Sunday, March 04, 2007

I'm a little annoyed with Taiwan right now....

because I'm riddled with bug bites! A little constellation of bug bites on the back of my arm, a huge rashy one on the front of my other arm, a big lumpy one on my hand, miscellaneous mosquito bites everywhere else. Why don't I put bug spray on every time I go outside? Why, oh why?

and because the other night I was coming from work and I was really tired but I decided to stop by the fruit stand, where I often buy fruit on the way to work, and the people there are always so nice. The fruit stands are nice because you can just pick out the fruit and buy it, but confusing because all the signs are in Chinese, and I haven't yet figured out the characters for per bag, per kilo, per piece, and anyways I don't really know what a kilogram is, and apparently there are Taiwan kilograms that are .6 kilograms, as opposed to the jin in China which is .5 kilograms. So you can see why it can be confusing, but I just pick out my fruit and the lady weighs it and tells me the price and it's never too expensive. But at night (it's a 24-hour fruit stand!) there were all these men sitting around, smoking, and I took my fruit up and they asked me all these questions and I just put on my confused face and said, "Duo shao qian?" (How much is it?). So the ones who were still sitting pointed at me, said something I didn't understand, and laughed, then said "Ta ting bu dong!" (she doesn't understand!) and laughed again. Of course I had no idea what they'd said but I put on my best withering glare and said "Wo ting de dong" (I understood), grabbed my fruit, and walked away. And they all just laughed again...

and because tonight I went to a food stand where I go once in a while for food and I actually can recognize the characters for some of the meals, so I marked what I wanted on the slip and gave it to the guy (who can speak English) and he said "Ni yao yige ma?" (You want one?) and I said "Dui, yi ge," (Yes, one) and he turns to his brothers who make the food and says "Dui, yi ge" in this falsetto voice, and they cracked up. I just shook my head at them. At least wait until I'm out of earshot to mock me.

and because firecrackers have been going off for three and a half hours straight! It is Lantern Festival which I thought was a peaceful affair where they make paper lanterns and release them into the night sky. Of course not. Instead, they randomly hang up a lantern here or there, and people ride on the back of flatbed trucks and play loud drums all day, and set off Roman candles, and then they set off firecrackers for hours and hours with no respite. Sometimes, to break the drone of constant firecrackers, all the cars and scooters will honk their horns at once. Variety being the spice of life and all. Worst of all, when they shoot of nice firecrackers they don't shoot them high enough that I can even see them well. And when I went outside to try to take a picture of the nice firecrackers they gave up on those and started setting off the stupid Roman candles again.

But on my walk outside I managed to buy some itchy cream, and stopped by Papaya Milkshake Man with his smiling, English-speaking papaya-milkshake making self, so everything is a little better now. :)

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Yeah, there are many kinds of people in the world. While they laughed at you, you could also laughed at them.