Sunday, July 29, 2007

Steaming Toilets

A quote from funny friend Cheryl's latest dispatch from Hong Kong:

"you know it's hot when the toilet bowl is steaming. yes indeedy, when you flush the toilet here, steam comes out. the water in the pipes is that hot. silver lining: you get your toilet bowl and your ass steam-cleaned for free."

And here in Taiwan, you feel a blast of heat when you raise the lid. Haven't quite noticed steam upon flushing, though. Suffice it to say that it's demmed hot.

I've spent the foregoing week on holiday from school, and as expected, bored out of my mind for the most part. What's the use of time off when it's too hot outside to have fun? I did manage to read the new (and final) Harry Potter book, but that only took up about 9 or 10 hours total. This was a long-awaited book, and it was over far too quickly. I was left with a bit of a sad feeling that the Harry Potter tales are now over. Gosh, couldn't Rowling have dragged them on for a few more years? How could she end them so abruptly??? Nine years of my life with Harry, watching him and his friends grow up, and now no more. Phooey.

I've also been reading Japanse author Haruki Murakami's (村上春樹) excellent novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (發條鳥年代記). If you've never read his books, run right out and buy one now. I know, I've only read Kafka on the Shore and this one, but that's enough for me to know that all of his works are marvelous. I have to thank Wu Bai for allowing me to discover this author, because the only reason I bought Kafka was that I knew that Wu Bai's favorite author was Murakami. Not all of his novels have been translated into English, but I fully intend to read everything that is, providing I can find them at decent prices, which ain't easy.

And I went into town (read: Taipei) twice, for language exchange and teaching, but the rest of my time has been spent loafing around the house, with only brief forays to nearby shops for victuals and the weekend beer, fans and/or air conditioner at full blast, computing, reading, and watching movies. I watched Arthur and the Minimoys, Death Note and its sequel Death Note: The Last Name, Night at the Museum, Curse of the Golden Flower, Monsoon Wedding, Lady in the Water, 300, and most of Devdas. While none of these flicks sucked, none rate glowing reviews, either. The least enjoyable was probably Lady in the Water, which I found simply too far-fetched and weird. It borders on sucks without actually falling completely over into it. Night at the Museum was better than expected, with some pretty funny scenarios (loved the "throw the bone" dinosaur skeleton); Curse of the Golden Flower was a feast for the eye with its incredibly lavish sets and inspired in me a desire to learn more about the Tang Dynasty; Death Note featured two quite adorable young Japanese actors who weigh about 121 pounds (or less) sopping wet, along with a couple of well-animated Death Gods for laughs (and let me tell ya, I'm on Kira's side all the way); 300 took liberties with history that made the Persians out to be right weird folks and had me wondering if all those buff guys were weighing body suits or were really that buff; and Monsoon Wedding and Devdas are the usual fun-filled Indian movies that pair comedy and tragedy so well. Arthur and the Minimoys....I need to re-watch this in the Chinese dubbed version, because Wu Bai was one of the dubbers. Don't know which part he dubbed, don't really care, just like hearing his voice. Cute movie, anyway, and I hope to see lovely little Minimoys hanging around in the garden someday.

I haven't neglected my Chinese this week, either. I've read the next lesson, practiced writing the new characters, looked them all up in the dictionary, and have started typing my compilation of synonomous grammar (jeez, how many ways can you say "if"???) that I hope will be helpful as I write compositions. I still have no idea who my teacher next semester is, but I sure hope it's not the dragon lady the students who were switching to an 8:00 class were afraid they'd be stuck with. I'd rather end up with the not-so-lively Chen Laoshi, whom I had for one week in February, than this fearful woman who seems to enjoy yelling at the students in class. I'll be the only girl in class this semester, and I don't like that. I'll miss my female classmates and am not looking forward to having to Westerners in my class, especially since one is a friend's ex-boyfriend.....

Poor DZ, she's also much too warm these days. She tries to find a cool place to sleep on the tile floor or waits for me to go into the living room and turn the fan on so she can lay in front of it on the coffee table. I gave her a bath last weekend, hoping to cool her off and clean her up in one swell foop, and I got hate glares from her the rest of the day. But damn, she was filthy. Even though she doesn't go outside, the crap that blows into the house is pretty bad. For months they've been slowly digging away at the little hillside next to my building, and every day dirt is coming in through the open windows. I should probably get myself a few air filters to put around the house, but that's money I don't want to spend.

How's the diet coming along, you ask? Well, it's not. I was so pissed last Saturday when I found that a half a kilo had come back, and I'd been darned good all week! I'd walked, eaten sensibly, hadn't pigged out, and still I gained some back. Well, that just made me feel less like being good this week, and I haven't. I didn't gain back any more, but I didn't re-lose that half kilo, either. I'm going to try to force myself to walk a lot this next week, even if it's 108 degress outside (you know, we had the hottest day in July in 80 years last week or the week before - global warming, ya think?). I'm not giving up this fight!

I'll be back next weekend with more of this exciting report from Isle de Formosa!


aetherwellen said...

Wow, steaming bizarre!

I reckon there might be more Harry Potter books in the future - that epilogue left so many questions unanswered.

Poor DZ, hope she can find a way to cope with the heat.

Romita said...

Weight loss is one of up and downs. Some weeks are better than others.

Lost 4. Gained 2. Lost 1. I did pig out this weekend (family visiting) but will be back at it tomorrow.

Fight the good fight!

Steven said...

The whole weight loss game is crazy. It is far too easy to say screw it all, though. I know, I've done it myself! ;P

DZ is psycho with or without a bath. Nuff said on that matter.

I don't read the Harry Potter books, but I am surprised that the author elected to cease the books. Maybe she felt pressure to do so since she told us all that she would?