Tuesday, August 31, 2004

This is my photo of the day. It's abstract, I know but I liked the way the textures and colours combine. Its a close up of a spraypainted and partly rusted piece of corrugated iron. Again, I used Picassa's auto correct function, which upped the contrast a touch. Posted by Hello
This is what I spend a lot of my time doing. This was 'Kiki's Level 2 (N2) final test. There is a girl in the class who is her friend. Her name is Anli. I thought Ainl was pretty funny though!  Posted by Hello
All the trucks in Taiwan are blue. No one can tell me why! Posted by Hello

Please post a comment to my Gran on her 80th birthday!

It was my gran's 80th birthday a few days ago. Here is your opportunity to send your best wishes to a wonderful lady who deserves all of them(whether you know her or not) . Please post a nice comment even if you have nothing to say other than 'best wishes'. I'm sure she'll appreciate every one of them! I'll print them out and send them on to her when I've collected a couple! Thanks guys!
This is an almost 360 degree panorama of my spot. This should give you an idea of what my apartment looks like at the moment. The only difference is that my apartment is three dimensional.  Posted by Hello
Everywhere I went yesterday, people were burning ghost money and incense and offering food to their ancestors. This was taken outside a major bank while I waited for the traffic light to go green. Posted by Hello

Monday, August 30, 2004

Treehouse and Ghost Money

Strange title for a post, I know. I'll explain.

Today is some big religious day in Taiwan, or at least in Taichung at any rate. It seems everyone is burning ghost money and putting out fruit to offer their deceased relatives 'ghosts'. The Money and fruit is to keep them happy in the afterlife, from what I understand. Happy ghosts are good for us still alive because they bring peace and joy and general blessing. That's the general idea I get, although I admit that I don't know too much about the whole affair. Our apartment has 3 tables outside and Craig's apartment has covered half the road in tables, presumably for some big event tonight.

Treehouse is the name of a Hess (the company I work for) curriculum stream for kids who have just finished bilingual kindergarten. I'll be teaching the same couple of kids for six months and there is no Chinese teacher in the class with me like with the other classes I teach. This means that for six months at least, I'm solely responsible for the success or failure of these kids English education. Yip, I'm nervous. It starts in 3 1/2 hours. Pray for me if you want :)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Do you like the new look?

I changed my blog 'skin' and think it looks a touch more professional. I've also added some links at the bottom of the right section of the page (If that's not too confusing...). Go have a look and see what sites I like to visit.

Friday, August 27, 2004

This one is a bit arb, but I liked the way the water droplets beaded on the fabric. The material is actually cream but I used Picassa's correct function which totally upped the contrast. It looks better this way, I think. Posted by Hello


From a purely selfish point of view, the typhoons were disappointing. There wasn't much wind, although it did rain a lot. It wasn't half as bad as it looked up in space! However, I'm sure many lives were saved, much money was kept and the bonus was I got a day off school!!!


Glen [click here to visit his blog] sent these to me. Pretty funny. I distilled them.

1. Two antennas meet on a roof, fall in love and get married.
The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I've lost my electron."
The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive..."

5. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

6. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

7. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

11. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

13. Apparently, one in five people in the world are Chinese. And there are five people in my family, so it must be one of them. It's either my mom or my dad, or maybe my older brother Colin or my younger brother Ho-Cha-Chu. But I'm pretty sure it's Colin.

Monday, August 23, 2004

2 big guys coming!!!

Check out the weather link below, becasue there are two typhoons coming Taiwan's way. They're big. Correction. The second one is HUGE. Currently the peak winds are up at 68m/s. That's about 250km/h. The swell in the ocean around this monster is at 12m. Glad I'm not in a boat right now!!! It's kind of exciting for an ex-resident of Jo'burg (probably the city with the best weather in the world).

Sunday, August 22, 2004

This is a pic of some metal structure at a park with a bit of sky in the background. It's my pic of the day. Posted by Hello

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I'm a horrible, deceptive teacher.

This is really silly and quite annoying. Today I was told that the parent of one of my younger students was 'quite mad'.

Why? Because I told her little daughter that my name was 'monkey'. Now granted, the nuances of sarcasm aren't appreciated until the ages of say 15 or so, but me calling myself a monkey is hardly subtle sarcasm nor persuasive deception on my part. It's a strange girl who believs that her teacher is a monkey because he says so with a big joking grin. Ahh well. I'll put that down to another strange cross cultural mess up. In fact, the girl seems quite normal. I'm not sure the same can be said of the parent.

Hold on. It just occured to me... What if the girl didn't know what a monkey was. Then she would believe me and then her mom would be annoyed. Now I get it.

But it's still frivilous. CHILL OUT PARENTS!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Just a quick hi

Haven't posted in a week!!!
I'm trying to cut down on my computer usage as it takes SO much of my time. Anyway, I'm well and getting into a fairly decent routine at long last. Nothing special to report though. Hope you are all well!
Took this one last night on the roof of my apartment. There was an air vent pipe I peered through to get the effect. I'm trying to take at least one decent photo a day. We'll see how that goes! Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Check out my weather

Hi guys. There is currently a typhoon passing by taiwan. You can see the satelite pictures of my current weather by visiting the link below anytime.

click here for weather

That's all, bye!!


I was so tired after teaching 8 hours today and having minimal sleep last night that I went to bed at 10 pm. Now it's 1:35 am and I'm WIDE AWAKE!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

This one was a bit pricey, but looks good next to my computer. Posted by Hello
This purple orchid is EVERYWHERE in taiwan. It's an attractive flower, so I'm glad about that. Posted by Hello
I bought some flowers. I think they're nice. Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 08, 2004

We went for a night swim at Craig's apartment after our arb visit to 'encore' gardens (stupid name really, because no one who goes there will willingly return). As we were finishing up, Craig slipped and messed up both his chin and leg. He was in a lot of pain when I left him last night, I hope the guy is OK... Posted by Hello
Don't ask me what 3 ostriches were doing there... This one, like the rest, wanted to bite anyone too close to the fence. Posted by Hello
The gardens were pretty, even if they were quite unkempt (I'm sure I've heard that word before). Posted by Hello
Yesterday we all went to 'encore gardens'. I'm sure it WAS a rocking place to be... back in 1982. It cost 470NT to get in. Very arb, I must say. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Another 2 floaters

Hmmm, why are all my fish dying???? The water temp is 28 degrees, I'm feeding them and I've got plenty of moving water, oxygen plants etc. This doesn't make sense

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

If someone had told me a few moths ago that I'd be voluntarily drinking ice cold, milky, sweet tea with black gooey lumps of sweet potato starch in it, I would have told them to go away and bug someone else with their nonsense. Yet here I am with my favourite taiwanese drink, drinking away happily. Just shows - you should probably try everything at least once Posted by Hello

No more dead fish today

Maybe my fan worked...

Taiwanese people are lovely...

I wrote this on a paper serviette while I was doing some marking in a Starbucks Coffee shop up the road.

I'm totally charmed by these people! They are polite and graceful, yes, but the thing that really gets me is the way they love their children. I'm watching a sweet girl of about 10 years old just enjoy being with her mom. There is a lot of physical love between them and one can see that mom and daughter are good friends. It's very touching. I see this all the time in this country.
Not only do parents and children love each other, but so do men and women, especially those my age. They just really seem to appreciate one another and regard each other as equals.

I thought they might be a little too hot, so I've got this fan going now. We'll see what the body count is in the morning. Posted by Hello
This is a sad picture. After all the money I spent on that dang fishtank, my fish are dying like... (no analogy fits) Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 01, 2004

I was given some fish and then realised 'hey I don't have a fishtank'. I didn't have the heart to flush them down the toilet, so on a whim I went out and bought a fishtank at 10:30 pm. Here is one of the little guys who brough about my partial financial ruin this month... Posted by Hello