Day Six: Pick Up Sticks

Once again I woke up with a snotty nose, beautiful golden flow anew. I threw on my shoes and made my way out of the hostel to hail a cab and make it to my first Chinese class on time. Mike Schram was nice enough to offer me a seat in his beginner’s Chinese course to check it out. As a foreigner here in a land with complex written and spoken languages I decided it would be a good idea to check out.

The class was about 2 and a half hours long and was definitely a help even after only one session. My teacher’s name was Kate and she was very helpful and good at offering constructive criticism. I also ended up getting the number of a guy looking to sell his scooter from one of my classmates. Today was going good.

When I got home I took some medicine and decided I was going to investigate a little more about this Ang Lee thing. I looked online for information on future casting calls and other details but only turned up articles that referenced the one already passed. I ended up finding a phone number of the girl in charge of casting and  I called her twice, only to hear the sound of a automated chinese voicemail. So I decided I would try a second approach and send an e-mail with a head shot and some hopeful words. I sent the e-mail and went back to feeling glum. I was reading the ‘Compass’ magazine, which is a magazine dedicated to foreigners/westerners, and came across an interesting article. Taichung is soon to be home to one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen. Here’s a photo.

Yes, those are clear bubble things with propellers. They are made of an ultra-lightweight material and will serve as lifts that take  80 people up and down the tracks of the tower. The tower is also supposed to feature a museum, restaurants, and many offices. for more information on it check out the Daily Mail’s Take.

As I was reading the article I heard my phone begin to ring. It was a call from some number I didn’t know, which is not too unusual considering I only know about 4 numbers here. I answered the call and the girl on the other end said she was Katie. I was confused because I didn’t expect my Chinese teacher to be calling me and what’s more, I thought she had gone by “Kate” not “Katie”. It took about two minutes of me asking awkward questions until the lightbulb above my head stopped flickering and finally shone bright: Katie was the name of the girl who worked for Ang Lee. She told me that the casting process is far from over and that I definitely had a chance to appear. She actually told me that Ang had initially thought he would need 25 westerners but was now thinking it needed to be more like 75. So she asked me to help her out and start telling all the westerners I know to call her or e-mail her. She was really nice and appreciative of my eagerness to become involved. I ended the conversation feeling like I’d redeemed myself.


– Cal


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