Sunday, October 26, 2008

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto


We just got back from a wonderful vacation in Japan. Rene and Ben were the cream of the crop hosts, showing us the sites they knew we would love (primarily food and drinks). The Japanese diet was jaw dropping. We both came home and had to take showers. We didn't know those animals were legal to eat, let alone to eat raw. But they were all fairly delicious.

Tokyo was amazingly fun (again a huge thanks to Rene and Ben). We karaoked, watched the freaks and the Japanese rockabilly gang in the park, and ate at a Christian themed restaurant. We saw amazing temples, beautiful parks, insane "Blade Runner"-esque lights, had a milkshake drinking contest (which led to many frozen brains) and enjoyed the future of toilet technology. We took extra, unnecessary trips to the bathroom for pleasure.

Our flight left at 10 A.M., so we woke up at 4 A.M. to visit the famous fish market. Ben promised tuna as big as Danny Devito and we were not disappointed. We then ate what was probably the greatest sushi we will ever have in our life. Until, of course, we return to Tokyo.

We are now back in Taipei. Yesterday, we went to the night maket and ate fried food so today we climbed a mountain and ate at a vegan restaurant. Still a lot to do in this great city.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oh No!

We can't turn our back on you Americans for a second! We leave the country for 2 months and you let the economy slide to the point where you are bartering chickens on the street. This must be George Bush's final slap to America's face before leaving office. "Take that", says he. John McCain appears to have visited the crossroads in his evil campaign tactics, but it looks like Palin is such a national joke to the intelligent 60% of you that Obama seems safe from her new diatribe.

Enough of this jibber jabber! We are fine. Working way too much, but I guess that is life. We were down to our last 40 cents yesterday (literally), but we just got paid and are rollin' in it! We are going to Japan on Friday to study the advancement of toilet technology. (No kidding, they are years ahead of everyone, it should be investigated). We wanted to sleep in one of those hotel capsules where you just have enough room to lay down but luckily we are staying with our good friends Rene and Ben. We will definately post many pictures on our return.

Nothing much to report on food-wise, but we did go to a wonderful Taiwanese pot luck where we enjoyed shark. It was really good, quite gelatinous. Chicken feet were offered, but I had gone down that road before and respectfully declined.

I have been trying to over come my fear of heights by going to the largest ferris wheel in Asia (pictured here for reference), taking a gondola up to the mountains, and running across a small bridge at 40 stories up between buildings, but it seems to intensify the higher up I get. Maybe I need more delicious Taiwan Beer......

Sunday, September 28, 2008

First Month in Taipei

Ni hao!

My fellow Americans,

Me and Maggie are stuck inside this weekend as yet another category 5 typhoon is destroying the city. We feel OK, we bought some delicious "Taiwan Beer" and pizza flavored pringles to get us through this time of national hardship. There are four story high waves hitting the coast as we speak. Four Stories High!!!!!

We know you all have been biting nails in anticipation of our first blog and we feel we have built enough suspense. We had temporarily suspended our blogging to deal with the finacial crisis at home (even going so far as to postpone a blogging debate we were invited to) but now that McCain feels better we do to. What would America do without an impulsive jerk leading the country? So without further adieu, here it is----BLOG #1........

We were picked up at the airport by a fellow with our names on a giant cardboard sign to take us to our hotel for the next week, "The Golden China". It was nice, breakfast every morning and very close to our training class. After about nine days of grueling, mind numbing training we were set free to our apartment. We love it, it is kind of a throwback to an era that strived for touchable velvet wallpaper.

We quickly found our bearings but setup proved harder than we thought. For some reason many people insist on speaking Chinese even when we tell them we don't understand them. Phone calls to the internet compnay proved fruitless until Maggie went to the company and talked to a lovely man who was very supportive of Barack Obama (as most out here are, being peace-loving, logical people) and he assisted us in setting up our internet.

The first week we went out to get cell phones at electronics alley. Hundreds of stores all crammed together and you go and barter with them for the best deal. Later we went to the Taiwan Beer Factory, where we were such a novelty we ended up on stage with the Taiwanese cover band, dancing to bad 80s hits and getting bought drinks by the locals who wanted to practice English. We soon found ourselves at my all time favorite restaurant, the Indian Beer House, where everything is covered in dinosaur bones. You pee into a statue of an aborigional man and then wash your hands in a T-Rex's mouth. We may get a skull of our own for proper hand washing.

We live right outside of Taipei proper in a city called Banciao. It is pretty congested but we are developing some Banciao pride and it is cheaper than living in the city. There is a lot of great cheap street food that we eat daily, although we often aren't sure what it is. The other day we accidently enjoyed a nice congealed duck blood sticky rice. Delicious! We went out with some friends of Paul Amato and Sarah Pedersen for oyster pancakes and pig's blood soup with intestine. Later that night a nice man named Albert, who was helping us with directions, took us out for Stinky Tofu. Kind of smells and tastes of feet. Also pretty good. He wants to open a hot dog bar in Taipei and has the crazy notion that hot dogs would be popular at baseball games. We told him that would never work.

Well, we miss you all and are having a good time out here. We would love any and all visitors to come out and see us.

Until next time! Goodbye...............