Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm a bad person

It's true.

I should be posting to the blog more often. I should be taking lots of pictures. I should be documenting and taking in all of what I'm doing here in Taiwan, and then communicating it with all of you back home.

But I'm not.

Instead, I'm working tons of overtime, and eating at 7-11 too much because by the time I'm off work, everything's closed. I'm sick because of the pollution, and I have to walk in it, sucking it all in, instead of buying a scooter like everyone else, and contributing to the pollution. But at least then I can wear a helmet and pollution mask.

I don't know. Sorry. I'll try and get on the pictures soon. We FINALLY bought a fridge. A wonderfully nice client from where I work drove us out to the 'used' section of town (because I can barely read a map), and spoke for us, and read, and bartered for us, and now we have a fridge.

I'm completely illiterate. I can't read or write. I can't speak the language. I can't take care of myself here. I can't buy food, let alone a fridge! I guess everyone should experience illiteracy at least once in their life, but I've got to get off my ass and figure this shit out now!

Truth is, Danielle and I have been working at our Chinese as well as our 10-hour workdays will allow. I'm beginning to understand the written aspects, and Danielle the oral aspects, of Chinese. We joke that together, we make one Taiwanese person....Truth also is that most expats here never bother to learn Chinese at all. One guy we bought a few household things off of has a Taiwanese girlfriend and has been here 5 years, but is unable to say "He's coming" in Chinese. That says so much about foreigners' own arrogance and insensitivity. Because Danielle and I can say "bichon lu cha" (passionfruit green tea) and "gee pai" (chicken chop, a type of 'boxed lunch'), we're considered "hardcore" at Ben's restaurant.

Actually, all of a sudden, Danielle can say and ask all sorts of things. It happened overnight. She can ask questions about when or where the bus is going, and how much something costs, and she usually understands the answer! I'm in awe. Just don't tell her!!

NEways, enjoy your many days, and pray for rain here. It keeps the pollution down and temperatures low.


geekymarie said...

Can't you wear a pollution mask when you're walking?

Good job on learning the language. I can imagine it can get upsetting to be illeterate. Heck, I get frustrated trying to speak in Spanish because there are things I don't know how to say. So yeah, I can imagine it must be much more upsetting for you.

another-freak said...

hahaha! I guess Danielle's language skills are just better than yours. Not everyone is good at languages, and the fact that she already speaks both English and French just means that she's already somewhat adept that mulitlingualism. Makes it much easier than for someone who's completely unilingual.

And it doesn't help at all that Chinese is so completely different from English and French

Don't get discouraged though!

Kara said...

congrats on the fridge! too bad you eat at 7-11 all the time and, i would assume, never put anything in it ;)

stay safe.

have a happy time


James said...


Almost no 7-11 now, except that we're trying to complete our collection of
Fridge Magnets.

Oh, and it's WAY too hot here to wear a mask without benefit of a cool breeze from a scooter.