In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Thursday, March 15, 2012
A Punch in the Face
Waking up in Taiwan today is like being punched in the face.
My Lit Test that the math teacher wrote, the one the administrators assured me would not cause me extra work, the 43 multiple choice question literature test, (can you imagine?) the one I spent four hours re-writing, the one I spent a day in frustration over, the one I spent a day agonizing professionally about hurting people's feelings, the one I spent an hour in meetings over explaining to the math teacher, the one we spent another hour in meetings as a department over...oh yes, that literature test...today the administrator came to me and said it needed to be changed...and could I grade it on a decimal system?
That afternoon I took my girls to this Italian restaurant that just opened up across from the apartment. Sort of swanky and cool with a wood burning pizza oven that we gawked at while standing in the little lobby... but then the waiter came over and showed us the chairs...these totally high dangerous stools my girls can't sit on, so I asked for a regular table, the place was wide open before the dinner rush...but the waiter then the head waiter then the manager (who are all running around with secret service ear pieces for some reason) all told me that they cannot seat children at those tables because they don't want to serve families... this was a young person establishment with a "cool" clientele.
So then we went across the street to the Thai place...and I put my jacket over the chair...so the waiter comes over and tries to put this giant cape over my chair to cover my coat because it is unseemly to have coats hanging over chairs...I politely said, "No thanks." Ten minutes later he tried to do it again to which I firmly said, "No thank you." Then ten minutes later the manager came over and suggested I do this because it was restaurant policy, to which I said, "I will leave if you ask me to cover my coat in your big cape." So they backed down...
To make matters worse, the waiter who is coming to the table is wearing a white surgical mask because his nose is running. He sniffles as he hands me the menu...he sniffles as he explains to me how I have to order from the set menu because that's the way they HAVE to do it... he sniffles as he tries to pick up my water glass by the rim with his gross fingers... he sniffles as he brings the food to the table...in Taiwan, if you are a student and your temperature reaches just above 98 degrees...you are sent home at the cost of the parents...but apparently at a restaurant...you can sniffle and sneeze and cough in someones food...should have put that cape over his head.
Just another day in Taiwan.... Total TKO!