Wednesday, April 13, 2005

For money, on deadline

That's the sort of writing I've done a lot of lately. And I'm a person who likes to write for pleasure. It's the only way you can get away with unrestrained self-indulgence. Editors don't go for that stuff.

But another reason I haven't been posting here lately is that on Rank I want to restrict myself to issues related to Taiwan, and I haven't come to many new revelations about this country for a couple of weeks. But maybe that itself is my revelation of the moment -- that any place you live, no matter how strange to you it is, becomes unremarkable after a while.

Sure, we foreigners have built our stock catalogue of what's weird and wonderful here -- the chicken butts, the stinky tofu, the girls in pink sweaters and knee-high leather boots. But fundamentally we live workaday lives, like anybody anywhere, and we devote more thought to doing our laundry and paying our phone bills than we do to the infinite strangeness that surrounds us.

I could also argue, of course, that Taiwan isn't firing me up right now because in the end it's no different from anywhere else -- that folks are the same all over the world, that they care most about food and sleep and sex and the people they love. That observation isn't false, but it's facile. And it doesn't resolve my questions about not seeing anything new these days in the sensory parade of daily Taipei life.

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