So here’s the famous whiteboard. Got some books on the adjacent shelf, including The Wake, which is amazing, and Twitter and Tear Gas, which I think you would find interesting.
My reading is very intermittent these days. If I’m particularly starved of sleep I can’t concentrate from one sentence to the next, so it’s an exercise in frustration. I realized that if you have crappy memory you can’t be entertained because you just don’t retain enough contextual information and dialogue, which means that when I’m very tired I’m also perpetually bored.
Below are two photos of the hill behind our building. You can see some of the graves on the left and at the bottom. There are greenhouses and warehouses in the middle, and the road curves to the left behind the last houses before disappearing among the trees. It doesn’t go anywhere but to the temple, with a footpath branching off into part of what is called Yang Ming Mountain (but which is really a series of hills like the Derby Dales).
Apart from the first picture being kind of rubbish and having been taken in the evening, I think you can probably see the effect of the overnight rain, which began about 8 pm and continued into early morning. It’s like all the trees suddenly plumped up and became much thicker and greener.
The three big hills in the distance are all part of the range, and they are what most people think of as Yang Ming Shan–it’s where all the OAPs go walking (which they invariably call “mountain climbing”). On top of the rightmost one you can see some buildings of Chinese Culture University, including this monstrous thing, which can be seen all across Tianmu (the suburb where I live). Some of the other buildings are traditional and purty.
Shihhan’s sister went here about fifteen years ago, and we once went up the hill to watch a play written and directed by her weirdo then boyfriend (a Mr “Veronia Shakespeare”–no, I’m not making this up–can you guess who chose his name?). The play was in English, but it was not amplified and the stage was raised about four feet and everyone spoke so quietly that the audience couldn’t hear a single sodding word. It went on for an hour or so, then everyone duly clapped and the teacher came on the stage and told us all that Eko (the boyfriend’s given name) was a “genius”.
Well fuck me! The worst I ever did was make you sit through Grease.
Back to the beautiful natural environment…
A great advantage of the torrential rain is that when it falls you can’t hear anything but the rain, which is quite soothing. So all the revving and honking of people coming back down the hill last night was drowned out in a heavy sheet of dead water.
There was however some quite explosive thunder during the night which startled me awake, and I could not tell from behind my earplugs whether it was just thunder or actually the first round of missiles from the mainland as China began its aerial and naval assaults. My daytime brain is aware that (1) this low level of rationality and realism is to be expected of my nighttime brain, and (2) one day my nighttime brain may well prove correct.