Up at 6 to help my wife and our baby girl get up and ready for the day. A quick shower and then on the scooter to the train station to catch the train at 7.27. Just got to the train in time. An hour later I'm in Tanzig train station. No taxi on this side. The other side has two taxis - both empty. It's starting to rain harder. One man points to the taxi and we both get in after he stubs out a cigarette. I show him the map and ask nicely in Chinese if he can take me there. And we're off!
12 minutes later we arrive at Washington Bilingual Elementary School. It's raining harder. I pay the fee and look for a breakfast shop for a bite to eat; in the early morning rush I didn't have time to eat. I've arrived early to factor in a nice leisurely breakfast (a cup of black tea with a sandwich or an omelet while reading The Book of Disquiet). There are no shops near the school. I walk for 30 minutes to make sure of it - with an umbrella in hand, sweating in my suit. Back at the school my stomach grumbles. I drink water to unsuccessfully quench my hunger.
9.30 and my day of examining begins. We keep going until 1. Then I get given an unappetizing lunch box. I eat some but (as hungry as I am) it just doesn't sit well in my stomach. I wait for my lift to the train station to arrive (a fellow teacher). It takes us 30 minutes to drive to the main Taichung Train station where I'm going to be doing a bit of Improv Comedy with some friends. We act and we laugh and we play drama games and the hunger is forgotten for the moment. Then I'm back on the train for the trip home at 3.51. I get on the wrong train carriage and have to stumble and bump my way back through 9 cars to get to my seat in Car 11 Seat 23. Which is occupied.
I say politely but firmly in Chinese that it's my seat and sit down at last. It took me almost 25 minutes to get to my paid for seat. Then I look up. It's an old man I've kicked out the seat. I'm sitting next to his wife. I doublecheck my assumptions. Yes, it's her husband and she's his wife. I sit for 5 more minutes and then stand up, offering him my seat. He's too polite to take it - so I have to work really hard to get him so sit down again. I win in the end and he gets to sit down. I stand for the next hour back home.
Back home, my feet ache and my stomach has given up growling at me - now it's just staring at me with those hurt puppy dog eyes. I feel bad. There's a long queue to get out the station - which I stagger through. I phone my wife to come and pick me up. She's visiting her mom in Erlin for the night as she has to work tomorrow. I stumble to the nearby Subway and order a 12-inch with double cheese and extra bacon. Jalapeno peppers. Black olives. Gherkins. Lettuce. Double tomato with a spicy mayonnaise to top it all off. I drink a lemon tea in between bites. My dessert is a chocolate chip cookie. I walk home and eat all the ice cream in the fridge before turning on the computer to check out Rambling Poets at Cafe Cyber and our second anthology, Poeticising Chat.
Then I feel guilty for not posting as regularly as I should on Red Room. So I write about my day.
And that is all I have to say.