Friday, January 08, 2010

A time machine, powered by booze

I woke up this morning feeling awful; I left the office feeling as blue as a boy could be. And I wasn't even walking in Memphis with Mark Cohn. Oh well.

Only 8 days into 2010, and without intending to climb on the wagon I've already fallen off it and now feel like it ran me over. That's what four pints of dodgy San Miguel and four more bottles of interchangeable lager will do to you. I struggled to the tram stop (once again surrounded by a crowd of Japanese tourists, making a din to make my head burst). I couldn't stand up straight, I was practically bent double. How I survived the morning without turning green and vomitting I do not know.

For a while, being hungover shielded me from being irritable; I was suffering too much to get angry about anything. But after a dim sum lunch that included some nauseating thousand-year-old eggs, I wandered back to the office to gradually grow more and more depressed with my lot. My job bores me, and I see no opportunity to advance in my role. And if I did work hard to get a promotion, what I'm told suggests it wouldn't mean substantially more money, so I'd do better to look elsewhere. But I want to stay in Hong Kong, which limits my options a bit. Then again, I haven't started looking seriously yet. Maybe I should do that first. Yes, this weekend I'll make a list of pros and cons, try to conceptualise my ideal job, and then start looking for it. Life is too short to spend each day dreading going to work.

As I take the tram to work, I've been reading. My choice of books is drawn from whatever looks interesting when I'm in the Page One in Taipei 101, and oddly this seems to mean books published three or four years ago, so I really am behind the times, consistently. If I'm not surprised by revelations about Bond from 2005, then I'm reading short stories from 2006, or if I'm lucky histories of WWII from ever earlier.

I suppose I could draw some succour from these being the cream of the crop, filtered out through Taiwanese bookstores, but I can't help but feel outdated by it, as though I've been catapulted forward in time. Maybe it was the booze and I've spent three years like Rip Van Winkle, passed out under a tree and then waking up in a Chinese bookstore. I am perhaps a strange conflation of Luke Haines songs. I think he had an album out last year. Maybe I'll wait until 2012 and then listen to it.


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