Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tawan is Japan's Thailand

I had my demo today. It was me and Neo in an empty classroom for three and a half hours. Me pretending to teach two different classes.
It was alright. Tomorrow I start for real. 6 hours of teaching. Tomorrow is Ashley's birthday but I won't be back in Taipei until late. Megan has come back into Taipei today. She is going to hangout with Ashley tomorrow. Megan is staying at Zach the Aussie's apartment. It is cheaper, no rats or bugs of any note. A rat ate a hunk out of the apple I was saving for breakfast.
That roach corpse is still in the stairwell but only about a quarter of its original size. Maybe when it is completely gone I will have found a place to live.

Ashley got the job in Hsinfong in Hsinchu County! She is very happy. The place sounds like a pit but it pays well. Tomorrow she is going to break it to Ingrid.
I hope Ingrid doesn't throw a shoe at her.
The job is good news, a nice cosmic birthday present. She's been battling an ear infection and deserves a respite from some worries. Today we went to the local pharmacy, not a chain store, to get her something for her ear. The old pharmacist spoke english. She told him her problem and asked for some ibuprofen and his advice in making a garlic oil to put in her ear. He looked at her like she was crazy. She whipped up a batch anyway and used a drinking straw as a dropper. She sleeps in the bunk above me. I wonder if I will dream of pizza tonight.

Megan just came back from travelling around the entire island. She had stories of surfers and Buddhists and gorges and train rides, and buses and delicious food and beautiful rivers. I hope I can tease more details out of her before she goes off to Mr. Chan's tea farm.

Megan and Zach came by the hostel tonight and we went out in search of supper. We walked north on Linsen because we know there are many options up there. It is a busy area sometimes none as "the Combat Zone" or "the Zone". There are many Japanese noodle shops, steakhouses, and fast food places and street sausage vendors. It was called "the Combat Zone" because there is an American military installation of some sort in the area and in 50s, 60s and 70s that is where the red light district sprung up. Message parlors and KTV rooms that not only include music and food, but also 'girls' line the street. Now-a-days, most of the patrons are Japanese businessmen rather than American servicemen. We walked down an alley that ran perpendicular to Linsen road that was lined with bars with vaguely Japanese names. We were walking with an American named Kevin who came to find food with us. He lived in Japan for many years and told us that the Japanese come to Taiwan for two main reasons; cheap electronics and this neighborhood. Those words had not left his lips when we were caught up in a group of red faced, black-suited Japanese men leaving a place. In fact all of the environmental noise on the street changed. Instead of the musical sound of mandarin we were hearing the rhythmic beats of Japanese coming from every doorway.

At the end of the alley we came to a smaller street and this had lots of little vendors. It looked like the street where the locals went instead of the main thoroughfare and the prices reflected this. Girls that probablly worked down the street were in their civies munching on dinner of beef noodles before a shift. I spotted one of those stands where you put things in a basket and have the cook grill it up. Zach grabed some bacon wrapped scallions and I pointed at a fish. A whole fish, kind of looked like a herring, maybe a foot long from nose to tail and a couple of inches wide. They grilled this up for us. We found some benches in an ajoining alley. It was well lit and good for people watching. We ate the bacon. We ate the fish drizzled with a little lime, salt and pepper. We finished the meal with some passion fruit Zach got on the street (one dozen for 80NTD=$2.50us). Total cost of the meal was under $4.oo US. Delicious.

I have work to do now.
But I will probably sleep instead.

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