Saturday, November 12, 2005


Just a short report to say that all is well in Taiwan, nothing exciting has been happening, and there's nothing to write about. This is what a typical day is like, so you don't feel as if you've missed anything on the days I don't write: wake up at 6:45 a.m. Turn on the computer. Turn on the coffee pot. Give the cat some canned food while trying to avoid tripping over her because she's so excited to get canned food that she's dancing around my not-really-awake feet. Log into the computer. Make a trip to the bathroom. Spend an hour online reading funny websites, checking the daily weather and exchange rates, playing addictive games, drinking my three cups of coffee, maybe answering some e-mail if I'm awake enough to think. Take a shower and get ready for school. Clean out the litterbox, fill cat's bowl with dry food, make sure she has water, admonish her to be good while I'm gone and not knock over bathroom trash cans and open closet doors and jump up on the shelves above the TV. Usually doesn't work, but I try. Walk to the MRT station, an obstacle course filled with meandering, slowly walking people and scooters that ride 100mph on the sidewalks. Scramble for a seat on the train, pop on the headphones, and listen to Wu Bai while reviewing the day's lesson during the 1/2 hour ride into Taipei. Push my way out the door at Taipei Main station, trying to avoid the maniacs who will be either running for the escalator or running from the escalator to the train that's ready to depart. Walk to school, stopping at 7-11 on the way to buy a fan tuan for breakfast (rice triangle filled with tuna fish and wrapped in nori) along with a bottle of iced coffee to keep me from falling asleep in class. Suffer through two hours of torture trying to understand what the teacher is saying, more torture if the weird disgusting guy from England is in class that day. After class have a nice lunch somewhere with Hiyoshi and then spend all afternoon with him, doing whatever we feel like doing, but usually ending up at Dante Coffee to do some studying. After arriving home, either kick back with a book and play with the cat while reading, or teach English for two hours (now on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays). If lucky enough to have miserable, rotten, stinking, noisy family upstairs quiet by 11:00 (or in extremely rare instances 10:00), hit the sack. If not, wait until midnight to try to sleep.

I did go to Betty's wedding dinner last night (blowing off an English class which meant saying goodbye to $800NT), once again eating a great meal with interesting food (ever had sea cucumber? If not, don't bother.). I'll have some photos of that later when I have time to tweak them and get them posted. Didn't go along with the some of the gang to karaoke afterwards, because it was already after 10:00 and I knew my lonely cat was likely destroying my apartment in anger.

Oh, and I went to Zhong Hua University in Xinzhu on Tuesday with my school, about an hour by bus. We have a relationship with that university, and they're trying to get new students, so they invited us, gave us a free meal in their cafeteria, took us on a little tour, made us watch a lovely promotional film. Nice campus, fabulous pool and fitness center, but not a very convenient place to live. Still, with the right incentives, I could be persuaded to move.....maybe.

Tonight I'll be going to the Riverside Cafe to see Mojo perform. Never been there before, hope it's not too much of a smoke pit, but probably will be. Not too many chances to see Mojo before Guoxi goes off to become an airline pilot, so must take advantage. Helps that Guoxi is providing free tickets. Hope the beer is cheap.

Apparently all the bitching and complaining about the new teacher did some good, because the school has decided to start rotating teachers. Guess they figured it was too much trouble to keep transferring the students to other classes, so now they're just switching the teachers ;) So, next week, we get a new teacher, and we'll have her for a month, or maybe two. I sure hope she's better than the one we have now. If not, I can assure you that you will be hearing about it.

Coming soon: Marla's Christmas Wish List, since some folks have been asking. No one is under any obligation to give me a gift, but if it will make you feel guilty not to, by all means feel free. I wouldn't want to be the cause of great mental distress. If any of my friends has a desire for something cool from Asia, please drop a line.

And for those of you unfamiliar with the acronym I changed slightly and used as my title, the translation is Situation Normal NOT All F*cked Up - in case anyone was worrying that they hadn't heard from me.

Oh, which reminds me, I've been picking up a little Japanese (no, not Hiyoshi, he's not little at all, and no, that's not a sexual innudendo). "Baka gaijin" means "stupid foreigner." Anyone traveling to Japan, keep your ears tuned for this one.

Wow, things just keep popping up. Political campaigns in Taiwan, very interesting. You think it's bad in the US, having to deal with billboards and signs in people's yards when it's election time? Well, here it seems there's always some sort of election happening, and the campaigning is particularly obnoxious. The candidates hire people to drive around in little trucks, the sides plastered with the candidates' faces smiling beatifically upon the populace, and the driver plays very loud music alternating with blaring political messages, usually recorded by some woman with a high, whiny voice. They drive around all day, starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending around 10:00 p.m. If I had the right to vote here, I wouldn't vote for anyone who used these tactics because they annoy the piss out of me. Although, there's one guy, Wu Ming Xiu, whose truck plays a Wu Bai song, so maybe I'd vote for him. I'm not even sure what these people are running for......


aetherwellen said...

About the giftmas wish list, that reminds me - I don't have your addy. I could send you something awesome from olde Europe. :)

scenic said...

guoxi is going to be an airline pilot?! 8O?