Tag Archive: Xmas

Dec 27

Goodbye Taipei, Goodbye 2015

Jeebus, but it’s been forever since I’ve written here. Mostly because I’ve started keeping a private journal that requires less editing and polish than something I post online. Yes, even more shit than this blog. But I felt like I should barf some of my photos and brief thoughts up online until I can write something more thought out.

 

Anyway, I’m planning a year-in-review post, so I’m only going to cover my recent stay in Taipei. On December 18, I flew out of Narita airport. The plan had been originally to teach several workshops upon arrival, but those got cancelled.

What did go according to plan was that I met a whole bunch of strange and unusual people involved in the theatre scene there. (see images below)Katie Partlow

Tellus Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahem. There were also a few who were so strange, I didn’t photograph them.

 

The other part that went according to plan was that my wife and baby Hammy joined me from December 23 onward and we celebrated Xmas with Suzy and Roger Walker. Suzy and Roger were also the generous people who put up with the whole Kikai-ga-shima team being dumped on them this past summer for the Taipei Fringe leg of that show.

 

IMG_20151226_132608So, we had a lovely, nearly traditional UK Xmas with our friends, and also made time to a see a little bit of Taipei while we were here. It was the best possible way to spend an Xmas in Asia, and I’m only sorry that Roger and Suzy are leaving Asia in February, so this will be a one-off affair. But I’d like to extend a huge thank-you to them for putting up with us for the better part of a week (and me for more than a week)!

 

Other stuff: we visited Tamsui and spent half a day there, and also had a chance to meet up with some Taiwanese friends. Also, Hammy rode a giraffe (pictured here).

 

So now, with slightly heavy hearts, mostly because we both have to work tomorrow, I’m sitting at the gate for our flight (Transasia GE 608, in case anyone feels like tracking it with Flightradar), about to say goodbye to Taipei. At least for now. Goodbye, Taipei! Goodbye, bubble tea!

Bubble Tea!

Nov 11

The Big “C” and the Big “D”

My parents have recently announced it to friends and family, and some of my own friends will know already the purpose behind my trip to Canada last month.

 

My father had been diagnosed with cancer.LINEcamera_share_2012-11-11-22-00-43

 

When I went to Canada in October, it was clear that his condition was serious, but it was still unclear how serious. The doctors were taking (what appeared to us, anyway) their own sweet time in figuring out what was wrong with him. Now they are quite clear about what’s wrong, and the prognosis is quite grim. Grim enough that I’ve dropped everything for the months of December and January and, thanks to the generosity of my Japanese family, am heading back to Toronto. (All with the knowledge that I may have to push that trip up even earlier if things take a turn for the worse, of course.)

 

I’ll be spending my first winter holiday season in Canada since 2004, and I’m not too happy about the circumstances.

 

I’m actually hesitating to book the tickets, and I can’t even put my finger on why. Is something telling me I’m going to have to go sooner? I’ve budgeted for that, so what is stopping me from pulling the trigger on that booking?

 

We went to get my father’s watch fixed today. He bought it here a couple of years ago and it’s never worked properly outside of Japan. This year, it stopped running together (we hadn’t realized that it was a solar watch—nothing in the 100% Japanese instructions made that clear, I guess), and so he asked me to bring it back with me to get it repaired. Apparently, the shop in Canada was reluctant to work on it.

 

K and I took it in to the watch counter at Yodobashi Camera today, and they told us the repairs would be 12,500円—almost half the cost of the watch new! The guy at the shop recommended that we give it one more chance to recharge and leave it in the sun for a few days. After some quick research online, I found a blog that suggested leaving under a fluorescent lamp would be the most effective way to try to jumpstart it—with results in 12-24 hours rather than a week sitting in the sun filtered through glass. If it doesn’t charge, I’ll take it back again on Tuesday and bite the bullet. I don’t want to wait too long, because they said the repairs could take 3-4 weeks, and four weeks is all I have before I fly to Toronto again.

 

If you are, by chance, expecting some piecing insight into cancer, or into having a family member on borrowed time, you’re not going to get it here. I just wrote about a watch, for fuck’s sake.

 

I regret nothing, but I can no longer live my life at such a distance from the people I care about. I don’t mean physically: I’ve made Yokohama my home. But I’m going to need to reorganize my life so that I can play a more active role in the life of my Canadian family. I thought I had time, but I don’t.

 

So the closest thing to a useful thought comes through my head when I look over and see the button I made on tour in 2010 with my acting motto on it:

 

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