Thursday, March 12, 2009


It is about 80F here today. Which is nice, although I am sweating pretty bad. I've been wanting it to get warmer so I could go to the beach, but now that it is warmer, I have no one to go with. sigh.

Monday, January 19, 2009


So, let me ask: What do you think we do with trash in Taiwan?

We give it to old people! Seriously, there are guys driving around on rickshaw type things that take your trash for you. The city pays hobos and old people to collect garbage. People will put and empty can or bottle on a window sill and just leave it. Sure enough, within in 20 minutes and old dude will run over and snatch it off.

Seriously, it is pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold toilet seats

Alright, so toilets here are sometimes outside of the building, in both apartments and office buildings. Normally, I don't mind so much. In fact, I usually consider it better. However, today I realized the error of my ways. Early this morning, the temp clocked in at about 8 C, which isn't too bad, except that you look at an outdoor freezing cold toilet seat with a bit of apprehension.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Alright, so just a frame of reference to keep in mind when dealing with me. I am a gigantic nerd... like a huge one. AND I can prove it. For a long time, I have had a habit of walking, when on tiled floors, only in acceptable moves for chess pieces, as specified at the time (I usually just pick one, but knights are my favorite.) I also imagine other people are opposing pieces, which limits my available moves. When I did this in the States, no one really notices. However, over here, I get a lot of odd looks...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back in T-town

I've been back in Taiwan for a couple days now... Really haven't felt like posting much. However, today, I did want to make a comment about Chinese. There is a reason Chinese is so hard to understand. I will give you an example why.

The number 4 is considered a bad number in Chinese. Why?

Four is pronounced Si (starting from a high tone, going to low). This also means temple.
Death is pronounced Si (starting from high tone, going to low, then returning to high).
Si (starting high and staying in a high tone) means to tear... and silk... kind of.

That is 5 meanings for one word. This is common place. Another example:

Ma (staying in high tone) is like a question mark.
Ma (high, low, high) is horse, as well as a yard(measurement).
Ma (low high) is mother.
Ma (high low) is a curse.

Ma (high, low, high) fan means troubles. Well, is that ma part of mother, is he talking about a horse? Is he cursing me? OR does the fan go with the ma? You just don't know. Sigh...

Saturday, December 27, 2008


So, this is Asia and part of Asia is scooters. Scooters are everywhere and everyone who drives a scooter, which is everyone, is crazy. Not just normal crazy, but frat boy, break a bear bottle on my head, streak through main hall, pick a fight with a dozen hobo's then pass out in front of a police station with knife wounds crazy.

The reason I'm bringing this up is I saw an accident this morning. Several times, I've wandered past a destroyed scooter, shattered plastic and glass, in the middle of the road, but today I saw one... right in front of me. It wasn't bad, not at all, but the conditions made it funny.

I was waiting to cross the street. In Taiwan, you never jaywalk... mainly because people run red lights left and right. There was a cop directing traffic. There wasn't any issue with the traffic light, it is just that no one pays any attentions to things as inconvenient as traffic laws here and the cops are meant to reenforcement the concept of "legal driving." Well, it doesn't really work... even with the cops.

Anyway, this dude on a scooter ran a red light right in front of the cops. The police woman did what the Taiwan police do best, ignore any law breaking. Well, a SUV, legally crossing the road, slammed into this tiny scooter... I must give scooter man props, he did a pretty awesome ninja like bob and weave to keep his scooter upright, then with criminal like speed, fled the scene.

It was chuckling because the police chicky didn't even turn her head.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gender-based port-o-potties

No, that is not a clever name. Yesterday I walked by gender separated mobile bathrooms. I find this funny, since in this country, public restrooms are hardly... up to standards. At a building I frequent, the men's bathroom doesn't have a door, or a nifty windy corridor to separate it. This would be okay, except there aren't any splash guards either, so you must resort to an awkward half body turn to shield yourself from anyone who happens to be walking down any nearby hallway.

Also, in one of the nearby restaurants, there is a "men's" and "women's" bathroom. In truth, they are the same room. The urinal is separated by a thin, torn, and quite small sheet. This is the men's room. The women's room is a squatter toilet, separated by the same type of sheet, although it is slightly larger and in slightly better shape.

Yesterday, a homeless woman dropped trow and did her deed on the sidewalk of a busy intersection... the same sidewalk I was on... in fact, right in front of me.

So, thank you, Taiwanese government for dropping twice as much money to have gender-based mobile toilets in order to protect my delicate sensibilities. Seriously, I don't know if I could use a plastic bathroom that someone of the opposite sex has used recently.