Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Typhoon Mania

The day I arrived, I was welcomed with a typhoon. But it was a blessing in disguise as I did not have to report for work the next day...hah.

Until now, I have not stepped out of my hotel. Just in and out of my room and the hotel's departmental store for meals. Curious and igorant me spent much time last night peering out of my window. It was an incredulous sight as you can see the dancing of rain, vigorous swaying of trees, overturning of umbrellas..and hear the constant howling of winds. But I shall venture out tonight. Gotta buy a telephone card...

But right now, think I'll head for the gym and then some local Taiwanese delicacy!!! Lalala.....

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Back to Kaohsiung

Packing bags and heading to Kaohsiung again.....fortunately, it's only for a week.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Prawns Galore!

Brought Natalie prawning....BBQed our live prawns on the spot! Yum! Please...no animal activists..

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Natalie is finally back!

Natalie has been a good friend of mine since secondary school. After college, she migrated to the US. The last time I met her was in 2002, when I visited her in San Diego....

It's 2006 now. And she's back for a holiday!! I'm trying to catch up with her as much as I can before I leave for Kaohsiung again. Met up for dinner and coffee the other day with the other gals.....

Friday, July 14, 2006

Gotta learn the Taiwanese way.

The past two weeks have been memorable. I have much to complain..the humid weather, the bureaucratic structure of the companies, the trashy news, irrationality in the colourful politics, the polluted air, the playing of mid eighties hokkien songs in taxis, but one thing I wanna highlight is its uncertain future...The competing claims over the future of Taiwan have made and continue to make Taiwan's political status a contentious issue. From the eyes of the KMT, unification with the PRC for the foreseeable future is unacceptable to its members and the public.

In accordance with the one china policy, China requires that all countries conduct its diplomatic relations with no recognition to Taiwan. Thus, Taiwan "bribes its way" to be recognised amongst 25 states, mostly weak, neglected countries in Africa and Central America.

In my opinion, there will come a time where Taiwan has no choice but to accede and ride the ascending dragon, given its current fragile political and economic situation. Thus, I think it's wise if Taiwan consider renunifying China when it still has bargaining power....

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Culture Shock

I just had my lunch and am back in the Kaohsiung office. Surrounding me are five taiwanese colleagues taking their short afternoon naps. Very weird. One is slumped on the sofa while the other four are snoozing away with their heads on the work desk. How weird is that?!?! And here I am, the only "foreigner" working...really hush...Can hear the tapping of my keyboard as I am writing this entry.

I head to the toilet and I am in a sea of darkness. Everyone is sleeping!!! Feels like I am in a twilight zone. Very weird.

Why wasn't I enlightened on such a culture norm?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

5 more days before going home!

And I am missing friends and family already!

Sunday Hot Pot Lunch

There are plenty of soups to choose from: Sweet and sour, curry, tomato, FRUIT(!!), and mixed vegetable. If there is any comfort working in Taiwan, it has to be the food!

National Beer

Wanted to try their local beer...it accompanied me during the England- Portugal match.

Soccer fever in a random park

My bored self chanced upon a small park in the midst of the city. Not very central park like...heh.

Harajuku Fashion

I asked the hotel concierge to recommend me some nice shopping places...and he introduced this area (very similar to Harajuku). Quite a compliment that he thinks I am still youthful!!!

Lil glimpses of Kaohsiung

Hello Kitty anyone?

There are a couple of rooms in this hotel that caters for Hello Kitty enthusiasts, with overtly pink wall-papers, hello kitty pillows and other little furnishings that spell the saccharine character. It can be overly "to the top", something which I don't think I can appreciate. Fortunately, I am staying in a "normal room". But Juliet, you'll live your fantasy when you come.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The few days in Kaohsiung

It's hard to sum up what I've experienced the past few days, but it has been interesting and much of a culture shock.

I've been posted to conduct risk assessment (SOX and COSO compliance) in this industry in Kaohsiung, about half an hour's drive away from my hotel. A bus shuttle brings us to the industry and like ants, we begin work. At 12 noon sharp, everyone (and I literally mean everyone) rushes to the canteen for a quick lunch. After 12.30pm, sshhhhh in the canteen. Working doesn't stop until dinner (probably 7pm). This is the dreadful part. Seriously, I'd prefer working as the socialising part during dinner can be a bore and a hassle. We have been invited out for dinner almost every evening. Food has been great, but it's the "small" talk that I abhor. My poor spoken mandarin has proved to be an obstacle and the loongggg socialising takes a lot of effort. I guess it's something I have to get used to as I'll be working closely with these Chinese markets in the near future.

Oh well, I guess I'm complaining because of the fatigue...been working late nights and I thank soccer for keeping me company. Fortunately, I had some time to relax over the weekend. I'll post some photos in my next few entries.