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Preview: Taiwan Dreamin'

Taiwan Dreamin'



An American makes plans to move to Taiwan.



Updated: 2014-10-06T21:07:23.494-04:00

 



Taiwan Dreamin' - Driving to work

2010-05-21T09:37:46.844-04:00

I made this video today on the way to work, check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAIVre3vPLQ

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National Palace Museum

2010-05-21T09:40:40.455-04:00

Check out this video from when we went to the National Palace Museum in Taipei!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FsRXUElRTs&playnext_from=TL

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Back to Taichung: Part 3

2010-01-20T22:10:34.055-05:00

Frostfox posted up another part of the Taichung video. In this one you can see a small Temple on my street and some cool night time shots as well.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sLtwBUhbBY


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Back to Taichung: Parts 1 & 2

2009-12-20T13:30:19.708-05:00

My buddy FF came back and made some more videos. Here are parts 1 and 2.

More foul language in these two so be warned!

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2CzcVmEGvo

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Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1sJ48F9270

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Scooter Crash!

2009-12-20T13:15:42.462-05:00

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Well I was driving to work the other day and ended up crashing my scooter. I was trying to get through an intersection as the light was turning red. One guy was getting a head start on the green light so we were both in the intersection when we shouldn't be. I swerved sharply to avoid hitting him and just wiped out crashing onto the ground. I'm not that clear on what happened but I didn't hit anyone, I landed on my shoulder and ripped a hole in my coat.

My helmet hit the ground but so did the side of my face on my cheek bone and brow. I was bleeding a lot it seemed but overall was okay. I picked up my scooter and kept driving. As I drove my vision started going white until I couldn't see anything. I guess it was the shock and adrenaline. I pulled over and just sat there resting for a while.

I continued to work where my co-worker gave me some first aid and I rested for a while before going home. Here are some photos of my face as its progressed. I'll add some pics of the damage to my scooter later.

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Taiwan Dreamin' : Teaching English

2009-12-20T13:05:06.710-05:00

For this one I didn't call it episode 2 and just decided to call it "Teaching English." This whole episode focuses on teaching, what you need to teach legally and all that. I brush over a lot of things quickly so it's not really to be used as a guide but just to give an idea of how it works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL9HGc9mJO4

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FF in TC part 4.

2009-12-20T13:01:58.306-05:00

Here is part 4 of the video series by Frost Fox Films.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbGlSF20gMU

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Frostfox to TC part 3!

2009-08-06T01:46:38.459-04:00

Here is part 3 of the trip:

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Frost Fox comes to Taichung!

2009-08-01T00:27:31.279-04:00

My friend Frost Fox is posting videos of his trip to visit me a few months ago. It will come out in parts. Here are parts 1 and 2. Hopefully there isn't too much incriminating evidence against me!

Warning: These videos contain casual cursing and guy talk.

Part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSoeMCNQm-w
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Part 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSsYMQatMF8
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Vlogs

2009-07-27T10:56:14.217-04:00

I've made two vlogs since I last updated I think:

5 / 22 / 09:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ3PbpaRlJA

6 / 22 / 09:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzlGLYCDWR8

7 / 27 / 09:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h58AQAnEXXE

In addition, I did a video about Taiwanese Drinks, I will embed that one here:

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Interactive Story Project

2009-05-16T07:01:43.651-04:00

Check out my new project here:

http://therealalexanderarts.blogspot.com/

I created a separate blog for this one.

-IAN-



Hawaii 51

2009-05-13T22:25:39.468-04:00

Last night I went to eat at a restaurant called Hawaii 51. The food there was really good, tasted a lot like Chilis or Fridays, same kind of selection. When I was ALMOST done with my food I bit into my ceaser chicken wrap and bit down on something hard. It wasn't hard like a bone, I mean it was HARD. I put my fingers in my mouth and pulled out a push pin. Yes, a little yellow push pin that you'd find in a cork board.

Well it didn't stab me or anything so I didn't complain to much. Just showed the waiter. The manager came and said that particular order would be free, although he didn't offer to make Ash's food free as well. Later on he brought us a chocolate cake and ice cream dessert thing.

The problem now is that I really liked the taste of the food there, and the price was a lot lower than the other places. Then again it also had a lot more push pin, haha!

Sometimes I think it's important to look past these things, it was a freak mistake. Probably one of their decorations fell down and the put pin landed in one of the pots. Weird that even the cook didnt notice it while wrapping up the chicken though...

Well maybe I will go there again, maybe not... Leave me a comment, what do you think?



Mad Libs 1 Completed

2009-05-10T06:02:02.029-04:00

Check out my latest project here. I think it turned out pretty well - let me know what you think!

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VLOG

2009-04-27T10:58:53.649-04:00

Talking about McDonalds, Taiwanese Money, and my broken video camera.

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Let me know if you have any suggestions about fixing or buying a new one.



Madlibs

2009-04-16T23:55:14.383-04:00

Yesterday I made up some mad libs to play with the kids in my school. Doing this can help to make them remember nouns, verbs, and all those other grammar points.

After playing that I got the idea that I could play madlibs over youtube. So first I made a video announcing the project and asking for the words I need. I will then plug the words I get in the video comments into the story.

After I've written the story out I will draw a comic strip style cartoon and read the story out loud. The result should be something like reading rainbow for Madlibs.

Check out the announcement video below. Be sure to leave me some words too!

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Here are the words I need:

Animal
Adjective
Non-sense Word
Noun
Plural Noun
Noun
Adjective
Verb
Adjective
Adjective
Verb
Verb
Adjective
Verb
Adjective
Noun
Verb
Verb
Adjective
Adjective
Verb
Noun
Verb
Verb
Number
Bodypart
Verb
Noun
Verb



Random Stuff

2009-04-10T00:30:41.416-04:00

I just wanted to post a couple photos here, check 'em out:

Strange Australian Tree at the Science Museum here in Taichung:

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Old man doing a very odd exercise on a small bridge, passers by greet him:

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A Transformers Themed Scooter parked on my street:

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VLOG #1

2009-04-10T00:12:53.847-04:00

The other day I made a Video Log instead of writing a blog post, you can check it out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wf5rKrL08E

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If you haven't seen my Taiwan Dreamin' Ep 1 yet, watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBeM_ipFzDU

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-IAN-



New ARC

2009-03-02T23:58:22.081-05:00

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My contract has been extended so I am staying at my school for another year. I had to go and do some paperwork with taxes, take another health check, and go to immigration for more paperwork. Yesterday I went to pick up the new ARC, looks the same as the old one.

I bought a new game, Killzone 2, it is pretty fun, but the controls are kind of weird, not sure if I will stick with the online multiplayer, but the game is really pretty, great graphics. Resident Evil 5 is coming soon, can't wait for that!

I started editing Taiwan Dreamin Ep 2 before but I haven't worked on it for a long time, I need to do that some more. These past few days I have been sick with a cold or something, think I have a fever too maybe. Well I will go to work today and wednesday is my day off so I can get a lot of sleep then.

Some friends came down from Taipei to stay with me and hang out. We played a lot Street Fighter 4, and we went to a small concert in a bar, was pretty cool. We also went to an arcade and took some video of us playing the games. Another thing we did was a part of a little skit for one of my friend's Youtube channel, we both like to make videos.

Okay - I will try to keep you guys updated and finish my video - bye bye!



Gaming again!

2009-02-16T10:09:49.612-05:00

I just got Street Fighter 4 on the 12th - it's a very fun game and highly anticipated. I decided to make a video review for it since it doesn't come out in the US until the 17th. So far it's been about 24 hours and I have over 2,000 views. To give you a comparison, my Da Keng Monkey video has gotten 62 views in the last 2 weeks. Taiwan Dreamin' episode 1 has 435 views and it's been up for 3 months.My number of fans or 'subscirbers' has gone up as well. Before I started doing video game related videos I had about 20, now I have 72.Here are the honors for my SF4 video: #3 - Most Discussed (Today) - Taiwan #1 - Most Discussed (Today) - Gaming - Taiwan #52 - Most Discussed (This Week) - Taiwan #1 - Most Discussed (This Week) - Gaming - Taiwan #5 - Most Discussed (This Month) - Gaming - Taiwan #94 - Most Viewed (Today) - Gaming - Canada #68 - Most Viewed (Today) - Gaming - United Kingdom #69 - Most Viewed (Today) - Gaming - New Zealand #68 - Most Viewed (Today) - Gaming #41 - Most Viewed (Today) - Gaming - Taiwan #3 - Top Favorited (Today) - Gaming - Taiwan #11 - Top Favorited (This Week) - Gaming - Taiwan #76 - Top Favorited (This Month) - Gaming - Taiwan #22 - Top Rated (Today) - Taiwan #85 - Top Rated (Today) - Gaming #1 - Top Rated (Today) - Gaming - Taiwan #1 - Top Rated (This Week) - Gaming - Taiwan #4 - Top Rated (This Month) - Gaming - Taiwan #44 - Top Rated (All Time) - Gaming - TaiwanSo as you can see I am very excited about this. What this means is that I have more traffic coming through my page and more people will see my videos as a whole. When I publish my next Taiwan related video many people who are not necesarily interested in Taiwan will get notice of it and possibly check it out. Very good news for me, and for my Taiwan Dreamin' project!Here's the video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fVSCHbPLOIAlso, there was a big gaming convention in Taipei recently, I didn't go but it seems pretty cool. Here's a page with photos from the event, lots of pretty girls there for advertising purposes, haha!http://www.mobile01.com/newsdetail.php?id=6995Okay - I am still editing Taiwan Dreamin' ep 2, so I should be finished after not TOO long! [...]



Today I am 25.

2009-02-09T09:01:25.127-05:00

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Today is my 25th birthday. Wow... When I came to Taiwan I was 23, then shortly after turned 24. I have been here for slightly over a year.

I decided to stay here a while longer so I had to renew my Resident Visa. To do this I need to have a job, I am staying at Wells English School here in Taichung. Then I had to go to the hospital for my health check. They do x-rays, draw blood, and test your vision. Check your height and weight as well. I was about 77kg and 174.5cm something like that. Surprising, haha!

I feel pretty annoyed with myself that I only have a few Taiwan videos online, but of course I have other things I am doing too. I am editing episode 2 currently but I haven't been able to get past the intro music part yet...

I make a note not to talk about my relationships on here but I will just say I currently have a girlfriend and she has been helping me to learn chinese more than I had been with my friends. My Chinese tutor moved to New York so I don't have an organized class currently.

There are 3 videogames I am looking forward to coming out soon; Street Fighter 4, Killzone 2, and Resident Evil 5. Hope they are all cool. I have played the hell out of Fallout 3 since November. I want to continue to make videos about Taiwan though, I think I will do some more 'close to home' subjects for the episode after this one, that should make getting footage a lot faster!

Well, I am sorry I didn't update this blog more often. Not sure how many people actually even read this but if you do, let me know in the comments.



Monkey!!!

2009-02-01T12:47:50.393-05:00

When my father was here in Taiwan for his visit we went to Da Keng Mountain. There are 4 trails. My ex-coworker Jen told me that trail #4, which is off in a different direction, had monkeys. She had seen one herself.

I took my dad there and we didn't see any, he also went again alone to check it out.

Well the next time I went I took my video camera and actually saw this large male monkey. So here is the video, I just basically put the entire amount of footage I got of the monkey which is about 2 mins. I whistled at the monkey a couple times, seemed he didn't like that too much. At the end you can see he shook the tree which I think is kind of a warning he is getting pissed off or territorial, that's just a guess though, I decided to leave him alone.

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=2rRRLWap2Iw

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Richie Post #5:

2009-01-08T11:38:17.601-05:00

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We rode Ian's scooter to the main Taichung train station and caught a bus from there, to Kaohsiung, (sounds sort of like Caou-shaung), because it's not easy to get to the high speed train station, which is located in another area west of here. The bus was the nice modern cross-country style, and I watched a Canadian movie subtitled in Chinese on the way to Kaohsiung.

We arrived at a metro station similar to the one in back home in DC, only it's cleaner and more modern. To buy a “ticket” you just touch the icon of the station you want to go to on the map of the system, and the vending machine tells you how much money to put in. You get a blue plastic token like a small poker chip that opens the gate when it’s scanned. The area where you wait for the train is enclosed with sliding glass doors that open after the trains have stopped. It’s much quieter when trains arrive, and once underway the speed and smoothness of the cars is very impressive. A man asked us about the election, and I gave him the thumbs up, which seemed to please him. Our system back home was looking pretty bad as the exit gate opened the machine collected the token to be reprogrammed.

It was late afternoon at Kaohsiung’s central park area when we arrived. The streets are wide and the avenues don’t have the cluttered look of Taichung. It’s a clean beautiful city with even more scooters. We walked through their upscale night market and then went to the park where I drank a big frosty mug of Taiwan Beer while we waited for Ian’s girlfriend and her sister to arrive.

We walked to an interesting Chinese looking Italian restaurant where I enjoyed a yummy curry dinner, and ate with a fork for the first time since arriving here. We shared dishes, and agreed that my curry was best, lucky me.

After dinner we went back through one of the night markets and the girls bought me a very cool red T shirt with a skull on it, as skulls are a very popular motif here, and most of the other selections were amazingly gaudy or adorned with strange slogans written in terrible English. It’s actually a little hard to find large sized clothes, and the selection of anything bigger than Medium is limited. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever felt larger than average.

The girls left us at the station, and Ian and I stopped off at the Love River station, and checked out the beautiful waterfront section of town before catching a bus back to Taichung. I slept on the ride home apparently missing a pretty bad American Kung Fu movie, and we arrived back late last night.

Today I'm going to rent another scooter, and we might ride to the beach.



Richie Post #4: Da Keng Trail 4

2009-01-08T11:31:35.726-05:00

Yesterday we rode our scooters out to the park with the monkeys. It was a pretty ride into the mountains through some winding little roads to a park called Da Keng. We walked trail #4 starting a little before 10:00. The sign at the park entrance says: “Be Careful Monkey”, so we were. At first the trail is one narrow lane of rough patched pavement which continues to meander up on the ridge of a finger. The forest here is full of 4” diameter bamboo, palms, and a tangle of vegetation that looks like philodendron, and other exotic house plants. At one point there’s a sheer drop to the left into the jungle with a nice view of the valley leading down to the coastal plane. On the right there’s also a steep drop into another valley with a river bed which runs into Taichung. The road leads us down to the right and we notice people coming down the trail from up on the other side of the valley. It looks very high and really steep. After a while we crossed the mostly dry bed on a big suspension footbridge. On the bridge I got the sensation of being on a gigantic model diorama. The rocks in the riverbed are out of scale so we were getting what looked like a mouse’s eye view of a creek. On the other side the trail starts off with cement steps, and then turns up and onto a heavy narrow wooden walkway. Its made out of 4 to 5 inch diameter logs with railings that have been lag bolted together and worn smooth by traffic. The crossbeam spacing is somewhat irregular and too open to walk on without careful placement of your feet, too close for a proper stride, yet a little too far apart to be comfortable taking two at a time. It’s very steep, and pretty soon the walkway becomes a ladder for a while, and again from time to time on up the mountainside. Right away we started to realize what a mistake it was to attempt this “trail” without carrying water. The view was great but you needed to stop to look around because of the treacherous footing, and also to take a moment to catch our breath. There were an impressive number of older Taiwanese hikers coming down from the other direction. We were all sweaty and smiling, exchanging the Chinese greeting, “Ni Hao” as we squeezed pass. About half way up we were suffering from thirst, and took a little rest. Ian wasn’t feeling all that great so I went on ahead thinking it would be another 15 minuets to the top. (Ian note: I think I really needed some water, and my converse sneakers have about as much foot support as a pair of flip flops, so that didn't help. Of course I am also out of shape...) It was getting comical as each time I’d reach the next high area it would reveal the next leg of the climb to be much longer than it looked from below. Finally I reached the upper ridge, and saw I’d have to go down some before reaching the last climb. I can hear people ahead and see a small covered pavilion perched on the top of the mountain. The party of locals having tea saw right away that I was in need of a drink, which I gratefully accepted. As I recovered we sat there having a wonderful exchange with my few words of Chinese and their few words of English. I was able to tell them I had to go back, and they gave me some water to take to Ian. Just as I started to leave he arrived, and we sat back down while he had a drink, and talked to them about his time in Taichung. It wasn’t too much easier getting down, and our feet were not happy with the pounding. [...]



Richie Post #3: Scooter Rental

2009-01-08T10:48:07.132-05:00

We’ve been walking quite a bit actually, just not downtown on the bigger streets. The smaller streets aren’t bad, though you do need to keep an eye out.

Ian and I rode down to the area of the bus station and I was able to rent a nice silver 125cc scooter for $20 a day. All the people I've met here have been very welcoming, and the scooter rental lady was friendly and funny. It turned out my getting an international license was a good idea, and Ian’s Chinese was good enough for there to be no problem. We rode a windy little road into the foothills to the east outside this city.

It's very strange to see bamboo and palm trees growing in a jungle on the mountains. It was also interesting to see how quickly the landscape transformed form city to wilderness with hardly any sprawl or urban transition. The battery in my camera ran down so I didn't get any pictures today. Tomorrow I'm hoping to check out a park a little to the north of where we went yesterday. Ian says there are wild monkeys living there like squirrels, and I’ve got my camera all charged up.

Eating here is cheep and delicious. We picked up some large steamed dumplings, like the puffy white ones we used to get at the Nanking, from a big farmer's market on the way home. They have four different fillings and sell by the dozen for $3.00. They use motorized gizmos like slow moving horizontal fans with tassels over the fish and prepared food to keep the flies off. It works well, and a whole table with fresh fish had none of the little critters buzzing around.

I bought a six-pack of Kirin beer labeled, “Bar Beer”. I think its draft beer, light but good, and also inexpensive.

The picture is of what they call the 'night market', really just a big strange smelling flea market.

It's still hot and a little muggy during the day, but it cools down at night.



Richie Post #2: Eating in Taiwan

2009-01-08T10:33:07.877-05:00

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I met some really nice friends of Ian’s for dinner at an interesting restaurant the other night.

There’s a big pool about four feet deep in the center of one section stocked with shrimp. You rent poles, drink beer, and catch dinner. We caught a dozen huge shrimp which we grilled and ate with our Taiwanese seafood soup. Yum!

It’s been raining for the past couple of days and the forecast is for a couple more. Since we don’t have a car it’s put a damper on our traveling, though we have been out riding. I walked several miles yesterday and took some pictures.

Last night we went to a sushi bar for dinner. It’s a very Japanese place with a conveyor belt that runs through with an assortment of plates with various exotic selections. Lots of squid, octopus, and cuddle fish along with the normal looking rolls. The plates are color coded for the price of each dish, and if you want to order something special there’s a touch screen menu at the table. Those orders arrive by an electric high speed train that runs on a track above the conveyor. It was great, and really expensive for Taiwan. The two of us stuffed, with soup and three beers was $15.00.

Not much going on today, probably another long walk in the rain.