Simon Braunstein and his wagon of exciting news comes to town today. I apologize for my extreme exuberance.
Exciting event #1: I may have chosen an apartment. It is on Bo-ai 2nd road and Wunsin. Yes, it's a little closer to town than I'd like. Yes, it's a ten minute scooter ride to the train station. Yes, it has a loft and Japanese wood paneling everywhere, and a balcony, and is right next to a park, and costs approx. $360 US a month. Yes, it's a doorman building. Yes, it comes with leather furniture, a small balcony, a mostly complete kitchen, a washing machine, and a hot tub with whirlpool jets. No, I have not taken any pictures. Yes, I have drawn some blueprints in MS paint. Oh, and before you ask, yes, it does have cute stairs going up into the loft that look like they belong on a ship. And an office. Did I mention the office? Did I mention the wall-mounted speakers that may or may not work? The whole place is awesome. I'll take pictures for ya'll tomorrow, as I'm going to stay there tomorrow night just to try it out, before I go all in for it. And I found it on my own, basically. So no agent fee. My landlady is a nice woman named Sonica who speaks little English. Oh, heavens, no, that could never get complicated.
Exciting event #2: I shall own a cat by Sunday. A neutered and vaccinated animal that was rescued goes for 60 bucks or so, here. The woman with the apartment says she's okay with the cat, as long as I agree to pay for anything the cat damages. So let's be CAREFUL, okay, cats of the universe?
Exciting event #3: This Sunday, I go running with some of my co-workers, just before I get a cat. Yay!
MANDARIN CHARACTER(S) OF THE FRIGGIN' DAY:
Do you see what I see? Two characters? The first one has two little star thingies on top. Those represent bamboo. The bottom two little symbols mean "fast". The second character, the big one that looks like a scepter with a line going through it, means "son". Could it be? Is this the chinese character for...alpine skis?
It's the character for chopsticks.
WACKY THING ABOUT TAIWAN #347: Eating.
It is considered rude to stab things with your chopsticks. Girls often cover their mouths if they speak while eating. I haven't seen men do it yet...so I am forced to believe it is something girls are expected to do, or something.
WACKY THING ABOUT TAIWAN #69: Strip clubs.
Half of the KTVs here (KTV = Karaoke Television, bars with karaoke in them) are just covers for strip clubs, where, I am told, pretty much everything except actual sexual penetration takes place. Strip clubs here are, apparently, a lot different than they are in the US. I would like to emphasize that this is what I was TOLD, and not what I saw, nor is it what I intend to experience. I learned more than this from conversation, and I'll tell you more if you really want to know, but you'll have to catch me in a less public venue.
didn't come out here
to rough it
we came to smooth it.
things are rough