An American makes plans to move to Taiwan.


General Update

I have been busy lately but it's hard for me to recall what exactly I've been doing.

On this past weekend I met with my friend Albert to play super-smash bros, after that we went to Grant and Diane's small get together, just chatting and drinking a little. After that we went to the 2nd 'Latex' Party at the club ZOO here in Taichung. It was very exciting and fun for me, just like the first one. Once again they had the 3 'Latex Girls' their pro dancers. I danced my way up to the front and proceded to showcase my skills and was pulled on the small stage by one of the girls. It was cool because as my friends came in they saw I was already on stage, haha! I am turning into a bit of a show off I think! Well anyways those girls sure were hot, one even told me later that I was a good dancer, which surprised me really!

Two of the Latex Girls - Dance with me again!~~

Last week I hung out with my friend from Hong Kong, Ronnie. She came to Taiwan for a few days to visit. Will, one of my Taiwanese friends who I met in USA was also here for a visit so the three of us went out to eat. Ronnie just started a new job in an office that represents celebrities in Asia, some famous Taiwanese stars like Jolin Tsai, and the boy-band lollipop.

Ronnie + Ian + Will @ Sogo Garage

Another cool thing for me is that, even though Ronnie had been to Taiwan a few times she had never ridden on a Scooter, so I gave her the first ride! Also after leaving Ronnie at the train station Will and I got lost and I was the first one to recognize where we were, haha! I am starting to feel like a Taichung native!

I have also been adding more graffiti to my scooter, I think it is starting to look pretty cool. I drew Donkey Kong, tried to make it look pixelated like an old game, and a face.

I also met a new friend named Claire! She is really cool and laid back, she also lives close by to me so it is easy for us to hang out. She also found a good use for my big apartment, we are doing a 2000 piece puzzle together on my floor. It's an image of a bunch of life size soda cans on a shelf, I think its pretty cool! I am really glad we met because I have had a lot of fun talking with her. I also was proud to help her out by picking her up from the Bus station, it was hard to find and far away but I managed it!

Today Jess flew to Vietnam in the morning and back to Taichung in the evening, so we met up at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi for dinner. We had some Thai food and a chat, I think working as a Flight Attendant sounds really stressful, I wouldn't like to live in so many dorms and hotels. But I am glad she is successful in her work!

Ian + Jess - Making silly faces!

So lastly I am having some eye problems right now. I opened a new contact lense set and one started to irritate my left eye so I took it out, next day I tried it in the right eye, still a little irritating but not as bad so I left it in. Well while I was working it got worse and worse, so finally I took it out. Well I am an idiot for leaving it in so long! Today my eye was very irritated and red so I couldn't wear contacts at all. I have been putting in eye drops and I think its getting better, doesn't seem as red at the moment, I will see tomorrow how it looks. So, was that enough to read?

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Scooter Graffiti!

I started customizing my scooter by drawing on it, graffiti style! I am using some markers that I think will be permanent and seem to use the same paint as spray paint bottles. Well I did a old english typeface "A" for Alexander, and some arrow designs. I plan to really cover the whole thing, make it look really wild, haha!

You can see in the photo I now have a new Cell Phone, it is a Sony Ericsson, pretty nice and not too expensive, I had to shop around to get one that was a little cheaper, many 'cheap' ones were around $90 US, mine was about $45, and looks nicer too I think!

You can also see my helmet, its a pretty nice one with a face shield and close-able air vents in the top. So just wanted to show you that stuff!

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Taipei Trip!

I went up to Taipei this weekend on the bus to visit my friend Nancy. I stayed at her place Friday night and we went out on Saturday. We went around the city on the Metro (MRT) and I saw Taipei 101 for the first time from the distance on the train.
It's so big and impressive in real life. So we decided to go to the Mao Kong Gondola, it can take you up into the mountains where there are many tea shops, then down to the Taipei Zoo. We didn't drink tea or see the zoo but we took a bunch of pictures in the mountains there.

The view from the gondola was great! You can see all the pictures I took on my Flickr page:
You can see Taipei 101 in the background of many of them, so tall it even peaks over the mountains!
After that we went to another part of Taipei to eat and watch a movie - Street Kings, it was pretty cool! Sort of similar to the movie Training Day.

So yeah it was a great weekend, a lot of fun! Thanks Nancy!

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Scooter all up in my house son!

Hey! I am really excited to tell you that I now own a scooter. This weekend I bought it from my neighbor Diane for 9000 NT, thats under $300 USD. Its old and slightly beat up but I think its a great deal for me. I plan to customize it, like adding stickers and graffiti, It's old so I think it's not a big worry to mess around with it. Here you can see some images of it. Since I live on the ground floor I can just let it cool down outside and then roll it inside for safe keeping during the night.

I showed you the hat I was working on before, I was making another for my friend Mirabelle, and I bought a marker that uses the same ink as spray paint. So I think that is permanent enough for the scooter, I can draw on it. It has some stickers already, some european union stickers and stuff. There was an Iceland sticker too but i took that off before this photo and relocated it into the seat storage. Not that I don't like Iceland but I thought its a little weird for me to have it front and center, people will ask me why, and I would say "Uhhhh I dunno..." so I don't like that. I want it to be unique to me.

So first thing I did was ink in the scratched with a black sharpee, looks better than the white scratches. Then I put a Shin Chan (Xiao Shin) sticker over the union jack on the back. Shin Chan is a little boy in a cartoon, maybe similar to a japanese Calvin and hobbes. He has big eyebrows and short hair like me so I like to use him as my mascot, haha!

You can also see I blurred out my license plate, don't try to track me down, haha! Okay - next time I can tell you about the new Cell phone I bought and the fun things I did in Taipei with my friend Nancy!


Da Jia Mazu

I have new photos up on Flickr now from Da Jia Mazu.

Mazu (sounds kinda like ma-ju) is a taoist goddess of the sea that tours Taiwan at this time to answer prayers and generally check up on things and tries to make everyone happy. So many people travel from temple to temple along with Mazu, but you can also go before she arrives.

My friend in the US, Hui Ting, her boyfriend Wei lives near Taichung. He took me, Albert, and his friend TaiYu to see the festivities in his car. Before we arrived we ate some Rice Cakes and Brain soup - yes pig brains! I ate pig brains, there's not really much flavor to it just salty and soft like custard. I don't know what the zombies are on about!

After doing all that we came home and played some one on one Tekken 5, and some 4 player free for all in Super Smash Bros, pretty fun!

So here are some photos:

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Well my last post was about being a nerd, well it's about to get nerdier! Sylvia sent me the US version of Super Smash Brothers Brawl, about a month ago, and it finally arrived! I think it must have been shipped by sea. Well it's here now so I can play it! Well you can see I am kissing the game, actually I am not a huge fan of this series because I never played the 1st two games, but I am excited to play this now and happy its not lost! Thank you Sylvia you're the best! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Well another thing is, I am very sick with some sort of Flu, I think I got it from my friend Nancy because she was also sick. So I am feeling really crappy right now. I have a nasty cough, head ache, sore aching body, and a fever. I went to work yesteday, I was feeling OK at that time, but by the end I was feeling a fever again. Today I only had one class so I forced myself to go. But if I don't feel better tomorow I think I will use my new health card and go to the clinic.

In Taiwan, health care is far superior to the US. There are many small clinics everywhere and the national health insurance is very cheap, most visits will cost under $20 and are much faster. On my way to work there are 2 clinics, one dentist, and one traditional chinese medicine shop, which according to the door also accepts the national health insurance.

If you go to a hospital you can also see a doctor right away and fill out the forms later, not like the US where I am dying of my food allergy and am forced to fill out a ton of forms, by the time you're done, you are either dead, or you've recovered.

Okay, well I am off to play the game now! Hope my friends can come play with me too!

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逸彥 is a 宅男... (Ian is a nerd)

I just bought this Goku figure for 160NT which is less than $6 USD I think this must cost like $20 - 30 in the US. Well I know its nerdy, but I really like it! The photo doesn't do it justice really, its well made and well painted, looks really nice with the classic style and pose like the old comics.

I still didn't get my Super Smash Bros game from USA, I hope its not lost or stolen...

Tomorow is 'Tomb Sweeping Day' here in Taiwan. It's a national holiday so I don't need to work. I guess the idea is that to honor the ancestors you need to attend to their tomb and make sure its looking good and proper. In old times I think people did this more often but in these busy days maybe it's been a whole year, since the last tomb sweeping day, that someone visited, so it's a lot of work, basically a years worth of gardening, well thats what I heard at least.

So I wanted to go to a big party down in Kenting City, (the famous beach hang out of Taiwan,) but there is no convenient way for me to go since my friends don't have room for me. It's fine though, I think I can visit with my friend Pei Xin hopefully and have a nice day. My friend Albert who recently arrived from Virginia, here in Taichung also seems to be free on Saturday so maybe we can finally meet up in person.

I also am thinking maybe I can push myself to get a scooter this weekend. Grant let me drive his the other day, we went about 15 mins away, but seemed really long to me. It was really fun and I started to get the hang of it.

OK - Wish me luck! Haha!