Getting it down to a system

Everywhere you look, something is happening. The sun crosses the horizon around 5am, the folks in the Temple downstairs start their chanting soon thereafter. I wake up gradually, in time to fix breakfast and get ready for work. Buses run on-time. Stores are just opening up as I walk to work  (mostly along the same route so I don’t get lost). Shopkeepers are cleaning the sidewalk outside their shops, cooks are chopping foods (yes, on the sidewalk!), laundry is dripping dry on balconies above the sidewalks, scooters are zipping by. Taiwan wakes up! And it’s hot enough to literally fry an egg on those clean sidewalks. Women with umbrellas shade themselves from the sun. People walk their dogs over to whatever tiny patch of green-ness will accomodate their bio needs. Lunchtime and the sidewalks are crowded with the hungry masses – very few people bring their own lunch (very few people cook because very few people have an actual kitchen!). The post-lunch lull: lights are off at work for those who prefer to sleep rather than eat. By the time I leave work, it’s already dark. (The sun goes down before 6pm.) I sometimes head down Heping to stop off at several organic health food stores and try to remember the way home, seeing a lit-up Taipei 101, in front of me, getting closer.  As I cross the street and walk past Watsons, people stare. I turn left into the narrow passageway, past the Temple, and the folks placing offerings on red plastic plates stop and stare.  The weekends are for travelling around, cleaning house, doing the laundry. On Monday night I follow the trail of people  carrying trash to the blue trash truck. Weeks fly by.

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…