Friday, February 15, 2008

Taiwan is different than Thailand!

taimiss When visiting the United States, my coworkers and I here frequently come across people who confuse Taiwan with Thailand. Sadly, Americans' knowledge of world geography can be very "USA-centric". I even noticed some of my facebook acquaintances joining a group called "Taiwan is not Thailand." 

I couldn't believe it when today I discovered the U.S. post office had committed the same error. Let's all do a better job studying world geography, shaltaimiss2l we?  (I know there are other areas I'm still fuzzy about).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yet Another Bird Purchase...

sunbird If you've followed this blog any the last few months, you read about the first baby sunbird and lovebird I bought here in southcentral Taiwan that bit the dust, as well as the second adult lovebird which flew away. You've also read about the Indian Ringneck and yellow lovebird, which are still doing fine. The latter is especially tame and I let it out most days, although it's starting to play a little rough.

Yesterday I set out to buy a partner for it, but instead of another baby lovebird wound up with another exotic bird, in Chinese called a sunbird (In English it's a cockatiel). Anyway, it's another sunbird2relatively cheap acquisition, less than $20 US over here. I've still spoon-feeding it, but expect it to make the transition to self-feeding quickly since it can already fly a little. With the weather so cold, I hope it doesn't get a bad cold and croak. 

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mr. Ding's Latest Presidential Creations

In two earlier posts  here and here I introduced my neighbor and friend Mr. Ding the sculptor. Here I am holding ding3some of his recent work, including Taiwanese Pitcher Wang Jian-Ming, who plays for the New York Yankees.

  Some weeks ago Mr. Ding let me in on his latest secret but swore me to secrecy until the proper time. Now it's OK for me to let the cat out of the bag since last week two or three papers published his story. Here's one of several newspaper articles. But in case you don't read Chinese...

With Taiwan's next ding1presidential election coming up in March, Mr. Ding had the idea to sculpt the likenesses of the two candidates, Ma Ying-Jeou from the KMT and  Frank Hsieh from the DPP. Aren't they cute?

Last but not least here's one of the many garlics Mr. Ding has sculpted the last few weeks. Note: None of these images are for sale, particularly the presidential candidates or Wang Jian-Ming, as they're some sort of copyrights involved. Be sure to click on the video at the end of this post!


The Goose Farm of Tina's Family

goose6 Meet Tina. Tina (whose real name is Wu Yi Zhen) is one of the students who comes over on weekends with her friends to study English with me. I often see her mom and little sister as they are with my next door neighbors almost daily.

Tina's little 100-0008_IMG sister Ting Ying is FINALLY started to warm up and speak a little with me (and I'm talking about Chinese or Taiwanese; she's not yet warmed up enough yet to want to practice English). Maybe it was the red envelope I gave her last week that helped break the ice to get this far. She was especially curious to look at my 5 foreigner colleagues who came over to worship God at my place yesterday morning.

goose2 Today my neighbor Mr. Chen drove me over to visit Tina's mom and little sister at their goose farm a few minutes outside of town. They raise over 1,000 geese there, which are sold for slaughter on a regular basis. Notice the nets which keep other birds out... just the netting and columns alone cost over 300,000 New Taiwan Dollars.goose4goose1

Protected Endangered Species

With the road being widened and extBIRD2ended in front of my house sometime soon after the Chinese New Year holiday is ended, all of the remaining animals which various neighbors have  kept across the street will have to be moved. A few weeks ago Mr. Chen next door transported the birds pictured here (a protected species)   down to TaiNan.

Mr. and Mrs. Chen were particularly kind to me this past week sending all sorts of good food over my way, and offering to let me take a shower at their place when my hot water heater wasn't working. In the future I hope they will be receptive to good things I can share with them.