Saturday, December 27, 2008

Upcoming Rap Concert

Hey everyone,

Well, I hope you guys had a good Christmas. Christmas here is a little different. Some people and stores put up Christmas decorations, and also some people exchange gifts. Other than that I would say its just another day here. I mean the people here will say merry Christmas, but the stores, schools, and everywhere else is still open.

Anyways, I wanna tell you about a rap show I'll be going to in Taipei on Dec. 31st. Now, you guys know about 2 months ago I saw Lil Jon which was awesome. Well this time I'll be going to see Three 6 Mafia! Lil Jon and Three 6 Mafia are my two favorite, and who would have ever thought I would see them here in Taiwan!? I had no idea Three 6 Mafia was coming here until yesterday morning when my friend sent me a text telling me that. As soon as I read it I was looking for hotels in Taipei. Unfortunately, most of the hotels are booked/overpriced because in Taipei they always have a huge fireworks show for the New Year at Taipei 101 (tallest building). I wouldn't mind going to see that too, but I want to see Three 6 Mafia instead. What I plan on doing is going to Taipei Wednesday afternoon hang out for a little bit then go to the club where they will be at. Then when the show is over just take a bus back home. It will be pretty late, but I don't mind.

If liked Three 6 Mafia since middle school, so they have been around for awhile. All of my friends and I like them too. Another cool this is that they are also from Tennessee. I just think it will be fun to go to. I'll take lots of pictures and show you guys. Here is the website for you guys to look at. I hope everything is going good and I will talk to you later.

http://www.luxy-taipei.com/

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Hey guys,

I hope you have a good Christmas. It's Christmas here, but it really doesn't feel like it. For one thing its about 80 degrees here right now.

Ok, I will talk to you guys later on.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Giant Buddha


Hey guys,

I just wanted to talk about my experience with the Buddha statue. I just want to say that it really was huge. It was sitting down, and I heard there will be 2 new Buddhas built that are even larger than this one in different countries. This one was at the top of a mountain, and you can get here several ways. One way is to hike from the bottom of the mountain up to statue. It looks like a really nice hike because you would get to see beautiful mountains and the trail is paved too. I would say it would take a good 2 - 3 hours to do. Another way to get up is driving which is normal, but the other way to get up there was with a sky tram. I actually forgot what it is called, but you guys know what I am talking about. It was really nice becuase I got see pretty views.

Also over there you can do a little gift shopping and stuff of course. There is a monastery next to the Buddha which everyone visits. This is why the Buddha was created in the first place, because the monks wanted to have one. I went to the monastery and had a vegan lunch. It was a little less filling than what I am use to, but still it was good.

Overall, my time up there at the mountain was nice. I was glad I got to go there because I have seen pictures of it, and I've heard it was a nice place to visit.

Ok well, I hope you guys are doing good. Christmas is coming up soon, but over here it doesn't feel like it. I will talk to you guys later on.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hong Kong




Hey everyone,

I'm back from Hong Kong. I had a great time there, and I really liked Hong Kong. I thought there was a lot to do there. Well, maybe because it was my first time there. Some things I did was go see the Giant Buddha, go the "The Peak" which is on top of a mountain on the island Hong Kong, and I also saw "The Symphony of Lights". The Symphony of Lights was pretty cool because you would go to the other island, Kowloon, and watch all the buildings on the Hong Kong island light up and play along with some music. I kept thinking how did they do that because there were maybe 20 buildings all in sync with music playing.

I thought the people there were pretty nice and all that kind of stuff. Hong Kong is a cool place because in one area you can do all the shopping you want, in another area you can go to the beach/hiking/camping, in another area you can see traditional Hong Kong stuff, and in another area you can see all the business people walking around. I think it was cool seeing all the businessmen walking around the huge buildings, and I just kept thinking what was there job and that kind of stuff.

I would say I could have spent a week there checking out other stuff. I was only there for 3 days, so I just got to see a little bit. Anyways, I can tell you more about it later on but here are some pictures.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Favorite Restaurant in THE WORLD!

Hey guys,

I think I have been holding out on you because I haven't told you guys about my favorite place to eat in the world!

Let me try and explain it. It is a buffet BBQ restaurant. You can stay as long as you want, and they are open until 2 A.M. There are a lot of different style BBQs with these restaurants. For example, one is they put a grill on your table and you cook on that. Another is you put the food on a pan which is heated by stones. You can have your choice. Also, I forgot to mention the price is really really cheap. Well, I think it is cheap for what it is. It costs about $12.00. I mean its a buffet, and these types of restaurants in the US don't cost $12.00. They should be a lot more expensive.

The food you can eat here is for everyone. If you love seafood, you can get unlimited seafood. Are you a vegetarian? Don't worry, you can have grilled veggies. One of the things I like is the beef at the restaurants, so let me use beef as an example. I actually don't really care too much for beef, but the restaurants have different types of beef. I really only like the really thin flavored one. What I mean is if you want beef you would have to tell the waiter what type.

If you are in the mood for some strange food for Americans like intenstines and stuff they have that too. Also, you can with the buffet it inluces unlimited food and also unlimited rice, drinks, ice cream, and everything else. What I'm saying is that it is just a really good place to eat for your money.

Here are some websites to look at.

http://yayan.com.tw/yayan/menu1.html

http://buffet-monkey.com/main.htm

Oh and by the way, I will be going to Hong Kong for a few days, so I will post again when I get back. See you guys later!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

English Singing Contest

Hey guys,

Tomorrow I'll go to another English singing contest, but this one is suppose to be really popular. My friends told me the entire school goes to it.

I also will be going to Hong Kong next week. I am excited because I think it should probably be fun there. I don't know exactly what I will do yet, but I'll do tourist stuff. I won't stay long, so I have to make the most of my time. I'll take a lot of pictures to show you guys. When I know what I will do I will be sure to tell you guys. I think there might be a lot to do there for people going there for the first time.

What else has been going on...well, nothing else really. Ok, I will talk to you guys later on.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Country Cooking


PLAN B



Hello,

The other day I went out with my friends to one of their homes. She lives in Taichung County, and it is pretty nice out there. There's a lot of rice farmers out there.

Let me tell you what we did. We used her family's field and dug a big hole in the ground. We then had to dig up some dirt to make a wall going up. After that we would start a fire, and let it sit until the dirt we used for the wall was really hot. Then, we put the food in the hole. The food was sweet potatoes, chicken, corn, and another potato. We of course wrapped the food up so it wouldn't get dirty. Then, we smashed the wall to collapse it onto the food, and we would let it cook for a few hours. That was what we did, and it was a lot of fun. I got to hang out with some of my friends and have a good time.

When the time was up to check the food we all went out to see it. There was one problem...the food wasn't even close to being cooked. By this time, from start to finish it was about 4 hours. We then went to plan B which was a BBQ. We dug up all the food and unwrapped it and started to BBQ it.

It was a lot of fun and we played games and that kind of stuff. Here are some pictures.

The next day was graduation pictures at the school where my friends are. I took a lot of pictures with them which was fun. They do graduation a little different here in Taiwan. One of the things they do different is with pictures. I don't know about other universities in the US, but over here they take pictures according to departments, so for example, the English department would all take pictures together. Also, they all dress up a certain way for fun. My friends dressed up like scholars.

One more thing to talk about. I joined this hip hop dance club at school. It is a lot of fun. Everyone in it has been dancing for awhile. For me, it was my first time to ever learn how to dance, so I am really really really bad. My friends are in it too, so they help me out.

Ok that's it for now. Talk to you guys later.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Singing Competition

Hey everyone,

Today was the final round of the singing competition. I thought everyone did a pretty good job, and it looks like everyone wanted to have a good time. Sorry I still don't have any pictures yet.

It is getting colder here little by little everyday, and it starts to get dark around 5 PM here. Also, mosquitoes are biting me like crazy! Tomorrow I should have more interesting news because I will go out to eat in the county. I will take some pictures too.

I noticed that the rice fields here were harvested. From what I have seen, the farmers plant the rice. When they plant it they drench the field in water. It seems like the water doesn't soak in for awhile. I have passed this one field every week and for 3 weeks now and there is still water there. Maybe the farmer soaks it every day or something. Then it just seems like the farmers don't do too much labor. I will see them walking up and down in their fields, but I really haven't seen too many tools. Later, around this time of the year they get the rice, and they also burn their fields when they get all their rice. I was wondering how much do the farmer get for their rice? I also don't know too much how to farm and the plant, but from what I have seen, it seems like a rice farmer might require a little less labor than other types of farmers.

Ok guys, I will post some pictures later on. See you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hey Guys

Hello,

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I think I've been a little busy, and there hasn't been too much going on here. I'll give you a quick rundown of what I've been doing for these few days. I have been going to play basketball a little bit more. I will go alone and find people to play with. There are always people playing there, so it works out great. On the weekend, I rode my bike for about 3 hours total. I was pretty tired. I started off riding it on the busy streets, but then I was getting a little nervous after a car almost hit me. I started to ride on the roads next to the main street. Taichung (where I live) is set up pretty much like a grid, so it is pretty easy to get around. The only problem is that I can't read any signs. What else did I do...I went out with my friends which was fun.

On Thursday I am going to do something different. I don't know what it is called, but some of my friends invited me to go out for lunch, but the part that is different is how the food is cooked. They were trying to explain it to me but I haven't seen this style of cooking before. What I will do is dig a hole in the side of a hill and then start a fire in it. Then i will put the food in the hole once the fire dies down. Then I cover up the hole, but just the entrance of it. I don't know if it makes sense or not. They said it will take about 2-3 hours to cook depending on what the food is. Anyways, it sounds pretty good because they said we will have chicken and potatoes.

On another note. I sometimes play basketball here, and if you know me, I like to shoot 3 pointers. So when I'm playing here I usually always still do that...but it was just informed to me that the 3 pointers still only count as 1 point! The games people play here are 3 on 3 up to 6 points, and no matter where you shoot from it only counts as 1 point. I guess I wish I knew that earlier because I like to shoot 3 pointers. I thought it was funny though because I was playing a guy 1 on 1 and I thought I had won the game, but he said nope. I made 4 3 pointers in a row, then I said, is the game not over? He then said nope, and that's when he told me 3 pointers only count as 1 point.

Ok anyways, sorry if this stuff doesn't make sense. I will talk to you guys later on.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NICE!



Hey guys,

Today I judged a singing competition. I don't have pictures because I thought it would be weird if I took them and I am a judge. There was a photo girl there, and she said I can have the pictures when she gets them online. There were 22 competitors and they sang without music today. They only sang for 3o seconds, and the other judges and I had to score them. All of them were pretty good. I don't know if you guys know it or not, but karaoke is really really popular here. The majority of people love to sing, and they are really good at it. At the end of the night, half of the people were eliminated because their scores were the lowest.

Next week the reaming people will sing a full song with music. It is kind of fun I think. It gives me something to do, and also meet new people.

There is something excited though...on the way home...I SAW A FERRARI!!! It was awesome. Luckily I had my camera. I will tell you just a quick story about it.

I saw the Ferrari, and I pulled out my camera as soon as I could. Well actually, I heard it coming up behind my car. Then I looked to my left, and I saw it. It took me a second to realize what I just saw. By the way, I think Ferraris are so cool. Even if they are really expensive, I just think it cool. So I pulled out my camera and took the picture of it while it was in front of my car.

Then, my dad and I pulled up next to it at the stop light. Thank God for the stop light. I was luckily wearing one of my Ferrari jackets. It has the Ferrari logo on the right sleeve, so I looked at the guy driving the car and I pointed to my logo. He just nodded. Then I showed him my camera, and he said ok! He rolled up his window which I thought was cool. It means that he was too cool for the picture. Anyways I took it, then he drove off.

That is my story with the Ferrari. I was just kind of shocked to see it in Taichung (where I live). I didn't know people could buy Ferrari's in Taiwan. This particular Ferrari was also my favorite one. The red color Ferrari.

Ok guys, I will talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey guys,

I hope everyone enjoyed some food for Thanksgiving. You know here they of course don't celebrate it. I am going to go out tonight with Cherry to eat. Over here, they have my favorite type of restaurant in the world. Yea, even maybe more than Chick-Fil-A...I think. I can tell you guys about it later on, but maybe we will go there.

Tomorrow I am going to be a judge in a singing competition at one of the universities. I think the competition is like American Idol, and it seems pretty fun to do. It will only last two times, and tomorrow is just a warm-up I guess. Next week they will preform their entire songs in English. They asked me to be a judge and I thought it sounded fun. I'll try and take pictures of it and post them later on.

What else...you guys know I bought a bicycle right? Well, I ride it a lot over here. I really just ride it to play basketball, but at one of the universities they have a bicycle club and I think I might do it. I don't know though. I'll check it out. I kind of don't like riding my bicycle here at night because people drive crazy anyway during the day and at night it is even harder to see people.

Ok guys, I'll talk to you later about whats going on and stuff. See ya.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Locksmith

Hey guys,

Not too much going on here if you were wondering. Anyways, I found out on Sundays some people get together and play flag football at a university I go to play basketball at. I just happened to see them one day, and they asked me if I wanted to join them. There are a few Americans and the rest are Taiwanese. They are all pretty cool. It is just like flag football back home, and there are maybe like 6-10 that are usually there. I met this one guy there, and he is from NY. He is a pretty cool guy, but I have a story about him and his scooter.

He lost his scooter key while we were playing, and he doesn't have a spare one. I walked with him to go to a scooter shop for a new key. To make a long story short, a locksmith eventually came and made him a key right on the street. I thought it was pretty cool. He just handcrafted it on the spot, and it only took him maybe 10 minutes. It made me think...I wonder if its really easy to steal scooters here since he did it so quick.

I thought it was pretty interesting. I get to meet a lot of people at this school because it is pretty big, and I go there at least once a week to play basketball. Well, sorry if that wasn't too interesting, but there isn't too much else going on here.

See you guys later on.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Night Market Food



Hey guys,

I guess today I just wanted to tell you about some food at the night market. Well, first of all, there is a ton of food at the night markets. I would say half of all night markets are food and the other half is clothing.

I just wanted to tell you about some food I usually get. One of them is a chicken sandwich, but the chicken is cut into little pieces. The bread is toasted, and you can add stuff on it like cheese, lettuce, spicy sauce, and ketchup. The chicken on it is like a kebab style chicken. It isn't really like the chicken we are thinking of because this type of chicken is hanging on a rotating device and it is always heated. I think it is hard to explain. Anyways, I really like it, and it only costs $1.30. USD.

Another thing I get there is just a baked potato. You can add like 10 different things to it, but I just like it with bacon. Some other things you can put on it are cheese, corn, ham, tuna, and butter. It is really good and tastes just like how it does in Tennessee. It only costs $1.00 USD.

I also like buy bread there. There are a lot of different kinds. The kind I usually buy is just a sweet style bread, and its dirt cheap.

One more thing I like to buy are french fries. Have you guys ever tried sweet potato french fries? It is pretty good. Its sweet, and delicious. I have only had it here, but I'm sure you can buy it in the US. That is also really cheap. It is around $1.00 for a bag of it.

Something I wanna say about the food here is that they usually make it fresh for you while you wait. Everyone has the food set up and you tell them what you want and then they will cook it. Theres a lot of food here for everyone, so if you are a picky eater like me you will still enjoy it. One thing to remember...it might take a few months before your stomach likes the food. Ok see you guys later.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Haircut


Hey guys,

Yesterday I got a haircut. It is really different than what I would get, or anyone would get in Knoxville. I think it is common in big cities and stuff.

The barber doesn't really speak English, so she will just cut my hair. I am cool with her cutting it because I think she does a good job. It costs the same price for a haircut here with tea, massage, washing it, and putting stuff in it as much as it costs for just a 10 minute haircut in the USA. Anyways, I just think its hair, and it will grow back if I don't like it. I do have a problem with bad haircuts though. I mean in the USA for example. I mean, sometimes I will get a haircut and it will only take 15 minutes, and it will be bad! Thats why I like to cut my own hair too. It saves money, and I can do just as good or better as a lot of barbers. I think the lady that cuts my hair is nice and she does a good job. Oh, she also went to Taipei on Saturday to do hair for a movie. That is pretty cool I think.

I don't know maybe it is hard to see my hair in the picture, but a lot of people have been saying it looks like the David Beckham haircut. I guess it is different for my hair to be like this because I have to put stuff in it to make it stand up. Anyways, my hair grows back fast so in a month I won't be able to do it. I just like it because it is a little different.

Ok talk to you guys later on.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Bicycle




Hey everyone,

Hows it going? The other day I got my bicycle. It is a really nice one. I decided to go with one that is good for the road, and one that is also portable. I think it was a good idea I've heard bicycles get stolen a lot here. Whenever I go back to my home I fold it up and bring it upstairs. It is really convenient.

So first of all, there are a lot of different models that fold. There are also different brands too. I decided to go with Giant because I know its a good brand, and it is also made here in Taiwan so it is better quality than if it was made in China. I talked to some people that have a bike made in China and they said it needs a lot of repairs. I also was reading this folding bicycle on the web, and a lot of people said it is convenient for traveling. I mean around the city like going to school or something.

If you want to fold it, it only takes two steps. 1. fold the handles down and lock them. 2. fold the bike in half. After that, you can carry it anywhere you want. My bike is also really light. I am pretty excited about it, and I just wanted to show you guys.

Something good about my having a bicycle here is that I can get around easy. I can't drive here because I don't have insurance. I will take a taxi sometimes, but riding a bicycle is nice. The weather here is usually good too.

Ok I will see you guys later.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Hey everyone,

It is starting to get a little bit colder here. When I say a little colder I mean instead of it being 80 something and really humid its maybe in the upper 70s and still humid. At night it gets a little chilly when I ride on the scooter. I like the weather here right now because its not cold to me and there is also a nice breeze. During the day it is really hot, so I will wear shorts, but at night it gets cooler so I might wear pants.

Last night I went out to eat, and at the restaurant I ate some really really good chicken. It reminded me of something from P.F.Changs maybe. It was Kung Pow chicken. I don't know how to spell it. It was a little spicy and very delicious. It was cooked with peanuts and other stuff, and I have to say that it reminded me of something I would order in a restaurant in the US.

Oh yea, I thought I would tell you guys somethings you should get use to if you were to come here. I thought of a lot, but I actually can't remember most of them.
1. Some toilets are only a hole in the guard. It is really common in a lot of countries not just Taiwan.
2. The entrances to the bathroom have no doors. For example, in the guy's bathroom anyone can look inside of it and see you washing your hands or using the urinal.
3. People don't move out of the way for the ambulance or police cars. The police and ambulance have to move our of everyone's way even if there is an emergency.
4. Spiders are as big as my hand!
5. Every classroom uses a microphone, so when we were in school our teacher would have been holding a microphone while he/she spoke.
6. A lot of electronics aren't cheaper. I don't know if its true with everything, but for example Apple computers are the same price. The same thing with the brand Giant Bicycles. Other electronics are still the same like cameras, mp3 players, dvd players, and stuff.
7. People use the peace symbol with their fingers a lot. It means they are happy when they take the picture.
8. Everyone, including businesses take a lunch break at the same time. So that means schools from elementary to college and everyone else. You can still go inside the business and shop, but they will be eating lunch.

Thats all that I can think of for now. I know a lot more stuff, but I forgot it.

Talk to you guys later on.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Travel


This is a rice field, but maybe it is hard to see.

Hey guys,

So hows everyone doing? Obama won, and it has been on the news here. I had a feeling he would win because he was everywhere. I mean he was in songs, magazines, tv, and lots of other stuff. I know McCain was too, but I don't know how to explain it but I just felt that the majority of everyone wanted Obama to win. I actually did know too much about McCain or Obama. The only thing is that I really know is from what people have told me.

Anyways, I wanted to talk to you guys about my future traveling ideas. Well, I have a long list of places I want to see in my lifetime. Since I am in Taiwan, it makes it a little easier and cheaper to travel to countries near here. I am planning on going to Hong Kong/Macao for about 5 or 6 days in December. I haven't made any details yet like hotels and the date, but I will soon. I know of one place I want to go to in Hong Kong which is a huge Buddah. It is pretty famous, so I want to check that out. I will also go shopping and sight seeing, you know that kind of stuff. In Macao, I plan on gambling again. I hope I win.

So that is one plan I have, and after that I want to go somewhere else. I don't know when but soon, I want to go to the Philippines. I think it should be fun to go there and check things out. After that I want to go to Japan. My friend lives there and said I can visit him, and he lives in Tokyo too which is cool. So those are my 3 travel plans that I have.

Maybe you guys remember me telling you but I also want to go to two more places. One is Thailand and the other is Bali. I think both should be really fun. Bali is a really nice beach place. I really love the beach. I think I like it the most out of all the types of places like the city, country, and the mountains.

I still plan on traveling around Taiwan more. My top three next stops that I want to go to are a beach in southern Taiwan, hot springs in the mountains, and to eastern Taiwan for beaches and moutains. I hope to do that soon.

What else is there? Oh, I plan on buying a bicycle this month. It should be very useful here. Another thing about bikes here are that there are a ton of different styles. I mean not just mountains bikes. There are bikes for every situation you can think of. Some bikes are cheap of course, and some cost as much as a new scooter. I guess to make things short there are two types of bikes I am looking at. One is for the roads. Of course theres a lot of different styles and brands and prices for every type of bike. I figured I won't be going to the mountains to ride, so I should buy one mainly for the road. The other type of bike I am looking at is also for the road, and I really like this one. It might look strange to us at first because I have never seen it in Knoxville, but it is really small. You would think its for a kid, but its for adults. The thing is is that you can fold it and carry it with you. It was made for the city and also so you can carry it inside your home or subway. Its pretty cool, and there are different styles and kinds to this too. One of the problems I have heard about bikes here is that they get stolen pretty often, so thats why I was thinking about the small bike. The only problem with the small bike is that it is harder to go longer distances because there aren't as many gear and the tires are maybe like 1/3 of a normal bike's tires. I will have to check it out more and see. I thought it would be cook to bring the little bike back home to Knoxville, but I don't know.

Ok well, I will talk to you guys later on. See ya.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Traditional Market


Hey guys,

Tonight I went to a traditional night market. I like it there. Its different from the other night markets for some reasons. One is that it is a lot smaller and the vendors aren't spread out. I like that because it makes it seem more crowded. The vendors still sell the same stuff like clothing and food, but one thing that the traditional night market has that I love are games!!! They have a bunch of them like shooting balloons with a gun, throwing darts, ring toss (my favorite), bow and arrow at balloons, throw a baseball at some targets, and several others. I spent about $20 on games tonight I have to say. I didn't mean to, but it just happened. I like to play all of them.

The ring toss is by far my favorite game. I'm not going to lie...today I won 8 prizes from it!!! That's pretty good. The ring toss is a little different than the ones back home. Here, you toss the rings on the prizes. So for example, there will be a lot of random prizes and if you want a toy you have to toss a ring on its head. It's actually pretty hard, and I think I just got lucky today. The prizes I won were just cheap toys though, but hey I still won a lot. The traditional market is fun, but if there were no games here I probably wouldn't enjoy it as much. Also, there were no foreigners there. Cherry told me they don't really go to traditional markets.

I forgot to mention that on Halloween I saw a terrible accident. I've heard that a lot of people on scooters get in accidents, and they do because I have seen several right infront of me. Also, cars will hit scooters, but drive off! It actually happens quite often at night. Well, it happened on Halloween and the guy on the scooter was knocked out. Blood was coming from his mouth and his body was twisted in a way it shouldn't have been. He was on the street knocked out. It was really bad. Whenever people get in accidents here, people always help them. People helped the guy on the scooter ASAP, but the car was no where to be found. It's pretty bad but it always happens.

Ok well thats it. Talk to you guys later.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween

Hey guys,

I hope everyone is having a good Halloween.

I guess Halloween is different here, but also the same. It's different because kids don's dress up and go door to door and get candy. It's the same in that people 18 years and older dress up and party. I didn't dress up, and I don't even know where to buy costumes.

I will tell you guys about my dad yesterday. First, Cherry and I went to this restaurant. She said it is a different place and it is kind of popular. I said sure lets go. I didn't know what to expect. One thing she did say was they the waiters dress up according to the holiday, so that's pretty cool. So we pull up to the restaurant and I notice that this place really is different. Oh yea, I forgot to mention its an Italian place which is ok because I will eat some pizza now. Well, we go there and EVERYONE is dressed up. Even the customers. Cherry and I are dressed like we should have gone to a nightclub because we were after we ate. The place had a little area of costumes so if you didnt dress up you could change there. Ok now let me try and explain the layout of the place. I really think it was maybe like 3 old houses combines into one. There were kitchens and stairs and rooms everyone. Theres about 2 million knick-knacks all over the place. I mean ALL OVER!!! Every wall is a different color, and also the tables are all carved out and then they put a scene inside the table out of random things like sand or plastic stuff. It was kind of cool because you could look at it.

Some of the chairs are beds. Not queen sized beds. They are more like I forgot what they are called...day beds? I don't know what but it looked comfortable. Anyways, I thought the place was different but I enjoyed it. So do you remember I said its an Italian place? Well, the don't have pizza. I had to try some new food. I don't know what it is, but I called it rice pizza. Its rice and whatever kind of style you want like chicken pizza, pepporoni, cheese. They had a lot of them. I tried it. I really did even though I was sure I wouldn't like it. Well, I didn't like it. It was just...not my thing. I ate like 10 bites though! So in short, the place is a cool place to try something different.

After that we met up with our friend Bobby. It was his last night out because he is moving to Colorado. We went to a place that I have never been to. It was a cool little place with a lot of foreigners. Mostly everyone was dressed up in a costume, so I felt a little out of place but no one cared. I thought it was pretty cool there. They played techno music instead of rap or pop music. I have to say that the costumes there were some of the best ones I have ever seen. I mean some of the costumes there looked like ones from a movie set. I wish I had my camera with me, so I could have taken some pictures.

So yesterday was a pretty cool day. Ok, I will talk to you guys later on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Driving


This is at a temple, and at first sight maybe you thought this is the symbol the Nazis also used? Well, its not. This is the symbol that is found throughout China and Taiwan and other countries that have Buddhist temples. The Nazis copied it and changed it a little bit, but I am not too sure on the history of them copying the symbol.

Hello,

I guess I have been getting a little lazy with posting. I will try and post more often.

Lately I have been going to school with my dad. He has a lot of classes, so we are busy going to school. I will walk around some of the classes and help his students with their work. He teaches some computer, writing, and speech classes. They students are starting to become more comfortable with me. At first, they were really shy and I think I was too with talking to them. Now they want to do things with me and that kind of stuff. Still today, some of the students are curious about me and will always ask me how old I am. I let them guess first. Every student has guessed between 16-20. No one has guessed that I am 23 yet. Once they figure out I am 23 they are like "Oh, cool!", and then they want to talk to me. Yesterday these girls thought I was 16 and I just said to myself, "Do I really look 16?" I don't think I do.

Today I am going to practice to parallel park. I can't do it. I guess in Knoxville I really never had to learn, but here if you can't parallel park, you shouldn't be driving. Taiwan is really different with driving than America. First of all, people don't drive on the opposite side here like in England. One main reason to why driving is different here than the U.S. is that I feel like there are no rules or respect when people drive. I am really serious. If someone wants to let's say, run a red light? They do it. What if someone is in the wrong lane and wants to go in your lane? They just keep getting closer and closer and closer until they are about 1 inch away from your car so you have to let them in. I haven't seen a policeman give out a ticket for driving yet. I think they are focused on other things. I guess its really hard to explain unless you are here, but just picture Chicago with only 1 driving rule...there are no driving rules! If I had to pick a rule that they follow it would be...I actually couldn't think of one. I tried to but I couldn't. I mean cars even drive in the other lane when there is heavy traffic just to avoid people in their current lane. What I mean is cars even drive in the oncoming traffic lane. Scooters are suppose to have their own lane, but that lane is small and sometimes they don't even have it. That lane is also the area where cars park, so scooters are in your lane all the time.

So anyways, I have seen crazy things while I have been in a car. Of course not every driver is like this, but a lot are. Ok talk to you guys later on.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some Food




Hey guys,

I hope everything is going good back in the states. It should be getting colder there right? Well, over here it is still around 80 something degrees everyday. At night it seems to be getting cooler, but it feels good. I think maybe it gets to around 70 something at night. It should be getting colder here soon. Depending on where you are in Taiwan, it will be colder. Where I am, it will be cold enough to wear a jacket and pants. Sometimes it cold enough to wear a sweatshirt and a jacket. If I lived further south, I think I might only need a jacket.

You know girls here are kind of the opposite of girls in America in terms of getting a tan. Of course not all the girls here are afraid of the sun. What Cherry told me is that a lot of people here consider it the less tanner you are the cuter you are. In America, I think a lot of people think the tanner you are the cuter you are. Anyways though, so when people ride on the scooters, even if it is 90 degrees outside, they are wearing jackets, gloves, and another jacket to cover their legs. They don't want to get a tan while on the scooter. When they reach their destination, they put all the extra protective clothing in their scooter. There isn't anything wrong with this; it is just a little different than what we are use to.

The other day I bought a nice fake leather jacet at the market. It reminds me of a Brad Pitt leather jacket. What I mean is is that he would wear it. I think its cool, and it looks nice. You can buy all kinds of stuff at the market. Since it will be getting colder soon, people are selling more winter clothing. I will show you guys a picture of it later.

I put some pictures up of some food. The first one is a chocolate bar from Russia. It was white chocolate, and it was really really good. The next picture is Pizza Hut. I thought maybe you guys would like to see their boxes in Chinese. The last picture is some duck! I like to eat duck meat, but I can't try the head. The head is suppose to be really really good, but the meat is good enough for me. I have more food pictures, but I can put those on later.

Ok talk to you guys later on.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jazz Festival


Hey guys,

There's not too much going on here, so I haven't posted in awhile. I have been going to school with my dad almost everyday, so I am busy doing that. Tonight I plan on going to the Jazz Festival here. It is pretty popular because people from all over the world come here and preform. I don't know what to expect yet, but I have heard there's a lot of people. It lasts for 2 weeks and this weekend is the last weekend. They play a wide range of music. I think they just call is the jazz festival because they don't know what to call it.

They play music from the symphony, Caribbean, and trumpet players. I mean there are a lot of different bands because several play everyday. It is a a huge park here with lots and lots of vendors and there are also several stages too. It should be pretty fun.

Other than that there's not too much going on. I hope everyone is doing good. Talk to you guys later.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Sweet Weekend
























Ok guys this is probably going to be a long post. ENJOY THE VIDEOS AND PICTURES!!! p.s. I don't know what videos I put on because I can't tell which ones they are until I post them. p.p.s. It takes awhile to upload the videos so I'm sorry if they aren't good ones, I got like 10 videos of the concert and like 30 pictures.

Sorry guys, but I tried to put more videos on but they are too big I think. I wish I could put more on because I have like 8 more.



video





video






So first I guess I will talk about what I did in Taipei. My first day i went to the northern part of Taipei. This is along the ocean and its different from the the main city of Taipei. Life here is still really busy, but it is more of a rural place (not really the rural we are thinking about). I should say it is more relaxed than the city life.

Let me also say that there is A LOT to do in Taipei. I have been there 3 times now and I still see thinks that I want to see. The thing about Taiwan and Taipei for example, is that you can drive down any street and there are things to see on every street. I'm serious! So Taipei has a subway system and its huge! In three days I only got to see like 5% of Taipei.



So on Friday I went bike riding along along the coast and it was very very nice. It was cheap to rent a bicycle, so I rented one for 2 hours. In Taiwan, it is very popular to ride bikes, and Taipei has a pretty good layout for bikes. Like I told you guys before, it is very popular here for people to bike around the entire country of Taiwan.

So after that I got a foot massage that hurt, and I also went shopping and played carnival types of games.

Saturday was a really nice day too. I went shopping at this market that is known for being a little cheaper than other markets. Cherry bought her outfit for the Lil Jon show. Saturday night was really exciting...I got to see Lil Jon. He was at this famous night club called Luxy. It is really nice in there. Cherry and I wanted to get there a little early to check it out and that kind of stuff. About 30 minutes after we got there, the place was so crowded you couldnt even really walk in there. Everyone was having a great time with the friends and stuff. Luxy is split into two different dance floors that I saw. One of them for hip hop and one for electronic music. I liked the hip hop area better, but both places where really nice. Another thing about Taipei is that there are lots of foreigners here. I know Taichung has some too, but there is a lot more in Taipei.

So Cherry and I wanted to get a good view of Lil Jon when he preformed. I guess I should say there is a stage where the DJ is and infront of him was the dance floor. Luxy is also pretty popular because I heard that Jay-Z even came and preformed here. Eventually Lil Jon came out and it was crazy. He sang all his hit songs and everyone was having a great time. He had another person with him but I forgot his name. He helped Lil Jon rap. Do you remember I said my friend had a VIP area? Well, Cherry and I wanted to be right next to Lil Jon. The VIP area was really nice too, it was along the dance floor, but I told Cherry I want to be as close as possible. Sometimes they would throw water at the crowd which was good because it was sooooo hot, but the bad news was that some water got on my camera and the lens wouldn't open. I fixed it though don't worry mom.

Oh, I should mention that before Lil Jon two Taiwanese rap groups preformed and they were really good. This one guy had dreadlocks like Lil Wayne which I thought was cool.

So this club reminded me one the ones from Las Vegas because it was really nice and there were lots of people in there. When the show was over I met up with my friend in the VIP section for a little bit then we all left. It was a really fun place. I'm glad Lil Jon came here because originally I was going to see Linkin Park with Cherry, but the lead singer got hurt and had to cancel all their shows in Asia and in Las Vegas. I was sad, but Lil Jon came instead!

On Sunday I went to a temple ontop a huge mountain. I had to walk up a lot of stairs and there were monks there too that live there. It was actually really busy here, but I didn't see any foreigners. Cherry told me they really don't go here. At the temple you can see a nice view of the entire city of Taipei, but if you go to a different spot you can see some mountains of Taiwan. At the temple you can also do some hiking. There is a lot of hiking and parks in Taiwan. I mean its 2/3 mountains. We couldn't go hiking though because it was going to get dark soon and the hike would take 2 hours easily one way.

After the temple we went to another market and they had some really good food. I guess when I saw a market in Taiwan you might think they are all the same, but they really aren't. They sell the same types of things like clothing and food, but everyone market is famous for something.

So anyways that was my weekend and I hope you guys enjoy the pictures and videos. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Exicted!!!


Hey guys,

I am pretty excited about the upcoming weekend! I will go to Taipei from Friday and come back on Sunday. I posted awhile ago about what I am going to do there, but I can tell you again. I will get there early Friday and check in the hotel and stuff. Then I think i will go to a little island close to my hotel. It should be nice. You can shop there and ride your bike around the island. When I am done there it will probably be night so then after that I will head over to a huge market and look at things.

Markets are really popular here, and I enjoy going to them to window shop and that kind of stuff. Then on Saturday I will go the a mountain early in the day and check that out. It should be nice because I have seen pictures of it on and it is really nice there. Then on Saturday night...LIL JON!!! Can you believe it? Yea thats right, Lil Jon is coming here! I am going go and see him. Unless my taxi or the subway goes of the rail then I won't go and see him. I am pretty excited about seeing him because I like him a lot. I am even more excited because originally on Friday I was going to see Linkin Park. Unfortunately, the lead singer got hurt so they canceled the concert. Instead Lil Jon is going to be here!

I also have a friend that said he might be able to help me out with a VIP room! Isn't that crazy??

On Sunday I plan on going to this other market and also checking out some old streets and buildings. I like to see that kind of stuff. There is a lot do in Taiwan and also in Taipei.

This weekened should be a lot of fun!

P.S. I tried to put a video up of my friend and his group rapping at a little concert we went to last night, but I think the video was too big. I put a picture of me instead being excited instead.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hi Folks


Hey everyone,

So how is everyone doing? I am pretty good. I just wanted to give you an update of what I am doing. First, I have to say that there really isn't too many jobs here for foreigners unless you can speak Chinese. If you could speak Chinese, I am sure you can get a good job here, or anyway in the world actually. So my options for jobs are limited to really only being a tutor or a teacher. Don't get me wrong. Being a teacher or a tutor is actually a decent job here. I mean with the money. You can easily make more than $15 an hour here. If you aren't getting paid that much, don't take the job and look at a different place because people here will pay you well for teaching English.

I actually don't teach at a school or something though. I did for a little bit, and I made really good money. There wasn't anything wrong with the school or the other teachers. I just wanted to do something else that's all. So if any of you were thinking about maybe teaching in a different country for a few months or a year I would say go ahead and do it because we are young and you won't get to do it when you are older. I didn't want to do it when I am 35 years old and married. I couldn't do that. I think it is a good way to travel and also figure out what you want to do with your future. You don't have to teach in Taiwan because lots of other countries want teachers.

Anyways, so what I do now is help my dad out. I go to classes with him and talk with the students. I consider myself something like a helper I guess. If a student needs some help with something I can help them. I like doing it because the people are really nice. So what I do is I go with my dad to school and stay there until we come home. At night I might hang out with my friends and that kind of stuff. I enjoy doing it, and it is what I want to do right now. It gives me a chance to hang out with my dad and stuff.

Oh about the picture....all I was thinking when I saw this was LOOK OUT BELOW!!! There were two guys putting up an AC I think and the ladder was pretty ratty too. I couldn't walk through it because the alleyway is only big enough for 2 people.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Over the Weekend






I did a few thinks this weekend and I wanted to show some pictures. I took a lot of pictures so I picked a few to show you guys.

First I went to this other town that is kind of close to my city. It was maybe 45 minutes away or something. It is a smaller place and they have lots of temples there. I took a lot of pictures of temple stuff. It was really nice there and there is a lot of details that goes into making the temples.

Next I went to this place called Kao May Marsh. It was a really nice place. It is also very windy there too. They have lots of wind turbines there. Those were cool to look at. At the marsh there are tons and tons of little crabs, so everyone there tries to catch them and look at them. There were lots of different kinds of crabs there. We stayed there until it was dark.

Along the way, I saw some guys standing on the bed of a truck while we were on the highway so I took a picture of them because I thought they are crazy.

The final place we went to was on the side of a mountain over looking the county of Taichung. It was nice because the weather was prefect, and at this spot you can order snacks and drinks. I had a chocolate waffle with some hot chocolate and looked out at the city lights. It was a really fun day and I wish you guys could have experienced it.

See you later.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

WHY!?!?!

Linkin Park Cancels Asia Tour

October 7, 2008

Linkin Park has been forced to cancel their upcoming Music For Relief Concerts in Mainland China, Macau and Taipei as lead vocalist Chester Bennington has sustained a back injury and is under doctor's orders to refrain from traveling or any physical activities. Linkin Park sincerely regrets this unavoidable cancellation and apologizes to fans for any disappointment caused. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

The concerts were organized as fundraisers to benefit Sichuan, an area ravaged by a devastating earthquake this past May. However, thanks to generous donations from concert promoter Emma Ticketmaster and Linkin Park, funds will still be contributed to the band’s nonprofit organization, Music for Relief, and matched by the World Bank. These funds will benefit post-earthquake reconstruction projects in the Sichuan Province initiated by Chinese Civil Society Organizations.

The cancelled shows are as follows:
Oct. 12 - Shanghai, China - Shanghai Stadium
Oct. 15 - Wuhan, China - Xinhua Stadium
Oct. 17 - Taipei, Taiwan - Taipei Soccer Stadium
Oct. 19 - Beijing, China - Beijing Workers Stadium
Oct. 21 - Macau, China Cotai Arena - The Venetian

The Fruit Market








Hey guys,

I thought I would put up some pictures of some fruit. Its really no big deal, but I thought maybe you would like to see some pictures. Fruit markets are really popular here, and there are plenty of them. Many people sell their fruit on the street or in a small open market. The fruit here is so cheap. I don't remember exactly how much things were but it was really cheap. For example, the picture directly above here is of hundreds of lemons. They are green, not yellow. Maybe they are limes too or maybe they aren't even lemons. I don't really know and I don't care because it tastes good in drinks. Okay, well it says 29 above it and I think it was something like 10 of them for $0.29 which is like...$0.0089 USD. The bananas were...a batch of them for like the same price or something like that. I don't know if every fruit market has prices like this one, but this is so cheap isn't it? Maybe it was because I went there around 10 PM at night and they were on sale. I don't know.

If you are wondering how does an apple taste for example here compared to the US I would say it tastes like an apple. Apples here and in the US are both taste like an apple. Although some fruit here does taste pretty delicious. I don't know the names of all the fruits but I think most taste like tropical fruit or something like that. Also, the fruit here is seasonal. I wanted strawberries but no one has them right now because its not in the season. Maybe a different store like a big grocery or something would have them but not the markets.

There are a lot of fruit farmers here mainly on the eastern side of the island because it is more tropical there. Then all the food is shipped to other places in Taiwan. There are still fruit farmers all throughout Taiwan because I will see them here in the city selling their food.

I wanted to talk about one of the fruits I took a picture of. It is picture 3 and 4, and the fruit is called durian. I have heard that it tastes sooo good. I'm not too sure though. I can't eat it because I know I will throw up. Let me try to explain. It smells really bad to me. I know lots of peole don't mind the smell, but I can't stand it. It just smells bad trust me. It smells bad when you cut it open, so its ok in the market and stuff if its not open. Once its open...run! Do you guys know Andrew Zimmerman? He is the chef that travels around the world on the travel channel eating food and stuff. I saw him try and eat this fruit on a segment and he couldn't do it. He said it tastes something like a raw onion. Something like that. Then again, I saw Anthony Bourdain eat this like it was nothing. Knowing me I couldn't eat it. I haven't seen it but in the markets where Andrew Zimmerman went to, the durian vendor had to be a certain area away from the real market because the smell was so bad.

People have said durian and stinky tofu ( thats another topic ) taste soooooooo good! I can't eat them because the smell alone makes me sick. Literally, it really does. I smelled stinky tofu and I threw up right there in the restaurant. Well, I guess I can talk about stinky tofu now since I brought it up. So everyone knows tofu right? Ok well the stinky part of the name of this snack comes from the sauce or maybe its the way its cooked. It is cooked in a bin of a dark liquid and then the tofu is deep fried into it. There are lots of different ways to cook it but this is the way they do it in the market. It is so popular here that you can't go to a market without seeing it.

So anyways, I went to a restaurant with open windows. The restaurant was really nice and cozy. I have smelled stinky tofu before so I know what it smells like, but I thought I could try the restaurant even though a stinky tofu vendor was next to it. So occassionaly i would smell the tofu being cooked which is ok in moderation. I can handle the smell little by little. I always hold my breath when I pass a stinky tofu vendor. I'm serious. So anyways, the smell just coming in through the windows and about 15 minutes into being there I threw up. I tried not to because I was telling myself you can't throw up here! I'm sorry though, I had to. Luckily I had a little plastic bag that I did it in. So maybe you guys can see how bad the smell is to me. I know lots of people don't mind the smell though. I want to try and explain the smell...it really smells like the sewage being cooked. That is the best way I can explain it, and I'm not joking. If anyone visited me here, I bet most people couldn't eat it.

Ok see you guys later!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Out Shopping


Hey guys,

Yesterday I went shopping at the store. They are having a sale, so there were a lot of people. When there is a sale here, it seems like everyone about it and wants to go shopping. I went to the store early so it wouldn't be so crowded, but it was still early when I went there around 11 AM.

I don't really know what a definition of a mall is but I think Taichung would have a few malls. They have individual stores, department stores, malls, and markets. I think instead of calling a mall a mall here people say department store. When I first heard that I thought oh okay I'm going to a place like JCPenny. I was wrong. The department stores here aren't really department stores like what we are thinking of. They are maybe like a mini mall, with a food court and a nice movie theater. It seems that all the department stores have a movie theater.

Then there are malls, but these malls aren't really like what we are use to. There might be something like 13 floors for the mall, but its set up differently. Some floors are just for make up while others are for men and women. That's how it's set up. Also, for example, in the men's section of the mall there is a Levi's part. Levi's has its own part on the floor but you don't walk into a new room to go inside the store if that makes sense? Mostly all the stores are on the floor and only separated by their own clothing. It is a little different. So just picture a mall without all the extra doors and walls for most of the stores. You would walk into each store freely.

Anyways, so I was shopping, and I went this one part where they were selling jeans. Then I picked some out that I liked and tried them on. I liked them, but they were too long for me. I guess I couldn't buy them....Just joking. I bought them. They would customize the jeans you wanted to your length. It took about 10 minutes for her to do that. I thought that was pretty cool. So all the jeans just come in the size and then the length they customize it to the way you want. It costs about $50 for the jeans which is like going to the GAP or something. I got some more things too. The sizes here are also a little different, so instead of getting a medium like I would in Knoxville I have to get a large. Some people when they come over here are actually too big to buy some of the clothing. I mean your selection is limited. They might have your size but don't count on it.

So about this picture. I don't know what to think about it. I saw these eggs like this at the market and I was like huh? I think it looks like of cool. Ok talk to you guys later on.

Friday, October 3, 2008

What did I do for my Birthday?



Hey everyone,

Yesterday was my birthday, and I enjoyed it. Around 6 PM I went to go out to eat with Cherry. I ate so much that I was feeling kind of bad, but it was ok. She told the restaurant that it was my birthday so when we were done eating the meal that sang me the happy birthday song and gave me a good piece of cake. It was kind of embarrassing though because the place was crowded and they also wanted me to sing with them and stand up.

After that, Cherry and I went to go bowling with her brother and sister. Her brother is pretty good at bowling and he could do some tricks with the ball like spinning it different ways. The second game we played I only scored something like 65 points. I started to try and spin the ball too, but it didn't work out too well. There aren't too many bowling alleys here, and the only one I know of is actually kind of cool. I think the ones in Knoxville are only so so, but maybe it's because I have been to them a lot. The bowling alley here is also an arcade place (with nice arcades if that makes sense), upstairs is ping pong, about 20 pool tables, and also there are batting practice things upstairs. The patting practice here is really popular. It's not the kind of batting practice like in a batting cage because it is a little different. You pick the speed of your ball and there's I think maybe 8 different speeds. Well, I guess its the same back in the US but it's still different. Anyways though, my friends Bobby met up with us there too.

After that, Cherry, Bobby, and I went to this really nice lounge/bar/live music place. I guess I will give you some background on Bobby. He is from New Zealand and speaks just a little bit of Chinese. He could get around town if he wanted to with his Chinese. He loves snow boarding and he travels around the world snowboarding. Since there really isn't any snow here is he going to be going to Colorado for I think he said 7 months. He is a really cool guy.

So we went to this place and it was really really nice. I should mention that the bars/lounges here are really really nice. They aren't like Knoxville at all, so don't picture a Knoxville bar. Knoxville doesn't have lounge that I know of. The lounges/bars remind me of the ones from Las Vegas. I say this because all of them that I have been to are really nice and relaxed. The people dress up nice when they go to them and the environment is good. I think it is the same if Las Vegas. I haven't seen a lounge/bar here that is like the ones in Knoxville. I don't know if they exist here. You can bring your little purse dogs with you too if you want. I saw that. You know what I mean by purse dogs? Those dogs that fit in your purse.

Ok, we went to this place and it was really crowded and everyone was having a good time and there was a pretty good band on the stage. You could also request songs for them to place, so I requested Hotel California. The guitarist in the band played an awesome solo during the song. I had a lot of fun there. Since it was my birthday, I got a free cake! It was a lot of cake and we couldnt finish it. I would go back to that place because it was nice and you can go there to relax and hang out.

So that is what I did for my birthday. Today I am actually going to go out again and buy some gifts, so that should be good. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I had a haircut on my birthday. Haircuts here are really good because they are all salon type of places and you get drinks and a massage when you get a haircut. I don't know if you guys can tell but my hair is gelled up kind of like a Taiwanese pop singer. It thought it was funny, so I kept the gel in it all day.

Ok well enjoy the picture and I will talk to you guys later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Vacation is coming up!


Hey everyone,

I am still doing good here, and I am still having a lot of fun. Today I went to a tea shop around midnight and had some snacks and drank lemonade. It was still really busy. About 1 million people live in the city of Taichung so it's usually busy until 3 in the morning everyday.

Look at this picture I took. This is a VERY typical food vendor in Taiwan. Do you guys see all those different kinds of food? Do you know how many of those foods I have tried? 0. I just can't bring myself to do it. This type of food vendor is one of the most abundant type I think. There are lots and lots of food vendors, and they sell food really cheap. I am a picky eater so that is why I haven't tried on of these foods, but maybe you guys would like some?

So anyways, there is another typhoon coming here! That would be 3 in a row. I mean, in the past 3 weeks there has been a typhoon every week. It is suppose to come on Saturday, so I still have a little time to go outside.

I think I should be having a vacation coming up soon too. Let me explain. On Friday, it is my birthday, so I am going to go out with my friends. I don't know where yet, but I have a few ideas. So I think that counts as a little vacation. Then, next weekend is actually a vacation in Taiwan. There's no school next Friday, and a lot of people are off work. I want to try and go somewhere within Taiwan that weekend. I am pretty sure I will either go to Kenting, Tainan, or the mountains. Kenting is really nice and has the beaches that we see in postcards and that kind of stuff. Tainan is a lot closer to me (maybe 1 and a half hours), and it has a desert, beach, and mountains all in one county. So that would be cool. The other thing is I would go to the mountains around here. It should be pretty fun.

And then the weekend after that I will go to Taipei for the weekend! I'm going to see the Linkin Park concert which should be cool. Then while I'm in Taipei I plan on going to a little island by boat and also go to a temple in the mountains. So it should be pretty cool too. I have been to Taipei a few times already so I know a little bit about it.

Last time I was there, before I went I heard about this market that has snakes. I had to go see it, so I did. This market wasn't too big, and there weren't too many people there. Anyways, as you walk down the street you see LIVE snakes just hanging upside down on a string I think. Kind of like laundry hanging out to dry. I don't know if the peole hit them really hard and then hang them up, but they are still moving and stuff. So then these vendors ask you if you want something to drink right? That's when you see something you don't see everyday. The vendors take a knife and cut the snake while its still alive right down the middle. They cut open the skin like a surgeon. I think they do more than this because they get specific body fluids from the snake and put it into little cups like the ones you drink at a water fountain or the dentist office. They usually have 3 different types of cups and each one has different fluids in it. One I know for sure is 100% blood. They don't add water to it or something like that. You drink it straight up. So you drink all three of them one by one and then you pay the guy like $10 or something I don't know how much. I only saw two people do it when I was there. It was pretty cool. So that's the kind of stuff I like to see. I like to see the stuff I can't see everyday.

Ok so anyways, after that weekend my visa is going to expire. I have a visitor visa that only lasts for 60 days then before this time is up I have to leave Taiwan for one day. That's the type of visa I have right now, and I think that's the one I want. It gives me a chance to go to a different place for a little bit. I mean it makes me leave travel somewhere for at least one day. So anyways I am thinking I will go to Hong Kong for a few days. I have heard Hong Kong is a cool place. Maybe I will be able to go to Macao too since it is right next to it, and I hope to win money if I go there. You know Macao is the gambling center of Asia. Its different from Las Vegas. I can explain that a different day because that might be a like post. So anyways, I only checked this one airline, but it is about $230 for a roundtrip to Honk Kong or Macao. I think that's a really good price right? With this airline, you can go anywhere in the world, but I was just looking at SE Asia. It was around $500 round trip to Tokyo and that was the most exspensive. You can go to Bali ( nice beach resort ), Thailand, and the Philippines all for under $450 round trip. I was saying this is pretty good because when I was looking at flight from Knoxville to SanFrancisco it was $850 on the internet. I think thats crazy because you litterally can fly anywhere in the world round trip for around $1300, at least last time I checked. I might be wrong now though.

Ok well I hope everyone is doing good. See you later.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another Typhoon

Hey people,

There is another typhoon here right now. On the news they said it is the strongest one this year which is pretty strong. The one that happened just a week ago I think was pretty strong. I mean the wind and rain. I would walk outside for just a minute, and the wind would be pushing me.

On the news, they said the winds are currently 10 - 11 level. I don't know exactly how fast the wind is going, but I do know that there are only 14 levels. The last typhoon did some damage. One of the things it did was knock down an entire hotel into a river. It was weird to see it because the building was still intact. I think it fell because of a landslide not the wind.

This current typhoon is stronger, and on the news they are showing car and other things that have blown over. We know it's strong because a car just blew over on the highway because of the wind.

Like before, everyone here is at home and staying there. Ok, I just wanted to tell you guys.

I just heard on the news that the typhoon is stronger than the Katrina hurricane. Ok now I'm going to go.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Traveling

Hello,

I thought today I would talk about traveling. I want to talk about where I want to travel. There are plenty of places I would like to go like Spain (with my mom), Egypt, South Africa, England, Peru, and tons of other places. I think all of us want to travel, and I think its good to do it.

Since I am here in Taiwan it makes it a little easy to travel to throughout Asia. Places I want to go here are Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia isn't too far, and Thailand are some places I want to go. I think it would be pretty cool to travel to different countries. I like to go to a new place and check out the tourist stuff that everyone sees. A lot of people do this, and it's the only thing that they do. For example, when someone goes to NYC they might go to only the Time Square area even though they are there for a few days.

I like to do that too, but I also like to see the stuff tourists don't see. Like NYC for example, I would like to go to other places besides Time Square. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but I know that there are people that really just enjoy to see the main tourist stuff which is ok too. I think maybe a better example is with Thailand. I think most people want to go to Bangkok. I want to do this too, but if I am making an effort to go to another country and spend that time and money I want to see what I want to see. One of the things I have always wanted to see are the villages with the ladies with the long necks. I don't know exactly what they are called, but we have all seen them. I think I want to see them because of Ripley's Believe It Or Not. I use to love that when I was a kid, and I remember Robert Ripley going to see them.

Since I am not in Thailand or a different country, I have to find what to do in Taiwan. I don't know if you guys know this or not but there is actually a lot of stuff to do here. Taiwan is a very small country, and 2/3 of it are mountains. So just think right there...2/3 are mountains so that means theres lots of camping, hiking, lakes, and that kind of stuff. It is also VERY popular for people to bike around the entire country! I mean it is really popular. I don't mean only a few people do it a year. A LOT of people actually do it. They told me it takes around 10 days. Around in that area.

I don't think I could bike it because it might take me a few weeks. I'm slow at riding a bike. When I went to this area called Nantou, its in the mountains with hot springs, so the roads are very curvy and narrow. I saw so many people riding their bicyles. They are in shape too because the roads were so moutainous. Anyways, Nantou is a very nice place to visit. One of its main attractions are hot springs. The hot springs are nice if you haven't tried them. They are really really hot, and it feels great when you go in the spring and relax.

Hot springs are really popular here because Taiwan was formed from volcanoes, and under Taiwan there are volcanoes which create hot springs. It is a big business here, and if you don't want to spend the night in the mountains you can take a bus or car to a hot spring and stay for a few hours then go back home. It's only maybe about an hour drive from where I live.

There are other places I want to go in Taiwan. One is called Kenting. Look it up on the internet. It's suppose to be really really nice! Lots of people go here for spring break, summer, and vacation. You can surf, fish, swim of course, snorkel, scuba dive, and rent stuff. So there are a lot of stuff you can do there. Maybe you can do more stuff because I only you can do that from people telling me. Depending on where you live, it might take 1-4 hours to drive there. So it's not that bad.

Other things to do here is go to the eastern side of the island. Taiwan is really split up in two sides because the mountains run down the middle. The east side is more beaches and smaller cities. I have seen pictures of it and it looks like stuff from calendars. They also have villages there where you can see people living like how they did a few hundred years ago. There are also national parks and stuff on the east side. The west side has the big cities with all the big city stuff you can do.

Taiwan is also split up into counties like how the states are. Every county has its special stuff that it is known for. Taichung City, where I live, is known for its night life. At least that's what I have heard so that's pretty cool. Taichung County is known for...I'm not too sure, but I know the county has really nice stuff to see like a castle (a small one) and mountains.

But ok, here are somethings I want to do that would be a day trip...go fishing, biking at a nice park (you can rent bikes if you don't have one), hiking, and visiting the rice farmers. I mean maybe not go and talk to them, but just go and see them and what they do.

Ok that's it for now. Peace out!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not Too Much Going On




Hello,

Well there isn't too much going on here, so I thought I would put some pictures up for you guys to look at. These pictures are me riding on the scooter, and I am taking them. This would be a normal for people here. I mean riding bicycles, buying food from people on the side of the street, and pulling lots of stuff while you ride your bicycle or scooter.

I don't have a bicycle here, but I could really use one. I would have to worry about people stealing it because i know people here steal stuff. I think people do that anywhere though. I don't want to buy an expensive bike because then someone might want to steal it more. I know I can buy bikes here for like $40 which isn't too bad. I could really use it though for when I play basketball because it takes about 30 or so minutes to walk to the university where I play at. I played there the other day, and it was sooo humid/hot outside. It was also around 7:30 at night. My friends know that I really don't sweat too much when I play basketball or something, but here...I really do sweat a lot. I glisten.

Ok well just look at these pictures and see how people get around and stuff. Hope you enjoy it.