Archive for the 'travelogue' Category



2004 Yamaha Cygnus X 125cc

2004 Yamaha Cygnux X

I handed over Green Kelly last Thursday for the final tune-ups. She had started to grow on me over the last week, and except for a few tweaks here and there, she was fine.

The scooter shop owner handed over a 2004 Yamaha Cygnus 125cc as a loaner. I’m currently thinking about trading in Green Kelly for this scooter. When I first rode it, I was somewhat surprised. It’s got good early acceleration, but then it tapers off midway and only comes back in force once you hit max speed. This scooter weighs somewhat more than the Yamaha Forte, but it feels a lot stabler at mid to high speeds. It feels quite solid at higher speeds, and the bumps in the road seem less of an issue.

Continue reading ‘2004 Yamaha Cygnus X 125cc’

Winnie & Spike

When I arrived at the dog park today, Winnie was there. Winnie is a young Frenchie bitch that behaves strangely around Spike. I was curious to see how she would react to him. Initially, they were fine together, albeit somewhat testy. Once Winnie’s owner started petting Spike, things went awry. Winnie started barking at Spike, furiously. My guess is that she was jealous and didn’t want Spike around, stealing her mistress’ affections.

She continued to bark and turn around Spike for a while. It was funny when it started out, because she kept at it, even when Spike chased her away. As a full blown male Frenchie, the dominant one of his litter, meaning that he was also the largest, Spike rarely backs down, unless it’s from significantly larger dogs. I’ve seen him cower only a few times, and that was when he was facing an adult Rottweiler.

After a while, it stopped being funny. I could see that Spike was getting weary. In fact, he got quickly tired and started walking home. That was definitely a first. He will usually indicate when he’s finished and ask me to go home, but this time, he started walking away. I went after him and put the leash on. We continued our walk and left Winnie in peace.

Spike is a pretty laid back dog. He’s very friendly to everyone, and has never bitten anyone either. He will defend himself though, even against larger dogs. None of the Frenchies that I have seen in Taiwan are breed standard. Their chests aren’t large enough, which makes me think that they have been interbred with Boston Terriers, but I’m not sure of this. None of them have papers from the AKC or CKC. Spike does, as a purebred championship French Bulldog.

Life at the Small Dog Park

I still take Spike out every day to the dog park. The membership has slightly altered over the last year. Most of the people who used to come don’t come together anymore. This is down to an annoying dog owner, who was referred to as a “hick” by another Taiwanese. It was implied that she was ignorant of a lot of things. I don’t see her anymore. The language encapsulated her hickness from me.

This means that most nights, Spike hangs out withe a bunch of playful Border Collies, who are quite nice dogs. There’s Star, who’s got a genetically cued herding instinct, and keeps circling other dogs in an effort to herd them. When it doesn’t go her way, she gets really annoyed.

Most nights, I take the time to visit the terrier club that meets every night. I’ve known them for a while and I’ve noticed that Spike, the old dog that he is, likes to interact with them more than with bigger dogs. When Spike was younger, he enjoyed playing around with the big dogs. The big dogs play rough. At around 7 years old, Spike likes it easier.

There is a small poodle named Ciao Pan who keeps porking any bitch that is his size. He is relentless and will screw her for hours if possible. There’s Cue Cue, who keeps wanting to play with an injured terrier. The owner keeps him in his arms, and Cue Cue as well as Ciao Pan keep jumping up on the owner, trying to get to the terrier. They are also relentless in this. It makes me laugh, and I don’t hide that. It’s definitely funny seeing a small fluffy white dog screwing another dog. The other terrier owners try to take their dogs away, but the poodle keeps at it.

Cultural Vista: The Young Rich Neighbor

There’s a young man from a family on the ground floor who used to drive a Honda CRV. It was slightly pimped out and new. Recently, he exchanged the CRV for a Mercedes-Benz C class with Brabus decals and wheels, as well as another Merc, a CLK. Both cars are from a few years ago. The man is in his twenties and I haven’t figured out what he does. His house is the Cat Factory. The man and his family are quite nice, always saying hello and responding to me.

I still wonder what he does.

Pain

I had hobbled home from the hospital. Some neighbors wondered what had happened. I told them in my limited Mandarin about the accident. I hobbled back upstairs to my apartment and finally was able to put my leg up. My legs had gotten the worst of the fall. I must have somersaulted over the front of the car, as it had hit me at an angle, impacting my scooter and throwing me over the top of it. I remember waking up in pain with blood flowing down my legs.

Continue reading ‘Pain’

Adapting to Culture Shock

K2 Melody getting ready for a play rehearsal

To say I’m disoriented is an understatement. I don’t feel like I’m any part of this place – just looking in on a culture and people I don’t understand. The streets are crazy – if there are rules, no one follows them … I haven’t seen one Caucasian female yet … is there a reason? The pollution is worse than I expected. Imagine putting your head over a sewer on a really humid day and breathing in as deep as you can. That’s what it’s like here, everywhere, all day, all night … Last night I met up with a giant black and orange beetle. Will I have to learn to live with all of this? I can’t even cross the street yet. How am I going to teach little kids?

I no longer follow Canadian culture and news all that much, so I had to find about this article from Michael Turton. It details the horrors of teaching in Taiwan. Lindsay Craig spent 7 months teaching in Taiwan in 2005. She quickly escaped the cockroaches and went back to Canada, somewhat traumatized it seems.

Continue reading ‘Adapting to Culture Shock’

Accidents Part 2

Bio-hazard? Yes, a bio-hazard to your wallet!

After I got up, worked a bit, caught up on some news, I walked the dog. Then, I hailed a cab for the short drive down to the scooter shop. I told them about my accident and that we needed to pick up my scooter. This is the one shop that I have dealt with for four years. They are very dependable and have picked me up many times before whenever my scooter broke down.

Yesterday, after I had spent 2 hours on the sofa, I got up. The blood rushed to my legs and to my wounds. The pain became almost overwhelming, but I managed to hobble to the dining table. Then, I started to feel as I would lose consciousness. My eyesight was graying, and sounds were muffled. I was also dizzy. Once I was back down, it was OK, but it was still an interesting experience.

Continue reading ‘Accidents Part 2′


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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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