Posts Tagged 'asia'



Bhutan

The Himalayan Mount Jomolhari

The Paro Taktsang Palphug Buddhist monastery

The Paro Taktsang Palphug Buddhist monastery

Living in Taiwan 5 Years Later

Lotus Lake, Kaoshiung

Many people ask me if I love Taiwan. I don’t. However, there are good and bad things about living in Asia.

First and foremost, we paid off all of our debts. Both my wife and I went back to school fulltime and continued working fulltime, something that wasn’t possible in the US/Canada. We’ve since amassed more debt since we bought a duplex in Illinois (it’s a fixer-upper).

I wouldn’t want to do anything but teach in Taiwan, because schedules can be quite hectic in the corporate sector. I’m not interested in that. Neither was I ever interested in going back into programming and web design for a Taiwanese company.

Continue reading ‘Living in Taiwan 5 Years Later’

Doing A Graduate Degree In Taiwan

NTNU Main building on Heping Dong Rd.

I just read Fili’s most recent post about his stint at a Taiwanese university (I couldn’t tell which from the post). Having been an international student at NTNU, in the graduate program of Mathematics since ’09, I have different things to report. Granted, I am studying in sciences at the graduate level, so the classes are ultimately very small. I have 4 students in one class and 2 in another.

Still, there are some important points to remember when you think about doing a graduate program in Taiwan.

Continue reading ‘Doing A Graduate Degree In Taiwan’

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’

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.

Asterisk*Cycles @ Taipei Cycle Show

Colnago Master 55

I will be heading out the the Taipei Cycle show on Thursday and Friday. I’ll be there on Friday most of the day, so if you want to check a few things out, grab lunch, or just hang out, send me an email or SMS. The show starts today, but I have no time to go there. I will be available under Asterisk Cycles.

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′

Accidents Part 1

On my way home from work on Friday evening, at around 9PM, I was driving along a street when an old Mercedes-Benz E-Class hit me. I was on a scooter. It was in the opposite lane, turning to its left, meaning that it would cross my lane. I had right of way and the light was green. He must have accelerated because one moment he was just waiting there, without his turn signal engaged, and the next I remember thinking “Oh shit” and then I was on my bum.

My scooter hit the right front side of his car. It was pretty brutal, as the police photos showed. The front end of his car was toast, as was the windshield. I was wearing motorcycle gear, which included a full face motorcycle helmet, gloves, and jacket. I must have somersaulted over the car at least once. The next thing I knew, I was being dragged or aided to the side of the road. I was trying to take off my jacket. My shoe was missing. I felt blood trickling down my legs. I saw the driver on his phone. He had also dragged my scooter to the side. Then he moved his car to the side as well. He wasn’t supposed to do this, but there was traffic.

I almost lost consciousness. I felt the grayness enveloping me. Sounds were being obscured, but I didn’t faint. I was just woozy. The ambulance arrived and they took me to the hospital. After checking me out, they took my vitals and started to patch me up. I had a laceration on my right knee that needed three stitches. I doesn’t sound like much, but it was surrounded by abrasions. It was extremely painful when the doc was disinfecting it. After they bandaged me, they took some x-rays. Then, I was taken to the observation room.

I was mostly left to my own devices. I had the presence of mind to check if all of my things were intact, and I started drinking water from my own water bottle, as they hadn’t offered me. I downed at least 1L. The police came to take a statement, but they didn’t speak any English. They took my info and gave me a Breathalyzer test. I don’t drink any alcohol at all and the test showed this.

The doc told me that nothing was broken and that I was free to leave whenever I wanted to. I wanted to stay and sleep, but I had to get home. Spike needed to be fed and walked. I also had a post due. So I picked myself up and got up. I paid the fee and got my meds. In total, it cost me $18 USD and this included the ambulance drive plus three days worth of medications. I hobbled around after I had fed Spike and walked him. I worked a bit, but I don’t think I was very productive. I skyped with the wife.


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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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