Friday, November 13, 2009

knives and policemen

Well it's been a while since I wrote a Taiwan story... my excuse is six, count 'em, six, part-time jobs.  I couldn't believe it when I added them all up! 

~Piano/voice teaching at my apartment
~same at a studio downtown (don't get as much $, but get a regular paycheck instead of juggling parent's schedules and cheques)
~Wisdom Tea House
~Substitute (music at Mann)
~Accompanist for D11 (again, Mann)
~Mary Kay.

AND  I just found out that I get to play/sing at the Wall, an IHOP branch that just started!!
(unpaid) :)

I really love this schedule.  Every day is different and sometimes it's a juggling act, but I love the variety and it just feels like a vacation after the M.A.T. (Mother of All Trials).  hehehe

OK Taiwan stories (thank you whoever reads this for persevering!)

It was a dark and stormy night.

We were just finishing up dinner which was normal, complete with random bites from our moody cat.  After being continually strangled by the little mei mei and enduring bloody complications from being neutered, she would nightly slink in between the dining room chairs and lash out at the most convenient ankle.

But the cat's a whole other blog.

Dad got a phone call from one of our missionary colleagues who worked with gang members and drug addicts, and was a single woman to boot.  She said that it was Xin Gao (made up name...hopefully I didn't swear) again; he had been threatening her, and she knew he carried a knife.  

Tonight he seemed dangerous, and could she come over so that we could decide if he could be reasoned with?

Of course.

We kids were almost done with the nightly shower lineup when our missionary friend and Xin Gao arrived; we went out to the living room to say hello, and I remember being surprised that he looked very normal.  My parents didn't tell us anything about violence or his knife, but I sensed tension and had overheard a bit of the phone conversation.  Which of course I didn't tell my littler siblings.

After the brief introduction, Mom herded us down our little hallway into our bedroom and shut the door.  After some time, voices rose slightly in volume, and our missionary friend was instructed to go into our parent's bedroom.  Part of the tense situation was that Xin Gao wanted to her to stay in the discussion, and possibly wanted to have a closer relationship than was appropriate (but this is speculation).

Almost immediately after she went into my parent's room, Xin Gao's voice climbed to a new intensity, and soon he was shouting, with Dad almost yelling back just in order to be heard.
I started sobbing.

I understood enough Chinese to be scared, and was listening more than my brother and sister, whom Mom was avidly trying to distract.  

Then Xin Gao started repeating, "I want to see [the missionary's name], I'm going to talk to her," and loud footsteps started down the short hallway.

Mom, serene and smiling, stood up and stood against our door.  (our room was adjacent to our parents room, where the other missionary was).  I had been crying with my head in her lap but then grew very quiet, wondering if she would be thrown into the wall: our door didn't lock.

After a few seconds and after crossing half of our short hallway, Dad managed to convince Xin Gao that he must come back to the living room and sit.

I don't remember anything right after that; I think I was just exhausted of being terrified. 
After we had been in bed, awake, for an hour, I went to the bathroom and saw Taiwanese policemen, their uniforms garishly out of place in our apartment, standing in our living room.  Several had already taken Xin Gao away.

I didn't grow up in a really dangerous place like some missionary kids who've had to flee from war zones or anything, so I've had to milk this story for all it's worth. :)

Time for teaching piano.

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