture all these blind people sitting around laughing at the foreigner and trying to say I need to learn Chinese and guessing where I was from. I finally told my masseuse I was from America and here teaching English at "Tai ker da." I don't think they had any idea I could understand some of what they were saying, which is fine with me.

I hope that I'll get over this sensitivity, this funkiness I've been feeling. I cried at the music video tribute on this blog today and the YouTube clip on this one. Everything seems heightened. My glucose levels were stable and good today, so I'm grateful for that. Grateful for my day off spent sleeping in, cuddling a kitten, getting a massage, enjoying a good cup of coffee, and exploring the city. I wanted a little escape, a small indulgence so I just watched an old episode of Seinfeld and the tail end of "Home Alone," and it feels good to relax and unwind. TV options are limited here! I like living in the city, but need a refuge, as well, so I enjoy time to myself in my little apartment in Gongguan. I don't mind sharing it, though. Here's to hoping I get another "Soul" to love here in Taiwan. I'll keep you posted.

I hope you get Soul! Darn those “foreigners” for being so rude!
Hey! Would you mind taking some pics around town and posting them?:slight_smile: I’d love to teach my kids a little “live geography and culture” LOL! You could even snap pic of the meanie staring you down… That oughta give a good laugh too!