Thursday, July 16, 2009


It was a really hot day today. Really really hot.

Till mom reminded me in her email that Taipei is currently 35-36 degrees and has been that way since 2 months ago. How did I manage to grow up in that country for 15 years of my life?!

Compared to the frazzle of running around all day running errands and carrying my 10kg-worth of laundry back and forth between home and coin laundry (still, a nicely heated and fluffy towel/sheet makes all the sweat worthwhile), I much enjoyed the nice little stroll home from the station after a long day coming to an end.

A mid-summer night walk beats it all.

Popping in 溝口肇's music with my earphones, I took my time to walk. I walked past the 24-hr RH, the Doutor that I only occasionally visit ('cuz the smoke always drives me out of the door within 40 min), the bakery where I like to get a freshly baked mellon-pan, the Korean obento-ya that I recently started to frequent more after a long day of working, the supermarket that (thank god) opens till 11pm, the yoga club that I haven't visited for almost a month.

Then the Taiwanese dinning place - not necessarily a hole-in-the-wall place but certainly a ma and pop store - where I too have become one of the 常連さん. Perhaps due to the heat, the two pans of door were slid half open tonight, and the small, 10-person country was almost full. I could see A-san busy fixing someone and O-san quickly filling up a pitcher of nama-biru. I could also see the little haze created by M-san's chain cigarette smoke and heard bits and pieces of laughter from someone trying to tell a funny story. I decided not to stop by for a quick 挨拶; with such a nice summer night breeze out, I'd rather leave the party undisturbed inside.

Out of the blue, I thought about my friends from Penn - T my then little brother and M now his wife; J helping A fold up her laundry like what real bro's and sis's would do; my Argentine roommate J who gave me my very first salsa lesson; A my first Thai roommate whom I'd never seen an angry thought crossing her mind. The Sept showers that blew my umbrella away and wetted all my freshly purchased textbooks; the snowstorm night trekking through half a campus trying to make it to b-study; many many 10:20am rushing down locust walk with only half of my Japanese vocab list memorized; and many many more late-night study time with coffee from X at S study hall.

How did those bits and pieces of memory suddenly appeared in mind? I'm not sure. But knowing that I can somehow recall them with crystal clear images years later offers nothing but sweet comfort.

Perhaps one day, I will be talking a walk somewhere, on a cool summer night, with some warm summer breeze blowing and roadside scenes entertaining to watch. Then, I'll think of tonight, this night when I walked down this little 商店街 in west Tokyo and past a one-bar-large TW restaurant, and realize how much I've been blessed by God to have travelled this far. Despite loneliness sometimes, yes, and despite the unknown certainty of where the next stop may be.

I looked at my songlist on the iPhone - 「ふたり」, the song name reads. A really really song.

梅ちゃん at 12:19:00 AM



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