Taiwanese Men Bite
12 Feb 2005
I’m in Taipei, staying at Wilson‘s apartment and still kinda just hanging out and getting a feel for this place. We’ll start some trips around the island tomorrow.
There are large men here. It used to be that back in Hangzhou I could just look for the big Chinese guy and that would be Wilson, at 6 feet 1 inch tall and 200 lbs. Here in Taipei I’ve seen quite a few guys as big as Wilson.
I’m not exactly “enchanted,” and I’m not getting many friendly vibes. Gone is the curiosity relentlessly poured on me, but in its place, at times, is something other than indifference.
My first night in Taipei I went with Wilson and Wayne to a club. I was minding my own business, but some guy (not one of the larger ones, and kind nerdy) insisted on doing the “I’m dancing here now, so you better move” thing, getting in my space. I didn’t budge, so his backside probably got a little more intimate with my leg than he intended. Next thing I knew he was yelling FUCK YOU at me, furiously giving me the finger. I laughed at him, to which he responded by throwing a glass at my head full of something that stung my eyes. In moments we were all out on the street. What happened exactly is all a blur, but it looked like Wilson dealt out some punishment to that guy while I got swarmed with security. When the taser came out, we jumped in a taxi and got out of there.
Next morning I just had a bruised hand (don’t worry, mom!), whereas Wilson had a big bruise on his waist from where the rabid guy from the club had literally bit him. Crazy. (Don’t worry, Mrs. Tai, he’s fine!)
Aside from that, Taipei is a much smaller city than I imagined, and it’s also lower tech. The Japanese influence is very obvious to me; at this superficial stage of my observations the “China-Japan fusion” view of Taiwan seems very accurate.
Lastly, sometimes when I talk to Taiwanese people and their Chinese sounds really funny, I think that they’re mocking my Chinese. But then I remember that’s just their natural accent. Oops. I’m still not used to that accent. It’s kinda cute, though.
UPDATE: Pictures of the bite are now online.