September 17, 2010 9 Comments
Thanks for posting that, Jackie
…Adventures in Asia
July 22, 2010 3 Comments
One of the most unique things about Taiwan is its garbage.
Or rather, its garbage collection (although I’m sure you’d find some pretty funky stuff in its garbage too).
First, there is the Maiden Call (9:30pm on the button in my neighborhood):
(I take no credit for the production of that video, but it was masterfully executed )
…Then, the garbage minions duly arrive.
You must separate plastic bottles from other plastic, cardboard, paper, and your old rotting foodstuffs. This is all highly confusing to the wee foreigner even after a year’s time, but the friendly recyclables collection men are always there to help.
I have to say, as annoying as it is in many ways (ie: the awful tinny music that is everywhere to be heard around the entire island of Taiwan; the mysterious dearth of public trash bins around the city; the fact that I’m roused out of my room on the 6th floor with no elevator at 9:30 at night; the fact that I *ewww* have to touch my trash), the system works and it really makes you conscious of the waste you produce every day. Back home in the US, it is very easy to be blind to all of the crap I throw out–and usually not separated in to the proper bin either; just throw it in the trash bag, put it on the side of the road and–like magic!–it’s gone! The recycling system Taiwan has managed to implement is really remarkable. When there is a trash bin to be found, there is usually a recycling bin right next to it. All of the waste bins on my university’s campus are separated into four different types, with only one actual “trash” bin. Taiwan also charges a small fee for every plastic bag used in grocery stores, convenient stores, etc. In addition, there are also special blue garbage bags I have to purchase in order to be able to throw out my trash (no charge on recyclable products).
I’m not sure if a similar system could work in the US, but small things–like a tax on plastic bags (which some places have already implemented) or a tax on garbage bags (but not recyclables) could perhaps go a long way.
July 20, 2010 4 Comments
Somebody’s been funkin’ with my qi.
Twelve days and counting ’til the end of my Taiwan saga and I’m looking at it two ways: Either someone up there wants me to leave now or he/she doesn’t want me to leave at all.
Evidence? It’s been a rather series of unfortunate events for me around here lately.
1. Lost my phone
2. Lost my credit card…again (that one hurt)
3. Got stuck on public transportation one day for much longer than I had intended
4. Stomach problems every other day…I’m scared to eat food now because of it, but I’m always hungry. Mostly annoying because it has been putting a cramp in my last-minute-to-do plans which include eating every last weird Taiwanese dish I can. I’ve also had to cancel a few outings with friends and other travel plans.
5. Searching in vain every half hour on craigslist.org for school-year housing in DC, but no renters seem to want to respond to my inquiries.
Ay caramba. Obviously, life isn’t so bad right now. Just taking it slow, like summer should be, studying a bit more of Chinese and trying to enjoy the final days here. For example, I watched a couple of Taiwanese films during the past two days: “The Wedding Banquet” (“喜宴”) and “Eat Drink Man Woman” (“食物男女”), both directed by Ang Lee back in the early ’90s. Would highly recommend both.
In the meantime, I will keep trying to get my life force back on track.
And, I thought I would share, I have also determine the two quintessential necessities for keeping cool in Taipei heat:
1. Cold noodles 涼麵
There’s the homemade kind and the super-handy 7-11/generic convenient store brand. Either, IMO, is extremely tasty! One bowl makes a great breakfast, lunch, dinner or midnight snack.
2. Watermelon juice 西瓜汁
I swear I must drink at least two 12-16oz. cups of these per day. Always ordered with no extra sugar (nasty), just straight-up pulverized watermelon for me. One cup will cost between $20-40NT. Extremely refreshing–and not to mention healthy–on a hot day!
3. …Well, honestly, AC doesn’t really hurt either.
June 7, 2010 Leave a comment
I live in small neighborhood in Taipei marked by the MRT stop that was built there. Linguang 磷光 is a relatively quiet area, with a small expat population and no major shopping areas. In fact, it is so quiet that even the Taipei taxi drivers often don’t know where it is. Just this past weekend a taxi driver tried taking me and my boyfriend in a completely opposite direction at 2am until I hollered that he was going the wrong way and pointed him in the proper direction–whether he was attempting to scam us or sincerely didn’t know, he at least was apologetic and didn’t charge us for the extra mileage. This wasn’t the first time that happened.
In any case, I like my little off-the-radar neighborhood. There’s nothing particularly special about it, but it’s homey and about as local as you can get in the city. These are some of the places I frequent often, maybe one day you will too!