Shaving Brandon

Brandon is a good bowler. In fact, he’s so good that he bet Andrew that Andrew couldn’t beat him in bowling 3 times in the entire season. That’s 99 games.

Maybe Brandon isn’t as good as we thought. Last Wednesday, we convened at Andrew’s house to shave Brandon’s head and heat char-grilled hamburgers. Fun times!

Still photos here.

Back in the States

You’ll be ecstatic to know, Bob and I have made it safely home, to a wonderfully damp house (I’ll explain later) and a very excitable Kuma. We got home around 12:30 AM, courtesy of Andrew (thanks again, you are awesome) and proceeded to watch some season finales that we had recorded and feasted on tuna sandwiches. Yep, that was our first night back. It was wonderful.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The rainy season sure does put a damper on things when you don’t have a car and you tend to forget the umbrella. It’s been raining for five days straight and we’ve barely left the apartment. Thank goodness that we’ve been able to steal the Internet or else Bob would have jumped out of our 10th story window four days ago.

Observations from a Foreigner’s Perspective, Part Deux.

1. Carpet does not exist in homes. Tile in the living room, tile in the kitchen, tile in the bathroom, tile in the bedrooms, even tile on the stairs. Tile is everywhere. When you enter a home, you take off your shoes, only to put on another pair of shoes to walk around in, due to the fact that the tiled floors turn the soles of your feet black. So, I wonder, why even take off my shoes in the first place?

2. Ovens are rare. Apparently, not many people bake here because there are bakeries on practically every corner. And it’s so freaking hot here, who in the world would want to subjugate themselves to even more of it? Remember, no central air.

3. No such thing as intellectual property or copyright protection. Bootlegging in the night markets were blatantly obvious, often leading to hilariously mistranslated results.

4. The bathrooms here are ridiculous. There is no such thing as a shower curtain. Why? Well, it’s because you shower standing on the bathroom floor, with a hand-held showerhead. That’s right, there is no bathtub or shower enclosure. You have toilet, sink and a drain in the floor. For those who are lucky to have a bathtub, there is still no shower curtain. But there is still a drain in the floor. Because I am not accustomed to showering in this manner, all I have to say is thank goodness the entire bathroom, door included, is waterproof or else I would be paying for a whole lot of water damage. I hate hand-held showerheads. Another observation is that this country doesn’t seem to utilize this little invention called the exhaust fan. I just don’t get it.

5. Since we don’t have cable, I have not been able to watch anything in English. Whenever I am able to see some white people on the tele, I pause to try and listen to see what’s going on. It seems that the Taiwanese don’t really care about world news. The “world” news that I can seem to catch consists of Paris Hilton going to jail, the heat wave in Germany, some English vacation destination and the dumbass lawyer who contracted TB and may have passed it along to other people. Not really much in world news on this side.

6. People will look at you like you’re crazy when you’re walking around in the rain without an umbrella. People will look at you like you’re crazy when you’re walking around in the sun without an umbrella. Basically, always carry an umbrella.

7. Hotel staff will always remember the 6’5”, 300 pound white guy staying at their hotel. You never have to tell them which room you’re staying in; they just know.

Golfing and More

Today, I got up at 3:40 so I could meet Jen’s cousin Richard in the lobby of the hotel at 4 AM so we could drive to the course to make our 5:15 tee time. That’s right, I’m golfing Taiwan. Anyway, I was so psyched that I actually woke up on my own at 3:39 AM. Seriously.

By the time we got to the course, the sun was starting to rise and the fog was just beginning to burn off. This was the most scenic course I have ever played. Mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. Incredible. We played with two of Richard’s coworkers and with the four of us playing golf and speaking perfect English (well, they spoke perfect English), I felt right at home.

The most interesting thing about the round was the caddies. Two women drove the cart, tended the pins, picked our clubs and cleaned our balls all day long. And as enticing as it sounds for most of you perverts out there who are imagining some hot young sexxy Asains cleaning my balls, be advised these gals were in their forties and covered head to toe so not as to be ravaged by the sun. Anyway, we had a four-seater golf cart that held four bags and six people. The other three guys in the back, me riding shotgun (the size factor) and one caddy driving with the other hanging off the side. It was awesome. After the round, I came back to the hotel to get cleaned up and take a nap (4 AM wake up call will do that to a man). After the nap, we went to eat dinner at a Dim Sum place in New York New York, a mall so nice, they named it twice. We then bounced over to Taipei 101 to do some book and window shopping, then back to the Shilin Night Market.

By now, it was raining pretty good, and we were the only idiots walking around without an umbrella, but by the time we saw some guy selling them, we were wet and our pride was not yet broken, so we solidered on. Jen found a purse for $6 (don’t tell customs!) and we got some more shaved ice before piling back onto the light rail system to head back to the hotel.

All in all, a fun day.