Friday, June 30, 2006

A Bunch of Nerdy, Skinny Geeks and a Lucious Bikini Babe...

Must be summer in Taiwan! Stay tuned this summer for all the action! As schools are out, you'll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of scenes on the Taiwan photosites along with cosplayers, photo album posers and wedding picture takers.

If this kind of thing interests you, choose any weekend day and stake out of these typical photoshoot spots in and around Taipei (just a few):

a) CKS
b) YangMing Mountain
c) ShiLin Flower Gardens
d) GongGuan Water Park
e) FuLong or BaiShaWan Beach

Remember though, stay cool - it's hot out there! Drink lots of fluids to replace your drool and bring a hanky to stop your bleeding noses! (I think you can get the drool part. The bleeding nose is more of an Asian concept - apparently, when you see a beautiful girl, you could get a bleeding nose. Bloods a pumping, I guess...)

Check out the single-most important website for understanding young people culture in Taiwan, called WRETCH (who names this stuff?) or WuMing in Chinese ("No Name" in English).
(BTW, the .cc is a Cocos (Keeling) Islands domain name which I assume is used to get around obsenity laws in Taiwan as there are lots of 'questionable' pictures)

There are various sections worth scanning through:
(You can open a blog of your own to upload your own pics if you want)
Top Sites:
By Location:
(Check out the beach spots like PingDong, PengHu and Green Island OR the clubbing spots like Taipei or Taichung City - you need to be able to read them in Chinese to find the links)
By Theme:

Happy surfing! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Our Garden

This is our yard. It's pretty nice. It has a fair sized pond at the front of the house. The pond has lily pads and flowers. It's a change from the urban sprawl around us.

However, there is another thing that our pond has: frogs. Not just a few... maybe a dozen! Lots of babies too!

Our landlady told us that they have been there for over 20 years. Lately a few of the neighbors have been by to tell us to get rid of them. They keep them awake!

We told them they are welcome to try and catch them (we tried). To tell you the truth, we can't be bothered as we are quite used to the sound. It's true, they are noisy but I think our neighbors should just get used to it!

To see more of the garden click here: Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Can Mandarin Get You Ahead???

Time magazine has an article on how the world is learning Chinese to get ahead. I'd really like to see the success rate of the Mandarin school graduates. Besides, I still think the number of Western graduates of Chinese language will only be a trickle compared to the tidal wave of Chinese learning English. Think about supply and demand. Would you rather have one Western Chinese speaker when you can get five Chinese English speakers for the same price. Simple economics. Don't get your hopes up you guys studying Chinese!

TIMEasia Magazine: Get Ahead, Learn Mandarin

How would you like a nice hot cup of get-the-hell-out-of-here?

Ever have that feeling to take your business elsewhere? Is there really any surprise here? Not among Westerners living here in Taipei. But you know, it's funny considering how many times you hear local people telling you how warm and friendly Taiwanese are.

To qualify this a little, I have to point out my personal opinion (that is backed up by clear facts) that Taipei residents are in a class apart from other island residents, living in a bubble, relatively insulated from the reality on the rest of the island.

Taipei Times - archives

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

So you want to get your Spousal Visa?

Here's what I went through (yes, that's my wife and I!) in an unedited form:

Timeline for JSRV
(Joining Spouse/Relative Visa):

dec 2003
-got married in Canada then returned to Taiwan
-need to apply for marriage certificate

oct 2004
-waited for marriage certificate
-got marriage certificate translated at Trade Office$$$ 25 CAD
-sent it to Taiwan
-legal: need to register marriage within a few months of returning

dec 2004
-went to get household registration in home city of spouse
-need to register a chinese name
-put name on certificate$$$
oct 2005
-went to Canada
-did fingerprinting at a local police station (contracted out) $$$ 75 CAD
-sent fingerprints to RCMP (federal police)
-website said 5 month wait

nov 2005
-returned to Taiwan

dec 2005
-did health test as usual for teachers $$$ 700

jan 2006
-got my work permit back from employer ready to make visa
-made 2 more work permits for other branches
-these were ready in case the prints didn't come on time

feb 2006
-parents got fingerprints back from RCMP
-brought fingerprints to Trade Office in Ottawa to translate $$$ 25 CAD
-sent documents to Taiwan

mid- feb 2006
-went to Yingko to get household registration printed $$$ 300
-went to BOCA
-they told me health test for teacher wasn't enough, need two other items, leprosy and stool check!
-was told that there was enough time to do it as a new visa requires 7 working days
-went to RenAi hospital to get it done – very disorganized
-they need to check your skin everywhere, need to give stool sample in a tube
-extra tests take a week to return or five working days

went back to BOCA with docs:
a) passport (copied with info page, current visa and entry date stamp)
b) ARC (copied both sides)
c) household registration certificate HU JI TEN BEN
d) health tests (teacher one plus extra items one)
e) translated /authenticated criminal record background check (copied so you can keep the original)
f) translated /authenticated marriage certificate (copied so you can keep the original)
-they took my passport to put a new visa in it
-paid $$$ 3000 (for changing from one kind of visa to another)

after 10 working days (early mar)
-picked up passport at BOCA with receipt
-went to police station in Taipei county with passport and ARC only
-need to bring the household registration, wife's ID and wife (would be useful)
-2 one inch pictures needed
- fee is $1000 first year, $3000 or $2000 for following years (so still $1000 a year) Posted by Picasa


Just thought I'd open this blog with some eye candy. I'm actually not much of a soccer fan but if the players looked like this...

Enjoy the blog. More great stuff to come soon! Posted by Picasa

Share IslaFormosa on Facebook


Haven't found what you want?


Total Pageviews

RSS Subscribe Now!