Archive for the 'travelogue' Category



Last Minute Preparations

An upcoming departure  always fills me with anticipation, especially when I’m traveling in countries that I’ve never been to before. Thankfully I have been getting ready for the trip for the last few weekends, purchasing a diving mask with my prescription, swimming goggles with my prescriptions, and other miscellaneous things. Just like last year, I’ll be taking along a Gregory Z35 pack, that’s basically it. This time around, I won’t be taking my laptop. I’ll have my iPad filled up with TV shows and books. That should keep me busy. I will be meeting a mate in Dumaguete, Philippines, who will also be scuba diving, but at another resort.

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Longest Vacation Ever

It’s been a long year of work, but I’m finally heading on vacation for CNY starting next week. I have about 3.5 weeks off and I’m heading to Dumaguete in the Philippines to do some scuba diving. Then I’ll be visiting Saigon in Vietnam and bus-ing my way into Cambodia and the temples at Angkor.

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8 Days and 1500 KM All Around Taiwan

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I had a week-long vacation coming up between the end of summer camp and the beginning of the fall semester, and my friend had proposed that we go around the island together on scooters.
Continue reading ‘8 Days and 1500 KM All Around Taiwan’

Scooter Commuting Vista

Scooter Lights

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Taipei, on the bottom of Fuxing North Road. I was stopped at a light and waiting for it to change. It was nearing to the end of the count. As usual, more and more scooters and cars tried to get through before the lights changed to red. This was on a Saturday, so traffic was somewhat light compared to the rush hour. The light changed, and I was ready to go, when I saw that more scooters were trying to get through. Some of them thought that they could go through the light, but obviously couldn’t. Traffic started moving, and one girl was driving too fast for her own good. She tried to turn away from the traffic, but hit another scooter. Then she hit the pavement. She was wearing a helmet, but it wasn’t a full face helmet. Luckily she wasn’t going too fast. I left to run my errands.

Stuff like that happens all of the time in Taipei. People aren’t careful enough when riding their scooters and rarely wear enough protection. These things go fast. My new scooter reaches 110 kph, pretty quickly.

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.

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June 13 to 19 2011

Beginning of clear days

I had some excess photos this week, so I’m posting them here. It was good week, somewhat busy and wet, as usual. Next week is the last week of school, but I’m immediately starting a paid math research project with my advisor, which is kind of cool. We’ll be exploring Sobolev spaces and the elasticity of some equations, numerically modeled in MATLAB.

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Three Cackling Birds

Old World Babbler

On a Monday morning, I was greeted by three cackling birds, sitting on my balcony. I heard them as soon as I woke up. Waking up is strange. It’s like when you emerge out of water. The sounds and sights are all muffled and blurred. You make your way back into reality. Slowly, the world comes back and you start hearing things again. I noticed that I start hearing things first before seeing them, because my eyes are usually closed.

One of them had a cockroach in his mouth, which he quickly dropped, because he was quite excited. They all were. He tried to get it back, but it had fallen down to the ground floor. I like on the 4th. They were all cackling along, to each other and at me. My pets were looking at them strangely, especially my cat Yoda. She didn’t like them and wanted to pounce on them. She started making the strangest sounds.

The birds continued cackling while I continued with my morning routine. When I went out to walk the dog, they flew to another balcony, and promptly came back to cackle some more. They were still on my balcony when I left for work. They stayed in our courtyard for a few hours. They must have been someone’s pet birds. Maybe they had escaped. Their wings weren’t clipped.

Their cackling was quite loud, not melodic, and they seemed to be having a jolly old time. Spike wasn’t too bothered, but the cat definitely wanted to hunt them down. While it seemed quite harmless, it made me feel somewhat weary for most of the week. I’m not superstitious, but it was strange waking up that way. It was also eerie the way that they stayed at my window for so long. For some reason, I imagined them outside the frosted glass of my bedroom window, which is on the other side of the apartment. I’m not sure about this, but it could have just been the loudness of their cackling.

I was on edge, but nothing happened. It was just another random encounter of life.


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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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