The following Wednesday Colin and I hung around in the Shida Night Market with Andy and Pascal after class. Colin had a haircut appointment right near there and a networking meeting directly afterward, and I had another night at the China Post.
Colin went almost immediately to the salon, but I wandered with Andy and Pascal, munching on yummy wraps filled with cabbage, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, tofu and spices. We settled on cheese potatoes for the main course, which lead to an entertaining discussion about exactly what kind of cheese our baked potatoes were swimming in, and how this compared to fondue in Switzerland. (No contest, of course.)
Then I made my solitary way to the China Post. As I walked in, Koji was getting off the phone with Hilton, who was telling him I’d be coming in that night.
He gave me a list of stories to read: page 5, international business. That’s dry stuff.
Hilton showed up at 8, and the stories came in waves. I was handed stories and skimmed them to makesurenoneofthewords looked like that. Then I would finish and look expectantly to Koji, sitting on my left, and he would shake his head. Nothing else now.
The office looks about 40 years old, with decades of grudge and ink pushed into the back corners of broken desks supporting computers just barely younger than Jake. If I go into work on a Tuesday night, I have to use the DOS computer to copy edit. Yeah, DOS, with the black screen and the orange text and the pressing buttons during the start-up, DOS. I think that’s actually older than Jake. There is nary a pen to be found in the vicinity of the copy desks, but at least they have a Merriam-Webster Dictionary and the 2009 edition of the Associated Press Style Guide. (It had “touchscreen” in it: two words as a noun; one word as an adjective.)
The office buzzes until late in the night with editors and even writers hanging around until past 11. Around that time, Koji gets into I’m-not-going-to-hand-you-anything mode because I’m apparently too slow. Hilton throws me a bone every once in awhile, but Koji actually takes things out of my hand—in the nicest way imaginable, of course.
(I do really like Koji, he’s a funky guy from New York who lived in a monastery in Temecula. He used to be in law, but now he’s just a guy who used to be the drummer in a band and has worked at the China Post since April. He still carries the drumsticks around.)
(Hilton should probably get a parenthetical statement too. He hails from Trinidad but attended university in the third-largest school in Canada. He speaks barely above a whisper and quite slowly as well, giving everything he says the air of being well thought out. He’s been at the Post for about a year and says he’s sick of it without having to actually say it.)
On that particular Wednesday, I got bored of having pages taken out of my hand and begged out around 10 p.m. on account of an early-morning trip to the Immigration Agency. I was actually just scheduled at LiveABC, but that’s an even earlier morning.