Saturday, May 23, 2009

Behold the Modern Toilet

If being reminded of what your food looks like when it comes out while it's going in is your thing, then man-o-man is this the restaurant for you.

The Modern Toilet

Thursday, May 21, 2009


It's been about 2 months, but all I have are promises.

1. Pictures from the Modern Toilet. For those of you on Facebook, you probably have already seen them. But for those of you who are anti putting your business on the interwebs, I will post the link to the pics.

2. A Taiwan wrap up. I seriously sweat over this one. I still feel too connected to the experience, and too disconnected from my life in the US again to properly put it into a blog.

3. A new bloggity, blog, blog link about my not so Asian life.

Until then, much love and such.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'll miss you Grandpa

The dead are always looking down on us, they say.
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the glass bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly through eternity.

They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a long afternoon,
they think we are looking back at them,
which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes

Billy Collins.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Full of It

I'm so going here before I leave.

Oh, yes. The Modern Toilet. The ice cream names are my favorite. "diarrhea with dried droppings" (chocolate), "bloody poop" (strawberry) and "green dysentery" (kiwi) Mmmm, mmmm.

Who's hungry?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Someone did a google search for "Japanese bite penis" and got sent to my blog. hahaha

I'm in a bit of a funk because the school I work for, Kojen, is fucking with me. They took about a third of my pay check for breaking my contract, but failed to tell me that they were going to do this. They have a very liberal (not based on any sort of system) interpretation of the money I actually "owe" them. Another friend of mine who works for Kojen had her whole check withheld and then Kojen asked her to pay an extra $100 NT. She had to pay because Kojen was failing to give her enough hours. The whole thing is a bit ridiculous.

Kojen is notorious for messing with teachers who leave before their one year contract is up. They like to cancel work visas early or mark your visa as missionary (try traveling with a missionary stamp, ha!) and forget to pay your salary. I don't like it. And I don't like it mostly because it will take time to get them to unfuck with me, and let's face it, there's a million other things I rather do. Damn the Asian man.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Economic Crisis

For everyone, who is not my brother, and is feeling a little lost about what is happening in with our economy and the options available to us to fix it, This American Life, has been doing a series of really informative (and simple! and clear!) shows on the economic crisis.

There are 3 shows so far, the latest of which, "Bad Banks", was actually the one I listened to first. After listening, I think I am actually prepared to have an intelligent, although limited, conversation on the subject. Not that I am demonstrating this at all in this blog. But go listen, be informed, so you don't sound like an asshole when talking about the economy like your local representative.

Birds on the Brain

Before you begin, important Cultural Slang: Penis = bird , yellow = perverted (in Mandarin in Taiwan)

Speaking of the cultural implications of bird...

The book that we use for the upper levels at Kojen is American Shine. American Shine is an ok book. It is a book made by Brits teaching American English, so you'll often find random bits of British English, but that is forgivable and most likely useful to the students in the long term. The book is divided into 9 units with 4 lessons in each unit. After each unit, there is a running story, and some activities for the students to do. This all looks well and good, until you find out that the running story is called, "LA Bird"

The name is forgivable enough, but the story happens to be about a woman getting robbed. What did she lose you ask?

Her bird.

But her bird isn't an average bird, it is a big, expensive, special, yellow, and magical bird. So, of course, part of our job as readers is to figure out who would want her bird.

I've never seen a class full of mid-schoolers so happy to be reading English before.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Before you begin, important Cultural Slang: Penis = bird (in Mandarin in Taiwan)

Last week was my final week teaching my class of high schoolers from 3:40 - 6:30 pm on Saturday. Kojen is slowly phasing me out of the work force. I have been asking to dump this class for months. 3 hours + 15-yr-olds + overbearing parents forcing their children to study English + Saturday = FUN TIMES! I took this class over when I came to Taiwan. It took the students exactly 8 months and 3 weeks to warm up to me. We were just finding our flow when Kelly, my boss, told me that she was going to give the class to the new teacher. Poor girl, but I was/am not exactly sad that a) I get off at 3:20 on Saturday now b) don't have to spend 3 hours jumping around like a damn monkey trying to ascertain whether or not there is life in room 523.

The final class I taught was on adjective order. Opinion, size, age, color, shape, origin, material, purpose, etc, etc (there still seems to be some debate as to what the adj order really is, but I digress). As native speakers, we naturally put adjectives in the right order, but SLLs do not. As I was soliciting examples of each category from the class, one of my students tells me that Japanese women are the most beautiful, and then proceeds to crack up like he has just told the funniest joke in the world. We were going over the lesson and every time I would say Japanese the whole class would giggle. I was, as usual, clueless as to what was so humorous, so my student, said, "Teacher, you want to know why so funny?" "Sure, why's it so funny?" "You know English name for man bird?" "Ok, Brandon, we can talk about birds after class." The class had a good chuckle over bird, and then we returned to class.

At the end of class, Brandon explained what was so funny about Japanese. "Panese", he said sounded the same as, you guessed it, "penis". In Taiwanese, not Mandarin, Taiwanese, "ja" means "to eat", so Japanese, in the minds of trilingual Taiwanese 15-yr-olds, means "eat penis".

Ok, so maybe I will miss that class just a little bit.