Monday, July 31, 2006

Random picture of a student

Waynichiro. He's more or less like this all the time. Posted by Picasa

Temple at Tianxiang

Tianxiang, a town in Tailuge, apparently consisting of two small cheap hostels, one expensive hotel with a swimming pool and golf course on the roof, about five crappy crappy restaurants (the worst beef noodle soup I've ever eaten in my life for 80 frickin' kuai), and this temple.

There's also a Tianxiang park, named after Mr. Tianxiang himself. (Actually I've forgotten his family name.) He's some loyal general from the Song Dynasty. And he has a creepy creepy statue in his honor in the town. Posted by Picasa

Inside a pagoda

and in the temple there was a seven story pagoda, which we climbed. It was kind of fun although the stairs were kind of small and nervewracking. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sometimes

I felt I couldn't really do this place justice photographically because my camera just wasn't fucking big enough. Posted by Picasa

Giant spiders

and other wonders of nature. So when AdriAnne was here, she told me she had seen a giant spider strolling merrily along the sidewalk. Personally, I have been rather blissfully unaware of their existence, and figured if you just didn't look for them, you wouldn't find them. This rather ostrich-like theory was contradicted by an event tonight, in which I found a spider, the size of an anorexic tarantula in my bathroom. It has hair and everything. I may sleep with my light on according to the theory that it probably doesn't like the light.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I really have to stop being sarcastic

with kids who actually understand me. So the kid who renamed himself Ichiro's classmate Greg is our class clown. I referred to him once as "Mr. Happy" which he found so hilarious that he now insists on being referred to only as Mr. Happy. So now of the boys in my class, I have Ichiro, Mr. Happy, and the new boy Greg in his infinite wisdom has renamed Michael Jordan. (Originally his name was Jordan.)

Furthermore, during the summer vacation, I've been teaching a lot of reading classes. Although I don't really have any funny stories anymore (the like of Ken and Jerry will probably never come again), this one kind of amused me.

So I've been reading a bunch of simplified fairy tales with my classes. I've now read some of them so many times because different classes are reading them that not only do I lose track of which class is where, but I also rock Hangman because I've memorized practically every word in the book.

With the more advanced class I've been reading The Gingerbread Man. Which honestly is a pretty inane story. In an attempt to make 12 sentences stretch for 2 hours, we were discussing what the Gingerbread man has. I.e. eyes, a nose, a mouth, arms and legs. And what he doesn't have, fingers, toes, hands etc. Also, in the book we have the perspective is kind of fucked up so the gingerbread man sometimes appears to be small and then sometimes looks pretty gigantic.

At some point, Paul, one of the kids in the class said, "The gingerbread man is a monster." and then laughed in an indescribably crazy kind of way. It makes sense though, I mean here's this giant cookie that can walk and talk and apparently run freakishly fast.

So because Paul is kind of goofy, I used to (affectionately) call him Silly Paul. And then after the monster comment, I've been calling him Little Monster. However, his classmates have also started calling him Little Monster. I'm getting a little too good at this naming business.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I didn't know what this was

but it looked cool. Posted by Picasa

Tailuge from the train

Getting to Toroko Gorge involved taking a train to Hualian and then taking a bus. Little did I know that actually we passed it on the train. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 17, 2006

A things I think are cool interlude

Far East Movement came out with a new CD which you can listen to here. Incidentally, one of them is apparently the son of my dentist. I liked them before I knew that. Small world.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Slides from my vacation

I've realized that many of my pictures are actually sort of like slides from my vacation. I'm that annoying guy in the aloha shirt with the slide projector. This makes me very sad. Anyway, here's a picture from my trip to Toroko Gorge. Taken from the train, of fields. If you look carefully you may see that I am also in this picture.
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Things that I think are funny.

thanks to Angry Asian Man

the conversation I've often dreamed of having but never had the courage to do. Rise up my people!
http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/archives/006214.html

and a drunken Jackie Chan. Incidentally there's a typhoon on the way. So if you don't hear from me in a while you'll know why.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rock stars

A bunch of people have told me that they find most Western teachers to be very arrogant. They generally mention me as an exception to this. I'm not sure in what way I'm different. Actually, it has me kind of concerned. I don't think most Westerners arrive in Taiwan automatically acting very arrogant. (In fact, maybe I'm wrong about the whole thing.) I wonder if there have been parts of my experience here that have led me to be less arrogant. Or if in fact I am less arrogant than other people.

Perhaps it's the strangely worshipful attitude that some people have for Westerners. I know this is sort of an old bone to pick, but still. Most other people I talk to find this behavior disconcerting and don't seem to enjoy it. But I sort of wonder, after being given a large number of free things and special discounts for being a foreigner who graced the shop. I sort of wonder if these sorts of things start to rub off on you.

Hopefully, this doesn't happen/ hasn't already happened to me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Black and White Playstation

I read this article
http://poplicks.com/2006/07/white-is-coming.html on one of my favorite blogs. I'm sort of astounded by people's stupidity. I mean, what could you possibly be thinking. My favorite part of the whole thing is just how the picture is developed. The background itself is quite dark, so the white woman stands out visually as if she's shining. Whereas the black woman blends into the darkness so that she is both indistinct and is part of it. Since we can't see her features, she seems a lot less human. It's without a doubt some of the most artful racist advertising I've seen.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The fifth graders

from my CE06 class. They're already at the age where they really love the camera. (I'm being sarcastic.) Posted by Picasa

And now for some pictures of my students

Cherry, the kindergartner and all of her food. Posted by Picasa

Coolness

I think the concept of "cool" is slightly different in America and Taiwan. Many people, for example, will use "too cool" as a vaguely insulting term. Jay Chou, obviously, is criticized for being cool. Also, my student's father has very long hair, while otherwise dressed very respectably, he has also been called "very cool" in a sort of not complimentary way.

Also, my Chinese teacher told me that she didn't like Jay because he was too cool and also didn't wear any underwear. I sort of laughed in spite of myself. It's just a surprising cultural difference. I mean, in America, we criticize our pop stars for having illegitimate children, or taking lots of drugs, or sleeping with people who are under age. I guess the underwear thing never really occurred to me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Look!

a lake! And next time no more beautiful scenery pictures I promise. Posted by Picasa

Sunlight

 Posted by Picasa

The gold temple

for reference, see how different it looked the last time I was there. Posted by Picasa

More pictures of pretty scenery

 Posted by Picasa

Taking the GRE

After an ordeal of taking a taxi and finding the damn place, and then taking the damn test, coming out, getting lost on Taida's campus and everything, it was suprisingly ok. I also had fantastic tomato noodles. However, I couldn't finish them.

I seem to once again be losing weight. If I undergrow another set of pants again, I don't know what I'm going to do.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sometimes

I love this country. Posted by Picasa

A Bridge at Ruifang

 Posted by Picasa

Something that occurred to me while eating dinner

Would you consider a dude who has an obssession with Sailor Moon to have an Asian fetish? I mean, Sailor Moon doesn't really look Asian.