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Archive for August, 2006

Last week, I was hanging out with two of my best friends in Taiwan- Martin and Nathan. Both of them are philosophy majors, strangely enough. Anyway, the conversation turned to will power, somehow, and Martin told me that my experience gaining weight over the last few years was eye-opening for him. He’d never even considered that it could be difficult for reasonably intelligent and motivated people to keep from gaining weight. Martin, of course, is a skinny bastard. continue reading…

This last week has been a blur. I’ve been moving and working like crazy getting ready for my next job. Unfortunately, moving left me without an internet connection for a few days. continue reading…

Today, I was shocked to hear my friend Nathan tell me my picture was in this month’s issue of Time magazine.
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I’ve never been a fan of secrets. I hate it when they’re kept from me, and I hate keeping them. In this case, though, I’ve had no choice. continue reading…

Since my trip to the mainland, I’ve been mulling over my impressions of Shanghai and Beijing, and how they compare to the closest thing to a big city Taiwan has- Taibei. Before my vacation, I had a really distorted view of what the mainland was like. Living in Taiwan, I haven’t really had access to much mainland media, and everything in the papers here is pretty negative. Anyway, this is what saw in Beijing: continue reading…

I didn’t go on any trips today. I didn’t do anything special. Nothing exciting happened at work. In short, it was an ordinary day that would be easy to forget. But somehow, it was wonderful. I woke up around 11AM to my alarm clock playing a song I like. After grabbing a bite to eat, I headed into work. My students gave me about 70 books last class, but it wasn’t a problem. I’d already graded them all on Friday night, after work. With half an hour before class, all I needed to do was print up their ranking sheets and visualize how my lesson would go. I chatted a bit with Dan, and then I went into class, relaxed and unhurried. continue reading…

Since my trip to the mainland, I’ve been mulling over my impressions of Shanghai and Beijing, and how they compare to the closest thing to a big city Taiwan has- Taibei. Before my vacation, I had a really distorted view of what the mainland was like. Living in Taiwan, I haven’t really had access to much mainland media, and everything in the papers here is pretty negative. Anyway, this is what saw in Shanghai: continue reading…

Oh, how I’m starting to hate you, Netbank. First it was putting a block on my card because it looked “suspicious” when I, an American, left Taiwan to go back and visit my family in Colorado and used my debit card within a two mile radius of their address which you mouth-breathing idiots have on file! After that there was a brief respite from really bad service for a while. It ended when I got stranded in Shanghai with no way to get at my money thanks to the skull-brained set of regulations that herd of ass-ponies you refer to as “customer service reps” follow.

Oh, sure there may have been the occasional odd annoyance during that lull. continue reading…

I’m writing this guest post to complement Mark’s advice on how to make more money as a teacher. As he says, one way is to get a better job in a hardcore Buxiban; another is to teach private lessons. I earn 1,000 NT an hour from many of my lessons, and it’s often, I feel, much more interesting work than teaching kids. This post describes how I run my private tutoring “business”.
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As I’ve written before, my school is in the process of finding another teacher. Unfortunately, most of the candidates so far have been woefully unqualified. So, I went into Taibei to put up some recruiting advertisements around some of the bigger Mandarin schools for foreigners.

After that, I hung out with Martin for a bit and went bowling with him and a bunch of the guys from Modawei. While there, I saw a neat sign above the urinals in the bathroom. It said:

請你往前一點. 你的一小步清潔的一大步.

Who comes up with this stuff? I love it.