Monthly Archives: November 2004

A Few Things

First of all, more on our Thailand beach trip.

It was excellent. We ate a ton, including a special Thanksgiving buffet (we were staying at an American resort; besides having tasty Turkey Day vittles, the place also featured tall doorways and high-up-on-the-wall shower heads and the like, which was fabulous since I crack my noggin at least three times a day here on the miniaturized Taiwanese infracture here).

We also did a lot of lounging by the pool; smiling Thai attendants brought us fresh slices of pineapple, cool, lemon-scented face cloths, etc. It was really great. And it was tough coming back to industrial Kaohsiung. I can tell you that for sure.

So. Other stuff:

–The Jayhakws’ “Rainy Day Music” is a fabulous album. Just so you know. I’ve had a copy of it (courtesy of Chris D. via Sheila B.) for nearly a year, but have only just recently begun to appreciate it.

–Today a girl in one of my classes, Emily, received a call on her mobile phone; the thing beeped and she looked embarassed and said sorry and reached into her pocket and switched it off. Guess how how old she is.

Eight.

Eight years old.

And she’s got a cell phone.

“Hack Yourself” is an insightful, if unfortunately named, tract on achieving happiness.

–Funny: “The Jerry Seinfeld Dictionary of Terms and Phrases.”

What I Miss from Home

Mike W. writes to ask what I miss from home. He wonders if I have a longing for NPR. Nope, Mike, I don’t. I love NPR for sure, but I don’t miss it here. Perhaps because it’s at my fingertips whenever I get a hankering for it.

There are a few things I find lacking in Taiwanese life, though. Here’re a few, in no particular order. (Note that I’ve omitted obvious choices like friends and family.)

–Speaking Spanish. I loved being able to communicate with people in Ecuador last year. My Chinese, on the other hand, is god-awful.

–Speaking English. With strangers. And not feeling, every day of my life, like Bill Murray’s Bob Harris in “Lost in Translation.”

–Good daily newspapers, like my two favorites, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

–ESPN’s Sportscenter. In English.

–Public transportation. Don’t get me wrong; I love scootering about. But DC’s Metro is truly excellent.

–Cooking. Our microscopic kitchen is equipped only with a hot plate. Not conducive to my culinary wizzardy.

–And speaking of which, a few food items that you can’t get here: Cheesesteaks. Big, fresh salads. Good fried chicken. Cole slaw. Pecan pie.

Sigh.