Sitting jacketless in the courtyard of the Artist Village (TAV), I am enjoying the first sight of sun and blue sky since before the blizzard in Colorado, which hijacked our flight out of Colorado Springs a half-a-day before it even took off. Considering the circumstances though, our travels ensued fairly seamlessly. We caught the next flight out of Colorado Springs, and made our connections in both Dallas and Tokyo, and once arriving in Taipei, after a few rounds of trial-and-error, I managed to figure out how to work the pay phone and call our Taiwanese liaison, Jeanny, to help us find our taxi driver that had to be at about his wits end waiting for us in the Taipei airport. 900 Yen later and all three scrunched in the back seat (because the front seat was ungracefully conquered by my 73 pound suitcase), we arrived at our new home at about midnight, greeted by three fellow artists and Mr. Hwong, the cute-as-a-button security guard who reminds me of my Granddad. We were taken to our room/studio/apartment, a spacious concrete room attached to a bedroom and bathroom, resembling something between a flat in NYC and the Whitney Electric building (an abandoned warehouse near CC’s campus, which houses everything from homeless people, to concerts to art exhibits.) We were left to ourselves where, despite the time and the long day of traveling, we hurriedly began unpacking and settling in, like three twelve-year-olds who just arrived at summer camp.
Yesterday was our first full day. We went in search of discernible food that I could eat, and to explore. We apparently found ourselves in more of a ghetto than we realized, but our conversation with our new friend Jason the previous night in the bar downstairs assured us that we did not need to worry about our safety. In his words “we could walk downtown at 4 a.m. in bikinis and not be bothered… well maybe not bikinis.” After picking up some fruit from a street vendor and taking plenty of pictures, we found our way home more based on intuition than by following the map we picked up along the way that trying to navigate by reminded us that were in a completely foreign place even more than walking the streets seemed to.
Later we met with the staff at TAV and went over our residency schedule, we saw our dance studio, which is absolutely perfect, and ventured to try to find dinner, which among the options Dolo and I sadly opted for middle-eastern food (each vendor declined my paper request for food without wheat, dairy or soy), and Rosey ambitiously tried the pre-packaged sushi. I topped off the meal with my new favorite dessert— which I call gooey-rice balls, not knowing it’s real name.
It’s now morning, blue sky and beautiful (not to rub it into all of your freezing Coloradan’s) my computer is about to die and we are going to venture to find breakfast and have our first day of rehearsal.