Lost in Taipei: Chapter 6

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lost in taipei chapter 6 are you game

Are You Game?  

Charlie sat at his desk in the bustling Taipei office and buried in his work. He sought some peace in last night’s dinner, a much-needed break from grieving and being in a foreign land. The camaraderie with his new colleagues brought ease from the initial embarrassment he felt upon arrival. Yet, as Charlie delved into his tasks, unexpected waves of anxiety crashed upon him, momentarily unsettling his focus since he also had some personal business to attend to. 

Charlie was responsible for managing his American accounts remotely from the Taipei office. As a marketing specialist, he oversaw the development and execution of marketing strategies tailored to the American market. He conducted market research, identified target audiences, and devised effective campaigns to drive his American clients’ brand awareness and engagement.  Charlie also worked closely with in-house creative designers, copywriters, and data analysts to ensure the successful implementation of marketing initiatives. While collaborating with his counterparts in the New York City office, he maintained regular communication to align strategies and ensure the seamless execution of global marketing efforts. 

Due to the time difference, Charlie’s workday in the Taipei office often involved catching up on correspondence from the New York City office. He responded to emails, addressed any questions or concerns from his team or clients. Charlie also managed different project managers, providing guidance and support to ensure all deliverables were completed on time and met client expectations. 

As Charlie focused on his work, he found himself unexpectedly interrupted by the silent presence of Xing standing before him. Startled, Charlie’s eyes widened briefly before a chuckle escaped his lips. “You scared me, Xing,” he commented, a hint of amusement in his voice. 

Xing couldn’t help but giggle, his eyes twinkling with playful energy. “Apologies for the startle, my friend,” he replied, still laughing. “But enough about that. How’s your day going, Charlie?” 

“It’s been quite productive so far,” Charlie replied with a polite smile. Xing’s persistent curiosity surfaced once again.

“And what did you think of the dinner last night?” he inquired; his interest evident in his voice. Charlie nodded, recalling the delightful experience. “I had a wonderful time,” he admitted, “The food was amazing, and the Lu Rou Fan was delicious, as you recommended. It was a good time to meet with everyone.”  

Xing’s grin broadened as he listened to Charlie’s positive feedback. “I’m thrilled to hear you had a great time,” he responded, “So, Charlie, have you had the chance to explore any places or try anything new since you arrived?” 

Charlie’s cheeks flushed with a hint of embarrassment. “Honestly, Xing, I haven’t had much opportunity to do anything yet,” he admitted sheepishly. “My focus has been mainly on settling into the office and getting acquainted with my new environment.” 

Xing’s grin widened, and he let out an exaggerated gasp. “Ai-ya! You haven’t explored Taipei yet?” he exclaimed, “Charlie, we can’t let you miss out on all the incredible experiences this city has to offer! Don’t worry, my friend; we’ll make sure to remedy that soon.” 

Charlie couldn’t help but laugh at Xing’s theatrical reaction. Xing’s eyes lit up with excitement in a sudden burst of inspiration. “You know what, Charlie? There’s an industry party happening this Saturday night, and I think you should join us. Ming, Wen, and I will be there, and it would be great to have you with us. You’re not doing anything on Saturday, am I right? So why not come out and have a fun night with us?”

Like the dinner last night, Xing’s persuasive tone left Charlie feeling that Xing would not take no for an answer. Despite not being a fan of client-sponsored events or parties, Charlie found himself intrigued by Xing’s proposition. He contemplated his upcoming weekend, realizing he had no specific plans other than staying in and moping around the house. What did he really have to lose? It could be an opportunity to step out of his comfort zone and embrace the vibrant side of Taipei. “Why not, Xing. I am game.”

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