The windy mountain road we navigate to get to and from our house is a metaphor for our life here in Taiwan. It is full of twists and turns and near misses; but overall, lovely and with perks. Like many other things, it’s important to remember to keep things in perspective.
I drove the back road to and from Dwight’s orthodontist appointment this afternoon. Sure, the road is treacherous and Dwight enjoyed pretending he was in a stunt driving video game, knocking all other drivers off the mountain, but it gets us where we want to go and using the mountain wall mounted mirrors and quite a bit of caution, we do it safely. Horatio doesn’t like that I take this road but, in time, he’ll use it as well.
Here’s what the last bit of mountain road looks like, as we pull up to, and past, the Chinese Culture University. Dwight filmed as I drove. Notice at the start of the video you can see how close the road is to the mountain’s edge, where you will also see sightseers shooting pictures of the view; also notice the number of scooters not only on the road, but on the side of the road, which basically turns it into a one lane road.
On the home-front, we had another flood; at bedtime, of course, because if it happened during the day, we might be able to take care of it and rest our weary heads more peacefully. That would be too simple. Murphy’s Law, right? At least my Mr. Murphy was home to see it this time. I’m thankful for small favors.
As we were brushing our teeth last night, Horatio and I turned to look at each other to gauge whether the other had heard what we each thought we had heard. Indeed, a gurgling sound was coming from the shower and the toilet. I looked down and saw water rising from the drain in the floor… Again. We looked in the shower and water was rising in there too, and, it suffices to say, the water was not clean. The other two bathrooms in the bedroom side of the house revealed similar situations.
Moments such as these are the bane of my existence as a diplomat. I find it hard to remain positive in the immediate moments of such… um… messes. However, as I opened my mouth to express my exasperation, and started to say, “this is terrible.” I realized that while definitively unpleasant, it wasn’t “terrible.” Cancer is terrible. Sudden death is terrible. Life altering accidents are terrible. A bit of poo in the shower is not terrible, it’s a blog post.
Again, it’s all about keeping things in perspective.
(Note: The plumbing issue is ‘being investigated.’ A new tool must be purchased to hopefully fix the problem. In the meantime, we’ve been asked to only use one water flowing source at a time.)