To Good Friends

10 Aug
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“Bobbyeday”

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“your dress is a real talking point tonight”

Been here over two years now and just  goodbyed the people I came with, Will miss them. But don’t feel sad.  Going to their wedding party in two weeks in England. This is my condensed story so far.

Coming here with them was a bolt into the unknown.  On the first night, I was excited like a kid and culture-shocked  by the chickens being hacked up on the night-market. I was stinky-tofud into a cacophony of sensation.

The next day though it all subsided pretty rapidly as we breakfasted at Mcdonald’s; Jetlag over. Slam into the city of convenience. Honeymoon period over? No. But it would be soon when we started to bang in the CV’s on every street corner.

Job-hunting was a biatch. I was offered two well-paid kids gigs in well-known cram schools but I had never not done that so I said no. Luckily I got a job offer from a predominantly adult school and I took it. When that phone call came, about ten days after the demo, it was one of the best highs of the past long time.

Two years later and I’m still with the same company. God knows how. It’s the longest job I’ve ever held down, minus washing dishes in a pub when I was 16. I used to climb inside the sink. It was wet. It’s wet with heat in Taipei too…

…Three hot summers here and I am used to them. It takes a while to acclimatize but life is good. Pinpointing why is hard. It could be the people. The friends I have made. The grit of the city mixed with total decency and politeness. The eventfulness.  It is what it is. It’s good.

I’ve totally rewound this blog and wiped the content . When I started it I blogged about dogs in prams / strollers and then I ran out of things to say. Now I have more to say. I feel I have evolved in Taipei more than in any other place. Thanks to my friends who brought me here. Will miss you. Sometimes just staying with what you know can bring on the next chapter.

Marcus Walsh

Heart Race

6 Aug

Heart Race

colour

De-iced, fuelled and gritty

I hear your heart race

Throw it if you like

Unpack and begin to shine

Oh shit, there’s a legacy

Don’t mow her down

Racing entrepreneurs

Feeling hot and cold

Moving until they’re done

They’re not done now

Murky, but lucid

Blurry and stupid

Not boring and amusing

It’s not done now

Not to be part of this

And be part of that

Don’t mow me down

I hear you now

 

Marcus Walsh

Taiwan Pool Halls

5 Aug
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scratch!

Taiwan Pool Halls

These bad boys are dotted all over the city. Some are even 24 hrs and that’s massively convenient. It’s also great if you don’t want to go to a lounge bar or a nightclub by proxy. We’ve got our favourite joint located near Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, over on Guang Fu S. Road and it’s called Hawaii pool. It’s pretty clean compared to others – one in Dapinglin has the filthiest toilet known to man and an electronic “London Bridge Is Falling Down” door jingle – and decent, bullshit-free service.

Yes, every Friday night we’ve been going down to the pool hall and we lay down only 220 Taiwanese dollars – just over $7 and we can take in our own booze from 7-11. That’s badass. Also, they play a lot of Taiwanese love ballads and the some 50 Cent and then maybe even some Rilo Kiley country-pop! It’s the perfect place to wind-down. Really.

I usually lose either 7-0 or just about scrape a victory around 5-4. The casual spontaneity of finding a place like this for me represents what an understated place Taipei is. Hawaii pool is hardly bang in your face, nor is it tucked away, too hard to find. It’s not rife with foreigners. The locals are friendly, but not invasive and it’s relatively cheap. Though there are much more obvious and popular places to frequent, this is one of the top finds.

It’s the end of an era tonight too as my best buddy is jetting back to England soon and I came to Taiwan with him over 2 years ago. Tears. I’m gonna stay around though and hopefully become pool king which is good because it’s better than Burger King.

Marcus Walsh

From Taiwan to Scotland

2 Aug
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baa!

From Taiwan to Scotland

I have been living in Scotland for over one year, and studying at the University of St. Andrews. Compared to Taiwan, the biggest differences are the weather and entertainment. St. Andrews is a super lovely town. People are nice here. The location is by the sea, so the weather is better than other cities in Scotland. In winter, we seldom have snow; in summer, we don’t suffer from hot temperatures. One of my favourite things is walking to the beach and then sitting on a bench to enjoy the sea view.

 In terms of my school work, it is a little difficult for Taiwanese students, because our culture is different from western countries. For example, we will not interrupt others; will not reject others’ opinions directly. We prefer smooth discussion. However, for most western classmates, reaching their goal is the most important thing. They do not want to waste time doing anything which is not related to their goal. In addition, since we are not native, sometimes when we talk, we cannot present our true meaning and this may result in misunderstanding. In addition, we need to write essays in an academic style, which I have not practiced before. In short, we work hard to accomplish everything.

 We have a lot of parties here, which is different to Taiwan. It is a new experience for me. I enjoy the atmosphere. Parties are a good chance to meet new people, chat with friends and relax. I travel a lot as well. Apart from the UK, I have visited over five European countries. The views, such as their buildings, culture, food, and history, are different compared to Asian countries. I am lucky, as I have a good chance to see the world.

 This year, I have learned not only a professional subject, but also how to use a positive attitude to overcome any obstacle. Furthermore, I have more friends, who come from different places. I believe these benefits can enrich my life experience and make me strong.  

 

Hsin-Yi Yang

Aside

Taipei Sonnet

1 Aug

Taipei Sonnet

You pour waterYou’re not too shy

You’re a big convenience

You carry drinks in little bags

You’re a basin

You’re a bit Japanese

You’re well-dressed

You’re technological

You shed sleep

You’re a foodie

You’re hospitable

You work too hard

You’re grey

You’re not bland

Marcus Walsh