Monday, September 29, 2003

My new game (see below) needs a catchier name. For now, I've decided on "Stop-Light Bingo." Yesterday's average was five. Although, to be fair, there are a few lights where everyone has to stop. The intersections are just too big to slip through. That would technically ruin my average, but I don't count those.

Also, Taiwan uses those red-light cameras in some places. Some may just be traffic control, but I know people who've recieved tickets in the mail along with a picture of their vehicle. No vigilantes tearing them down yet. They just run the light with six other people, so the odds of getting away with it increase.

Friday, September 26, 2003

The latest news:

1. Teacher's Day is Sunday. For the occasion, I was given a pre-broken ceramic tea set courtesy the local city government. Thanks so much.
2. Boyfriend Tim's scooter was stolen from a park today. They didn't take the one next to it with the keys still in the ignition.
3. I've invented a new game. It's called "count the moving violations at every red light you're stopped at." My average so far is three.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

For a foreigner living in Taiwan, there's not much entertainment except drinking. For a local, there's plenty of entertainment as long as there's a foreigner around.

I have started wearing sunglasses when I drive to work. They're pretty dark, so now I stare at other people while I'm waiting at lights. And then I noticed people looking back at me. At first, I thought they could see me staring at them. But now I realize, they don't give a shit whether I'm looking or not. I'm the entertainment.

At school, I'm like a rock star. Everywhere I go, six year olds shout "Teacher Jason! Teacher Jason!" They don't want to talk to me, they just want to tell me my own name. I'm glad there's only one place in Taiwan where this happens to me. Unfortunately, I'm there 40 hours a week.


Sunday, September 21, 2003

Some guy in the local cable TV offices watches dozens of stations at the same time. When they go to commercial, he pushes a button, and pre-empts the regular commercials with embarassingly low-quality local adverts. They run on a 45 second loop, and then repeat, sometimes 2 or three times before he finishes his cigarette, gets out some more betel-nuts, and then turns the adverts off.

I'm not against the local advertising, but I do object to the fact that they often turn them off late, and you miss some of the actual programming, sometimes minutes of it. These guys have to die.

Friday, September 19, 2003

So, every day at school, one of the teachers reads a story in Chinese over the intercom while the kids eat lunch. I don't speak a lot of Chinese, but I did catch that today's story was called "Who Wants to Buy My Sister."

Thursday, September 18, 2003

It's Friday.

About fucking time, too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Thanks for Nothing.

Taiwanese drivers will flash their brights at you if you drive with your headlights on during the day.

They will not, however, let you know that you are driving without your headlights on at night.

Someone told me that the Taiwanese believe driving with your lights off saves gas. It may save a tiny bit, but it's really hard to see a black car in an unlit alley with no headlights at night. I'm sure the ambulance would have a hard time finding you as well.

I guess with gas being about 3 bucks a gallon, they are rightly concerned. My scooter, however, gets about 70 miles to the gallon. Lucky me.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

The Outdoor Type

The more often I go camping, and the more stuff that Tim and I pack on to our scooters, the more I feel like staying at home, sleeping on a mattress, and waking up in the morning to air conditioning, hot coffee in front of the television, and the option of sleeping until noon.

However, in defense of camping, I did see wild monkeys, and heard enough wild birds to last me for a while. The ants and mosquitoes can, however, take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

For the Ladies

A good story in the Taipei Times this week. I'll paraphrase:

A man was attempting to take up-skirt pictures in the Taipei subway. The woman he was attempting to photograph noticed that he kept bumping up against her on the escalator. She saw what he was doing, and punched him in the face, breaking his nose. Then she dragged him to a police officer who then arrested him.

He was reportedly very sorry for what he'd done, especially as it was his first-ever attempt at his new "hobby," and he also did not manage to get any pictures before she decked him.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

It's also not easy to carry home a case of beer on a scooter.

It is, however, easier than carrying home a bunch of singles. Sadly, the Taiwanese seem to think most people prefer to buy one or two cans of beer, instead of the whole six-pack. So they take them out of the rings, or the pack, and pitch it. This made sense back in the days when they would give you a plastic bag, but now they don't. They used to try and give you a plastic bag when you bought a pack of gum. Now you could buy a six pack (as singles), a gallon of milk, 2 bags of chips and a sandwich, and they still won't give you a bag. You have to buy them.


Monday, September 08, 2003

Try as I might, I cannot smoke a cigarette and ride my motorcycle at the same time.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Tonight the air is filled with the haze of a million barbecues.

I can't help but wonder how many of them were mandatory, though. My school had one Saturday night. A holiday is approaching, and I think they just didn't want their employees to have an extra free day. So while we all get Thursday of for the Mid-Autumn Festival, we all had to spend Saturday evening at school, watching our students' parents try to light disposable grills with no lighter fluid. And I, sadly, had to discreetly throw away some of the grilled tofu and whole shrimp that were given to me by parents who thought I might like it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Thanks to the Toastmaster for telling me my comment engine was down.

I just pulled a trick to get them up again, including signing up for a new e-mail account. They wanted me to pay for my commenting account! Pay! Who pays for anything on the internet? Can you believe that shit?! I could understand if I was getting heaps of comments. They said 98% of accounts would still be free. I can't figure out how I somehow fell into the 2 percent that needed to pay. I think it was because I opted-out of the junk e-mail "offers." Well, at any rate...

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


I am in desperate need of new internet time-killers. I read the blogs, and the occasional on-line magazine, but there's only so much of that you can do. I would watch TV, but Taiwan's stations are filled with, well, Chinese-speaking. Although, there was a pretty grisly fire in Taipei this weekend which contained lots of horrible but difficult-to-turn-away-from footage of people trying to escape but falling to their deaths.

Or, in lieu of internet time killers, an interesting activity which doesn't involve sitting at a pub. That is the only obvious activity of foreigners here. Well, there's that and looking for a more subservient local girlfriend, but I want no part of either of those. Also, no karaoke.


The Management.