Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A man who wants to go to Taichung.


I am sitting by the curb waiting for my father to pick me up for dinner. My stomach growls. I look at my watch. It's 7:22pm. To my left there's a man walking down the sidewalk. Young, probably in his late thirties, he is seemingly normal: wearing a white shirt, a cap, and a pair of khakis. He stares at me as he walks past me. I notice that he is not carrying anything.


From the corner of my eyes I see him walking back towards me, staring at me. Finally, he stops in front of me.

Man: Excuse me. Is this Kuen-Yang Station?
I look to the giant "Kuen-Yang Station" sign behind him.
Man: How do I get to Taichung?
Is he playing with me?
Man: Can I take a train? Where's the train station?
Me: You can take MRT to Taipei Train Station.
He looks over to the MRT station behind me. Unsatisfied.
Man: Is there a bus I can take?
Man: I was told there's no bus that goes to Taichung.
Me: Right.
Man: Is there an airport? I want to take an airplane.

Man: So I should go to Taipei Train Station?
Me: That's the easiest way.
Man: Ok. Thank you.
He looks up and walks away. Several steps later, he turns around to face me again.
Man: Do you work around here?
Me: Yeah...
Man: What do you do?
Me: I'm a teacher.
Man: Teacher. Okay. Thank you.
Of all the professions in the world, I'm not sure why I said teacher.