An American makes plans to move to Taiwan.


Gaming video.

I just used my webcam this weekend and talked for a while about some game series I like and what I thought of the direction they are taking with the sequels.

The first 2 mins of part A are about my Taiwan Dreamin' video, so you can check that out. The rest is game related so unless you want to hear me talk about that, I guess you can turn it off, haha! I hope you can go to you tube and give me a good rating, help me get up my views.

Game Sequels Crit (A)
Game Sequels Crit (B)
Game Sequels Crit (C)

Let me know what you think! I didn't use any special effects, just me talking.

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Oil change in Taiwan!

The other day I got the oil in my scooter changed. It has been about 5 months or so since I got it. I didn't really drive it very far, just to and from work and some places in the city. I was a bit worried about getting the oil changed. I always get nervous when I have to do something where I don't really know much about what I need to get done.

Here's a photo of the front of my scooter, some more drawings on there now. I still haven't seen any other scooters in the city like it, haha! I have some friends who are selling their scooter and motorcycle by the way, if you are interested!

So, I asked my friend Claire how to say 'change oil' in Chinese. It's 換機油 which sounds something like 'Huan Ji Yo.' I had been putting off changing the oil because I wasn't sure where I should do it, and I thought it might take a long time. In the US you need to put aside an afternoon to get the oil changed. There will be some waiting and they will try to sell you some other services and so on.

So I realized I could try the place around the corner. My friend said that every scooter shop should be able to do this. So I drove my scooter about 20 seconds down the block. I told the mechanic who was sitting in the shop 'huan ji yo' he said 'hao' (ok) and I used my made up sign language and broken chinese to say I'd walk home which was right around the corner. I gave him the key and left him alone. After literally 5 mins I walked on back and the work was done with my scooter waiting for me. I paid about $150 NT, that's around $4 US. WOW! 5 mins and $4! I mean you could probably just do it while waiting for a red light, or waiting for a friend.

Here is a photo of the shop:They have a sign outside that advertises English service. I guess if I need some other things done I can try there. The seat on my scooter needs to be replaced and I would like this part of my kickstand fixed too.

Most shops in Taiwan have the same kind of set-up:

You can see there is the inside of the building on the left, then a sidewalk area with a ceiling overhead held up by supports on the right. Beyond that is the street. Many shops have things inside the building area but the counter where you order will be out in this sidewalk area, sometimes the place they are cooking is out there as well. They will have propane tanks hooked up to provide power for cooking. Some restaurants have the seating out on the sidewalk part too. This means that if you want to walk down the sidewalk area here in most places you will be walking behind counters, and navigating through chairs and tables. Sometimes you will feel its more convenient to walk in the street, but as cars and scooters whiz by you about 10cm away from hitting you, you may reconsider.

The scooter shop has tools and office things inside the building and the actual work on the scooter takes place on the sidewalk area. Hard to really explain but I hope you can see what I mean in the photos.

Anyway, I had a good experience with the oil change, and once again I found I was worrying for no reason. One reason I came to Taiwan was part of facing my fear of not knowing exactly what was going on, and asking for help, getting chores done, stuff that an adult has to do all the time, without worrying too much.

In the future I'd like to get an interview with a scooter mechanic for my Taiwan Dreamin' video. I wonder when I can actually get the 1st eppisode completed...

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Okay, I updated my flickr page, check out those photos here.

This weekend we went to Lobby. Was really fun, just talking and hanging out. Claire asked me to make a hat for Darren, so I gave it to him. It's the red one that Vic is wearing in the photo above. Vic and Darren got a bit drunk and after dancing and all that we went to McDonalds. In USA I think we don't have proper fried chicken at MC, but here you can get a 'chicken box.' It was pretty good!

The next day we went to an electronics show. It was very crowded but we were able to walk around and look at a lot of gadgets. TVs, laptops, electronic dictionaries, and so forth. Claire and Darren helped me to talk with the people in the Sony and Toshiba booths. We compared prices and did a little haggling. In the end I got that TV I mentioned las post.

After that Darren, Claire, and I went to a big bookstore near to the Hotel One building here in Taichung. I looked at the design books and magazines for a long time, was pretty cool! Gave me some ideas for things I could do. I really enjoy drawing on my scooter and the hats.

After the bookstore we went to my house to play PS3, fun times! Darren really kicked my ass in Soul Calibur 4 and Capcom VS SNK! Well here, I can show you my TV too - with Soul Calibur 4 playing on the PS3.

Well it was a fun weekend - thanks everyone! Tonight I'll have people over to watch a blue ray movie on the new TV - full HD man! AMAZING! It will be my first time to watch an HD movie actually!

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I'm ALL HD baby!

High Definition... WOW! I just entered a new era of visual standards! PS3, running HD graphics, and an HD TV to display it. I can't even explain how awesome it is!

I will add photos soon, but right now I want to enjoy the TV! I had a really fun weekend. We went to a club on friday and played around. Saturday we went to an electronics show where I got a good deal on the TV. You can see an example here.

It was expensive but I think I saved up enough to make a safe purchase. Also I think if I need to sell it in the future I can make most of the money back, unlike with a vehicle. These new TVs don't suffer many of the same screen burn problems that the old ones did that would make it lose value as a second hand sale. Next post will be photos of the TV and my fun weekend!

I also want to say thank you to Claire and Darren for helping me haggle the TV and look at the different companies' booths. Without them I wouldn't have been able to get this! I am really glad I can have some great friends in Taiwan!

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