Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pre-Blogger email: March update

My apartment, Tainan City, Taiwan.

Tired. I have been tired a lot lately. I just had my second coffee this morning in an attempt to wake up properly. The alternative would be to attempt to sleep again, and I am sure that I would not be able. If I tried that, I would end up lying there thinking about stuff and I would experience a growing anxiety that the day was passing me by and I was missing it. No, unless I was really tired I would not be able to go back to sleep now. Besides, I have reset my internal chronometer so that I can be up and awake at 6:30 in the mornings. That allows me time to read every weekday before I start on the slippery slope to work and the chores at home when I finish work. I can't read at home after work, or not very well by any measure. My mind is too busy and fatigued and I cannot recover that peace of mind with which I started the day, a state so conducive to an hour of immersive, proactive reading.

I feel that in a way Taiwan is passing us by. It is all around us but we don't have the time to invest in getting to know it, not proactively anyway. Our familiarity with our newly adopted landscape develops mostly of its own accord as a consequence of incidental insights and unintended tourism. We don't have the time to be tourists, and we don't have a lot of that cold, hard paper currency to speed us along in that endeavour. And yet we are both intimately involved in Taiwanese lives. Being teachers here, of children at that, we are privy to the inner worlds of the families who are of this place and this culture, something that as regular tourists we would have no clear notion. So while Taiwan passes us by we pass through it, almost as if we were able to eat the cake but have no possession or control of it.

It makes sense to say "thine" when you think about it: Me -> my -> mine. Thee -> thy -> thine. I guess "thy" is out of vogue these days and so thine has no lower limb on which to support the maintenance of an erect posture.

We have some plants in our apartment now and I am really impressed with what a difference they make to the place. Our home seems so much nicer and fresher and friendlier than it did before. On a random note (but only because it comes after and in the same paragraph is the sentences about the plants) the Schwarzenegger movie Predator was on cable TV last night and I didn't watch it because A) I was too tired, and B) I saw it on the same channel only a month or two ago.

On that random note, I will sign off here and return to write some more when I am less tired and less literarily pretentious.

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