Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thai Bound.

Just three more days until my Chinese New Year's vacation, and it can't come soon enough. The weather here in Linko is dreadful, it's been cold and rainy all week. I have had enough of work lately, and I've had enough of sitting around in my apartment because I don't want to drive my motorcycle through the rain or wind.

So in three days, Luke, Mike, Willie and I will be getting on a jet and flying here:

One picture's all you get until I get back, but a quick Google Image Search for 'Krabi, Thailand' or 'Railay Beach' will yield similarly astonishing views. Yes, I'll be relaxin' to the maxin' on the beach, beer and book in hand, and watching the waves. Maybe I'll head to Pei Pei Island for a day, or ride an elephant. I don't know, but I'm sure as hell going to relax and enjoy myself.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cleaning Up Linko

Well, despite the loud campaigning, I guess the legislators of Taipei County are good for something after all. I just read this article from the China Post that says that Taipei county will start to come down hard on advertising vehicles parked in public spaces for long periods of time.

Those who park their vehicles at public parking spaces in Taipei County, northern Taiwan, for advertising purposes for a period of more than 15 days will see their parking fee doubled from the ordinary level, according to a resolution made by the Taipei County Council.

The county council has recently ratified a set of revisions to the statute governing the collection of parking fees at public parking lots, proposed by the Bureau of Transportation under the Taipei County Government.

Finally! For those of you who don't live here, you won't understand what bothers me without a visual aid:

These trucks, with ads for new apartments and condos that are being built all over Linko and other cities in Taipei County, take up many available parking spaces on many streets. They are unsightly, they often have broken windows or dogs living under them. Most have flat tires and are inoperable, and they also serve as handy obstructions to us scooter drivers trying to pull out into traffic. I'll be very happy if they start towing these things.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Big Erection

Never mind the Iowa or New Hampshire caucuses in America. Never mind Obama or Huckabee or Hillary. The most important election to me right now is the one here in Taiwan. Taiwanese politics is, for the most part, still a mystery to me. I know that like America, it consists mainly of two opposing viewpoints- the pro-reunification Pan-Blue coalition headed by the Kuomintang (KMT) party, and the Pan-Green coalition headed by current President Chen Shui-bian's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP.)

Local elections are coming up soon, and all candidates fro my area are having a real go at campaigning. I don't really care who wins, and to be honest, I don't have any interest in researching their political standings right now. I just want it all to be over.

I'm sick today. Sick as a dog. I called off work and I am currently awake and typing this post instead of sleeping because these politicking bags of douche have rented vans emblazoned with their thumbs up and smiling smug selves and are having said vans drive up and down the streets of Linko, blaring political messages at hundreds of ear hemorrhaging decibels.

And if I were healthy enough to go to work, I'd pass dozens of billboards, signs, flags, banners, and other propaganda seemingly originating from only two good ol' boys from Linko, one with a green polo shirt and glasses, smiling and giving me the thumbs up, the other with a cornflower blue polo shirt and sans spectacles, but also giving me a toothy smile and a hearty thumbs up.

Shut up. Shutupshutupshutupshutup.

I know I am a newcomer to this country, and I should respect the fact that they even have democracy in the first place (and I do, believe me,) but I can still criticize the overly irritating and invasive way in which that democratic process is executed.

Say what you will about Obama or Huckabee, at least they let me get some sleep.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Eve

Luke and I went to a party through some friends of friends on a rooftop in Taipei for New Years' Eve. I was a bit sick, but I still had a good time. We had a great view of the 101 fireworks, which was easily the most impressive pyrotechnic show I've ever witnessed.

101 looked really cool, even before the fireworks.

There was normal dancing...

...and fire dancing

The main event:

(not my video)

And a few more of the evening...

Luke tooka nasty shot.

Our whole group (minus Jerry, who was taking this photo):
Full album:
New Year's 2008

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