This weekend was very chill — I went down to Fu Jen Catholic University (天主教輔仁大學) on Friday and got the details on their Chinese classes. The university is beautiful, especially coming in the middle of that part of Xinzhuang, and it was nice to be on a college campus again.
For Saturday, I taught my last Saturday class for a while (for a long time?!) and took some pictures of Xinzhuang on my way home. I called up my friend to see if we were going to meet up and bake cookies, but she was still puking sick, and had actually gotten worse from the day before, so we put it off. I decided to go to the art museum in Taipei (forgetting there were two), but then found I was too tired to bother, so I just walked around Xinzhuang a little bit and mostly lazed around the house.
On Sunday, however, I was up bright and early to do laundry before setting out to see art. My mom and sister caught me online and we had a wonderful hour’s chat over skype before I left for the city. I was surprised to find that the buses and MRT were cram-packed with people, but upon reflection, Sunday is most people’s only weekend day, so it makes sense that everyone would be going somewhere. I was even more surprised to get off at Yuanshan Station (the closest one to Rebecca’s house when Michelle and I were in Taiwan for the wedding) for the art museum only to find the roads closed and construction happening everywhere. True to form, though, there were clear signs directing me to the museum, and I had a confused but pleasant walk to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
The admission was 50¢ and got me out of the wind and into a very interesting and modern building. I started off in the Richard Rogers architecture exhibit, and tried to see everything the museum offered, but the only exhibit that I truly loved was an exploration of Korean monochrome art. It was magnificent and I was disappointed that, like most art, I couldn’t touch it. Good art makes you want to touch it, and I wanted to feel all of these works, whether because of the color or the strokes, or the use of unusual materials like jute or half-inch thick charcoal.
The whole basement was devoted to multimedia exhibits, and there was a really discomfiting one called Ventriloquists where a man fed tourists or other non-native speakers of Chinese lines from behind them and the video was captioned with what they were supposed to say, what they actually said, and the characters. It did not bolster my confidence, to say the least!
On another note, I have so many bug bites on my hands that I woke up in the middle of the night and just scratched my hands for about five minutes before I woke up fully and realized that it was a bad idea. If this keeps up, I’m going to the doctor for some creams or something.