Carol and I arrived in Taipei very late on Friday, December 6.  We'd been on the plane for something like 15-17 hours, with just a little time spent at Narita Airport in Tokyo to stretch our legs.  I refuse to ever fly to Taiwan again on a flight that is not direct (unless, of course, that's the only way to get to Wu Bai and China Blue)!  The airport shuttle took ages to get us to the hotel, where we were told we had no reservations.  When they finally found the reservation that our friend had made for us, they told us the price was a lot more.  Argh.  By the time everything was straightened out with a phone call to 夏夜晚風 it was well after midnight and the bed
looked soooo good.

On our first Saturday there, a couple of the fans took us to a riverfront park where Dino was playing baseball with a bunch of other rock 'n roll guys.  He came over and talked to us a couple of times and was very sweet, just a regular guy.  He seems like a very nice fellow, would like to have spent more time talking with him (and having eggplant parmesan at his house, which he was heading off to cook, yum).  夏夜晚風 had explained to us that the band mostly keeps their distance from the fans in Taiwan when they're in public for security reasons.  It's different in Hong Kong because there are far fewer fans there, and Wu Bai is well-known for stopping to talk to them and take photos, etc.  I totally understand this, because there are crazy folks everywhere, and the stars have to protect themselves.  It turned out that Saturday night at the show, when the guys took the first break before coming back for the encore, some woman who was waiting outside (a big, scary-looking woman who we'd all seen trying to score tickets earlier)
launched herself at Wu Bai, screaming his name, and the security guards had to tear her off him.  She was bigger than him and it wasn't easy!  One of the gals in our group was outside watching all of our stuff that we'd had in the line, and she saw the whole thing. So hey, it doesn't bother me if he doesn't have contact with fans, can't say I blame him.

On Thursday afternoon the fans had already started to queue up on the 12th floor of the Core Pacific Mall (Jing Hua Cheng), where Plush Pub is located.  I joined them around 4:00, I think, can't quite recall what time I showed up.  It was nice to be inside and sitting on a little padded bench, I'll tell ya that.  There were about 6 to 10 of us, I believe, including one of the Hong Kong fans who had arrived ahead of the rest of the crew who would be coming.  When I got to the mall, I had to wait like for friggin' ever for the elevator.  It's gotta be the slowest thing on earth.  Finally, it gets to the first floor and I ride up.  I brought my laptop with me so we could watch Wu Bai videos while we were waiting.  I could hear drums and such from inside the pub when I got there, and Charlene said Dino was already there.  I chatted with everyone for a couple minutes, then was crouched down getting stuff out of my bag.  Charlene was sitting on the bench facing the pub, and she starts making funny noises.  I look up at her, and she's pointing behind me, then she says "伍佰來了!" which means "Wu Bai's here!"  By the time I turned around, it was too late - he'd already gone in the door!  Dang it all!  I told her next time to punch me.  If I had waited for that elevator just about five more minutes, I could have ridden up with
him :)

It was cool to sit and listen to the guys practicing, although a lot of it sounded pretty bad because it was so muffled by the walls and we weren't getting the full sound.  Still, we got a good idea of what the song lineup would be for the show.  I actually did get to see Wu Bai when he left, but he was hustled out so fast that it was just a glimpse.  Carol said she saw him look over at all of us very quickly, but I didn't even see that.  Dino, on the other hand, bounced out of the front door and yelled "Hi girls!" to us as he went by.  

Well, now the fun was over, guys were gone, and it was just going to be one long wait until the show Friday night.  Our Hong Kong rep went over to the 7-11 across the street after awhile, and she ran into the whole band there!  Yup, just like normal folks, they were shopping for some munchies before heading home.  I wish I'd needed to get some munchies =)  Next time I go to one of these pub shows, I think I'll camp out at the elevator entrance since that seems to be the best place to see them!

I wandered back to the hotel around midnight (Carol was already there, having succumbed to the lure of Chinese movies on TV) and crashed out, not really looking forward to getting up early the next day, but excited about the upcoming show.  It was really cold Friday morning (well, for Taipei, at least) when I got back to the mall at 7:30 a.m., and the gang was all bundled up on the first floor of the mall, outside in the little enclosed area where the elevator was.  The upstairs had closed at 3:00 a.m. and they weren't allowed to stay inside.  Poor dears darned near froze to death!  This is true dedication, folks, and no band except Wu Bai and China Blue can get these people to camp out like this.  By this time a lot more of the fans had showed up, and when the coffee shop down the street opened up, we went on a caffeine/food run, which was sorely needed.  The security guards made us move out of the elevator area around 9:00 a.m., out into the wind, brrrrr.  I guess we were bad for the mall image or something, what with all the sleeping bags and such.  At least it was a little sunny and not so cold in the sunshine.  At 11:00 they let us go back upstairs where it was warm.  Now they set up the roped-off queue lines, and we didn't have the nice padded bench there.  But, we could sit on the ramp that led up to the front door, and that was sorta comfy, better than hot asphalt like in May waiting for the big concert.  It was a long day of waiting, but we were all happy and chatting, and the time went by pleasantly.  The rest of the Hong Kong fans had showed up, and it was great to see them again.  夏夜晚風 had graciously shopped for the new CD for everyone and brought back a big box full of them.  The excitement just kept building, and we were blasting the new CD and trying to learn the words to the songs we didn't know. Of course, when the guys all showed up and practice began, that was our entertainment =)  They played until at least 5:00 or 5:30, too.
Dong Zhi Huo 2
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