We make holes in teeth!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day 8: No Rally For Jesus

To channel Jesus from The Big Lebowski, What's this day of rest shit? What the fuck, don't you Taiwanese people eat breakfast? A man spends his hard earned money to fly to Taiwan I expect you to keep these fucking food stalls open 24/7. You might fool the fucks at the league office. But you can't fool me. Nobody fuck with the Jesus.

Translation: Prepackaged food from 7-11 for breakfast.

On the road at 9:00 to go see Nat's mom's second sister, Er-e, literally translated as 2 aunt. I heard from Nelson this morning and he is going to call back around noon. Maybe it works out, maybe not. But we're both busy and timing might not work out. Calvin was animated because he thought it might translate to night market but I think Nelson will be off to China by then. We skipped last night as I just wasn't in the mood to go out. Maybe I should follow through and go out tonight? I think he was disappointed we didn't break open a bottle of wine last night.

I'm actually happy we're going to see more relatives because it gets me out of the house. I took every opportunity to get out yesterday and it still wasn't enough. So the more the better as far as I'm concerned. I'm feeling a bit cooped up in the apartment and with the heat, I've a feeling they're trying to roast me like a chicken. Should I be concerned they occasionally drip sesame oil and soy sauce on me? They asked me to wrap my legs in foil earlier today.

So this is Nat's oldest aunt on her mom's side. Nat's cousin and her son show up. This cousin is the one who lent us the apartment for the last 2 trips. Unfortunately we have to stay with Calvin now because this is the politics of the family. Plus, I guess, you know, they're part of the reason we come here. Practically speaking, with a kid it's better to be in the child proof apartment than in the one where she can break all sorts of things. Their apartment in Taipei is awesome, but it has a lot of things she can break and no toys at all, unless you count the stuff she can break.

We go to see family and to show Julia off. But as usual, a discussion about politics breaks out. That's like the old joke that I went to see a fight and a hockey game broke out. This is what you get most of the time with Nat's dad, politics up the wazoo. There's an election in less than a week but this is the way most conversations end up when Nat's dad is around. We eat some snacks, drink some tea, and try to entertain our bored child with small origami stars and swans that she unravels.

Julia is very clingy during this trip and when we get in the car she is out at 11:15, less than 5 hours after she woke up. I know we've been pushing her a bit but she is far more tired than even I had imagined. Sooooo, that means we're both sitting in the van again while Julia sleeps it off. Fun stuff. We decided to let her sleep since she obviously needs it. No idea what that means for the rest of the day. Probably a logistics nightmare with the sleep schedule.

She wakes up at 12:00 so my sitting session isn't long, I've barely touched my coffee by the time she opens her eyes. We head back up to the apartment where Nat's cousin's son is talking politics with Nat's parents. Nat's dad guilted him into going to the rally with them later today. He had plans to hang out with his friends but Nat's dad got to him.

Lunch is fried rice with liver from around the corner. Nat gets oysters with her noodles. Oysters are common here and rock the house. Nat's cousin's kid eats like he hasn't eaten in a week, inhaling the food with such bad manners that even I notice, which is saying something because I'm oblivious to table manners. He slurps and talks with his mouth open. Nat's mom must be horrified because this is her side of the family.

Out of nowhere Nat's dad just drops his request for us to go to the rally. I guess the reality of it set in, that it was going to be impossible to manage with Julia, especially since she hadn't napped much the first time. It turned out they took a taxi which also might have something to do with it. They also planned to walk for about 2 hours and we had no stroller, as Lydia needed it for the long day. Add it all up and we're on our own for the afternoon. As a side note, Nelson never called back so I guess his free time burned up or, you know, he set fire to something.

We hop in a taxi and head into Taipei proper and hit a mall/food shopping center, which is a high-end mall with food in the basement, also pretty high-end. There we load up on dairy products to the tune of $24 for one shopping bag of cow products and a bag of pretzels. While there, 2 girls stop us and ask to take a picture with Julia because they thought she was cute. She was half-burnt already and wanted nothing to do with anyone, but I took the picture anyway. We also find a Mos (pronounced moss) burger there, not that we needed anymore food. It's basically a hamburger but instead of a bun it's a pressed rice bun. I have fond memories of these but this one is just OK, nothing amazing. I think I'm overloading my taste buds.

Taxi back and she almost falls asleep sitting on Nat's lap. But when we get back to the apartment she wants nothing to do with a nap. So we put on Dora in Chinese and burn up the rest of the afternoon relaxing. No real idea when people are coming back to the apartment. The answer turns out to be 5 minutes after I write that last sentence, around 5:00.

One of Nat's cousin's kids leaves, and is replaced with Nat's cousin a bit later. The 2 are roughly the same age but different generations and different sides of the family. The girl who shows up second was actually in our wedding in the states back in 2001. Both of them speak some semblance of English but it's obvious neither speaks often. When she leaves she utters something to me in English that is entirely left field, like, "We've got lumps of it out back!"

Dinner is Pizza Hut pizza and a bucket of fried chicken, I shit you not. No big deal, as I was planning to take it easy for dinner tonight and this makes it easy. They wanted to go out for Szechuan food but we passed because Julia was so out of her gourd with sleeping. Her at a restaurant would be blue murder to say the least. Not sure what blue murder means. I bet it's not pretty.

Speaking of Julia and her lack of sleep, getting her from 6:00 to 8:00 was a chore and a half. We gave her a bath at 5:45 and she was on the edge for the next 2 hours, a period during which she lost her temper at least 10 times. This is a bit of a new development but on the bright side these tantrums are the most passive things you'll ever see. At 7:55 it was too much and we brushed her teeth and put her to sleep for the night. Hopefully she makes it until at least 6:00 tomorrow. This kid needs sleep. We both need sleep.

Looks like night market is out but wine is in, at least in theory. I don't really need it. I'm full. I don't mean like at the moment. I mean all the time. My gauge is on F, I'm never hungry. These past 2 days have been the same amount of eating but less movement. And with Julia's development that she wants us to carry her everywhere, going anywhere is more and more difficult. I wonder if Julia is just starting to rebel in any number of ways because this is all too much for her. Maybe I do need a glass of wine after all.

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  • At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    good stuff, norm. quite frankly, i am envious of your culinary experiences. you are our equivalent of Bourdain.



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