26 October 2015

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

Listening to: Solange, “Losing You.” Yeah this song is old, but I’m just getting to it now and I’m obsessed. Of course it’s Dev Hynes produced, which is probably why I like the track so much. The video is great too. I’m convinced that Solange is 1000x cooler than Beyonce (and Drake) combined. Speaking of Drake, someone explain him to me. I don’t get it. [Edit: After a weekend of hearing "Hotline Bling" everywhere, I can't stop. Can. Not. Stop.]

Back in Taipei now, flew in on the heels of another super typhoon, Dujuan. When I arrived and went outside, all the motorcycles and bikes in the adjoining parking lot were flipped over on their sides. “Oh right, typhoon.” I’ve missed a number of bad weather situations of the years, mainly a byproduct of luck, or running off to warmer climates during winter. It always feels like I ditched everyone, like I ran for high ground while everyone else toughed it out. I would like to think I'm the type of person who would go down with the ship, but I'm thinking I'm probably the first one in the lifeboat kind of guy.

On my flight over, for all fifteen hours, I didn’t move. Like go to the bathroom, stretch, or anything. I slept most of time, but that was only ten hours or so. Either my body is getting really accustomed to flying or something is wrong with me. People should move on fifteen hour flights right?

Recently I’ve been meeting a crowd of people who fly all over the place. True jet setters. One of them told me, “The way to live is to be based in New York and go to <insert country> every six or eight weeks.” Sounds dreamy. That is a lot of flying though, but I wonder if that’s the answer. I’ve been thinking about if there are “perfect cities” that exist for people. How is it possible that most people don’t have a “perfect city.” Can it be that hard? My goal a few years ago was to flit around four cities, rotating as I saw fit. I was starting to think that was unviable, that maybe settling in one or two places was enough.

Now I met these people and they totally just go everywhere. If one has the means and nothing to tie you down, what’s the upside of staying put? If you can cobble together the perfect city from a few different ones, why wouldn’t you?

My perfect city requirements (ranked in order of importance): Weather, public transportation and/or walkable, late night dining options, art stuff to get into, somewhat English-speaking. Slowly sliding off that list are "proximity to beach" and "friends who reside there." Mainly because I've decided being close to a beach is too high an order, and with friends, well, you can always make friends anywhere.

While we were in Kaoshiung the other week, at Pier-2 Art Center, we got to visit some artists putting up their soon-to-open exhibits. The first piece was a giant globe built by Sudipta Das, here on artist residency from India. The artists came to Taiwan for a few weeks and from that experience created pieces to reflect that inspiration.

I am horrible at explaining things but the basic idea behind Sudipta's was one of migration and living in two worlds. I don't know exactly what books were used in its construction but do know that manga pages was included, because as Sudipta explained, the visual medium meant it was somewhat accessible to recent immigrants, even if they didn't fully understand the language.

The dark parts of Sudipta’s globe was dyed in coffee, giving it a wonderful smell. I want to live in that globe.