My God, you know you’ve been in Taiwan too long when you meet four separate acquaintances in a government office!!!

First, there was DR, who worked with me in the organization; Max and his girlfriend Emily, a long-time friend Enrique and JF.

So where did Raven go this morning?

Here are some pictures to give you guys a clue:
Tons and tons of foreigners in the house, all waiting till the last minute (damn, aren’t we procrastinators?!) to file their taxes:

The dreaded, most hated counter where “poor” Raven (both literally and figuratively) waited for hours to pay — only to leave around NT$10,000 less. 🙁

Boo! Hoo!

With my upcoming trip to Burma, I cannot afford my tax payments… But since I still want to work in Taipei as a legal employee (and not a sought-after fugitive), I had to fork out the cash.

Such the cost of being a good citizen. Just hope they’ll put that money into good use! :-S

Anyway, weekend was pretty fun. As usual, yours truly is sore — AGAIN — even so that sitting down or climbing up the stairs has been such a pain!!!

Gosh, I gotta stop punishing my body like this! It f*cking hurts man!

Here’s the reason for my body ache:

Sigh, yes, I know… I know… I wish it was a man who caused all these aches and pains, but for two consecutive nights, I’ve been buzzed so fast and early that I had no choice but to go home with a splitting headache! Damn those bartenders who put far too much on my cocktails!

Anyway, that picture above was us doing some kick-ass capoeira at the Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Hall yesterday.

To those who doesn’t know what capoeira is, it’s a Brazilian martial art dance full of ups and downs. This meant that there’s a lot of high kicking, bending, defending, ducking, and attacking actions. Beautiful to watch yet quite painful to do!
Truly it’s a grueling workout, so much so, that everyone of us amateurs were so sore after the experience, we had to wince in pain whenever we climbed up and down the stairs! Even I had trouble sitting down this morning, and to bend downwards… my gosh, it’s like hell.

Just to share with you how much it hurts, here’s an email from my fellow capoeira mate and friend YS this morning:

Holy f-in shit! I can hardly walk today! Forget about going down the stairs. I’m slower than the 80 year olds walking around. That copoeria is kick ass. Literally! How you guys hangin’ today?

Regardless, it was tons of fun. I enjoyed it so much that I am looking forward to signing up for classes, provided that my schedule can fit it. So let’s see, there’s already wallclimbing and whacking golf balls in the driving range… add capoeira to the mix and you’d have one REALLY OLD Raven by next year!

Good thing I had that massage after that capoeira session with my good friend RL.

Together, she brought me near her place at Hsintien and we enjoyed a 50-minute massage for just NT$699!!! Not bad at all and quite heavenly after all that kicking and bending…

We then had a nice cordon bleu/pasta dinner together, exchanging some girl talk and talking about the future of our organization. I like RL, she’s very honest and straightforward and somebody who reminds me of me. Rest assured, she’s a friend I’d like to keep. 😉

After the dinner, I then went home, pretty early at 9:30PM!

Haha, I was supposed to go with Sean to the Brass Monkey for some salsa dancing, but this lady was just so tired that she decided to call it a night! But not before promising Sean that she’ll go dancing with him when she gets back from her trip to Burma and Kenting this June!

Gosh, with all the food I’ve been intaking, I’d be fat in no time. 🙁

Aside from the nice dinner and conversation with RL last night, I also enjoyed a tasty New York steak lunch (10 oz., NT$590 only) at Carnegies yesterday afternoon!

After his super-duper boring vacation from Brisbane, Aussie guy’s back, telling me how he’s been more appreciative of life in Taiwan.

You know how I feel,” he asked. “Going back and looking at people you knew long ago, and seeing how their life is so limited back in Brisbane and that they don’t really see how much out there is there in the world? And that you love and care for them, but can’t help but feel sorry for them, for not having experienced the vivacity of life as you’ve experienced it?”

Sigh, yes… I know exactly how he felt.

Like him, after staying in Taiwan after three years, I feel that I don’t belong back home in the Philippines. I no longer feel as if I don’t belong, and though it’s been my home for 21 years, it ain’t the same anymore… and everytime I come back to Taipei after a short visit, I can’t help sighing relief of being back home in Taipei.

It’s kinda sad in a way — I feel like a foreigner here, and I feel like a foreigner back home as well.

Aussie guy summed my feelings up well when he said, “It’s like you know you’ve changed… and that they haven’t. And the changes were just so big that you don’t belong anymore. You’re a stranger in your own birthplace.”

Maybe that’s why foreigners here gather together… becuse they strive to find home away from home. And as a result, discover that the new home they’ve carved for themselves has become a permanent part of their lives, and they can never go back to their old home again.

We’re nomads,” Aussie guy said. “People who are at home everywhere, and nowhere.

Rightly said, Aussie guy. And it’s nice to see you again, even if you’re one of the only guys who has the ability to frustrate and confuse me… and this weekend’s not an exception at all. Haha, I tell you guys, life with Aussie guy is just an emotional roller coaster guy!

Are you like this with other people,” I asked, “Or am I just lucky?”

You’re just lucky I guess,” he said. “You just seem to bring out the bad boy in me!”

Haha, maybe that’s why even though he drives me nuts to no end, we still give each other time to get to know each other more fully. And unlike other men, I have no dreams or unrealistic qualms about this man. Instead, he lets me see the real him fully — if I like it, great. Otherwise, tough.

And I sorta like this honesty we have of each other, even if sometimes, he becomes far too honest.

Makes him a tad different from most of the guys here.

*to be continued*

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