Monday, July 7, 2008

there is only one thing

from today on, i'm going to start writing down all of the engrish things i've been seeing. there are so many things that make me giggle throughout the day. lots of hilarious store names. product names. today i saw 'fancy dress' on a bag. that's a bad example though. anyway i'll keep track of them and share as i get a handful at a time.

i wanted to tell you weird things about taiwan since i haven't been talking much about the country itself.
--stinky tofu. it has 'stinky' in the name, but that doesn't even come close to describing it. it's like the worst smelling feet you've ever smelled, and you smell it from literally hundreds of feet away. it's kind of the smell of the whole city. that and..
--durien. i can't find a wikipedia article about it, but someone's random blog i found says 'It's described as an asian fruit that smells like rotten flesh and tastes wonderful and sweet.' it does smell like rotten-something or other. it's gross. there's a big section of it in Carrefour. gross.
--whitening cream. the ladies here think that having pure white skin is the height of beauty, so a lot of the products contain bleaching agents. i tried to find little disposable washcloth things today, but i couldn't find anything that didn't have 'white' written on it.
--no tipping. there's no tipping in asia! they find it insulting. it's great.
--an extreme respect for the elderly. if an elderly person gets on the bus, the first 6 people at the front immediately hop out of their seats. i talked to the cool WOW class about that thing where they say if you ask a chinese man if he would save his drowning wife or mother, he always chooses his mother and american men usually choose their wives.
--ghost month. it's in august of the lunar calendar and it's when all of the relatives come back from the hell and you have to appease them. during ghost month, you aren't supposed to hang your laundry out to dry or go swimming because they might try to pull you under.
--sun umbrellas. they're everywhere. everyone has them. they're like regular umbrellas but with silver metallic lining. i haven't broken down and bought one yet, but i think i'm almost to that point.

speaking of sun protection, i've been wearing my sunglasses and listening to my ipod a lot while i've been walking around lately, and i've been pretending i'm a celebrity. i think the only way not to let it get to me when so many people are staring at me is to turn it into a game. for some reason, the sunglasses make me feel like someone who's trying to be incognito but it doesn't work because you're soo noticeable. it's fun for now. we'll see how long it lasts.

today was pretty good. i woke up late again and went to Latini's for lunch. i had spaghetti with white wine and clams. it was pretty good. i did my lesson plans while i was sitting there which was nice. this family next to me kept looking at me but i didnt care because the atmosphere in there is so nice. it's decorated with big black and gold accessories and they play really pretty, fun music like mambo italiano and old-style music like that. the food isn't greaaat but the atmosphere is worth it.
it was pouring down rain all afternoon which was kind of nice. it makes you feel so cozy. i got to school really early and this co-teacher named chelsea was talking to me. she's only been here 2 months and she had a million questions. she seems nice.
my little kid class was so adorable tonight. we played duck duck goose and they didn't really understand the concept at first. and they couldn't remember the word 'goose' so they would say 'duck.. duck.. duck.. duck.. ... ...' and just stand in back of the person until one of us reminded them that it was 'goose!' and then some of them would take off immediately and some would just linger around. that class is really warming up to me. i got a new stamp in lieu of signing my name on everything and they loved it. it's hello kitty, fuchsia, and says 'excellent!'. the other big news in that class is that Tiger changed his name to Bill which makes me sad. i guess word got out that Tiger is not a real name. Jerry still lets me call him Jellyfish though, thank goodness.

that's pretty much it. i bought fun things at Carrefour today that i'm excited about. whipping cream and peaches, garlic butter, chocolate chip cookie mix with English instructions on the back (double bonus), stuff to make pasta salad with, and a new razor since mine was thrown away in the great shower cleaning of 2008.
time for bed!


Anonymous said...

I think you should put a picture of Goldy Hawn in your wallet and flash it around like she's your mother. Then they'll really think your her daughter and someone famous or photo shop yourself in with her. i'm loving reading your blog. Grandpa Jack would be getting a kick out of it too! AP

Anonymous said...

Good post Meg!

I felt like you last night. I got to Heathrow late and missed the last train to Picadilly Circus. I asked some Sikh dude if the bus went there because the busses are close to the Undeground. He told me what bus it was and for 2 pounds I was on my way. I should have guessed something so cheap was a hint. It took me over an hour and at 1:30 am I finally checked into my hotel. The dang bus stopped at every block between the airport and downtown. My hotel is just down the street from the Texas Embassy restaurant that I think you visited.

Tonight is curry. I can hardly wait!

Checkout It's one of Charles favorites. Maybe you can post a pic.

Love, faj

Jessica said...

Hey Meg, Glad to see that your adventures in Taiwan are going well. Here's a link for a wiki article on durian fruit. They have signs at the front door of all the hostels and hotels in Thailand saying no Durian fruit: