I asked the woman who runs the hostel, “How do you say “refrigerator”?” bingxiang. Then I checked out.
I moved into my place. Ashley came to sanxia with me to help me lug my bags. I have two bags. We dropped the bags off and went to do some sightseeing. While we were in the belltower of the temple (which deserves a page devoted to it entirely) Teacher Fantasy called to see how I was getting on. I told her “wo yao ge bing xiang, mei you ge bingxiang” She didn’t understand me. I told her there was no fridge and no internet cable. She hung up. She called me back 5 minutes later and told me to rush to the apt. I left Ashley on “Old Minsheng st” to look at the shops. As I got to the apartment there were two small women, one of them my landlord, moving a refrigerator into my room. I “told” (lots of pointing, at the computer, at the socket in the wall, at heaven that gave us the internet…) that I needed a wire. They pilfered one from and empty neighboring apartment. I thanked them.
The room is small but has potential. I get lots of sun light in the morning through my window. If I stand on tiptoes I can see out of my window. I climbed the stairwell till it stopped ascending and found myself at the door of the roof. I went out. 8 stories high is sufficient for a fantastic view of the mountains and the town surrounding me.
Yonghe (in Taipei) , Ashley works in this neighborhood and had noticed a night market there. We have learned that no two nightmarkets are alike. Yonghe is very working class. Not many tourists around. The streets were wide. The people were friendly rather than frenzied. Like patient fishermen the street merchants wait till their bait is nibbled before they start reeling. I prefer this strategy to the herding and shouting of Shillin nightmarket. I don’t like feeling like a cow.
The food was good here too. Got some roti, a dosa and it sort of actually tasted Indian. (I had a masala in the train station food court. they gave chopsticks and noodles) There were many Vietnamese, Thai, Korean and Indonesian vendors here. This must be a neighborhood where all the foreign workers live. I was further convinced of this by the store I found attatched to the market. A glorified dollarstore. They sold everything. Electronics (speakers for $6US, food, stationary, clothes, bedding, dvd, music, cleaning supplies, hairdye, sextoys, liquor, deodorant, cookies, a hair care product that said ‘for hornie care’ (maybe it should have been in another aisle).
At this shop I bought two buckets, a broom, some hangers, chopsticks, Lysol, Mr. Muscle bathroom cleanser, handsoap with the Virgin Mary on it, rags and hand towels-total-$15US. I couldn’t get all I wanted, like a mug, a bowl, a spoon etc… because I’m budgeting until payday.
Ashley’s work is closer to where I live and easier to get to from here than it is from the hostel. She has Ingrid looking for a place for her right now. She has left the hostel and will stay with me until she finds a place of her own. My room is small but it will do.
We take turns using the desk.
We have one set of keys and one cellphone. I have not put any money on the cell phone card. I’ve been meaning to call Megan since Sunday. I don’t call in the day time because I am not sure if she is working in the field and away from Ms.Lin or not. I work until 9 at night and then I convince myself it is too late to call. Tomorrow I will call after work. I hope that is not too late. Do tea farmers go to bed early?
I want to know when she is coming back from the farm. I will miss her when she goes and her departure from the island is fast approaching.
Ashley told Ingrid that she enjoys hiking. Ingrid's daughter is Ashley's age and an avid hiker. They are hiking this Saturday at dawn. Ashley will spend the night at Ingrid's on Friday since neither the metro nor the