Here’s one of the few things I remember from my days studying English Lit — analyzing texts where marriage “shuts the woman up,” symbolizing her transformation from spunky spitfire to submissive sap. My favorite example: Beatrice in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. She finally ends up with Benedick, he kisses her, then she’s silent for the rest of the play.
“You’ve been Beatriced,” said a friend.
I thought about it. Yes, I have been silent for a while, and the last post was about my wedding. But I have been very noisy elsewhere — like in my husband’s face! We’re still in the honeymoon stage, will be until our wedding reception next month with family and friends. After that it’s supposed to go to hell, right?
We’re in Taiwan at the moment, a business trip for him, and another “mini honeymoon” for us. I had a free day today, and instead of tying myself to a plan, I got on the subway ready to just get off at wherever sounded interesting.
I ended up at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall around 9:20 A.M. I came, I saw, I left. It’s a Very Impressive Structure and a Very Significant Monument but I missed the changing of the guards and didn’t see any point staying there to stare up at the bronze statue of the Generalissimo.
Back to the MRT I went. Where to go, where to go? I looked up at the bright clear sky, and thought about going high. So I headed to Taipei 101 for its observation deck… but when I finally reached the base and stared up at the city’s famous landmark, I felt… MEH. I didn’t know Taipei. The only building I would recognize was the Taipei 101. Wouldn’t I rather have a bird’s eye view of Taipei with the tower in it?
Thus my trek up Elephant Mountain. From the base of Taipei 101 on Xinyi Road, I walked east a block and turned right on Songren Road. After that, I followed the signs for about 800m. Easy peasy — until I started climbing. If you are as fit as I am, which is not at all, it’ll take you about 30 minutes to reach the lookout spot. Elderly folks — women with bent backs and pure white hair, men with big bellies and skinny legs, one with a cane — kept passing me as I huffed and puffed my way up, aching and dehydrated.
But the view was worth it. At 11 A.M. I had the lookout point all to myself.
Extremely proud that I had gotten a week’s worth of exercise, I made my way down and hopped on a bus back to the MRT. I dozed off on the subway and awoke when it stopped at Ximen. Why not get off here? (Actually, “Ximen — hee hee, sounds like semen!” was what I thought. A married woman, and yet so juvenile.)
But in the Ximending Pedestrian Area (a “hip” and “fashionable” area crawling with people at least five years younger than me), I happened upon a woman playing with a condom, so maybe my juvenility was just sixth sense.
I know you’re reading this post for the Japanese AV actress, so this is it: here is Terunuma Fareeza, and she was there today, boys and girls, to teach you about safe sex. On behalf of the Taiwan AIDS Foundation, she demonstrated how to use a condom:
Next was “game” time, which meant pulling a guy and girl from the audience and asking them to sniff at flavored condoms and guess the flavors.
She was there for a pretty long time, posing for photos, having a Q&A, and handing out free condoms. Apparently Terunuma Fareeka is also a “self-objectifying artist” who is having exhibitions of her NSFW pictures in Taipei and Tainan this month and next, so this gig with the AIDS Foundation doubled as promotion for her event. So first have safe sex, then go see her pictures.
An older guy behind me shouted “Sola Aoi?!?” when he saw Terunuma, then looked crushed when he realized it wasn’t her.
I had a good day, and can now say that I’ve touched a Japanese porn star (well, her hand brushed mine when she handed me those free condoms). You might not think this street event was a big deal, but it was the first time I’d seen a public condom demonstration in Asia and I was impressed by how open and unfazed people were, how they stopped to watch and listen and perhaps absorb the important message — safe sex! A friend’s recent heartache over the consequences of unprotected intercourse reminds me how relevant that message is.
See you later, guys and girls. Best wishes from Taipei.