It’s just after lunch, I ride my bicycle to Da Jia.
On my way back, between Ja Nan and Cin Shuei, I notice two policemen stationed at every intersection. Odd, but I quickly forget about it.
Just as I am coming into the north end of town the air raid siren starts. WTF? Thinks I. Has China finally made good on its threats? I look up. No war planes sallying forth from the airbase behind Taichung Airport.
The siren continues.
Coming along Jongshan Road into the heart of town things are getting really eerie. Not quite two O’clock. Where is everyone? Not a soul in site. Downtown Cin Shuei is deserted. My bicycle is the only vehicle on the road. Finally I see a policeman who waves me off Jongshan Road.
I take the backstreets to my apartment and walk back to Jongshan Road to see what’s going on. Something’s up, I think to myself, better go home and get the digital camera. I get it and come back. The air raid siren has stopped. Yes, me thinks, whatever it is it’s going to be good.
I wait. And wait. And wait. And wait some more. Nothing happens. I step into the street, looking in both directions. Nothing. I call my laoban. “Do you know what’s going on in town?” I ask. “You have to go inside,” she says, “we are practicing like we are at war. You have to stay inside until 2:50.”
2:50? Almost an hour. I run back to my apartment and use the quiet afforded by the military drill to take a nap.