Tuesday, January 24, 2006

upon reflection

I spent a good week going over my vitamin k experience. It was very positive, all in all. I analyzed the specifics of the trip, tried to connect the dots and definitely gained something from it. Having said that, I probably won't do it again, at least not until I need to reboot my system, so to speak. I know people here who use it regularly. Somehow, I think they miss the point. Like anything else, an introspective person has to be careful when indulging in these things. There is too much of a good thing.

Starting January 28, Taiwan celebrates the Lunar New Year. I am off work, paid, for a week. It will be a good opportunity to do some exploring. I am not going to another country, but there are some great sites here to see. I want to try and head into the mountains for a few days. A week off will be great.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

drugs are illegal in taiwan, but...

I have tried hallucinogens in my life, not a lot mind you. I've always felt that tripping is a very special thing to do and I never wanted to have it become in any way routine. Plus, I trip pretty hard. It takes a day or two to recover. I've said all that to say this. I tried ketamine recently. Holy shit. This is not a drug for the weak-willed. If you do enough of it, you trip hard and fast. The insane thing is that the trip only takes a small amount of time, but it can seem like days or weeks when you're in it. Everything is compressed. The ride up, the trip, the ride back down, it all takes just a bit of time. I was sitting down and was out of my body for just a few seconds, but I lived another lifetime. I'm not sure if I liked it or not. I do not think I will do it again. But, holy shit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

a little nightlife- asian style

Last weekend, I went to KTV for the second time since I've been here. This time, the whole group was foreigners like me. We represented most of English-speaking countries, I think. England, Canada, America, South Africa and Australia were all represented. KTV is like karaoke on steroids. A group of people will rent a room for as long as they want. The room has a sound system and song machine, usually very comfortable furniture and its own bathroom. The bathroom is a nice feature, because in order to have a proper KTV experience, a person needs to drink. Alot. Did I mention that it is important to drink a lot if you want to KTV?

I have to state, for the record, that I am opposed to karaoke to my core. I can think of many things I would rather do than karaoke. Some that come to mind are watching infomercials, reading junk mail, giving myself paper cuts and stubbing my toe. KTV is different, although I've only done it twice in more than four months, which is about the right amount for me. Don't get me wrong. The quality of the singing is no better than your average karaoke. But I guess I like the fact that I know the people upon whom I'm unleashing my limited vocal skills, and vice-versa.

This night was a typical KTV night. I drank way too much, ended up going to a friend's apartment with a couple of stragglers from KTV, listened to more music, drank more, and woke up on a sofa just before noon with a really bad hangover. I wasn't aware of any demons lurking inside me, but if there were any they are dead now.

What is funny to me is that Taiwanese people do the same thing when they KTV. I have seen people coming out of KTV buildings, assisted by their friends, throwing up on the sidewalk or in the street. So, it's not just the foreigners who drink too much. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

not an idle threat

I find this terribly amusing. A Taiwanese teacher, who I work with at the kindergarten, is leaving after the semester is over. She found a better job at another school. That is not the amusing part. That is a crappy part, because I really like Amy. She is super nice and treats the kids very lovingly, which is one of the reasons she is leaving. The principal thinks she isn't strict enough with the kids and he has been giving her a hard time about it. But, he actually cut her pay because of it. She said, the hell with this, and found another job. Now, I can't speak to all of Amy's teaching, because I only see one hour a day. But I think she is a really good teacher who would rather hug a child than slap his hands. In Taiwan, this is not a good thing. A lot of the parents want the schools to be very strict. Worse yet, grandparents will even come to the kindergartens and night schools and hang around the classes. They will even come into the classrooms and complain about a teacher. I have not had this happen to me, but I know people who have had it happen. Anyway, a couple of grandparents had complained about Amy's lack of discipline and are taking two of the kids out of her class. This was told to her after she found the other job. She has not told the school that she is leaving yet.

The last bit about the grandparents really pissed her off. Her children are pretty well-behaved, and she really felt this was insulting. So, in a moment of anger, she told the class that if they didn't behave and start acting better, she was going to leave. Rememember all those threats that parents make to children, like "I'm going to stop this car and go back to the house, and we won't have any vacation," or "I'm going to send you to the orphanage if you don't behave." Well, this was like that, except she is going to leave, and the children are going to have to deal with it. They will think that she left because they didn't start behaving.

When she told me this, at first I was a little shocked. I told her that she was going to give them a complex. But now I just think it is funny.