Posted by: sea2stars | March 31, 2012

Hong Kong 2

After meeting my new friends I ventured out on my own into Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s tourism is impeccable. The maps are amazing and at every street corner they have signs in Chinese and English directing you towards tourist attractions. It was very easy to get around. The next day was Wednesday, which is the day that all the museums are free, which meant I had a lot of ground to cover.

I started at the Hong Kong history museum, which I had heard great reviews about. It was a great museum. I was very fortunate and most of the information was in Chinese and in English, which meant for the first time that I could actually understand some of the information presented to me. It went from the early history of Hong Kong to the recent. The thing that that interested me the most was finding out about Hong Kong being turned back over to China. It only happened 13 years ago when I was 15 and I don’t remember it at all. I was probably too consumed with drivers ed, cheerleading, and working towards me next A to considers such world events. It was a weird moment to realize that a significant world event had happened and I was obviously and too self involved to consider anything outside of my little life in Allendale. Oh how far I have come since then and yet in many respects still the same.

After the history museum I wondered across the courtyard to the science museum. A line had already formed, which made me think it was worth seeing, and it was. The science museum was more of a hands on interactive museum designed for kids, which was perfect for me, cause many days I still feel like a kid at heart. One section of the museum was on electricity and they had cut apart everyday appliances like fridges, dishwasher, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, blenders, ect., ect. and I found myself completely transfixed by finally seeing the inner workings of  so many things I used everyday. It was a very large museum and their were other displays like a hall of mirrors, health and wellness, energy, automotive. Their was even a display on work hazards and I was propelled into the past, remembering concrete back rooms with cold folding chairs, and a lone TV and VCR on a cart rolled out to watch videos on how to properly pick things up and how to avoid slips, trips, and falls.

The museum finally became too overrun with children and parents and so I moved on to the art museum on the other side of town along the bay. It was a great combination of contemporarty art and modern art. Many of the ancient artifacts were familiar to me because I had seen similar things in Taiwan so I moved about the art museum quickly so I could get to the space museum next door before it closed.

The space museum was small but still interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by space and hold a secret ambition to someday work for NASA. I like thinking about vastness and although I have been trained to think of time in millions of years it still boggles my mind to think of light years. I often look up at the stars and wonder which of the brilliant white lights I can see have already changed and no one knows because they are so far away. The only thing I wish I had been able to do was walk on the moon. The museum had a special room where you could get strapped into a harness and feel what it might be like to walk on the moon. I waited in line for a long time but as I sized up the contraption I realized that a skirt was the not the appropriate attire, and although no one there would ever see me again, I decided that revealing the color of my panties was not really my travel style, despite how much I wanted to walk on the moon.

By now it was almost 8:00. Luckily the museums in Hong Kong have various hours so when one closes the other is still open. I headed out to the Avenue of Stars. It is a beautiful walkway along the bay which has seating to watch the Symphony of Lights. I propped my camera up next to some German tourists who had brought along some beer. It was then that I realized I was incredibly thirsty and hungry and wished I had been to smart as to bring my own beer. I was lucky that it was a clear night and I anticipated a great light show, similar to the water shows I use to watch at Grand Haven, with lights and water spurting everywhere to classical music, but of course on a much grander scale using buildings instead of water. The announcement came on and the music started to play as I watched across the bay as buildings lights flickered. Their were far less building that participated in the light show than I expected. It was really only a few buildings whose lights changed significantly. The skyline was radiant with neon lights but I still left feeling disappointed.

My hunger had finally grown and my stomach was angrily growling at me. I took the subway over to Hong Kong Island and found my way to Soho and one of the the worlds longest escalators. It was bizarre to see an escalator completely detached from any sort of building and plopped in the middle of high rises, high above the street so as not to interfere with traffic. You had to walk up to the escalator and from there it was smooth sailing, as long as you only wanted to go up. A theme I had seen throughout Asian countries was the escalators where only for going up, if you wanted to go back down you had to walk, and this escalator was no exception to the rule, the only difference was that it was a lot longer.

I finally found a district full of western restaurants and I could hardily contain my excitement at the variety of foods available to me once again. I walked along pondering my choices as my indecisive nature became increasingly annoying to me. After far too long I choose an Italian restaurant where I had the best linguini I could remember. Under normal circumstances I’m sure the food was really quite ordinary, but to me, it was the first western food (besides hamburgers) that I had had in over a year and in that brief moment, I felt like I was home.

I then headed over the the bar section of Hong Kong Island where I found myself on a mini Asian version of Bourbon Street. I grabbed a beer and sat and people watched for a long time.

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Posted by: sea2stars | March 9, 2012

33% more fun

I’ve decided to start a new blog. 33percentmorefun.com. My 5 readers may ask, “Why would I do this?” Well, the thing is, this blog really is a travel blog and I’d like it to remain that way. Writing about more “average” things on a travel blog full of fun, just doesn’t seem right. I know I know I haven’t really posted in forever and it shouldn’t really matter, but the thing is, although I may not be traveling now, I’m sure I will again. I could also still write about past travel experiences (I apparently have this chronological order problem, where I don’t really like putting things out of sequence. Right? I know. How funny of me.) I’m trying to take a few tips from my friends blog, offatthewrongstop.com (very funny, worth a read) and possibly, maybe, take a leap, and just write about my favorite travel stories.

Posted by: sea2stars | February 20, 2012

Pink Tutus Match Anything

I want to dress like a little girl again. This morning at the coffee shop a little girl popped right up behind me and grabbed some sugar. She smiled at me and went back to sitting by her mother. As I watched her walk back I saw her wonderful outfit. She had a headband with a big bright pink flower on it. A long sleeve black shirt under a bright teal t-shirt with a butterfly rhinestone design on it and of course, a soft pink ballerina tutu. She had little sneakers that were painted many colors, that lit up blue as she walked and they even had curlicue laces (very 80’s style). None of it matched, but you could tell that she dressed herself and was pleased with her style.

I’m sure I did this as a child, but I can’t really remember. I know I played dress up a lot, but those clothes weren’t allowed out of the house. I would love to go into my closet and put on all my funnest clothes, not worrying if they match or not, and just go out and have a fun day. Maybe I’ll wear a skirt over pants with big colorful rain boots (Although I don’t own any yet), and of course I’ll need sunglasses and a hat for attitude.

P.S. I tried desperately to find a picture befitting of this post. You would be amazing at how hard it is to find pictures of little girls dressed how ever they like. I’ve seen both my nieces do it, but don’t have any pictures of them. If any of you would like to donate a picture that would be awesome.

Posted by: sea2stars | January 2, 2012

A Taiwan New Year, 2010

I know I’m not in Taiwan anymore but I felt like sharing a great new year that I had a few years ago. Luckily for me this blog has already been written by my friend Nina. Enjoy!
Nina’s Travel rule #6: If you’re going to be a disaster it’ll be safer in Taiwan
I’ve added a few extra pictures just for fun.


Clearly we were trying to write out 2010


Nina


Nina, Debby and I. On the train home we sat in between cars because apparently we were too loud. (The Taiwanese really like to have quite trains. I was shushed many times for simply talking)

Posted by: sea2stars | February 28, 2011

Hong Kong

I know you have all been anxiously awaiting my posts on China. Your long wait is finally over. It was really a whirlwind trip that went by too quickly, leaving me little time to process or write about my experience. It’s already a distant memory and I can hardly believe that I actually stood upon the Great Wall and saw the terra-cotta warriors. I left the trip wanting more, particularly the Great Wall, but I’ll get to that later. As I usually like things chronologically I’ll start at the beginning in Hong Kong.

I left Taiwan behind on August 2nd with a fairwell lunch with my friends. We had all talked about leaving for so long that it hardly seemed like the actual moment had finally arrived. My friend Theresa took me to the train station to begin my day of waiting. Sometimes I dislike traveling because you spend a whole day waiting, waiting for the train, waiting to check in bags, waiting to go through security, waiting to board, waiting to exit the plane, waiting in the custom line. Thankfully this is when my day picked up. In the customs line I started talking to 2 people, one from New Zeeland named Craig, and another from Bali named Itha. Itha had been to Hong Kong many times and she was extremely kind and helpful. She helped Craig and I get into the city and suggested a hostel for us to stay at. She also agreed to meet me the next afternoon to help me get my visa and train ticket into China.

We parted ways as Craig and I went off to find our hostel. All I will say in thank goodness I had a big burley man with me, cause it was scary. We went to Chung King Mansion, the biggest hostel area in Hong Kong. It’s a 20 story or more high rise and has 2-3 different hostels on each floor. Craig and I tried to find the one that Itha suggested but we finally just asked a place that had rooms. We agreed to share a room with two beds instead of a dorm with 10 or more beds. We had the smallest bathroom I’ve ever seen with a shower curtain door. It was only large enough for a toilet with a very small sink next to it, which meant you had to lean while on the toilet, cause the sink was in the way. We also had a shower in the bathroom and I had to stand on the toilet to take my shower.

Craig and I decided to venture out and find some good food. We had both heard that they had excellent Indian food in Hong Kong so we went to find some. We got a little lost and about two hours later we finally came upon a night market area. I was so hungry that I practically begged Craig to abandon his idea of Indian food and just stop and eat at one of the hundreds of Chinese restaurants we kept passing. He could not be deterred and we finally found an excellent Indian food restaurant.

As we walked back I was scoping out new hostel areas cause I was not keen on the idea of staying in Chung King Mansion another night. I was glad I had already decided to change locations when we got back. The place was swarming with police and I wondered where the yellow tape and chalk drawing where, but I didn’t see any. We later figured out what all the commotion was about when we got a knock on our door at 2am and we were asked to present our passports. I guess it’s a common place for illegal immigrants to stay and they try to catch them late at night.

The next morning I packed up my things and found a nice little guest house back by the night market from the night before. I then went and meet Itha. She was so nice and helpful. First she took me to get my passport to main land China. It was supper easy. We just went to a little travel agent office where I filled out some paperwork and presented my passport and photos and told them I needed it in 3 days. I tried to book a train ticket at the same time but they didn’t have any for 8 more days. This should have been my first clue to book all my train tickets ahead of time. Luckily Itha said she knew of another place we could go.

Itha was from Indonesia and was an executive assistant to a big business man. She traveled a lot and had been to Hong Kong many times. She jabbered away telling me about her job, boyfriend, and Bali continually insisting that if I ever go there that I look her up and she will help me out. I love the kindness of strangers and a strange instant bond that occurs amongst travelers. We went to subway for lunch and she was completely thrilled about it. Apparently there aren’t any in Indonesia and she gets it every time she comes to Hong Kong. After subway she helped me book my train ticket to Guilin and I got the second to last seat on the train.

I was so grateful for Itha’s help but she had to go and I had all of Hong Kong to explore. It was an absolute gorgeous day in Hong Kong because all the smog had blown out of the city. I went up the peak tram and had the most amazing view. You could see the entire city and far out into the ocean. Before I went I had a few friends warn me that I wouldn’t get any view, but sometimes it seems like the sun is shining just for you, and that was how I felt.

Posted by: sea2stars | January 7, 2011

The Geologist’s Life List

The geologist’s life list
It has been said that the best geologist is the one who’s seen the most rocks. I came upon this list of what geologists should try and see in their lifetimes. So I thought I would see what I’ve done on the list and then strive for the other things.

The idea is to bold the ones you have done (and add comments and details in parentheses).

1. See an erupting volcano
2. See a glacier (I saw lots of glaciers in the Canadian Rockies, my favorite being the Athabasca glacier, just cause it’s fun to say)
3. See an active geyser such as those in Yellowstone, New Zealand or the type locality of Iceland (Yellowstone)
4. Visit the Cretaceous/Tertiary (KT) Boundary. Possible locations include Gubbio, Italy, Stevns Klint, Denmark, the Red Deer River Valley near Drumheller, Alberta. (I’ve seen it in both Montana on field camp and in LaPopa Mexico)
5. Observe (from a safe distance) a river whose discharge is above bankful stage (After Hurricane Ike in Houston)
6. Explore a limestone cave. (I’ve been in lots of caves Alpina MI, Bedford IN, Wind Cave, SD Desoto Caverns, AL, Carlsbad, NM, Water Cave in Yangshuo China)

7. Tour an open pit mine, such as those in Butte, Montana, Bingham Canyon, Utah, Summitville, Colorado, Globe or Morenci, Arizona, or Chuquicamata, Chile.
8. Explore a subsurface mine (Went into a Galena Mine in Indian on a Undergrad trip)
9. See an ophiolite, such as the ophiolite complex in Oman or the Troodos complex on the Island Cyprus (Saw them in California, but I can’t remember exactly where we were)
10. An anorthosite complex, such as those in Labrador, the Adirondacks, and Niger
11. A slot canyon.
12. Varves, whether you see the type section in Sweden or examples elsewhere. (I feel like I’ve seen these, but I’m not positive, it’s been a while since I’ve been on some of these field trips.)
13. An exfoliation dome, such as those in the Sierra Nevada (Yosemite, CA,  Enchanted Rock, TX)
14. A layered igneous intrusion, such as the Stillwater complex in Montana or the Skaergaard Complex in Eastern Greenland.
15. Coastlines along the leading and trailing edge of a tectonic plate (California, East cost of Taiwan)
16. A gingko tree, which is the lone survivor of an ancient group of softwoods that covered much of the Northern Hemisphere in the Mesozoic. (On Undergrad Campus, but more fun in Taiwan and China. I’m still not quite sure why this is on the list)
17. Living and fossilized stromatolites (I like stromatolites. The best I ever saw were in the Canadian Rockies, but I see them all over here along Lake Michigan)
18. A field of glacial erratics (I’ve seen lots of these)
19. A caldera (Somewhere in NM, I don’t really remember the name of it)
20. A sand dune more than 200 feet high (Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI, The great sand dunes, CO)
21. A fjord (Sadly not, but I want to)
22. A recently formed fault scarp (I’m not really sure the San Andreas really Counts, but I’ll count it just in case)
23. A megabreccia (Saw one on field camp, not exactly sure where but I think around the Yellowstone area.)
24. An actively accreting river delta
25. A natural bridge (I saw the  largest natural bridge in AL)
26. A large sinkhole (Not sure how to define “large,” but I’ve seen quite a few in Northern MI)
27. A glacial outwash plain (I saw lots in the Canadian Rockies, I think they are pretty impressive.)
28. A sea stack (Ireland at the Cliffs of Mohr, or better known as the Cliffs of Insanity on the movie Pricess Bride.)
29. A house-sized glacial erratic (Nope, I haven’t seen any that big)
30. An underground lake or river (I went spelunking in one in the UP, it even had a waterfall in it.)
31. The continental divide (I’ve crossed them lots of times out west. I like how they are always marked.)
32. Fluorescent and phosphorescent minerals (I collected some in Bancroft Canada.)
33. Petrified trees (I’ve seen them in Yellowstone)
34. Lava tubes (Not yet, but I really want to)
35. The Grand Canyon. All the way down. And back. (This is also on my list)
36. Meteor Crater, Arizona, also known as the Barringer Crater, to see an impact crater on a scale that is comprehensible
37. The Great Barrier Reef, northeastern Australia, to see the largest coral reef in the world. (Another that is on my list)
38. The Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, to see the highest tides in the world (up to 16m)
39. The Waterpocket Fold, Utah, to see well exposed folds on a massive scale.
40. The Banded Iron Formation, Michigan, to better appreciate the air you breathe. (I sure have, I’ve also seen them out west.)
41. The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. (This is not fair, not we are getting specific)
42. Lake Baikal, Siberia, to see the deepest lake in the world (1,620 m) with 20 percent of the Earth’s fresh water.
43. Ayers Rock (known now by the Aboriginal name of Uluru), Australia. This inselberg of nearly vertical Precambrian strata is about 2.5 kilometers long and more than 350 meters high.
44. Devil’s Tower, northeastern Wyoming, to see a classic example of columnar jointing (Been there a few times)
45. The Alps (not yet, but on the list)
46. Telescope Peak, in Death Valley National Park. From this spectacular summit you can look down onto the floor of Death Valley – 11,330 feet below. (I’m not 100 % sure we were on this particular peak but we did see all of Death Valley from our vantage point.)
47. The Li River, China, to see the fantastic tower karst that appears in much Chinese art (Yup, I even road a boat across it. The Karst really is pretty awesome.)
48. The Dalmation Coast of Croatia, to see the original Karst.
49. The Gorge of Bhagirathi, one of the sacred headwaters of the Ganges, in the Indian Himalayas, where the river flows from an ice tunnel beneath the Gangatori Glacier into a deep gorge.
50. The Goosenecks of the San Juan River, Utah, an impressive series of entrenched meanders.
52. Land’s End, Cornwall, Great Britain, for fractured granites that have feldspar crystals bigger than your fist.
53. Tierra del Fuego, Chile and Argentina, to see the Straights of Magellan and the southernmost tip of South America.
54. Mount St. Helens, Washington, to see the results of recent explosive volcanism. (Not yet, but it’s on my list)
55. The Giant’s Causeway and the Antrim Plateau, Northern Ireland, to see polygonally fractured basaltic flows. (On my list)
56. The Great Rift Valley in Africa.
57. The Matterhorn, along the Swiss/Italian border
58. The Carolina Bays, along the Carolinian and Georgian coastal plain (I saw them before I knew much about geology)
59. The Mima Mounds near Olympia, Washington
60. Siccar Point, Berwickshire, Scotland, where James Hutton observed the classic unconformity 61. The moving rocks of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley
62. Yosemite Valley
63. Landscape Arch (or Delicate Arch) in Utah (Also on my list)
64. The Burgess Shale in British Columbia (Yes I did, on my geology trip to the Canadian Rockies)
65. The Channeled Scablands of central Washington
66. Bryce Canyon
67. Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone (This is really an amazing spring.)
68. Monument Valley
69. The San Andreas fault (Yup)
70. The dinosaur footprints in La Rioja, Spain
71. The volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands
72. The Pyrennees Mountains
73. The Lime Caves at Karamea on the West Coast of New Zealand
74. Denali
75. A catastrophic mass wasting event (The Frank Slide in Alberta, Canada.)
76. The giant crossbeds visible at Zion National Park
77. The black or green sand beaches in Hawaii
78. Barton Springs in Texas (I went swimming in them during ACL)
79. Hells Canyon in Idaho
80. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado
81. The Tunguska Impact site in Siberia
82. Feel an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 5.0. (6.4 in Taiwan)
83. Find dinosaur footprints in situ
84. Find a trilobite (Canadian Rockies, we tried to dig it out, but we couldn’t)
85. Find gold, however small the flake (When I was a kid we went gold mining in SD, I still have the flake)
86. Find a meteorite fragment (I’ve never found one, but I have one my brother bought me)
87. Experience a volcanic ashfall
88. Experience a sandstorm (Their was a big sandstorm in Death Valley when we where there)
89. See a tsunami
90. Witness a total solar eclipse (I saw one as a kid, I remember making special things so we could look at the sun during the eclipse)
91. Witness a tornado firsthand (that has nothing to do with rocks)
92. Witness a meteor storm (Many times, but the best where in the Canadian Rockies and this year while sleeping on the Great Wall)
93. View Saturn and its moons through a respectable telescope. (I’ve seen Jupiter and it’s 4 main moons. Does that count?)
94. See the Aurora borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights. (Saw them about 8 years back in MI)
95. View a great naked-eye comet  (Halley Comet when I was a kid)
96. See a lunar eclipse (many times)
97. View a distant galaxy through a large telescope (Saw them in my Astronomy class, we got to use the big telescope)
98. Experience a hurricane (Hurricane Ike in Houston Tx and to some extent Katrina, although I was farther inland in Tuscaloosa, AL.)
99. See noctilucent clouds (again this has nothing to do with rocks)
100. See the green flash

That’s a total of 47/100. Not bad for less than 10 years of traveling around.

Posted by: sea2stars | November 5, 2010

The last of Taiwan

The last few weeks in Taiwan were crazy between teaching, packing, planning for China, saying goodbye to friends, and trying squeeze out every bit that Taiwan had to offer me. It was so much fun that I thought I would share some photos with you.

Of course their were the kids to say goodbye to.

Big Buddah

Birthdays

KTV  (karaoke)

Amusement Parks

And of course goodbye parties

Posted by: sea2stars | October 20, 2010

Taiwanese Weddings

For my friends Ellen and Marie. I promised them this post a long time ago, it was my way to keep them reading my blog 😛

Taiwanese weddings are big and extravagant in a very different way than weddings in America are. They mostly involve food, tons and tons of food. Oh, and lots of dresses for the bride. I was fortunate enough to attend 2 wedding in Taiwan, my coworker Ellen and my friend Marie.

My coworker, Ellen, go married last October. I had just moved to Taiwan and didn’t really know her at the time but I decided that it might be my only chance to experience a Taiwanese wedding, so I got up the nerve and invited myself. I did receive a small box of cookies, so it wasn’t completely inappropriate to invite myself along.

What do cookies have to do with weddings? I’m glad you asked. A formal invitation to a wedding in Taiwan is done with a box of cookies. My roommate, Nick, got a full box while I got a small box of cookies, well, more like questionable crackers. They have a very different idea of what a cookie is here. Cookies here are more like slightly sweet crackers that often contain nuts, seeds, or other healthy things I’m unable to identify. Which is probably why we still had some left weeks after the wedding.

At a Taiwanese wedding you don’t give cards or presents you simply give a red envelope with money in it. This money goes to cover the cost of the wedding. They money in the red envelope has to be an even number and can’t have the number 4 in it, because 4 is an unlucky number in Taiwan. I gave 1600 (about 40 US) at both Ellen and Marie’s wedding. I was told that I could give less because I won’t get the money back. It is customary that you give the same amount back to someone at their wedding that they gave you.

As you enter the hall to the wedding there is usually a table full of wedding photos. They are taken prior to the wedding with lots of outfit changes and cool romantic spots around Taiwan. The couples always look like models and are absolutely beautiful. They also usually provide some sort of picture that you can take with you. At Ellen’s wedding she had bookmarks that you could take. At Morris and Marie’s wedding I got a wallet size photo of the couple. If I ever get married I might get pictures taken like this. I also know that this tradition extends into China as well, because when we were hiking the great wall there were three couples getting their pictures taken there.

Wedding in Taiwan are very elaborate. The bride wears three different dresses through the course of the wedding and you have about a 10 course meal. Their is a small ceremony, if you can actually call it that. To be legally married in Taiwan you have to get married at the court house first. Ellen was married to her husband for 3 months before they had the actual wedding.

The bride wears three different dresses throughout the wedding. The first one is to get “married” in. After the ceremony the bride slips away and puts on the next dress. She uses this dress to say great to all of her guests. The bride and groom and their parents go around to each table to introduce everyone to their guests. After introducing everyone around the table there is a small toast and they proceed to the next table. The third dress is to say goodbye and thank everyone who came by handing out small party favors. All the dresses are rented and traditionally one of the three dresses should be red for good luck, although some brides don’t follow this tradition anymore.

A small wedding in Taiwan would have at least 300 guest but most weddings have 500 or more. They invite everyone to their weddings, and I mean everyone they’ve ever had contact with. Weddings are usually in the afternoon. Guest sit around a large table that usually holds 10-12 people with a large lazy susan in the middle to help pass around the food. You literally have about a 10 course meal and many of the dishes have a symbolic meaning, so you usually see the same foods at weddings. The first dish is usually a traditional chicken soup (which I don’t like). This dish is to symbolize that you are going to make a home together because the word for chicken soup in Taiwanese (not mandarine) sounds like the word for home. They always serve some type of fish, because it symbolizes wealthy. It is customary to not eat the entire fish, showing that you are not greedy and welcome wealth into your life. They are also required to serves some sort of expensive food like lobster or a special type of fish, because the couple doesn’t want people to think that they are stingy. The dessert is always a traditional Taiwanese desert, like sweat peas, jello, sticky rice balls, or red beans (I know you are just dying to try some of those). The dessert means that the couple will live happily ever after and symbolizes them living sweetly together.

Ellen’s Wedding Food

Morris and Marie’s Wedding Food

The dinner usually last 3 to 4 hours and guest slowly file out. As you leave the bride and groom say goodbye and give you a small party favor of candy or something. At Marie and Morris’s wedding they also gave pink carnations to all the women because it was also mother’s day.

Posted by: sea2stars | September 25, 2010

Questions Anyone?

I thought I would take a moment to say a quick hello to my 5 faithful readers. Although I have left Taiwan it does not mean that my blogging days are over. I will probably try to keep this mostly a travel blog, but seeing as I’m not doing a lot of traveling at the moment some of my everyday experiences may pop up from time to time, or there will be large absences in my writing (just like this last one).

Now do not fear, just because I have left Taiwan doesn’t mean that I still don’t have a few things to say about it. I have plenty of blogs in my queue just waiting to go as soon as I finish writing them up. I also have my whole China experience to share with you as well. Also, if you have any questions about Taiwan please feel free to post a comment and I’ll try to answer them.

Posted by: sea2stars | July 24, 2010

I’m famous

I’m the closest I’ll ever be to celebrityhood here in Taiwan. Taiwan is not at all like America, where even in the most remote corners we are exposed to a variety of people. We grow up with Asians, Caucasians, and African American’s as our friends. We don’t think twice about the diversity we see in our culture. We have light skinned people, dark skinned people, hair and eyes of all colors. Everyone is as different as we are the same. We wouldn’t even know if someone was a foreigner unless they told us.

Now, when a white person comes to Asia it’s a bit different. Without question you stand out. Here everyone has roughly the same color hair, skin, and eyes. You can’t hide or blend in even if you wanted to. Because of this feature I was instantly a bit of a celebrity when I got. People stare at me and stalk me and are often too shy to ask me questions. Children point and say 外國人wai4guo2ren2 (foreigner) to their parents. Many people are very friendly and say hi or ask me funny questions and they usually try to use as much of their English on me as possible. I’ve gotten very use to it by now but when I say I’m famous I actually mean it.

First off The English school I work at has just put an advertising out for our school all over Chiayi. If you go through a car wash you can see our smiling faces at the end through your nice clean windshield. You can see us on the side of our school van as it drives around town. If you come into the school to inquire there’s a nice big picture of all of us photoshopped into some place in Europe. Yes, that’s right my smiling face is plastered all over Chiayi.

If that’s not enough, you can also have a nice big burger with me. Their is an American burger joint called The Freen here. The food is good and the owner is very nice and speaks decent English. He wanted to promote his place and invited the foreigners in Chiayi to come and have a free burger while someone took our picture. If I had known what the pictures would be I may have thought twice about it, but free food is always good. So now if you go to The Freen you can have a nice meal with me and 9 of my friends and we can all enjoy our hamburgers together.

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