We did more touristy things today. I would let the pictures speak for themselves, but when we arrived at Cheng Kai Shek’s memorial—think Lincoln Memorial—my camera ran out of batteries. It had something to do with me not charging it last night. My decision was a rational one: we didn’t use the camera much yesterday, and, this is the important part, every time I charge the camera, I have to remove the battery, which, in turn, means I have to reset the date and time when I put it back in. This is a serious flaw in the camera. Had I remembered that the battery wasn’t really charged two nights ago (the charger has a red/green LED indicator showing the charge, but if you wiggle the battery the wrong way, it sometimes doesn’t charge and stays red, which it did two-nights ago). What this means is that in the middle of taking a picture of the ladies in traditional Chinese hats weeding the flowers, the camera stopped working, and pictures of the memorial and the changing of the guards were not to be. So sad.
Doolies’s grandmother is making drunken chicken for dinner tonight, and we spent the first half of the day browsing a farmer’s market to buy the ingredients. We took plenty of pictures for your enjoyment. While walking through the market, I felt like I was walking downhill. I could see clearly over the locals’ heads to the far end of the market. I thought that was a clever observation and thought I’d share.
I was stopped in the street today by a university student who had an English assignment to interview five foreigners. I tried to push Doolies toward him, explaining that while she looked Chinese, she was really American, but they wanted to talk exclusively to the tall white dude. I acquiesced and provided them with one word answers to all of their questions. My voice has been recorded and I fear that recording will one day surface to haunt me. I knew I should have created a pseudonym, but I wasn’t fast enough. When under pressure, my mind does not work well. Give me a couple of minutes, and I could have thought of clever and insightful comments to all of his questions. But, instead, I had to rely on, “We have lots of 7/11’s too,” in response to his query about my opinion on 7/11’s in Taipei. I mean, really, even if I had thought about it for hours, could I really have come up with a clever response to that? It’s too incredibly depressing to know that 7/11 makes it on a questionnaire by a University student studying English. Is that all we have to offer?
Other than that, I have little else to report. I know this is a disappointingly short entry, but there you have it. I’m off to eat drunken chicken and perhaps share in the chicken’s fate.