Thursday, December 13, 2012

Polite or not polite...who is right?

Are you polite?  Are you impolite?

People here in Taiwan think quite differently about eating food together than they do back home.  They see it as really rude and not polite if you don't eat what your offered, regardless if you like it or not.  

There have been a lot of occasions so far when people think I am not polite just because I won't eat certain things I know I don't like.  I find this behaviour very odd.  For example I really don't eat a lot of sea food.  I like cod, tuna, a bit of salmon now and then other than that not much else.  In Taiwan they eat loads of seafood, especially prawns, shrimps and clams.  I hate prawns and shrimps in England so why would that change when I came to Taiwan, it does not.  It is still the same I don't like what I don't like and I cannot just decide to eat it because people will think I am not polite.  

If you kept trying to force people in England to eat food when they have told you so many times they don't want any or don't like it, then that would be seen as not polite.  People would also get very angry that you kept asking, and insisting that they should eat it, or try it.

A few months ago I went out with work to a beautiful place in the mountains for a meal with work.  I had a stinking hang over, and the place we went to had no menu, I was hoping they would have something I like.  They didn't have anything, actually it was mainly loads of raw fish.  As I have already told everyone I don't eat most fish to begin with because I don't like it.  So the fact this was not even cooked fish, and I had a stinking hangover made it all worse.  It was also boiling hot, and the air con didn't seem to be helping me one bit.  As we progressed through the meal, there was not one dish I could eat.  They did however keep insisting I should try it, even though I know I don't like it because I have tried it before.

I didn't think this would of been a great problem but when I went to work the next day I got politely informed that I was rude for not eating anything.  I really don't know how me not eating anything effects any one else's enjoyment of their food but that's really how it is here!

My girlfriend keeps telling me if I don't like anything I should tell them I am allergic to it, and this would make everything so much easier.  I think though why should I lie about something so trivial that really effects no one else but myself?  If I go out for a staff meal together and don't like the food I am gonna be the one losing out because I leave hungry not them!

Anyway, the point of this post is who is right?  Who is wrong? 

Back home it is not polite to force people to eat what they don't like, or make them feel like shit that they don't want to eat the food.  

Here in Taiwan it is the opposite, people see it as not polite if you don't eat anything because you don't like it.  They think your being rude by not trying some, and being too fussy about the food.  Also they think your not grateful!

Discuss...let me know your opinions!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The best place in Taipei to................take a dump!!!

So as most foreigners will know, a lot of the toilets in Taipei are squat toilets.  These are difficult to use when you first arrive in Taiwan especially when you are used to sitting on the toilet reading the newspaper while taking a dump!

I want to give you some advice so you can manage to get used to these kind of squat toilets:

First of all, when you arrive make a mental list of your favourite toilets, and know the fastest way to get there.  This way you will never need to bother with the dreaded squatter!

If you can't make it to one of your favourite toilets and have a mad dash to any.  When you open the door and go inside to your horror it is a squatter, don't panic head inside and watch out where you put your feet!  You don't want to fall inside the toilet now do you!  

Second, take off your pants, and boxers.  This way there will be no potential for embarrassment when you leave the toilet.  You don't want to have any kind of blow back or dribbles onto your pants and then have shit all up the back of your pants and arse!  This would not go down well anywhere, imagine if you didn't even realise!!!

Make sure you go inside with some toilet roll, as a lot of public toilets in Taipei City have the toilet roll outside the actual toilet for some reason.  This is odd, the first time I rushed into a toilet I didn't take any toilet roll inside and had to pull up my pants without wiping to go and look for toilet roll, you don't want this to happen to you!

Lastly when you leave, don't forget your pants and boxers, this would be a bit stupid but if someone left without any pants on i'm sure they would be in some kind of trouble ha!

Onto my favourite place in Taipei to take a shit.  I think the best place to take a shit is in the big massive Eslite bookstore by Taipei 101.  Sometimes I only go there for a shit.  This might sound crazy but their toilets are superb.  There is loads of room inside, there very very clean, and they have loads and loads of buttons on the side to play with while your busy.  One of the buttons even heats the toilet seat.  I don't know why it is needed in Taipei because it is normally hot all year around.  It is a novelty all the same that I enjoy. 

Here is a foreigner survival list for the dreaded squat toilet.

1.  Only use in cases of emergency
2.  Remember where your favourite toilets are, make mental notes of how to get there quickly.
3.  Don't forget to take in some toilet roll, as sometimes it is outside.
4.  Be careful not stand inside the toilet.  You might think this is stupid, but when it is a hole in the floor it is quite possible.
5.  Take off pants and boxers in case of any blow backs, or dribbles down your pants.  You don't wanna leave the toilet covered in shit do you!
6.  When you leave, don't forget your pants and boxers!  They are essential! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Being late in Taiwan is not the same as being late in England.

So as you all know, I work in the morning now as well as the evening.  I want to inform you guys all about one thing in particular.  That being late in Taiwan is certainly not the same as being late back home in good old England. 

I am currently working at Kid Castle, and I start work at 9.30am.  This is all well and good but they class me as being late if I am not there by 9.00am!  I would not mind, but they start to deduct 20pence (10nt) per minute if I am not there by 9.00!  

This would not be a major problem if I was getting paid from 9.00, but no I only start getting paid from 9.30.  In my eyes this is an utter utter joke.  

This has not only happened in Kid Castle it has happened in every kindergarten I have worked in, in Taiwan so it is a common thing here.

Another bizarre point which happened while I have been working at kindergarten is this:

I clock in before 9.00 so that I don't get fined any money, then I head back out to have my breakfast.  One morning the boss told me I cannot leave the school once I have clocked in.  I told her off course I can go to Seven Eleven and get my breakfast I am not being paid any money...her reply was that is irrelevant!  Jeez!!!  Don't worry everyone I still go and get my breakfast anyway because the rule is also an utter joke!

The Taiwanese employees follow the rules blindly and listen to everything the boss says, if more people were like me and realised that they are taking the piss with utterly stupid rules than maybe something would change, but it won't because like I said the Taiwanese employees are afraid to even go out after they have clocked in and even sometimes ask me to get them coffees and their breakfast. 

It is still worth doing however because I get quite a lot of extra money for two hours per morning.  This issue just bugs me a lot though, like I am their slave or something!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Acupuncture (and other Chinese medicine) is awesome!

Acupuncture is awesome!!!

Hey everyone for those of you who do not know already, I have been struggling with Tendonitis for quite a few months now.  This has been so frustrating as I had just begun to become a lot more active in my life again!

How was I going to solve this problem, I did what people normally do when they cannot walk.  I went to the hospital.  The doctor at the hospital told me she didn't know what it was, and that I should get some physiotherapy.  What they said I needed was electric shock treatment, and a hot pack.  

I would trot along to the hospital before work three to four times per week, and it initially helped in the first healing period.  When the Tendinitis was really bad, I could not even get shoes onto my goddamn feet! 

After a while though it seemed like it got to a point where it was not getting any better.  This is when my girlfriend suggested I really should get acupuncture to heal it.  At first I was being very cowardly and a big chicken shit, because when you think of acupuncture you always think of hundreds of needles stuck everywhere!

In the end I thought why not give it a shot.  I was a bit worried so the doctor told me he was happy to let me lie down so I didn't get too nervous.  When they stuck the needles in there is a slight pain but nothing too major, and you cannot move while the needles are in, this should be common sense!  (Its not wise to roll around with needles stuck inside you!!)

Then you just lie down, and chillax.  There is weird sensation of feeling everything inside circulating around, and actually I think it feels great.  What amazes me most is the effect it has on my foot afterwards.  Now I can also go twice a week to try and speed up the healing process.  As I am sick of it now, and really wanna play football, go cycling and play tennis again!

Other Chinese treatments I have had

As well as this, I also go to the Chinese medicine for my allergies, whats good about Chinese medicine is that it is all herbs, and natural.  I am amazed how much they have healed my allergies.  I only get affected by my allergies a small bit now, compared to when I first arrived.  When I first arrived any time the weather changed (it changes by around 10 degrees per day some times) it would affect my nose, eyes, throat, and I would be constantly sneezing.  The Chinese medicine has healed this pretty much.

Another time I have tried Chinese medicine was when I had heat stroke.  My girlfriend did some treatment recommended by the doctor called guaxia. 

The guaxia treatment consisted of my girlfriend putting some Chinese medicine cream (like a stronger deep heat, but in a cream not a spray.)  She then put the cream on a 10NT dollar coin. Then she started scratching my body with the coin.  Across my shoulders, arms, back etc etc.  Where she scratched my shoulders, back and arms with the coin they all came up bright red.  This is all the bad crap leaving your body.  It hurt like hell but once she had finished scratching and having a good time watching me squirm around in pain, it actually worked.  It seemed like all the heat was gone from my body and I felt back to normal again this was brilliant.

The Chinese doctor I go to is on Heping West Road, Close to Guting MRT Station.  If you come out the station, walk towards HSBC, the gym and 7/11.  There is a hot pot next door to it, and two electronical shops over the road.  (One with the yellow sign, and best.)  Keep going straight in this direction and the doctors should be on your left.  The doctor here is great, and also nice, helpful and very friendly.  (I will get some pictures soon from outside, and hopefully inside getting acupuncture if the doctor agrees.  Also I will take off the details and add the address.) 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Football/Soccer in Taipei.

Two Months ago I started my own football group in Taipei.  This has went really well, so now we have decided to make a team together.  We will still have kick abouts for those people who just would like to play for fun, as well as having the competitive element if you want that too. 

If anyone see's this and is looking for football/soccer in Taipei then feel free to contact us.  We are currently in the process of playing friendlies, and trying to join the CPL.

We have players of all different levels and abilities.  Every one is welcome, from all over the world.  We have players from, England, Wales, Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Panama, Taiwan, Nicaragua, Honduras and so on and so forth.  You lot get the picture.  It is open to every one, from every corner of the world who loves football/soccer.

We are also organising social events and activities for the group.  To take a term from Everton, we will be the real peoples club of Taipei.

We play every Thursday and Sunday in Taipei. 

Team name: Riverside Magpies
Facebook group: Sunday football and beers

If your interested in joining please join our facebook group:

Riverside Magpies. (Sunday football and beers)


Riverside Magpies
Our first Competitive goal

Gua Sha treatment for heat stroke relief

Earlier this week I had to get Gua Sha, because of suffering from bad heat stroke after hiking in the afternoon, like a madman, bang on midd...