Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This is the top of a package of instant noodles that I bought for myself back when we didn't have a cook pot.  That symbol you're offended by? That means it's vegetarian.  I look for that symbol when I wander through the night markets, hoping to find a meal that doesn't include beef or pork.  It's an odd symbol to want to find, among the Hanzi characters of Taiwan and the Katakana characters that are sometimes scattered among the Japanese restaurants.  It's strange to look around and say to myself, "No, that means mutton, and that means fish...Ah, there, that means I can eat it!  Only if you flip it around and turn it a bit, it also means Very Bad Things."  The phrase "cognitive dissonance" comes to mind.  So I looked it up.  Turns out it has a pretty long and colorful history, but its existence here is mainly Buddhist

Speaking of history, Friday was Double Ten day here, so there were Taiwanese flags everywhere.  Katy and I went to the National Museum and looked at a lot of different kinds of art.  I bought a book of old Chinese paintings, hoping to learn more about drawing trees that don't look utterly foolish.  It started raining on the way there, and we caught a rainbow out the window of the bus.  While we were there, we met Jim, a docent at the museum who was (are you reading carefully?) a friend of the gentleman who is friends with my uncle who lives in Virginia.  My uncle got me in touch with Mr. Paxton, who suggested I ask for Jim if I was ever at the museum.  Jim, when we met him, asked if he could give our email addresses to a relative of his who was coming to Taiwan and wanted to know more about teaching here.  So now we also are in contact with Ray.  I'm going to need a chart soon.

In other news, I've posted pictures of my M2 class (aren't they cute?) performing for the camera.  I also took a picture of Rita, the librarian at the Sanchong school, and had pictures taken with Elegance, the manager of the Sanchong school.

On Sunday we went with Jenny (Katy's language partner, remember?) to the beach.  I always forget how much I miss large bodies of water until I'm standing on the shore of one.  There was a group of people drumming under a tent, and a woman flinging herself around in some kind of wild dance.  We walked  up and down the beach and teased the waves (we lost - you almost always do) and found strange life-forms in odd colors.

I came back and went to meet Marc, a teacher from School 8, who helped me buy an external hard-drive and pointed me towards a lot of movies (probably more than I can really watch in 3 months).  The hard-drive will come in handy in a month or so, when the new MacBooks finally reach Taiwan.  I am patient, I swear.


Hobbes said...

Re: your comment on the photo with Elegance - some foreign chick? Where? I just see two Asians.

*runs, hides*

Hobbes said...

Also, every time I read the title of this post, I hear Willem Dafoe saying it, a la Boondock Saints.

"So what's the symbology here?"