Being that I’m half the world away from home, making phat cash and living it up, I sometimes forget that I am in a country where a lot of people are poor and have to work very hard for their day to day existence. Most of my associations are with well to do Taiwanese people or foreigners – not out of snobbishness, but because these are the types that are most likely to speak English – the only type I can currently communicate with. Because of this, I tend to forget that some people on this island live a hard life. The other day, my Gucci bubble was pricked by the following incident. Continue reading ‘A sobering thought’
Archive for October, 2012
Tags: poverty in Taiwan, regular people in taiwan, Taiwanese attitude
Tags: driving a scooter in taiwan, traffic laws, traffic police
Driving a scooter in Taiwan is a hazardous undertaking – kinda like having an open wound and swimming in shark infested waters. While there is a police presence it sometimes is a joke. The implementation of the “laws” can be totally contradictory and make no sense. Here’s a story of one such incident.
A friend of mine was driving home one day and made an illegal left turn. In a lot of intersections in Taiwan scooters cannot just turn left. They have to go straight on a green light to a little box, then turn 90 degrees and wait for the the next light to go green. Something like this: Continue reading ‘Implementing traffic “laws” in Taiwan’
Tags: busy schedule, kids in taiwan, school in Taiwan, Taiwanese student
Meet Wang Chi Ming. He is a 13 year old Taiwanese boy. His hero is Jeremy Lin. He likes to play baseball, basketball and computer games. His current favourite is Special Force, an online video game. If he had his way, he would be on the computer 24/7, but is limited to mostly weekends (by his evil parents). He is very outgoing with his friends, but gets shy and awkward around girls. And no, he NEVER wants a girlfriend.
His schedule for a regular weekday is: Continue reading ‘A day in the life of a Taiwanese student’
Tags: Driving license in Taiwan, driving license test questions, how to get a driving license in Taiwan, scooter license
While a lot of people drive without licenses, if you are going to be staying in Taiwan for a long time (especially in the bigger cities) it’s definitely a good idea to get one. And it’s ridiculously easy. There are different classes of licenses (50cc scooter, 51cc-249cc, 250cc+, car…etc etc). Most of the scooters here fall in the 51cc – 249cc category (mine is a 125cc), and if you are a foreigner looking to get a scooter, most likely it will be one of these. So here’s how you go about getting a license for a 51cc – 249cc scooter. Continue reading ‘Getting a scooter driving license in Taiwan’
Tags: exotic dancer funeral, rural taiwan, small town funeral in Taiwan, Taiwan funeral
You are at a funeral. Everyone is in mourning. No one is smiling and the whole mood is somber. Quiet whispers and the occasional sob is all you hear. Condolences are being offered and recieved with quiet dignity. The whole atmosphere is dark and dismal.
And then a garishly lit truck pulls up and the Taiwanese version of booty-shakin music commences blasting. Sound about right? Continue reading ‘Bringing sexy back – Taiwanese funerals’
Tags: getting a haircut in Taiwan, snall town haircut
When thinking of a major life move, one always considers all the BIG stuff. Make sure my visa is in order, have an apartment ready, find out where to do my banking etc etc. Of course this is necessary, but it’s the little things that make life either bearable or unbearable in the new environment. When everything is different, even the smallest inconvenience can blow up into something big. Like getting a damn haircut. Continue reading ‘Getting a haircut’