Drag Queens

Taiwan Drag Queens

I was invited to a birthday party/fundraiser (for the Taiwan equivalent of the Humane Society) for a friend of a friend of a co-worker. In lieu of gifts everyone was asked to donate 1000NT ($20) to the animal charity. The party was held in an open air cafe/bar in an area of Taipei known for its colorful stores and even more colorful characters, appropriately named Ximen (pronounced she-men)! The birthday “girl” and some of “her” friends dressed in drag and lip synched their way (in English) through some torchy ballads I’d never heard before. By midnight, you can imagine that the crowd had had plenty to drink so it was VERY entertaining, to say the least.

New lipstick and haircut

MOD failure

I was relaxing, in the middle of watching a movie when suddenly, the screen froze and turned blue (the blue screen of death)! I tried turning the cable box off and on and realized that the power button (on the newly installed box) wasn’t operational. Hmmmm, what now? I unplugged everything from the back of the box, plugged it all back in – and still nothing. The green power light is on but I definitely don’t have a signal. I’m thinking the box is defective. What to do….I don’t pay a lot for the few channels I get on the telly but when I am in the middle of watching something, it’s annoying to be interrupted. Equally annoying is attempting to call Chunghwa telecom on a holiday weekend for a solution. I call the number on the top of the box. The first issue is finding someone who speaks English. Then, after explaining the issue, I wait on hold while an animated discussion in Chinese ensues between several customer service reps. They want to know my username (what?), password (yeah, no) ¬†phone number, address, ARC number. All I want to know is, is the cable out in my area. I explain that I think it’s the box and can someone please bring me a new one. Sure, they say, NEXT TUESDAY! Great! I get to take time off of work to wait around for the cable repair guy. Arrrrgh! In the meantime, I’m going to unplug everything and see if perhaps the box just got overheated….

Moon Festival 2011

This weekend is considered a holiday to celebrate the harvest moon. I’m sure it’s an ancient tradition with its roots somewhere in the long Taiwanese history but these days, what it means is:

  • we get a day off work
  • the company execs give everyone a gift box of moon cakes (moon cake sales skyrocket during this time of year)
  • we also get a small bonus.

Moon cakes are small, tart-like creations wrapped in a shaped and decorated pastry crust, filled with – well all sorts of interesting fillings. Flavors include pineapple (a big favorite on the island), red bean, lotus. Lotus is my favorite! Moon cakes are perishable so their shelf life isn’t long; they must be eaten within a short time after being baked. I took an extra box to the temple downstairs and they seemed very happy to receive it.

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…