burma1987 asked: Thanks for following my blog. I am curious about how you found my tumblr blog. I used to live in Taiwan for two years, so I found it interesting that a Taiwan blog would happen to follow me.
I was just searching tags and ran into your blog. I saw those two Attack on Titan pillows and decided to give you a follow. Several of my students talk about that show/manga all the time, so I had to give you a follow.
Hu is a common family name here in Taiwan and it happens to be the family name of the Taichung City Mayor. Because of this the following is common conversation I have with my wife.
"Hey look, it’s Taichung City Hall," I say. "Hu works there."
"The mayor," says my wife.
"I know, that’s what I just said, Mayor Hu works there."
That’s funny, but it lacks a certain spontaneity for me now. That’s why this little student interaction made me very happy.
"Teacher, what is nani(なに))?”
"Teacher, nani is what?"
"Nani is yes?"
"No, nani is what."
…”I don’t understand.”
Is starting my day off at a place named Calorie a good idea or a great idea?
Instant Update: It wasn’t that good of an idea.
I see what you did there.
kasiainkorea asked: I am really glad I accidentally came across your blog a few months ago. Always makes me smile.
I’m glad you you like it. Really I’m just glad someone other than my mother reads it.
Which reminds me, thanks for reading Mom!
I saw this post a while ago. Sure KLG is quite obviously a rip-off of KFC. Though the name is pretty clever. G has the same pronunciation as the Chinese word for chicken (雞) and it is sometimes used on menus instead of the character. KL is an abbreviation for kuaile(快樂), one Chinese word for happy. So basically KLG is short for happy chicken, and obviously any chicken, or person, in a southern style white suit would be very happy, just ask Thomas Wolfe.
However, I think the real Taiwanese KFC is DingGuaGua(頂呱呱). They write TKK because they are using an old romanization system.
Sure they have your basic fried chicken, but they also have some truly Taiwanese dishes like their sweet potato dumpling. They also have a pretty tasty pocket pizza. I had one the other day. It was good, but it made my pants dirty.
I saw this in the Taichung Train Station yesterday. At first I though the language was way off and I had a few jokes about birds and Wesley, leaving the bathroom, quietly dejected. However do to a little “research" I found that among other things "snipe" can be a cigarette butt, which is what the Chinese says.
Fine I’ll let you off for the obscure translation, but you still have work to do on countable vs. uncountable nouns and the difference between “and” and “or.”
Goofy and I went to Taipei for the New Year weekend. We did our best to avoid sneaky photography,
and went to Longshan Temple, a beautiful old temple with a hard Taoist crust and chewy Buddhist center.
A nice gentleman told me I could find an English pamphlet at the door and that if I’d like to speak with any of the temple gods I could use whatever language I felt comfortable with. (Klingon?)
As we left the temple I was surprised to find a long row of chairs and benches tied together running up and down the temple walls.
As it turns out these chairs are holding their space in line, for a fee, to get a chance at an interesting Taiwanese religious practice, the Guangming Light.
Stacks like these can be found in almost every temple in Taiwan. The stacks are filled with tiny holes where people’s names, groups of names, or little statues with names on them can be found. Depending on the particular prestige and available space in any given temple, the price of one of these little crevices can vary greatly.
So why do people spend the time, and the consequential big bucks, to get their names written and placed in a little cubby hole no larger than a credit card?
Basically, it’s a year of spiritual insurance. When their names are placed in the holes devout receive a blessing from a priest, which brings them luck and protects them from rampaging Angry Birds fans, bureaucrats, and other sorts of bodily harm. Furthermore, you get the yearlong benefit of regular prayers and festivals shining their continence upon you(r name written on an index card).
It seems fair. I mean when my mom went to Rome her Catholic cousin made her bring a rosary or some such medallion so the Pope could wave at it. Maybe it wasn’t the Pope but merely a Bishop wearing the Pope’s hat and slippers.
1-That a rosary you got there?
2- Are you kidding? The pope waved at this. I haven’t cleaned it to this day.
However, it wasn’t until I peered around the corner that I fully realized the extent people were willing to go to to have their names included.
That’s right just like buying tickets for a Lady Gaga concert or getting good deals on Black Friday, it appears people are willing to camp out for the best view of the Buddha and the higher hole on the Guangming pole. And to be clear, it is raining.
I wish them all the best of luck for the coming year, though they may not need it after their names are safely in their new homes.
Goofy and I left this scene of personal fascination only to stumble into another at the Longshan MRT Station underground mall. A large group of people gathered around six televisions, none of them are muted.
Oh boy. Happy New Year Everybody!
Taiwan Mama was rushing out the door. “Hey where are you going,” I asked.
"I have to go pick on my son," she said.
I was thinking she must really enjoy picking on her son, if she was in such a hurry to do it, but I still commented, “That’s a little mean, don’t you think.”
I could see her face starting to contort. She didn’t stop walking or say anything else, merely made a lifting motion and mouthed “pick up.”
As it turns out living and working in Taiwan doesn’t just bring me into contact with Taiwanese people. It also brings me into contact with a fair number of Britons.
Before I came to Taiwan I couldn’t really say I knew any Britons, now I know considerably more (three). Just because we’re fellow westerners, though, doesn’t mean I can’t fall into some unusual cross-cultural interactions.
I was making Thanksgiving dinner for my former roommate, Tall Mike, who is not the tallest Mike I know, not even in Taiwan, but that’s beside the point. I was mashing some potatoes and I said, “hey Mike, have you ever mashed potatoes by hand before?”
"Of course, I’m British," he replied.
I went back to mashing my potatoes, not realizing I had offended my roommate’s British sense of identity.
I have a new coworker who hails from the United Kingdom as well, Lovable British Constable, or LBC for short.
A new chicken stand opened next door to our school and we’re always looking for something new to eat in our small neighbor hood. This place has a chicken stick, which like the Wang Steak, is of questionable origin, but undeniable tastiness.
I was informing Lovable British Constable about what I thought their secret was, “What really sets them apart LBC, is that they batter, not bread, their chicken. Do you understand the difference?”
"Yes, for god sake’s man, I’m British."
I was taken aback by the nearly identical phrasing. I decided there is as much to learn about the UK as their is to learn about Taiwan.
Oh well, I guess the next time I see the queen or Posh Spice I can just say, “that’s as British as mashed potatoes and batter.”