Taiwan: Jesus Hao? Religious conversions, homosexual singers, and welcome arrivals.
What an intense amount of walking. I saw a bike I thought I'd want to buy, but decided it was not worth the hassle. I saw signs that confirm to me that Taiwan is a nation full of inventive people.
Was accosted by a group of 6-year olds who felt the need to yell "Hello! How are you!" at me as I walked down the street. Another computer marketplace filled me with lusty feelings. I took a cab in which the guy driving decided that he really needed to tell me how much the Australian tourists liked coming to Taipei to hum-hum with the Taiwanese girls. "All night!" he said.
I also got proselitized in pidgin English by a Taiwanese lady as I munched on a rice burger at a Japanese department store. I saw that there was an empty seat in front of her at the crowded food court, and in my little Mandarin I asked her "dui bù qíÃ¢", pointed at the chair, and as she nooded I sat. She asked me something in Mandarin, I understood "meikwo" and answered that I was American, but then I said I wasn't, said I was from Peru. I then said that I was sorry, that I spoke Mandarin poorly, and she replied that I didn't. Thank you Mr. Pimsleur, creator of Pimsleur's Mandarin Chinese I, for making "Excuse me. I am/am not American. I don't speak Mandarin well. Do you speak English?" the whole of lesson 1 in your wonderful tapes.
After some more pidgin, where she asked me what I did, and when I showed her the Palm Pilot in my wallet she mentioned her husband did that too. Then she asked me "Do you love Jesus?" I did a double take, then said that no, not really, and she said "You are always welcome in his church."
The close encounter with Taiwanese evangelism behind me, I headed to the hotel, where I'd meet the folks that had been volunteered to take me to the airport to pick up Dave P., a co-worker who would be arriving that evening from the US.
The folks that were picking me up, Sean and Steve (I forgot his name, I'll dig up his business card at some point, Steve will work), turned out to be not only pleasant but very much a couple, which was not hard to determine once I boarded the car. Sean's english was about as strong as my Mandarin, but Steve spoke English fluently. Within a few minutes of chatting I caught enough references from the International Gay Lexicon, and managed to toss out enough of my own to clue him into the fact that there were now three Friends of Dorothy in the car. This night also brought out the second reference to Dick Lee in one week, where I found out that Steve has met the guy. He also confirmed to me that the composer of The Mad Chinaman and Fried Rice Paradise has a level of fagulousness that should be apparent from his latest birthay bash, a party fully in Pink. I guess I've just been let into the kind of Outing Worthy data that I might be advised not to post online. So there...
Dave arrived without incident, although one of his first experiences on Taiwanese soil was, well, colliding with it. It was great to be able to interact with someone in a language I speak fluently, rather than communicate in preschool Grunt. When Sean and Steve got us back to our hotel, and after Dave settled in, Dave and I took a walk around Tunghwa night market, where Dave had his first pearl milk tea experience, as I prepared him for the culinary delights that awaited him.