Monday, January 14, 2008

The Continuing Story of William







It was night, we were walking on a tight jungle road with our flashlights out and the frogs were belting their clicking hiccup. We were tired, we had walked about 34 Kilometers. (Pictured is a self shot of Jeff, myself and the night of January 10th 2008.)
Note: We walked down a mountain road and we walked by silent houses with doors wide open.
Its enjoyable to look inside as you pass and get a one second look at their life. Its the same thing that happens when you pass someone and their talking with a friend and you get a on second clip of their life.
Incidentally, the most interesting one of those I heard was in Chapel Hill North Carolina. It went like this:
"If your still coughing on Sunday it means your okay."

Seeing people's life for a minute, while they arn't aware of it catches them in their most natural state, which is a fantastic phenomenon.
Where was I? America. Now I'm in Taiwan...I continue...
We were walking and a van stopped about 30 meters ahead of us. Jeff clutched his knife. I stayed back a little. Jeff started talking. He said. "hey this guy will give us a ride to the next town." I was tired, he was tired, we accepted the offer.
Inside was William.
The ride started off like this "heh heh heh heh" and ended with William speeding away and us left to sleep on a pier.
His van had no middle seats. The smell of Dog permeated the air. He struggled to put his dogs in the trunk section of the van while we put our stuff in the car. And we're off!!! Heh heh heh, behind us constantly.
He starts talking and has probably the best English I've heard this trip so far. He has a nasally voice and his speaking and mannerisms remind me of Woody Allen. First reason to think this: driving. As we left he swerved to the point of throwing me onto Jeff as he reached for what I'm guessing was some sort of nut on the front passenger's seat.
Let me tell you first though: William is a terrific guy and was excellent to us, and I'm a better person for meeting him, so this is in no way to belittle William, simply observation.

So he started talking a lot and for once I could get a word in, because he spoke in mostly English.
He told us he was an art teacher and other things about him while intermittently he would stop suddenly to show us a place we could camp, and then if we said we wanted to go a little further he would quickly agree and speed off. Once he stopped and then backed up in the road to show us a street sign. We stopped at a 7-11 or as I now call it, Seven Enlighten, and he had a smoke. William was a thin man, in white, gray clothes with no shoes and a fisherman's hat on. Later we found out he was a monk.
He was great to us and brought us to the pier where we were to sleep. We said goodbye and took a picture. It is pictured above. It features William's dog smiling mischievously (if that's a word).
As he went back to his car and took his powerful dogs, they encircled him in chain and he walked to the car in baby steps. Jeff and I marveled at our luck at being picked up and not having to walk on the road at night while simultaneously having met a great, hilarious character. We went to sleep.
Fast forward two days. We're walking away from where we stopped to have tea with a family we met at a place where the water flows upwards. Do I really need to explain that sentence?
Fine. We stopped at a place where the water flows upwards. It actually just a tiny stream that seems to be flowing up a hill. It was pretty unspectacular. Everyone that went there, according to Jeff's translation was saying something along the lines of "That's it?" I thought of the idea to set up a camera to get people's candid reactions of the stream, for laughs sake.
We met a family there, and then set off down the road walking. When we got to an overlook, the same family was there and they invited us to drink tea. So we did. And it was good.
We said our goodbye's to them and as we left the area we heard a yelp and saw a familiar van.
It was William.
He lives in a place to the north of Taitung, but works in Taitung so he's always travelling that road. He had turned around and come back to pick us up, to take us for another ride. We obliged.
How could we say no?
It was then that we found out that William was a monk.
He took us to the Taitung area and asked, "would you like to swim in the biggest swimming pool in Taiwan?" I didn't know. Neither did Jeff. We said we'd check it out. As it turned out, it was just a square pond, but kinda cool nonetheless.
He then took us to a place that had interesting rocks and told a store owner he knew nearby to give us ice cream. She did.
Finally we got a vegetarian meal and went to a hot spring. It was fantastic. William was a very kind monk who stressed the importance of helping one another when it looks like someone else needs help. He, as well as the rest of the people I have met along the way, make me thankful that such people exist. I am/will be a person like that and I hope everyone else follows suit!
I guess the moral of the story is:
Always take rides from a guy in a van at night; your life will be better as a result.
Right?

Today's famous doctor of the day: Doctor J

Today's funny "item": So it came to me in a dream that the refrain in the songs' "I wanna know have you ever seen the rain" and "wastin away in margaritaville" are very similar. I had been singing "I wanna know have..." along the walk and Jeff said how he liked that song. I thought it was okay, but was kinda singing it for novelty purposes, just like I've been singing Sugar Ray and Cher in my head. So then today I came to a hilarious conclusion when I sang
"I wanna know have you ever margaritaville" It looks stupid on this screen, but sing it, right now. Sing both parts with the same notes as their original songs. I---- wanna know, have you everrr Marg ar ita ville. Hilarious right? Well I could tell Jeff wasn't a big fan. I sung it again. He got mad. I laughed. That happened at 5:30 today. It's around 8:00. I'm still laughing. I'm actually laughing in a closed mouth right now and Jeff's right next to me...I guess the Margaritaville addition really pissed him off...

1 comment:

Danny said...

Some things just rub ol' Jeff the wrong way. Ask him if he wants to play Yellow Car.