When we got home from work on Carrie’s birthday, we ate birthday cake, Carrie opened her present, and then we went to dinner with friends, who also gave her presents. We had great conversation and ate 1,000 year old eggs. Afterwards, we headed off to have another great night at our favorite (out of one) bar. Carrie and I are on a lite budget, awaiting pay day like a couple of poor kids in Taiwan who only got half a pay check last month. I convinced the taxi driver we owed him less than the meter read (he really did take a circuitous route which we did not budget for), and Carrie’s super cute dress and smile convinced two of our friends to buy her some drinks. So, a lack of money didn’t impede our good time.
The foreigner community is starting to seem smaller and smaller as we go to Revolver, but we saw some new faces too. Much less Taiwanese this time, though. I had a great time dancing, looking at art, getting a henna tattoo, giggling with Carrie. We couldn’t stop referencing a conversation we’d had with our friends Ariel and Joanna earlier that night. They had been telling us about how they are reluctant to stay out past midnight because the only means of transportation back to their houses are taxis at that hour (the Taiwanese never mix scooters with drinking). Moms, skip three lines… who am I kidding, I’ll probably draw this story out for two more paragraphs. “At that hour, he might attack you,” Ariel said. She explained that he might drive into a less frequented side street (I’m going to be sexist and assume a lady taxi driver would be so unlikely to do this that it is only worth mentioning in the parenthesis especially because I’ve only had one female taxi driver so far in Taipei), and then she moved her arm back and forth as if she were holding a knife, attacking an invisible, unsuspecting customer.
Carrie and I left the restaurant discussing our chances of getting knifed. We decided that though there is a chance of this, it is not enough to prevent us from going out at night and taking a taxi home, especially since we get a totally different impression of this city. I feel like it is much safer than Austin even, and ten times safer than Houston or New York. However, Carrie did send the number of our taxi to her friend Ryan in a text, just in case.
Now fast forward to when we left the bar late at night. Carrie tumbled into the taxi shouting, “Wolong Gea, Liangbi Jio She San Hao!” (disclaimer, I used a made up phonetic system to spell that). The guy started laughing, a loud belly laugh, and I realized I had been holding my breath, but could now let it out. She had been almost screaming our address, almost suredly, incorrectly. It’s near impossible to say anything correct in Chinese unless you are taking classes or, well, if you’re not us perhaps. I suppose her confidence and volume level combined with the mispronunciations caused him to crack up. We all started laughing, and then he admitted that he understood her perfectly, repeating our building number in English. “Yes, Yes! That’s it!” we beamed.
He drove fast and smart, giving a light honk at intersections to avoid collisions that are always expected in this city of no real traffic rules. He was in a jovial mood the entire time, and Carrie and I held hands in the back and spoke of important things I no longer remember. When we arrived, and I saw that the meter displayed an appropriate amount, I decided to tip him for I was in a jovial mood as well. As we dashed through the rain for the covering outside our apartment building, Carrie snickered, “Was the tip like a thank you for not knifing us?”
“Yes,” I decided.
Okay, moms, aunts, uncles, Grandma Koenig, Grandpa Linda’s father, you are invited back to view these very sweet photographs. A film creator guy viewing Carrie’s artwork said her rooms of wire people remind him of Strawberry Shortcake. Though this association seems completely illogical to me, I find it very amusing. Let me know what you think, and I’ll pass the info on to Carrie: