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.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dogs

Hows it going?

I guess today I wanted to talk about dogs and cats here. A lot of people here have pets, and it seems like a lot of people have the really small types that you carry around like Paris Hilton. Thats ok with me I guess. Its kind of strange though because they will carry them around anywhere they go. I don't think theres a law that says No Pets Allowed because they will bring them into stores and restaurants. They will only bring the little ones to the stores and stuff.

The only thing is that there are so many stray dogs and cats here. And no people here don't eat dogs or cats. I don't know where people do if people even do it at all. I think if people are extremely hungry and maybe they will eat almost anything, but I don't know if I could.

So yea there are so many stray dogs here. I really think it's because people will get a dog and have it for like a year or so and then the dog will either wander off alone one day or the owners just throw it out. I think this because many of the dogs I see walking around have collars still on them. There are also a lot of stray cats, but I think that probably true in a lot of cities. It's kind of strange though because I have seen a few cats with their tails cut off. I don't know why.

I have a few stories about the stray dogs. One is that today in class a stray dog litterally walked into my dads class while he was talking. It walked to the front of the room looked around then left. It was weird because the building is really nice and new and there are a lot of people in the building too. Another little story is that at the market the other day I was getting food from a vendor, and all of a sudden this dude goes behind the vendor and starts yelling at this golden retriever under a little table. I was kind of shockec because he was really angry and yelling at it. The dog had a look on his face like I'm sorry please stop yelling. So anyways, this guy starts kicking and hitting it as hard as he can. I know it because I could hear him hitting the dog on the head. I mean I can hear the thump sound. Then he graps the dog, and it comes out from under the table and it follows him back home. It doesn't have a leash or anything.

But thats about it for stray dogs. I just see a lot of them here and I wanted to tell you guys about those two stories. See you guys later.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Done Burned Myself!


Hello,

Well the other I was at the store because I just wanted to look around at some stuff. So I got off the scooter and walked past scooters like normal. They are usually parked pretty close together so you have to go through them and stuff. So I did it, and I promise you I just BARELY touch the side of a scooter and I burned myself. I probably glazed it for like not even 1 second because as soon as I touched it I jumped away from it. When I did it, I was thinking to myself that it really hurts. Well, not a lot, but it just feels uncomfortable. It was really red and thats about it. Then when I woke up the next morning it was a nice little circle. It looks like I touched up against a bolt on a scooter. Its kind of cool I guess, but it looks like a mole. I dont know how long I will have it but yea, I burned myself. I never realized I could do that when I walk next to a scooter. I guess I just didnt think about it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update



Hey guys. Today I will just put up some random pictures that I took, but I haven't put them on yet. Theres not too much going on here. The typhoon is gone now. It went away about 1 day ago, and as soon as the rain/wind stopped the streets were packed! When there is a typhoon here everyone really just stays home. Not many people go out and stuff so once it was over everyone was out.

What else has been going on? Well you guys know I am teaching English right? I dont remember or not if I told you guys how much I make, so I will tell you again...$18 an hour!!! That's pretty nice isnt it? I mean its not even hard work. I just go in and play games while learning English. You can teach them any style you want to, so I guess my style is to teach the kids English while also playing a game. That way they learn and have fun because they are little kids in elementary school and I know its not fun to only do grammar and reading. But yea so I just go in and do that for a little bit and make $18 an hour. I'm not full time or anything so I make less than the full time teachers. To tell you the truth I actually make $18.70 if i wanted to be technical. Anyways...so I guess one of the teachers was fired. He is from Europe and I want to say Sweeden. So he was fired and they wanted me to take his place. So that means I would be full time making more money and all that stuff. But yea thats about it for now.

Oh these pictures...One is my tickets to Linkin Park. That should be fun. The other is just a picture of food at the market. I have tons of pictures from the market but I dont want to put them all on now. Well this market picture is just of food like herbs and stuff I THINK. Go ahead and just look at all the different food on this one table. Theres about 1 million tables of food at the markets.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Typhoon Continued...



Whast up people? So the typhoon is still going on here. Well from what I think it, a typhoon is similar to a hurricane but maybe weaker? I'm not too sure, but thats what it seems like. Something I do know is that when a theres a typhoon here...it seems like there arent too many people that live here. I mean it just constaly rains all day and night, but the rain isnt just a nice little rain...i mean it rains hard. Lots of places get flooded from watching the news, and the wind is terrible. When I was walking outside you can see the rain blowing one direction then you see it going another way. It was cool. One thing I do want to say is that you know its bad here when people dont drive their scooters. The roads look a lot emptier because there are far less scooters. People really cant drive them because they will litteraly get blown down by the wind. The wind is pretty strong.

Ok about the pictures...I just wanted to upload some graffiti pictures. I like to take pictures of graffiti because I think they are kind of interesting. Even though people put them places that are bad like buildings and stuff I still just like to look at them. Anyways you guys can look at them too. Theres not too much graffiti here because Im sure if they were caught they would have to pay big time here.

Ok, about something else. Theres a little holiday here too this weekend. It kind of sucks for the people here though because theres a typhoon. The holidy is called Moon Festival, and I forgot the story behind it, but it goes something like...well i actually dont remember any part from it. What people do to celebrate it is they eat with their families. They actually have a BBQ. The taiwanese BBQ is great I love it. The food is really good...well the meat. So today Cherry invited me to do it with her family and I was pretty nervous...

So we went there in a taxi because its really impossible to ride the scooter. And I keep asking her questions to see if I will like the food or not. It makes me feel better. So I would ask her, " Is there going to be chicken " that kind of stuff. Well, there wasnt any chicken but there was pork, and I love pork too. Let me think what they had...tons of pork, corn on the cob, shrimp, fruit, vegetables, bread. That kind of stuff. Well I ate a ton of the pork because it was so good. They cut it into pieces and grilled it with some sauce on it. It was delicious. But then you know her family is there. Her mom, dad, older brother and his family, and her older sister was there too, oh and some neighbors. So of course...they were offering me lots of different food. Oh my god there was so much food. But even though I am a picky eater I really dont like to turn down food because I feel bad. But I had to this time, well sort of. I turned down some food and some I ate.

Lets see what I ate...some kind of...like. Let me think. I dont know the name of it and I have never seen it before but its some kind of vegetable. You grill it and it kind of reminds me of a long onion maybe? It doesnt taste or smell like an onion, its just white like one. Thats maybe a bad way to explain it. But I ate a few bites of that, and it tasted like nothing. I also had some corn on the cob which was pretty good. I had some watermelon........now i'm not a big fan of watermelon but I wont turn it down. It really didnt taste like the watermelon we are use to. Ok and I had this other fruit that looked like an orange/grapefruit thing. It was so so. I had some other food but I think it is kind of boring to talk about that. Cherry would bail me out though when they offerred me some things I really wouldnt even touch.

Ok well I will post again soon. Have fun today.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Typhoon

Hello,

So maybe you know maybe you dont know but there is a typhoon here. It is raining a lot and its really windy. i was riding the scooter in the rain and stuff and it was so windy that it would push the scooter around. it was pretty scary. and theres so much rain that people would splash the water up on me. it sucks. i also have to wear this huge ran coat that drops all the way to past my knees. but anyways i just thought i would share that with you guys.

now i want to talk about something else....COSTCO!!!
It is crazy here, i mean with the people in costco. its just sams club right?? ok well i want you guys to picture this...the day after thanksgiving sale. you know how its just way too crowded to enjoy yourself? and there are so many people its just not fun. that was costco! i mean it was just a thursday night around 7. there werent any holidays. no sales. just a normal day i promise you. it was so crazy there. i wouldnt be surprised if there were clost to 10,000 people in there. i wish i had my camera to show you guys. there is also a food court in there...IT WAS PACKED!!! i mean i just couldnt believe my eyes. it really was like the day after thanksgiving sale. and i mean its just food....bulk food. theres nothing else in there.

i noticed the people buying stuff really werent buying too much...i mean one couple just bought a huge jar of jam! so then i just came to the conclusion that everyone in there is just going there to go there. they really dont have a purpose being there because they only buy like 7 things tops. its not really a lot for costco i dont think. but i just thought i would share my costco experience with you guys.

ok thats it. talk to you guys later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

video

This video is probably going to take a good while to upload. This is me riding the scooter around town, and its a pretty calm day. Usually when people are riding around and stuff I will a lot of crazy stuff I really didnt see it this time. So with driving here, I consider it like the Wild Wild West. I really dont know what the rules are because no one follows them. Scooter and motorcycles drive in the cars lane. Sometimes cars and scooters will even drive towards you or on the sidewalk. People drive on the sidewalk its crazy. Also, I guess its like this everywhere, but people run the redlights all the time. People will also drive up infront of you but then they will turn left or something. Its pretty frustrating. I think its weird how the people drive here because I think the people here are really nice. When it comes to driving, they are angry it seems like. Once they get out of the car its like they are back to their normal personality again.

Ok well I hope you guys enjoy the video.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Basketball

So whats going on guys? I just thought I should give you guys an update of what Im doing. Well, Taichung is still pretty cool. I really do enjoy it here.

Lately at night, I have been going to play basketball at this one university. Theres maybe like 20 courts there. Pretty cool. It has lights there to play at night. Not many people play there in the afternoon because it is soooooooo humid here. Its like 100x more humid here than in Knoxville. So anyways, I'm not going to lie...I am pretty rusty at basketball. I'm going to say I'm awesome and all this stuff, but I would like to say I am so so. I really just enjoy to play it and hang out with my friends and stuff even though they are better than me. Ok so, knowing that...imagine me playing basketball here. I am serious though, there are a lot of players here. A lot are quick, have a jump shot, and can drive the ball. So what can I do? Well, sometimes I have kind of a shot and I can make a jump shot. I think I can pass decently too.

Ok now let me tell you guys about some games. I still dont know exactly how basketball is here, I mean with the pick up games. I think it goes like this though...there are hardly any 5 on 5, and its like 99% of the time 3 on 3. People dont play to 15 or something like that because I think they play to maybe 10. The games go by fairly quickly. So that is pretty good for people waiting for the next game. Ok so really, I guess maybe because I am a foreigner or something, but I can join any game. You have to just tell the guys I want to play and they say ok cool. They are really nice here, and I haven't been turned down for a game yet.

Ok so the games...you guys know that I get nervous when I play basketball right? I mean when I play with people I don't know. When I play with you guys I just like to have fun and stuff. So ok, imagine me walking on this 40 court cement place that is humid as crap and I am the only foreigner here. I am pretty nervous. I scope out the place looking for some guys that aren't terrible but that aren't ballers either. So anyways I find people to play with pretty quick and we are playing and they give me the ball......and I airball it. Im not going to lie but yesterday I played maybe like 3 or 4 games and I shot maybe 10 shots total and I airballed maybe 4 of them. I felt pretty but it was fun.

I just really enjoy the game even though I suck sometimes. I played again today and I was a lot better and I wasnt as nervous. Ok well thats it. Bye

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What's Up?

video

Whats up everyone? I guess I figured out how to upload videos! I can do that now too along with pictures too. I guess let me give you a little idea of what is going on.

You guys know I have a friend here who is in a rap group right? He is a pretty cool guy, and he knows a lot of people here that own clubs/in rap groups/hip hop stuff. So whenever him and his group go out or when he is going to a club he invites me and I go. He really get the VIP treatment in the clubs its pretty cool. I'm serious though he really does. So when I go with him I'm included in it, so we get to sit in the VIP lounge and that stuff. I like it.

Ok anyways, this video is just at a little club that is pretty cool. In the video, its only him and one other group member. Its just a quick video, but its taking forever to install.

Its funny sometimes when I go out with Tom or just around with Cherry I will see foreigners. It seems like a lot of them are...I don't know how to explain. That can be a different post. Anyways, like my friend Chris said, you will see loser/not attractive guys with beautiful girls here. Its so true though. Anyways, I always see them at the clubs and stuff trying to pick up the chicks.

I am just blabbing now I think. Ok talk to you guys later.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gambling

whats up? im not doing too much today. in taichung, there are two museums here. one if for science and the other is for art. well, the staff at the science museum wants to meet me today and i guess show me around and go out to eat with me. seems pretty cool i guess.

anyways, i think there are so many topics i can talk about in taiwan that is different from the u.s. i thought today i would talk a little bit about gambling. just recently, taiwan is letting the people here bet on american sports like basketball and stuff. its pretty cool i guess, i dont know how to do it or anything but it seems cool. so that is one way you can gamble. if you really want to gamble in a casino like with what we are use to. i am pretty sure there isnt a place like that here, you would have to go to macao. its like 2 hours away. pretty cool, lots of people here go there for the weekend and stuff. kind of like las vegas if you lived in california or something.

what they have here from what i can tell is three things...one is....everytime you buy something. no matter what it is, you get a receipt right? well on every single receipt there is lottery numbers, and i think every other month they pick a winner. pretty cool i guess. although, i have heard that no one hardly wins.

the second way of gambling here is there is a lottery that you can buy. like with the powerpall and stuff in tennessee. but there is a catch....its 6 number i think. well, its 1 more than what we have and i think we have 5. there are a lot of people that live in the u.s. and not as much as in taiwan, i dont really know why they need to have 6 numbers. it seems like that is impossible to win.

ok and the last thing is there are video gambling things here. theres actuall a lot of places where people can do this. i have never been though. from what everyone has told me. these places are for "bad guys". so i think only these guys go there. and i heard that there are lots of girls there too that arent really there to serve you drinks. so yea i guess its kind of a sketchy place.

ok well maybe this gambling stuff isnt that interesting but i guess its different from what we are use to. ok i will post again soon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Pictures

A place called FAG.

There are a lot of markets here, and i know exactly where i can buy this popcorn at. its really really good too, trust me, i know popcorn. its sweet kind of like kettle corn from the county fair and its fresh too. it costs $0.60 for it.

A gas station.

Just riding the scooter.

me on the scooter.

Im on a scooter here riding down a street. its raining too. right before this picture i stop at an intersection and this scooter infront of me crashes and the two people on it are bleeding and stuff.

This is also around 6:30 AM. I guess its hard to tell but there are a ton of basketball courts, and there are also i think quite a few people playing basketball. since its early there are more older people, but there were courts that had one people on it. i'll bust them up later.

People exercising early morning around 6:30 AM. This is at the university where I will take my Chinese class at. I didnt take a lot of pictures here yet, but this place is huge. theres a lot of going on here too. Older people come here early morning and do exercise. There were maybe like 2,000 people here exercise throughout campus. every exercise group does their own kind of exercise to different types of music too.

There is a stream or something that runs throughout Taichung. I wouldn't go near it though because I am sure its pretty dirty.

This is the way people park the cars. The entrance to the store is right there.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Online TV

whats up? i forgot about the UT football game until Brent sent me an email saying he is watching it. so then i was like oh man i forgot about it i wonder if i can watch it even though i am here, so i just searched online and i found it. its pretty cool...i am watching right now live. its on the website channelsurfing.net and its pretty clear and stuff. i get the commercials and all of that too. its cool because i get to watch american tv and stuff. ok thats it. bye.