Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Old Man

(A special thanks to all of you who sent birthday wishes. Believe me, a fun time was had by all.)
That being said... today while standing in the crosswalk I was clipped by a racing scooter, just the mirror mind you, as I slalomed in a standstill dodge, but it hastened my heart enough to elicit an eruption of Chinese curses. There is a law in the Taiwan books that if one person disparages another, he can be sued for mental damage. A year ago a foreigner was fined almost a million NT dollars for screaming the F-word at a driver who ran him off the road. The driver claimed disability and mental suffering from being called a dirty word in an alternate language.
So… just one more reason to stick to studying Mandarin.
(A little stroll out in the rain)

At the sports day this week, during the tug of war, I got a great laugh out of the anchor of each team’s insistence that he wear a crash helmet. You know, just some big fat kid at the end of a twenty man team stuffing his bulbous melon head into a dummy dome.
I tried to laugh with my students about it, but they were so upset.
“Teacher, International Tug of War regulations state that all members of a team must wear a helmet!”
They looked at me like I was an idiot.
“No… you don’t wear a helmet in tug of war.”
But then I got lectured how last year at a political rally, a local gubernatorial candidate got his arm torn off in a charity tug of war match.
Seriously, when did the world become a bunch of pansies? No more Red Rover, Red Rover? No more merry-go-rounds? No more Dodge Ball? Not that getting your arm ripped off is for the faint of heart, but… seriously?
The next day I came to class wearing a bike helmet. I told the class one of my students had fallen out of his desk and cracked his head on the floor and everyone needed to wear a helmet to school from now on. It didn’t really go over well.
(Hartenstein during the morning coffee rush.)

That night while taking the garbage out, a big rat jumped out of the bin and barked at me. I fell over onto my back and banged my head on the cement as the rat strutted away. I think he was listening to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack on his iPhone.
From Kinu’s Teacher’s Note:
“Our class is courtesy class at October, Kinu is a politeness girl, every time will say hello when we meet uncle, auntie, and teachers… remember clap hand for King.”
- this comes from a woman who last week was wearing a t-shirt that read: “Little Miss Jail Bait.
Later that day, while walking with my girls in the park, I spotted a group of invalids sunning themselves under blankets in their wheelchairs surrounded by a gaggle of Indonesian house servants chattering away. Normally I wouldn’t notice a wheelchair brand name, but this one caught my eye: Karma.
This is a paper cut out sent from America by my nephew Nate. His school assignment was for me to take a picture of it and send it back. Here you go, Buddy!


  1. Wow I didnt know that your bday. Wish you keep smiling, be happy with your family, healthy and will be a better year for u!!!

    Nidnoi (Anongnart)

  2. Your girls are adorable, lucky you…