Monday, March 05, 2007

How I've changed

One of the trainers was fond of saying, "You won't change Taiwan- it will change you." And Taiwan has changed me in a few ways that my friends back home might find surprising.

First- I'm no longer addicted to coffee! My first few weeks they had great coffee at the hotel buffet, but tiny cups so it was hard to get too much. After that it was hard to find good coffee anywhere- sometimes at a coffee bar they would serve instant coffee in a packet. There are Starbucks everywhere but by the time I'd found them, I didn't really care. I usually have tea for breakfast now, and I drink a green tea or two throughout the day, but coffee... not so much.

Also, the whole germ obsession thing? Kind of dying down. Lots of restrooms don't have soap, and even when they do have soap I'm the only person I've ever seen use it. Even in private homes sometimes a restroom will lack soap. There are public-service signs about washing your hands just like in America but they seem to have little effect. Also there is always, um, wet spots surrounding the squat toilets. And I try not to step in them and I pretend they're water, but, you know. And yet I'm just living life. I don't even really miss hand sanitizer. I guess I figure if an ancient civilization can get this far without washing their hands, I guess maybe it's not so important. Rest assured that I still thoroughly wash my own hands but I've given up on worrying about what other people do.

Some ways Taiwan has not changed me: I still have my road rage, even though I'm on a bicycle. I still mutter, "Come on, buddy, make your move," and such things. "Yeah, you're in such a hurry to get around me but when the light turns green you just sit there." Et cetera. Back in the US I had a crazy thing which I recognize is dangerous where if a car was about as crappy as mine, I would let them go or yield right-of-way, but if it was a really nice car or an SUV I would cut them off, or even if it would be no problem for me to wave them in front of me I wouldn't do it. I guess to kind of even the score of the universe. Anyways, now I feel justified in cutting off any car(as long as it wont put me in danger, of course), and if a nice car or SUV is parked illegaly and blocking my way I have no problem scraping by it. Not damaging the car but bumping it. Very stupid but it's one of those habits I just can't break.

Another driving-related thing is that my car would fill with garbage, and now I leave garbage in the basket of my bike. That's kind of stupid.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

You are not stupid! You are so lovely!