Taiwan, part 9: 10 Random Thoughts

Most of these posts are pretty epic. Time for just a short cluster.

1. Taiwanese professors answer their cell phones during their lectures, just like mainland professors. Two days ago our professor arranged a furniture delivery right in the middle of class. If this keeps up, mark my words: I’m ordering a pizza during a lecture sometime before I graduate.

2. My classmates told me that I was welcome to use English on the daily written tests in our history classes. Like it makes a difference. When you understand one word in ten, it doesn’t matter what language the test is in.

3. Why are there so many tee-shirts with Hollister, California on the front? Was there a mass migration at some point I’m not aware of? Did they all surf here?

4. Chinese classes respond to professors like a western movie audience: gasps and exclamations in perfect unison. A smart Chinese professor would have someone on one side of the class punctuating important moments with silent-movie era organ blasts. “And then they signed. . .THE SURRENDER!” (bweeooo!!!!!) Something like that.

5. Why do the Chinese on the mainland and in Taiwan feel it necessary to play loud music on lo-fi loudspeakers to mark the time? Whenever the hour strikes it sounds like a thousand people have all turned their clock radios up too loud. They don’t even have the decency to blast something appropriately clock radio-worthy like Twisted Sister or Winger. It’s just a single piano playing something that sounds like a circus calliope at half-speed.

6. I know the answer to this question, but I’m going to ask it anyway: why do the Chinese think the best form of education is a lecture? Four-and-a-half hours of English lecturing is too much. In Chinese? My brain is meatloaf.

7. When you’re really tired (as I am right now), a Chinese lecturer sounds like he or she is lecturing in spoken hieroglyphics, like the Egyptian character Ptenisnet in Asterix the Legionary.

8. The descent from Mt. Qixing: 2.67 kilometers of stairs with two places to rest. Or you could throw yourself off the peak and feel the same when you reach the bottom.

9. Is there such a thing as Taiwanese cuisine? Every small eatery serves the same ubiquitous fried meat filet. Sounds good, and it is. . .for the first six or seven times. Then it’s not Taiwanese any more; it’s just a fried meat patty.

10. Taiwanese oolong tea, on the other hand, is very, very good. Better even than the Tie Guanyin from the mainland. Makes any U.S. bag tea taste like it was dredged out of a bird-bath.

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1 Responses to Taiwan, part 9: 10 Random Thoughts

  1. elisa says:

    haha funny

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