Subscribe: Bill and Carol Adventure
http://billandcaroladventure.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
area  carol  centre  children  china  chinese  good  new year  new  parents  school  taipei  taiwan  time  western  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Bill and Carol Adventure

Bill and Carol Adventure



Enjoy our travels to Taipei and points east. Two "retired" bears off on a spree!



Updated: 2014-10-02T23:42:49.771-07:00

 



Busted

2011-11-13T04:40:04.301-08:00

Well today was a new adventure in the life of an international "criminal" expat. Ok so I have not been perfect: Indonesia asked me to support the Policeman's Benevolent Association (gee the Capital Letters don't spell BRIBE??),contributed to the New Zealand local government fund ( 100K in a 70 K. zone on New Year's Eve) but today was a first.
I received a visit from the Taiwan Environmental Agency on a complaint about air pollution. Ok so every now and then I really need to turn on the exhaust fan but that was not it today. Today it was reported that I was polluting the air with wood smoke while BBQing the Thanksgiving Turkey and Ham. Never mind that the fish cooked in oil in the local homes can drop you with the strong odor or that the guy downstairs feeds us lots of second hand smoke through the air vents or that grandpa's ghost money can give the whole of Taipei eye infections from the pollution. No it is just my hickory smoked turkey that is offensive. ........but they never turn down a chance to eat the smoked turkey or ham. Ah well. Have I mention durians and stinky tofu yet?


Oh the young lady let me off...thank you officer!!!



Link to You Tubes relating to our China trip

2011-04-13T06:35:54.898-07:00

These are YouTube Links for some photo of Lijiang, the city we visited first on our China trip. The mountain in back is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. These are not my shots but they will be coming. Just copy and paste these into your browser. Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdPLJH3vFf8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9T8bKvcU14&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myauZJAQT5Y&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmWipzGeX8g&feature=related



Our Itinerary at The Linden Center , Dali China

2011-04-09T20:11:00.530-07:00

The Hoehn Party atThe Linden CentreApril, 2011“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”–St. Augustine -The Linden Centre is happy to welcome the Hoehn party of Bill, Carol, Patricia, Marty, Gary, Jaami, Kendra, Ken, and Deb. Your travels have brought you to an area renowned for its beauty and ethnic diversity. Our footsteps will follow the paths taken by Arab and Tibetan traders as they carried tea, silks and religious beliefs through the verdant mountain valleys. We will explore villages little-changed since the local sojourns of Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, and will hear the echoes of Flying Tigers that helped the Dali region survive WWII unscathed. The Linden Centre, started by Jeanee (Quan) and Brian Linden in 2008, is nestled in the southeast Himalayan foothills of Yunnan-'South of the Clouds'. The Centre offers guests an unprecedented immersion in a timeless China while basking in the comforts of a carefully restored national heritage estate (protected at the same level as the Great Wall).A leading merchant family in the old Southwest Silk Road town of Xizhou built this famous complex that houses the Centre. It is one of the largest complexes of its kind and, because of its use as a military installation after 1949, has remained in pristine condition, unaffected by the ravages of the Cultural Revolution (the Red Guards were unable to enter due to the military presence). "Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of the living." - Miriam Beard Tour Description and Itinerary:DAY 1: Today marks your first evening at the Linden Centre. After check-in and coffee, Brian and Jeanee will personally guide you through the Centre complex. The restoration of the Centre has garnered numerous international and national accolades for its attention to detail and sustainability. We will share many of the challenges facing a foreign couple in taking over a national relic. (The Lindens are among the first foreigners to take over a national relic in China). After dinner, retire to the Linden Centre coffee and wine bar to relax, and to try the local spirits of plum and orchid wine.Day 2: Every morning at the Linden Centre starts with a fresh Western and Chinese style breakfast. Enjoy a plate of toast made of our home baked bread, or bite into a delicious omelet prepared in front of you. This morning we will take you on a guided tour of Xizhou, including the Village Square, and the morning market where the famous Xizhou pizza is baked outside on a daily basis. We will then take a short stroll to the village elder’s home as he recalls a lifetime of memories, and reveals his passion for painting and cultural preservation. Some of the old homes still contain Song and Ming Dynasty antiques which often can be purchased directly from the home’s owner. After lunch at the Centre we will take horse carts to the Tongue of the Lake and surrounding villages to enjoy the scenery and people. Tonight, a delicious dinner prepared by the Centre’s renowned chefs. To help us digest, we will share tea in the first courtyard while being entertained by Xizhou’s Dongjing music group. This music is considered to be a “Living Fossil” and dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The term Dongjing is an abbreviation of the title of the Taoist scripture Dadong Xianjing- a text that has been the basis of exclusive religious societies oriented around the worship of the Taoist deity Wenchang. .DAY 3: This morning , we will take a short car ride to peak into in a small village kindergarten to observe and interact with the young students. Don't be surprised if you are dragged into a impromptu basketball game or local dance!For lunch we travel up the foot of the mountain for a selection of local foods in a courtyard setting. After lunch, we will visit an ancient courtyard in the village of Zhoucheng to trace their renowned tie-dye process. Family guilds have been creating these woven treasur[...]



International SchoolTeaching Info

2011-03-12T21:22:13.302-08:00

For all my colleagues who have had it with Wisconsin’s abuse of teachers.

Here is information to get you started looking for international schools. Do not be afraid to look or apply. You may never know how good it can get being out of the USA and, more positively, living in a new country. The rewards for courage and a willingness to take a chance are huge and long lasting. It is absolutely not like public school teaching which can be both good and challenging. But the bottom line is that with few exceptions, teachers are respected and compensated accordingly. There are tax breaks from US and other monetary “goodies” that are unheard of in USA .Be prepared to work and work hard because most of the rest of the world has extremely high expectations for their students’ success and are actively engaged in their children’s education process.

If you want to contact me, use FACEBOOK message (only), and I will send you email to use as well as a SKYPE contact and I will get back to you. If you got this message, feel free to pass it on to others who you trust.

I am sad for you and am sick at heart for what is going on.

Yours,

Bill Hoehn



http://www.iss.edu/
International School Services


http://www.carneysandoe.com/
Carney Sandoe and Associates

http://www.search-associates.com/main.html
Search Associates


http://www.uni.edu/placement/overseas/
University of Northern Iowa overseas placement office….this was my entre but Taipei American School no longer attends the fair.

Western Area School Council accreditation for west coast AND asia schools
http://www.acswasc.org/pdf_general/WASC_Directory_latest.pdf


http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com/
a site that has information about how to apply, how to interview, and reports on schools. ($39)/year

http://www.ibo.org/
website for the International Baccalaureate organization that also has an employment page.


http://www.tas.edu.tw/page.cfm?p=476
a link to our school’s prospective faculty page


IASAS Schools

Taipei American School
Jakarta International School
Singapore American School
International School, Bangkok
International School, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
International School , Manila

Please check their websites for employment information.


Find a country you like, search for the international school in the area, check religious based schools in the area, go to the school websites, fill out application. GET A SKYPE ACCOUNT WITH VIDEO…..most interviews are done over SKYPE, at least the initial ones.

Stay out of EU….it will cost you money to work there (with a few exceptions).



Why our Chinese New Year Trip was cold, wet, and stormy

2011-02-06T14:43:27.741-08:00

Our trip to Mataking Island off the SE coast of Borneo was not up to our usual standards partially because of the weather....huge tides and tidal surges, extremely rough seas all the time and COLD temp for Malaysia. Carol and Gary only got to snorkel 3 times during the week and even then it was not good. The tropical cyclone Yasi which hammered Australia and New Zealand was the responsible factor. Follow this link and see just how big the system was. HUGE!!!!!!!

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/floodrelief/how-cyclone-yasi-compares-around-the-world/story-fn7ik2te-1225998762870


More later Oh and ask Carol about the Komodo dragon on the island?????

Love

Bill and Carol



Happy Year of the Rabbit

2011-01-22T22:21:41.479-08:00

(image)  



CNY

2011-01-22T22:17:50.031-08:00

It is that magical time of year in Taiwan known as Chinese New Year....when children and all employees look for red envelopes filled with money, when every house and business is cleaned item by item and trash fills the street to make way for the new. On Dihua Street in downtown Taipei, stalls lined 6 city blocks and vendors sell candies, meats, specialty food items, auspicious decorations, give away tons of samples, yell and scream, dress up in animal suits (it is the year of the rabbit) and in general make merry. The crowd is so dense that one need not walk...just let the crowd push you along and hope you do not trip. One of our less traveled teachers at school had to leave because she thought people were touching her. OF COURSE they are and you are touching them with full body contact over 100% of your body but all in the cause of holiday treats. So what...get over it! We absolutely just literally dove in and went with the flow. You can not cross @ 90 degrees, instead you move diagonally across the stream just like with ocean current. But everyone is having a great time and the exotica of the scene is intoxicating. All the music talks about being with your family, eating fish for prosperity, hoping for good luck, lots of money, good health and a good life with lots of cymbals and loud horns and general mayhem noise. The fireworks will start in our park soon. So everyone, enjoy the slide show on the right and if you want to go slower, click on the picture and it will take you to the Picassa sight where our pictures are located.

We are off to Borneo and Mataking Island for diving and snorkeling, massages and evening cocktails, cookies, and euchre card games. Love to all of you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!






Chinese mother article

2011-01-09T03:30:41.845-08:00

I know this will be very long but this is a great article to a) understand our life and b) understand that US students and parents need to realize with whom they are competing. • • THE SATURDAY ESSAY• JANUARY 8, 2011Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?By AMY CHUA A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do: • attend a sleepover• have a playdate• be in a school play• complain about not being in a school play• watch TV or play computer games• choose their own extracurricular activities• get any grade less than an A• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama• play any instrument other than the piano or violin• not play the piano or violin.I'm using the term "Chinese mother" loosely. I know some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who qualify too. Conversely, I know some mothers of Chinese heritage, almost always born in the West, who are not Chinese mothers, by choice or otherwise. I'm also using the term "Western parents" loosely. Western parents come in all varieties. All the same, even when Western parents think they're being strict, they usually don't come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It's hours two and three that get tough.Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that "stressing academic success is not good for children" or that "parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun." By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be "the best" students, that "academic achievement reflects successful parenting," and that if children did not excel at school then there was "a problem" and parents "were not doing their job." Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.When it comes to parenting, the Chinese seem to produce children who display academic excellence, musical mastery and professional success - or so the stereotype goes. WSJ's Christina Tsuei speaks to two moms raised by Chinese immigrants who share what it was like growing up and how they hope to raise their children.What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it's ma[...]



New Zealand Road to Milford Sound

2011-01-01T17:57:12.625-08:00

This is a You Tube from someone else BUT it is exactly what we saw and the way we saw it. Sorry about the music. Carol spent a lot of time not looking as the S-curves were aggressive and pervasive. More later. Hope you enjoy HAPPY NEW YEAR!



Sur la route entre Te Anau et Milford Sound

2011-01-01T17:48:37.084-08:00

width="425" height="344" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/3FMFHxhfuj0?fs=1" frameborder="0">



2011 Taipei (101) Fireworks (2011台北101煙火)

2011-01-01T03:48:30.035-08:00

width="480" height="295" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sIrJh_vNVB0?fs=1" frameborder="0">



We are still here

2010-12-05T05:09:10.085-08:00

Hello all

Despite the lack of attention this blog gets, we are still here in Taipei and PROMISE to update the blog so keep tuned and hold our feet to the fire. This travel season we have been to Hanoi, and will visit the south island of New Zealand, Borneo(for about the 5th time) and Yunnan province in China. This is not counting school trips to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

I have signed another contract to teach another year here and look forward to more wonderful life in Asia.

I just posted a new photo album on Picassa Web which I think is still connected to this site.

Have a happy holidays and practice loving kindness in this very challenging time in which we try to live.

Bill



Luang Prabang Laos 1

2010-01-17T06:01:34.782-08:00

So continuing the tardy report on our adventures, for Thanksgiving break we travelled to Luang Prabang, Laos, a UNESCO World Heritage site noted for its exceptional temples (wats) for life along the Mekong River, for the brilliant fusion of Asian and French cuisines that inspired Jean George, and for complex, collector quality textiles. The village is north of Vientiane between North Thailand and mid Vietnam. The country is communist with the red hammer and sickle flag flying over almost every building. It has the dubious distinction of having more US bombs dropped on it per capita than any country in history, despite the fact that war was never declared with the USA. Over 30% of the bombs are still unexploded. As well looked over the Mekong River and the gentle town along its banks, we could only wonder in sadness "WHY?" People in the area refer to the conflict as the American War and always talk about the "boom, boom,boom, boom referring to the B-52 carpet bombing. It is remarkable that we can travel in this area at all but the people are gentle and friendly with a forgiveness that so belies their past.We stayed at a small guesthouse called the Apsara which overlooked a tributary of the Mekong. It was completely French colonial with very high ceilings, old wood and double French doors to a balcony. Flat wooden boats plied the river across from us and the banks ere lined with vegetable farms cultivated by hand. A main event of the trip was the alms giving to the monks every morning at 6:30 am. Believer gathered and knelt along the street with sticky rice, eggs, flowers, candy waiting on their knees so that they will never be higher than the monks. The monks then parade by in their saffron robes with metal bowls to receive the offerings. They are attended by a bevy of "monkettes"...small boys who beg from the monks knowing that they are obliged to demonstrate charity by giving away part of what they have been given. Let me post some pictures and talk further.[...]



Taipei 101 Fireworks 2010

2010-01-17T05:03:12.916-08:00

(image)
(image)
(image)
(image)
(image)
We were in Vienna and Prague but want to stay one year and see the world's former tallest building go up in fireworks.
Enjoy



Father forgive me for I have sinned, it has been 3 months since my last post...

2009-11-23T23:48:17.804-08:00

Sorry anybody...we have been so unfaithful to the blog. You have every right to abondon us. So here are some Taiwan bullet points. I hope you enjoy.
...I have signed up for year 5 at Taipei American School. The students, faculty, pay package and travel possibilities are just too good to pass up. There are other aspects that are a great challenge but my motto is "living well is the best revenge."

....We are just beginning our travel season for this year. Once we start we travel every month which is just what we want.

November, Luang prabang Laos...a village known for its temples, saffron robed monks and weaving, a French Indochine environment on the Mekong river.
December, Vienna and Prague...we fly to Vienna, take a train to Prague to visit friends, go to Mozart's Don Giovanni in the same opera house inwhich Mozart premiered it, the back to Vienna for New Year's Eve. We have been ordered to bring back Sacher Torte from Vienna so the plane will really smell good.
February, Chinese New Year...Bunaken and the Lembeh Straits in Sulawesi Indonesia for diving and snorkelling. This area was the sight of major submarine battles in WWII but now has some of the best diving in the world.
March, Spring break in Bali again. We can Not Not go to Bali for the music, spirituality, friends we have made, and the beauty of the land. We quiver with anticipation of the return.
April....Just a week and 1/2 after we return from break, I go to Sydney AU for a music conference on preserving culture with professional development money from the school. Carol hoes wii us.
MayCarol returns to USA late May and I follow the first week in June. WOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!
.....I have been using Chinese medicine to improve a freezing shoulder. I have a male chinese tai ji masseuse come and beat me up and apply painful glass cups to my back and shoulder. he can find every insertion of a muscle and then make the area jump in pain. I then take AWEFUL chinese medicine made from herbs and "Stuff" but I am told it is good for my blood flow. I also get slapped so hard on my shoulder that I am blood red. AND IT HURTS.
.....The next night Megan our lovely masseuse comes and we have an 1 1/2 body massagefor around 15 USD and then fall into a stupor as an after affect.
.....Talkabout convenients...we were told not to go to 7-11 for ice but rather to call this ice house and have them deliver to the apartment, again for the cheap sum of 5 USD for a 20 lb bag.

More later but that is all the time for now.

Our love

B and C



Failure of English

2009-09-01T07:03:09.939-07:00

Most of the time, I am so grateful for the amount of English that is present in Taiwan. The government makes a huge effort to include English language directions, street signs and bus maps in an effort to be accommodating to the Anglo population. Similarly food items on a menu may come with a rough English translation but at the very least they come with a picture so one can kind of tell what the basic ingredients of a dish might be. And the plastic food for display industry is huge. Most restaurants have window displays that have life size glisteningly fresh looking plastic models of all that you might eat so your choice can be somewhat informed. The catch is you have to recognize a chicken testicle from a cannelini bean (one is bigger).

But sometimes the system breaks down in aural cognates and misspellings. To wit: the sign in our local gym reads. "Please arrive early for class so you can get your worms in." Okay...I can do that....I think.

I mean no mockery of these wonderful folks...just that mandarin is not the only tough language. Witness "aural" and "oral" or the classic "ghoti" or fish example.

These little oopses just add a certain humor to the day.

How many dual language signs in Sturgeon Bay or Green Bay with a large Latino population? Maybe we could do better for our fellow travelers?

We await the onslaught of swine flu. All members of TAS arrive to get there temp taken on their forehead daily and receive a colored dot to wear for the day. Somehow it never matchs any color you might wear.

Love to all
Bill



Weather and flu

2009-08-25T15:34:02.828-07:00

Okay, so we live in the tropics. As I have said when in the West one can hear the phrase, "If you keep digging, you will dig a hole to China." So I checked and if we dig too deeply here, we will end up in Havana Cuba area. So one can expect it to be hot but this is really getting oppressive. The heat index for the last several days has been 111 degrees F. It is so hot that there is very little milk in the stores because the cows refuse to give milk. Poor Carol has been doing at least 4+ shirts a day in the laundry and the air con barely pulls the temp down to 27-28 degrees C.

Hydration is a huge issue so we should invest in our water company given the amount of usage. This is a time when I wish I had hair so it could at least absorb some amount of liquid on my head instead of it just sitting there like a lake.

The stores are also running very low on fruits and vegetables as a result of the destruction from the typhoon. Many people can still not get into their villages and if they can, must do so on foot because the roads and bridges are gone. The government is still screaming invectives at its own pieces and parts trying to pass blame. One official was getting his hair dyed. Another was at a high end dinner party. And the president was no where to be found when they should have been meeting and being effective in crisis management. The whole issue with not accepting overseas aid when it was originally offered was to appease the PRC. If Taiwan accepted aid, then it would seem like it was a real country not just a province of the mainland. Evil.

And then there is the H1N1 flu.....We have been told that a school closure, either moderate or long term is all but inevitable. We have had 1 case so far and will start having mandatory temperature testing prior to entry into the school staring Thursday. We also have the capacity to "teach" and communicate with all our students via an online classroom so we are all getting that in fine order. How this will affect our current rehearsals for the musical is not a pretty picture, but what is is.

Pray for this little island.

More later

Bill



Taiwan Update Rain and Rocking

2009-08-17T14:29:47.694-07:00

Hello dear friends,

We thought it best to let you know that we have arrived safely in Taipei and are happily doing well.

We arrived @ 5:45am on Friday the day typhoon Morakot hit. Basically, the airport closed behind us. We had no idea that there even WAS a typhoon until we began our descent. So no problem really. We immediately went to the stores to restock since we had nothing in the apartment for food, drink, or supplies. Therein ensued two typhoon days where everything is basically shut down.

Our area sustained only minor damage from the winds but as you know, the rain was intense. On the Friday we arrived we had 8 inches of rain from midnight to 8AM and that was before the typhoon actually hit. I think the total was somewhere around 1500 to 2000 mm of rain in the south.

The government response has triggered such intense anger and hatred by most all Taiwanese folks. Carol's friends are not sleeping and are in extreme mental/emotional distress because even with no relatives, "our people are suffereing and the government is not helping them." The political fallout from this could be a game changer.

It is too bad that the world sees only Taiwan's disasters because it again makes the country look like a 3rd world nation. This is so far from the truth. When we got back here, it was like stepping into the best of NY city or Gold Coast Chicago...abundant, rich in variety, and gracious in service. The mud and destroyed roads give a horrible picture of what was incredible beauty and highly productive communities.

It is anticipated that food prices especially on fruits and veggies will rise 40% if not more.

THEN, yesterday, Aug 18th I was in class with students when one of them said calmly, "Earthquake." Sure enough my butt started moving with a life of its own as I sat on my stool and resulted in lap dance moves that would have made a hooker proud. I told the students to get under the desks and then responded without question. It was over in a few seconds and many folks did not even notice the quake. Below is the news report. I will put more info after the report so skip down if you wish.

eTaiwanNews


"A second earthquake rocked Taiwan yesterday, the central weather bureau said, but there was no immediate report of damages or casualties.

A 6.1-magnitude quake hit at 06:10p.m. yesterday some 204 km off the east coast of Taiwan at a depth of 20 km and was felt even in the capital Taipei, the bureau said.

It came after a 6.8-magnitude quake struck off Taiwan's east coast at 9:06 a.m. yesterday, prompting Japan to issue a tsunami warning for its islands in the East China Sea, close to Taiwan.

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes as the island lies near the junction of two tectonic plates. A 7.6-magnitude quake killed around 2,400 people in September 1999.


I will try to be more faithful in getting stuff posted here.

Thanks to all our friends and loved ones we were able to see this summer and sadly, we did not get to everyone we wanted to be with. Please forgive us and let us hope for next summer.

From Taiwan,

Our best,
Bill and Carol



Bali Movie

2009-05-22T22:53:52.856-07:00

(image)  



OH NO...NOT THE PANDAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2009-04-22T15:24:00.113-07:00

________________________________________Published on Taipei Timeshttp://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2009/04/01/2003439917Pandemonium breaks out at Taipei ZooZookeepers became suspicious of the resident giant pandas’ true pedigree after Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan began acting strangelySTAFF REPORTER Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009, Page 13 Taiwan-China relations were dealt a severe setback yesterday when it was found that Taipei Zoo’s “pandas” are not what they seem.Zookeepers discovered at feeding time yesterday that the two pandas are in fact Wenzhou brown forest bears that had been dyed to create the panda’s distinctive black-and-white appearance.The Taipei Zoo’s head of ursidae ex-procyonidae care, Connie Liu (劉長春), said she became suspicious when the pandas, Tuan Tuan (團團) and Yuan Yuan (圓圓), began to spend almost all of their waking hours having sex. Pandas are notorious for their low libidos, which make them difficult to breed in captivity.“Let’s just say Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan would tuan yuan at every chance,” said Liu, referring to the combination of the panda’s names, which means “to reunite” in Mandarin. “They would do it doggy-style and every armchair zoologist knows that pandas favor the missionary position — when they do it at all. Their behavior caused chaos. Children screamed and parents became irate.” Her suspicions were confirmed yesterday when she noticed that the animals’ new hair growth was discolored. “Their roots began to show,” she said.A zookeeper who asked to be identified only by his nickname A-diung (阿忠) because he was not authorized to speak with the media said he and his coworkers had long had their doubts, but were discouraged from publicly voicing their concerns by management.“Whenever the moaning from the panda enclosure gets too loud we gotta go in there and hose ’em down with cold water,” he said. “After a while, parts of the animals’ black-and-white patches started to turn brown.”He said he alerted senior zoo staff who dismissed his concerns.“They told me pandas at the zoo in Washington, DC, get lethargic and sometimes lie in their own feces because they can’t tolerate hot weather, so it didn’t surprise them at all that their fur was turning brown since Taipei’s hotter on average than Washington,” he said.The pandas arrived in Taipei last December as a gift from the Chinese government. The pair were first offered three years ago, but were rejected by then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). After the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) won the presidential election last May, the pandas were accepted, though critics continue to decry what they see as an attempt by Beijing to bribe Taiwanese with cute, cuddly furballs in lieu of a more meaningful gesture of goodwill such as removing some of the 1,500 missiles China has pointed at Taiwan.Even the pandas’ most diehard supporters were brokenhearted yesterday. Some angrily compared the subterfuge to last year’s contaminated milk scandal, when melamine that had been added to watered-down milk sickened 300,000 victims across China and led to a recall of diary products in countries including Taiwan.“First the milk scandal and now this. What are we going to hear next?” said Chang I-jun (張麗君), a Taipei resident.Chang, who operates a souvenir stand near the zoo’s entrance, added that the scandal would affect sales of her stuffed panda toys, panda T-shirts, panda pens and notepads, remote-[...]



The pool at Alam Shanti

2009-02-21T22:05:21.678-08:00

(image)  



Biking in Bali

2009-02-21T22:03:06.800-08:00

(image)  



Ubud, Bali Chedi Club lunch set up

2009-02-21T22:00:42.295-08:00

(image)  



Bali Random

2009-02-21T21:56:33.834-08:00

(image)