Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pull Ups of Death

Recently I have been getting into mountain climbing in a big way, well more like hiking but in Chinese they just call all types of going up a mountain 'climbing'. Anyway, I often see an older Italian fella doing pull ups at the bottom of the mountain on a bar and the fella is ripped, big time ripped.

Therefore I decided, well if he is that ripped maybe I should give it a go. I didn't want to do it on the bar where all the other folk were because I assumed (correctly) i'd struggle to even do 1 pull up and I remembered seeing some rings in the trees at the top of the mountain where I go hiking. There's not many people linger about in that spot, so I thought to myself i'll start the ripped look there. After waddling slowly to the top of the mountain, I get to the rings and as usual there is no one there, or anyone using the pull up rings. That meant I had them all to myself for the struggle of lifting my body up with only the strength my arms occupy.

I head towards the rings like a man possessed, I mean business this is it; I will do 1 pull up successfully. I grab the rings, and pull...and pull....and pull. Oh my, lifting up my 100kg body mass was clearly going to be a lot more difficult than I had ever imagined. I was so determined that a pull up would be completed, so I pulled and pulled and pulled then completed a half of a pull up. A half! Unbelievable...I couldn't leave it at just one half pull up so I decided to have a rest, get some energy back and try again in a few minutes.

After sitting down and admiring the wonderful views for a whopping 5 minutes I was now adamant that I was refreshed and would have no problem completing 1 full pull up because I am proper mighty and all that. Off I toddle to the rings, stretched up and pull...yep you guessed it, the same thing happened again. My body mass is more than my arms can lift, therefore I again pulled and pulled and pulled to no avail. I did however manage another half pull up but I'm unsure if two half pull ups is better than 1 full pull up. Either way its a miserly amount and nothing to write home about.

I completed my mountain hiking and didn't think anymore about it until I woke up the next day, and the pain in my back, arms and shoulders was unreal. If I moved it ached, how could this be when I didn't even manage a full pull up but the pain was real, very bloody real indeed. The pain has lasted from Saturday until Wednesday and has even stopped my from sleeping well which never happens even when I am ill. I am a bloke who loves a good sleep. This got me thinking should I try the pull ups ever again because 4 days of intense pain and not sleeping is some kind of bollocks I don't want to deal with again, on the other hand that old fella I see doing the pull ups often is extremely ripped. It's a dilemma and I reckon I am unlikely to ever do the pull up rings of death ever again.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Tissues outside the bog

Have you ever been that desperate for a shit you just need to get inside instantly? Sometimes in Taiwan you get a bit of a shitty stomach from time to time and you need to have a mad dash to the bog. When you do this you need to be careful because a lot of toilets in Taiwan put the bog roll outside of the goddamn toilet. What lunacy is this?

That's correct, the toilet roll is outside and you need to guess what kind of crap your going to have before you take the plunge on deciding how much roll you're going to take inside with you. Sometimes there's a goody two shoes telling you, "hey you're taking too much!" I once replied to a fella who did this, "Well it's my shit and my arse, not yours is it?" It's really odd that people will even get offended by how much toilet roll you need for a good arse wiping.

I don't know why they can't just put it inside but some people have told me it's because people will steal the whole roll. Now that is a new standard of low, I know there was a load of drama over bog roll price recently but if your going to go around stealing it out of public bogs that's not on. Because of your thievery some poor fella now has a shitty undercrackers all day and that is down to you - the bog roll thieves!

One personal anecdote of mine where I had an issue with the bog roll outside was at a swimming pool in Wanhua. I was bursting for a crap, literally ready to pop, so I dash inside and see there is no bog roll anywhere, not in the bog, not out the bog. The roll holder is there outside, I think thank god now let's do this, but see the roll is completely empty. Then I run outside to the reception and tell her love there's no bog roll. Please give me some, and quickly.

She give me two small pieces. Two pieces for a full arse wiping? What I disaster, but I was in no position to argue. I took the two pieces and ran off to dump the turtles head in the pond but as I only had two little goddamn pieces of toilet roll, I was praying I would have one of those clean craps where they glide out of your arse and they don't involve a great deal of wipes to clean.

It was not to be, today's crap was the kind my dad would proudly proclaim a Klingon! Now I had two options, wipe and wipe and wipe again with the same pieces, or pull my kegs up, charge outside and demand more goddamn bog roll. I choose the latter option, up went the shreddies...and I charged the wifey like Braveheart on a search for freedom, she looked shocked because she already supplied me with ample amount apparently. I demanded more and got more, freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom for my shitty arse!

So when your running into a bog dying for a crap in  Taiwan, make sure you figure out where the toilet roll is first otherwise you may have a massive disaster on your hand, one may say a shitty disaster but a disaster all the same.

Rage walking and a bloke watching porn in Starbucks

I normally need to have a rage walk once or twice every day, it sounds a bit drastic but something really sends me into a rage that much that I need to get outside and calm the shit down.

Yesterday however I needed a longer rage walk than normal, as the nonsense that goes on in Taiwanese companies is unreal. Basically, a guy wouldn’t just tell me the number I needed, instead I had to figure out where to find this number. I’m supposed to receive an email with information about the work but didn’t, and to make the rage even worse this bloke had looked to see if work had been approved, he saw the number, then went to other management system to type a message for me to input the number he needs there. The same number he had seen now two or three times. 

Even though he had seen the number so much he wouldn’t just pass the number onto me or tell me the number so I could finish the task. Because in his words; that’s not his job to do that. That’s my job. So I had to call the woman who deals with the system in the main office located in another city just to get the number for the guy who wants it, the guy who has looked at the number he needs at least three times but won’t just forward the number to me. And they believe teamwork exists in Taiwan, if teamwork does exist I’d happily let you show me where because I’m of the firm belief most of your Taiwanese colleagues would rather take a massive shit on you instead of helping with anything even if it is work they need. 

The reason for this is because schools, companies and anywhere else where people are supposed to be working to achieve a shared outcome make everything competitive. The bosses and people in charge want to generate a working environment whereby your colleagues will refuse to help, even if it’s just finding out a number because they’re not listed to work on that task and even if they cannot complete their task without me completing my task. In a nutshell they all seem to have little man syndrome where they want to look good by making you look shit. All in the name of working their way up the ladder in some soulless company where they’re a number, a company where they cannot go home until their manager goes home, or they have to stay until midnight because of another bleeding made up emergency. 

So as the rage burned, I grabbed my coffee and stormed outside, with no destination or purpose I just wondered aimlessly in a circle as steam was blowing out my ears like a bugs bunny cartoon. I amble right past a Starbucks just as I need a piss, so rush on inside to do the business hoping no one is already in the toilet because if I had to wait 30 minutes the piss might have started to slowly dribble down my leg. 

Luckily no one was inside and unlike the good Taiwanese folk I was swiftly in and out in a jiffy. As I was walking out of the Starbucks something caught my attention in the corner of my eye, a geezer to the left of me was watching porn in the middle of bloody Starbucks. I only caught a brief glimpse, and assumed he didn’t notice that I had clocked him. A did a swift double back and pretended to be browsing the coffees on the shelf but I really I wanted to check I wasn’t going do Lally tap. 

His MacBook was open for the whole coffee shop to see, little Apple headphones plugged in and some woman getting he vadge smashed in for anyone to see. I really wanted to get a sly picture of the idiot but unfortunately he had clocked on to the fact that I had clocked him and I wasn’t really browsing for coffees. When he noticed someone saw him he flipped the late down and hastily exited Starbucks. I must say it was a pretty odd situation, why would he watch porn in the middle of Starbucks like that, I’m sure it’s not the advert Starbucks and apple were going for when they target trendy hipster wankers. As for wanking, I reckon Starbucks owe me, because no doubt he was one step away from wapping his dong out and bashing one out while everyone is sat in blissful enjoyment sipping a coffee. 

So Starbucks send your free vouchers to me for being the saviour of the day, ta. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We are only a couple, and I live alone - Dog Charity in Taiwan refuses to let me adopt a dog

My adopted dog - AnQiang, does he look unhappy to you? 

Me and the Mrs had been thinking about getting a dog for some time, quite some time in fact. I have always loved dogs myself, but the Mrs was never that keen.

Well that all changed after we took a trip back to England to see my parents, my mother had since got a dog since I relocated to Taiwan. When the Mrs met him and spent time with him she was positively sold on getting a dog. 

First of all we had to move apartments from my jail sized box to a real apartment, that comes with separate bedrooms, kitchens and a lot more space. Before the move I was living in a tiny studio with no kitchen or separate bedrooms. Unlike the locals I believe this is no place for a dog to be left alone while I go to work all day. 

Once we found a place, the first thing the Mrs insisted on was to find a dog, my only rule was that if we get one, then we must adopt it. There’s so many dogs that have been abused or abandoned in need of a loving home and family, and I’m not so keen about trusting breeders even at home nevermind here where dogs are often treat as a commodity or the latest fashion accessory. 

So even before we had moved any of our stuff, the hunt for a dog we wanted to adopt was on. I suggested that the Mrs should decide which one we take because she had more things that she wanted to consider before taking one, for example size. If it was too big it would be difficult for her take out. Me on the other hand I could have took any dog and been happy all the same. 

Most dogs up for adoption here are some natural mix of Taiwan dogs, Taiwan dogs are the common local dogs in Taiwan and can be seen everywhere. Most of the strays have some part Taiwan dog in them meaning their features will be visible. They’re are all kinds of weird and wonderful mixes though because most the mixing in the pot has been done naturally. The locals who are fed up with their new commodity or accessory generally take them to the riverside and dump them. Most dumped dogs are some kind of designer dog, with most strays being Taiwan dogs this is how the wonderful mixes that are difficult to see back home are created. 

For this reason we had assumed we would find some kind of Taiwan dog, be it some form of mixed Taiwan dog or closer to how they’re supposed to look. Neither concerned us, we just wanted to find one that was calm and friendly because we are first time owners. So the Mrs got online and found a dog charity a lot of people recommend DogsHome Taiwan and I believe, if I remember correctly their website is or something similar. 

We saw they had an event outside second floor cafe in Gongguan so we thought it would be good to check it out. When we got there we saw a couple of dogs we liked in particular, so we started to ask them some questions which seemed to annoy them. This was the first warning sign, how can a dog charity get annoyed when you ask them questions about the dog you are keen on taking? 

Next they asked about my apartment, which is fair enough that they want to know if I have enough space to keep a pet, but what came after this was weird in the extreme. They said they don’t like giving dogs to couples like me and the Mrs. They asked how we would look after a dog while we’re at work, my reply was, “just like everyone else does, we’ll feed him, leave him water and what he needs and he’ll wait until we get home.” Apparently they hated that, and told us someone has to be there during the day with the dog and again reiterated they don’t give dogs to young couples anyway. 

Their patronizing and condescending attitude was starting to agitate me, and could feel my blood start to bubble and boil. They had all these nice dogs locked in cages but would refuse to let us adopt one just because we are young, a couple and I live alone. I get it, loads of young people must get dogs here and dump them if they break up but you need to apply your crappy rules on a case by case basis because this is something you really can’t generalize. 

This charity makes you pay medical fees which is fair enough but there was a story on Facebook recently that someone posted where the charity claimed the dog was really healthy and then the lady took it home but it wasn’t. It was really sick, when she posted what happened her posts were removed. There was also something that blew up on Facebook about them stealing someone’s cat and chopping his balls off then charging the owner for the ball chopping. There was loads of back and forth between the cat owner and the charity of he said she said. In all honesty though why would any person claim a charity stole their cat and chopped their balls off unless they’re mental? If it was just an accident then apologize and hand the cat back instead of pointing fingers. 

This is supposed to be a ‘charity’ but I have no doubt if they find this post they’ll start screaming in fits of rage that I need to remove this post or they’ll sue me, which is very charitable of them, but I have some advice for you and your charity. I’m a big fat bastard called Mark and I don’t give a fuck what you and your minions you call followers think, if you act the twat less then you’ll have to threaten to sue people less. At the end of the day we are a couple who wanted to give a dog a loving home, and now we have done that without any shitty help from you. 

After our misfortune of attempting to deal with doghome Taiwan, the Mrs went online and found a page online which listed all shops around Taipei that had an abandoned or stray dog for adoption. We went to a dog grooming shop which was on the list as having a dog up for adoption, when we went there we thought we couldn’t find or see any dog that looked like it was up for adoption until they brought out this lovely little poodle. He wanted attention from us straight away, the Mrs loved him instantly but I was worried about how his eyes looked. 

I went and thought about it at work for a couple of days then decided I really wanted to take him too. I got in touch with the Mrs and told her call the shop and let them know we want to take him. She did, they ageed but said we had to meet the owner first, I kept pestering her to call the owner because we really want him. We never expected that we would be taking a poodle, picking a breed never came into our minds we were just looking for one we liked that suited our situation but we are now the proud owners of a lovely little poodle named AnQiang. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Walking in Taipei can be an annoyance

If you have ever been to Taipei you know it can be busy, but not as busy as other Asian metropolises. Therefore it becomes a frustrating annoyance when trying to walk anywhere in the city because people often get in your way regardless if you're walking fast, slow or make an attempt to circumnavigate them.

Smart phones and scooters have a large part to play in this issue, people are addicted to using their smart phones in Taiwan and when you walk past people on the street a large percentage of them are still playing their phone games even as they're walking while at the same time not paying attention to their surroundings. If the phone zombies walk into you because they're unaware of paying attention, then they'll give you a look as if to say, "why the hell didn't you move?!?!"

The worst incident I have seen of this lately was upon trying to exit a lift, someone steps out before but only takes one step; after that one step they just stand directly in front of the exit from the lift. No one could get past the guy, and no one trying to get out of the lift wanted to tell him to move or barge through him. The lift people tried to politely squeeze past without causing any kind of scene, or fuss but under their breath they were surely wondering why the guy decided to just stand in front of the exit from the lift and not move.

Now there is nothing wrong with the guy stepping out the lift and playing phone games that is not really an issue normally, but for this guy to either have no awareness or just not care that no one could get out of the lift because of him all to enable him to continue his phone game is a sad reflection of the selfish way the world is headed. All he needed to do was take one or two steps more then he wouldn't be blocking the exit from the lift.

And this kind of action is replicated all over the city when you're trying to go for a walk, people block the way a lot of the time and seem to either lack simple basic awareness of their surroundings or not care that they persistently block the way. If you charge right, somehow they'll amble right, if you charge left, they'll amble left. It often feels intentional but I don't believe it is.

The other problem is the parked scooters, as a scooter owner I likely add to this problem from time to time too. Scooters in Taipei are parked everywhere, and it could easily be said that people getting in the way of each other is linked to the parked scooters. The scooters bump up onto the path and therefore suddenly the space on the path becomes more limited, which is a bit tragic because a lot of the shops have already built out claiming part of the path belongs to their shop and built on it. This leaves people about 3-5 feet of path to share so it's no coincidence that people often block each others way.

A lot cannot be done about the lack of space or how many people there are in Taipei, however people's lack of awareness in regards to their surroundings and what is going on is causing the walking issues. The thing that baffles me is this - are phone games that important in life that they have to be played even when walking? Just knock the game off, plop the phone in your pocket and look where you are walking. Then you might realise people are nearly walking into you, your're blocking exits or escalators or just being a general nuisance.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ditch the mask, eat guava

As I sat in the doctors waiting to be seen for the gash that currently runs vertical across my little toe, I couldn’t help be disturbed by all the sniveling, coughing, sneezing and the retching of phlegm from the back of the other patients throats.

In my attempt to try and avoid catching the lurgy and dying of some OAP’s snot filled gobbing a thought flashed through my mind, they’re all wearing masks but it’s still like the equivalent of sitting in a room with the extras from the walking dead.

I too, was once their companion; fighting against a constant barrage of phlegm and snots while trying to look like I wasn’t spreading the lurgy - the difference between them and me was, I refused to wear a mask and I still do to this day. The look of horror on the faces of other patients back then at seeing this rebel break free from the constraints of society and dare sit in the doctors maskless was classic Kodak gold material. 

However, wearing a mask is useless as it’s proven a lot of common colds are passed on by hygiene issues, for example not washing your hands then opening a door. Now the door knob has the lurgy germs, and the mask can’t open the door for you. 

Since then I’ve become a supporter of a much better cure, which is eating guava for breakfast and after becoming a guava convert I’ve rarely been sick from the common cold. When I found out guava had 3 to 4 times more vitamin C than that godly fruit, the orange; I proceeded to eat as much of it as I could. Granted it’s an acquired taste but you come to like it eventually if you didn’t at first. So the message for you folks in Taiwan who are currently drowning in phlegm and snot, ditch the masks and eat more guava. 

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...