Sunday, 13 April 2008

Jiali Global English School. Kaohsiung. Tucheng Temple.


If you're feeling vindictive you can forward these photos to the Taiwanese authorities and land me in a world of anal probing hurt.

The blue sign is the entrance to Global English School in Jiali. The Chinese characters, light-blue sky and palm trees compel you to draw comparisons with Ashington High School in Northumberland.

Like any other East Asian town worth its salt, this street turns into a neon/laser disco festival during the hours of darkness.

That's Mandy the boss at the back. These kids are hard work. They are the youngest and sap more energy than older ones.

I find the discipline a nightmare sometimes. Can you remember when we would get a real French teacher for French class? We would all go crazy for an hour and learn nothing. Well, I'm that French teacher now. As I'm not fluent in Chinese the kids can have a field day taking the piss. It doesn't bother me: "It's your own time your wasting!" Since I can't physically harm them, I retaliate with keeping the class behind longer at the end or giving them extra homework - the old methods are the best!

In some ways it's quite good being a teacher - I can say things like "It's your own time your wasting" which makes me chuckle inside.

Too much school?

On a serious note, I think Taiwanese education is over the top. The parents value their kid's education so much that the kids do little else with their young lives. So much pressure so young. You can sense parents' panic if their kids aren't constantly studying something. Worried that their progeny will be left behind in this mad World. They spend a lot of money to send their kids to these after school institutions. Much of it is wasted as most kids are knackered, disinterested and, let's face it, thick!

I shouldn't complain as I'm benefiting from this mad scramble to learn English. It's all the rage in Taiwan. If you can speak English here you're propelled higher up the social strata which invariably leads to better employment opportunities. However, you have to offset these perceived benefits against a childhood of being permanently stuck in a classroom. Personally I'd go for reduced opportunity later in life in favour of an enhanced childhood experience. You're only young once and, in my view, it should be a time of stress-free happiness - the 'time of your life'. You could always pursue studies later in life like I did. I could be wrong though. Nothing beats a bit of parental pressure does it?

Fortunately, this teaching lark is a temporary thing as I admit to not really being into it. I'm not a natural. Most other teachers I meet talk about their aspirations for the kids, how they can refine their teaching methods to maximise the kids' experience etc. while I'm thinking 'they dee ma heed in - spoilt little shits' most of the time!


By the Love River in Kaohsiung. This was our day out in Taiwan's second city. What a contrast to the countryside where we live. This place is the most famous tourist spot but it was ominously dead while we were there.

We strolled along the riverbank and sat people watching. We watched kids playing in central park. We looked at an art show called 'Urban Spotlight'.

Kaohsiung has just built a new MRT system and we passed the brand new flagship station. It had a domed roof exquisitely engineered! Along with Japanese tourists we visited the LiuHe night market where I bought some sunglasses and shirts. We were lucky to catch the last bus back home after getting lost.


I was going to spend the entire weekend drinking in Kaohsiung but all the bars were closed during the day. It would be pretty boring to be here alone so I went home with Zi Ting. The beer's five times more expensive than the Philippines! I think I'll wait.

Yellow Fever

Like many men who end up in Asia I think I've contracted 'yellow fever'. White girls just don't do it for me anymore! It's a combination of a few things. The body stature is generally petite which I adore. Everything is well proportioned. Asian girl's eyes? They're simply beautiful. I love the shape, they ooze seduction. Their little cute noses. Long black silky hair. Wow.

The disposition of these women is magical. They behave more demurely than Western girls. I've not had one bad word with Zi Ting in six months! We both just live and let live. We don't make needless demands of eachother. In my experience, these women are the best in the World.

Remember when I was talking about obscene T-shirts? Well look at this one. This is what I mean. Imagine your young daughter coming home wearing this?


I recently repaired my Burmese tribal shirt after re-stitching the buttons. Together, the shirt with the army style shorts, colourful tribal bag and flip-flops cost:

Shirt - 4000kyat - Kalaw, Burma - £1

Shorts - a free gift from a Bangkok lass - £0

Flip-flops - 70baht - Mae Hong Son, Thailand - £1

Bag - 2000kyat - Mandalay, Burma - £0.50

Underpants - never where them anymore - £0

Total £2.50

Dressed like a twat? Priceless. For everything else there's mastercard!

My whole outfit is worth less than a beer in Newcastle! Denouncing materialism and taking poverty to extremes! Love it!

Zi Ting

Near Taipei the sea has carved the rocks into mushrooms.

YanMingShan flower park near Taipei.

在这里有很多花 = A lot of flowers here at this time of year. In easier simplified Chinese characters.


Wahey! A gorilla supping a pint of beer! What is it with Taiwan and gorillas?

Betel nut beauties

A Taiwanese institution. The betel nut beauties. These lasses sell betel nuts from neon-lit roadside glass cabinets. This lass here is very modestly dressed as many of her counterparts wear bikinis and boots with 6 inch soles.

1 comment:

  1. I remember you at school!!!

    "It's you're own time your wasting!!!" - Was that a Shuttleworth or Cunningham quote?

    "Hi Bert", "Hi Ernie", "Out!"

    Rearrange the following words-

    Black, kettle, calling, pot!!


Please be nice.