2011年5月1日 星期日

Blog Archive 11 很久很久以前的文章

Older entries from Taitung Style and Taiwan Style.  To minimize space, I've deleted the pictures.  Ready to time travel?  Let's go!

1. Getting Married in Taiwan (Taiwan Style, May 五月 2011)

People often ask me how I met my wife. They see me, my wife, and our foreign-looking kids, and I suppose it's a very natural thing to do. This is especially true in Taitung 台東, where I live, since there really aren't so many foreigners.

So to begin, I met my wife at my first job in Taiwan, way back in 1999. She was the third "Chinese teacher" assigned to me by my school, the first having been incompetent, and the second having been promoted to Director.

At the time I had a girlfriend, but this girlfriend and I argued all the time. I honestly don't remember much about her, aside from the fact that she was very nervous about having sex in my apartment. No matter how quiet we were, she was sure that my roommates could hear us, and this brought her a deep and abiding sense of shame.

So before too long I decided that my Chinese teacher would be a great Chinese girlfriend, and I broke up with the other girl I was then dating. Our first real date was on New Year's Day, 2000, and from that moment I felt pretty certain that if we stayed together long enough, I would ask her to marry me.

I took her with me back to Seattle during Chinese New Year. Introducing her to my parents was a very big step for me, and I was glad that the three of them got along from the start. I also took her up to Vancouver, British Columbia, and showed her snow for the first time. By the time we had come back to Taiwan, I knew that I loved her, and that I didn't want to be with anyone else.

So come May 2000, we got married in Tainan 台南, Taiwan. None of my family from the States could be there, since our marriage ceremony was arranged at the last minute. All of my wife's family came, however, and made me feel very welcome. I had met my wife's mother, father, and grandmother long before, and there was never a question of them not accepting me. Perhaps I have my wife to thank for this, because she made it very clear that she meant to marry me, and that there was nothing anyone could say about it.

During the same year our first daughter was born in Taichung 台中. It is odd to look back and think about how fast things progressed back then.  I guess sometimes life is like a wave that picks you up, and sets you down somewhere else. In a year I had gone from single guy to married with children, and this without the Fox Network's involvement.

Of course there were times when I doubted my decisions. Who wouldn't? But when I look back at all the years we've shared, I have no regrets.

So that's how I met my wife. Twelve years later we are still going strong. This is not to say that it has always been easy, but the good times have most certainly outnumbered the bad. Aside from this, what more could I say?

2. Hsinchu County 新竹 (Taiwan Style, May 五月 2011)

I lived in Hsinchu 新竹 from 2003 to 2004, and have only been back twice since then. This isn't because I dislike the place. It's just because it's really hard to get there from Taitung 台東.

During my year in Hsinchu, I was working at Canadian-American Language School, which is now (thankfully) closed. I heard the owners ran away to China somewhere, and given the fact that they owe people in Hsinchu a lot of money, I don't think they'll be back anytime soon.

Working at Canadian-American was the worst job I ever had in Taiwan. The pay was good, but the bosses were horrible to communicate with, and they really didn't know how to run a school. To make things worse, they owed a lot of money to different banks, and there were never enough students in any one class to make that school profitable. I would often come into work and find my bosses in very tense discussions with guys in suits.

The low point of that job was when I requested leave one week early. They responded by withholding my pay, which was really stupid because then I REALLY had no reason to stay there. I had my own discussion with them (involving repeated use of the words "fuck" and "asshole"), and then stormed out of the building. They spent the next two days calling me, and telling me how sorry they were. It was all rather pathetic.

But aside from work, I enjoyed Hsinchu quite a bit. It's a fairly small city - at least as the west coast goes, and easy to walk around if you know the way. There's a lot of traffic on the main road into town, but away from this road the traffic's not too bad.

We used to take the bus around Hsinchu quite a bit, so I've been to all the famous, and even many of the not-so-famous places. I miss Nanliao 南瞭 sometimes, which had a great fish market and was good for bicycling. I also miss Neiwan 內灣, and walking around that town. Jubei 竹北 can be nice, and has grown a lot since they built the HSR station there.

I still have friends in Hsinchu, and they sometimes ask me if I would ever move back there. I honestly don't think so. As nice as living there can be, it's really expensive, and the weather is miserable in the winter. There is also the water situation, since Hsinchu and Taoyuan 桃園 are often the first places to go without water in times of drought. I like to go back there to visit, but living there definitely has its downside.

3. Teaching English (III) (Taiwan Style, May 五月 2011)

I've been teaching English for quite a while, so I suppose it's natural that I have some ideas about how to do it well. This doesn't mean that I think I'm an expert, or that I don't think I could improve, or that I don't think I will ever need to improve, but just that I've been doing this for long time, and of course I have some thoughts on this particular subject.

What follows are some thoughts on teaching English. Take them for what they're worth, and if you disagree, I promise not to be offended.

1. Dual-language Instruction.

I think this is fine at a very elementary level. Beyond the first semester, however, it can be extremely counterproductive. After the first semester, students should be learning English in English. If Taiwan really and truly wants to improve its English-language education, this is the first thing it should look at.

I'm not only referring to textbooks that use both English and Chinese, but also to teachers who speak English and Chinese in the classroom. After a certain point, one's native language can become a crutch. Students think it's helping them "walk" in English, but all it's really doing is slowing them down.

There is a conceptual framework behind any language, and this is lost when we begin learning that language with the aid of another language. In the absence of learning English in English, we are really just memorizing a list of vocabulary words that we will ultimately be unable to use.

2. Age Limits on Learning English

At the time of writing, public elementary schools in Taiwan do not teach English to students below the third grade. Many students, however, attend private English schools before grade three. This is done with the intention of giving them a "jump start" in English.

The reasoning behind this restriction on English in public schools is that learning English too early will negatively impact a child's acquisition of their native language. It is my opinion that the research behind such a position is inconclusive, and there is ample evidence that children can start learning a second language at any age.

3. Tests of English (public school)

In the school where I work, students from grade 3 to 6 are tested twice a semester in English. These tests usually consist of an oral and written component, administered separately, and reflect the school's English curriculum/textbook.

In many schools, these tests are almost meaningless. The questions are too easy, or else students have a high probability of guessing the answers. Teachers will often "adjust" the scores to make the students (or themselves) look good. Sometimes homeroom teachers will even pressure newer English teachers into doing so.

I think that if city and county governments want an accurate reflection of students' English knowledge, they could begin by administering a standardized test. This would better show how students are doing, and would minimize the "adjustments" teachers are making to the students' scores. Administering these tests three times a semester (instead of the usual two) would probably also be a step in the right direction, since students who know they won't have a test for a whole two months' time tend not to study.

4. Tests (private)

A lot of people in Taiwan are going out and taking the TESOL, the GEPT, or the TOEIC these days. These tests are fine in themselves, but they are rarely the last word on someone's English ability. While I think these tests help insure a higher level of average English ability, I have known people with great English communication skills who did poorly on these tests. Some people just aren't test-takers.

4. Foods I Miss (Taiwan Style, May 五月 2011)

When I think about home, what I miss most is the beer. In Taiwan, there are usually only five flavors of beer, these being: Taiwan Beer, Tsing Tao, Sapporo, Asahi, and Kirin. It might seem that there are more, but usually these are just seasonal beers produced by the same five companies.

So when I go back to Seattle, I make a point of drinking all the microbrews. There is a much greater selection of beers Stateside. Even the local Safeway in Seattle has more beers than the largest supermarket in Taiwan.

I also miss hamburgers - real hamburgers. In Taiwan we have McDonald's of course, but McDonald's is a pale imitation of what a hamburger should be. I miss the kind of burgers they make down at the Red Mill, down at Hale's, or even down at Denny's. Hamburgers so big that they put you out of commission for an afternoon.

And don't even get me started on bacon. Hickory-smoked bacon is not to be found in Taiwan, at least not that I've ever seen. I love pork, and hickory-smoked bacon is indeed the crowning achievement of the American pork-producing industry.

Then there's pizza. The pizza to be found in Taiwan - the pizza to be found at Domino's or Pizza Hut - is OK for what it's worth, but it can't hold a candle to pizza back home. Pizza places in Seattle announce themselves from blocks away, with a rich medley of smells that proudly say, "Yes, this pizza is going to be good. Why not come over and have a slice?"

All of which is not to say that I don't generally enjoy the food in Taiwan more. I would gladly suffer my nostalgia for American foods for most of what I eat here. But I am going back to Seattle in less than a month, so I think I am allowed to wax nostalgic. When I think of Seattle, I think of food, and my memories of food make me happy.

5. Western Holidays in Taiwan (Taiwan Style, May 五月 2011)

Everyone loves Christmas. Santa Claus, Christmas lights, and presents. What's not to like? In Taiwan, department stores go crazy over Christmas, creating displays just as elaborate as anything you might see in North America.

I think Christmas "translates" easily into other cultural contexts. Yes, there is the serious side of Christmas - the baby Jesus, the three wise men and all that - but the less serious parts are embraced worldwide. Everyone likes singing Christmas songs, even if they don't know what the words mean. Everyone likes getting presents, and having a Christmas tree, and even Coca-Cola cans with Santa on them. Christmas is just fun.

New Year is also a big deal in Taiwan. On New Year's Eve they set off a spectacular fireworks display from the top of the Taipei 101 building. Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people crowd into Taipei's New Life Square to witness this event, and thousands (maybe millions) more watch it on TV. Everyone loves New Year, and the fact that Taiwan observes two calendars for two different sets of holidays makes no difference.

Valentine's Day is another big one. In Taiwan there are two Valentine's Days: the "Western" Valentine's Day and the more traditional Taiwanese version. They are almost identical. People take their boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses on dates, and kids make cards for their classmates, friends, or parents.

There is also Mother's Day and Father's Day. These are celebrated in the same way that we would do so in Western countries.

And besides the above, there are also Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, which become relevant if (like me) you are a teacher of English in Taiwan. Most English textbooks spend at least some time on these holidays, and any kid above grade three is probably familiar with them. I think that Halloween is the best of the three, but then I have always loved scary things. I've never been able to do much with either Easter or Thanksgiving, probably because my family in Seattle never gave much thought to those holidays when I was a boy.

I miss Halloween Stateside when I'm in Taiwan. Halloween is more of an "event" over there. I miss Chinese New Year when I'm in the States. Chinese New Year, to me, will always be the mother of all holidays. Christmas and all the rest are fun, but Chinese New Year is like all of the Western holidays put together!

6. New Restaurants in Taitung City 台東市的新餐廳 (Taitung Style, May 五月 2011)

People in Taitung City love to open restaurants. Quite often someone will build a new, shiny one downtown, only to have it close a few months later. It is easy to open a restaurant in Taitung City, but difficult to keep one open for very long. There just aren't that many people here, and their tastes don't vary that much. 台東市民喜歡開餐廳. 常常在市區看到新的餐廳, 可是通常沒開幾個月就關門了. 在台東開餐廳很簡單, 可是經營是一個大問題. 因為台東市人口少, 喜歡的食物種類也不多.

What follows below are the newest developments with regard to cuisine in Taitung City. If they sound good to you, you might want to hurry up and eat there! You never know, they might be closed by next month! 以下這些餐廳是台東市的最新選擇. 你如果想試試看的話, 趕快去吧! 誰知道他們是不是下個月就關門了!

1. The new pizza restaurant on Shin Sheng Road (Farmaggio) is pretty good. I believe the owner used to own a Domino's somewhere. I've had every kind of pizza they make, and even one kind that wasn't on the menu. Obviously I like their pizza, but it's not cheap! My family of four ate there a few weeks ago, and it was over 1000 NT for the four of us! 新生路上的一家比薩餐廳不錯. 老闆說他以前是達美樂的老闆. 我吃過他們所有口味的比薩, 也吃過老闆特製的不在菜單上的比薩. 我喜歡他們的食物, 可是不便宜. 我們一家四口幾個禮拜前在那裡吃午餐. 大概1000元多一點!

2. Did you know that they're building a Subway sandwich restaurant downtown? It will be on Jung Shan Road, just around the corner from the KFC, and not far from the Pizza Hut. I don't know how this place is going to stay open. I don't think there are enough people in Taitung to support a Subway, and I don't know anyone here who's really crazy about sandwiches. It will probably do OK in the first few months, but it's hard to imagine it staying open for longer than six months. 你知道台東要開一家Subway三明治餐廳嗎? 它會在中山路上, 靠近舊火車站的KFC和Pizza Hut. 真搞不懂這家餐廳在台東怎麼經營下去. 台東市民不多, 而且可能也沒有那麼多人喜歡這種食物. 前幾個月生意應該不錯, 可是長久經營好像不大可能.

3. The "I Love Taitung" Italian Restaurant is moving from their old location on Shin Sheng Road to a new location on Han Jung Street. I have never been a huge fan of this restaurant. I always thought their food was just OK. Their new location is just up the road from Tung Hai Elementary School, behind that big church on the intersection of Jeng Chi North Road and Han Jung Street. "我愛台東"義大利餐廳要從新生路搬到漢中街. 我覺得他們的食物還好, 他們新的地點在東海國小附近. 靠近正氣北路跟漢中街的路口, 在那個大教堂後面.

4. The "Breakfast Castle" breakfast restaurant continues to take over the Taitung City breakfast market. They're building a new one downtown, not far from Carrefour. I'm not sure why people love this place so much. There are already so many of these in Taitung City, and I'm sure they will build others. 還有早安!美芝城這家早餐餐廳,它們陸續攻佔台東市的早餐市場. 在家樂福附近又在蓋一家新的. 我不知道為什麼台東人那麼喜歡美芝城. 雖然已經有那麼多了. 但我相信以後還會有更多的美芝城出現吧!

And that's all of the new restaurants I can think of now. If anyone knows of any others, please let me know! 這是我目前知道的新餐廳. 還有其他你知道的嗎? 請介紹給我!

7. Pingdong/Ping Tung County 屏東縣 (Taiwan Style, May 五月 2011)

Ping Tung County lies at the southern tip of Taiwan, between Taitung County 台東縣 and Kaohsiung County 高雄縣. I go through there a lot on my way to, or my way back from Kaohsiung, though I don't really "hang out" there much.

Ping Tung City is the biggest city in Ping Tung. It is an uninteresting place, even though there are a couple of really old buildings there. That city has a lot of history, but unlike Tainan 台南, you wouldn't know it by looking at it.

The most popular places in Ping Tung are the National Taiwan Aquarium and Kenting 墾丁. Kenting is the name of the area around the southern tip of Taiwan, the town within this area, and also a National Park in the vicinity of the Aquarium.

I, like many other foreigners, loved Kenting when I first moved to Taiwan. It is probably the closest Taiwan comes to Thailand, with nice beaches and open bars that stay open late. Since I've moved to Taitung, however, I have less reason to go there. There are better beaches within twenty minutes of my house, and the bars aren't reason enough to drive all the way over to Kenting.

Kenting National Park is a good place for a stroll, though I think it's only worth visiting once. Jade Mountain and other National Parks are much more scenic, while Kenting National Park comes off looking relatively flat and uninteresting by comparison.

The National Taiwan Aquarium, however, is worth a return trip. This aquarium is easily the best in Taiwan, and also bears comparisons with other famous aquariums throughout the world. I have been to both the Seattle and Vancouver aquariums many times, and the National Taiwan Aquarium is better than both of them.

Ping Tung also has a number of scenic areas and museums that attract visitors, though I must say I haven't had the chance to visit many of them. I would like to visit Mao Lin 茂林 one day, but lack the will to drive there on my own. The drive along Highway 199, from Da Ren 達仁 all the way to Kenting, is also very cool, and just might be one of the most remote parts of Taiwan. Even coming from Taitung, that place seems like a lost world.

8. Bicycling Around (Taiwan Style, May 五月 2011)

I'd like to take this chance to encourage you to ride a bike, if you're not doing so already. It's a good way to get in better shape, and the Earth will thank you.

I ride between 60 and 100 KM a week, depending on the weather and my work schedule. I ride somewhere "far" every weekend, and I bike to work daily. In Taitung City, where I live, the conditions are very favorable for biking.

Taiwan can be a great place for cycling/bicycling, depending on where you live. Obviously, living in downtown Taichung and bicycling to work is going to present some problems. Taiwanese drivers are not known for their propensity for "road shairing."

This said, anyone choosing to bike in Taiwan is encouraged to keep their temper. This is probably good policy anywhere, but it is especially good to observe this policy in Taiwan. Many Taiwanese drivers are like bombs waiting to go off, and flipping them off or yelling at them is a good way to start trouble. Of course sometimes trouble is hard to resist, but don't blame me if you wind up in a fight with several different taxi drivers at the same time.

Aside from the downtown areas of major cities, most of Taiwan is suitable for biking. There are many good trails on the west side of the island, and all of the east coast is a great place to get on a bike and go exploring.

For those who enjoy the more competitive side of cycling, there are also a lot of races around the island. The Giant bicycle company, which is based in Taiwan, sponsors some of these, and others are sponsored by local athletic associations. I think that triathlons are probably the biggest draw with respect to cycling, but there are also longer races such as the "Tour de Taiwan," with 100 Km and 200 Km divisions.

A couple of years ago, bicycles were getting very popular in Taiwan, but I think that popularity has declined since then. Given that there are only so many athletically-inclined adults on the island, and also given that most of them will only ever own one bike, it is easy to see why that particular fad cooled off so quickly.

Just the same, bicycling can be a good hobby if you have the time - and the money to buy a decent bike. Foreigners who only plan to be here for a year or so are not likely to pursue this hobby if they aren't already, but for the rest of us it can be a great way to get outside and enjoy the island.

9. Bad Times (Taiwan Style, May 五月 2011)

I hope this blog doesn't make it sound like living in Taiwan is all magic and happiness. Lord knows it gets downright unpleasant at times.

One of the worst times I ever had was getting ripped off by a coworker, just after I first arrived in Taiwan. I didn't know much about this place back then, and for some reason I thought it was reasonable to pay 40,000 NT for a broken-down scooter that only started half the time. I ended up getting my money back, but the really lame part was having to work with the guy for the rest of the year.

Another bad time was when my Taiwanese father-in-law got put into prison. His son ended up moving into my house, and his son had a lot of emotional problems. This kid lived with me for a semester or so, calling his mom in Kaohsiung every day, and crying into the phone. That really sucked.

And then there was the time I got food poisoning after the 9-21 Earthquake. I bought a lot of shrimp from the local Hyper (now called Geant). Little did I know that their refrigeration units had been malfunctioning since the quake, and the shrimp were spoiled. I spent a couple days in the bathroom, and I haven't been able to eat shrimp since.

A professional low point was that year I spent working in Hsinchu, for a school that closed down. It's really hard to work for alcoholics, especially when they're getting harassed by various banks. My coworkers and I spent mornings reviewing our resumes and discussing other job opportunities. Even in September - as the school year started - we knew our days were numbered.

And then there was last month, when my cat jumped from our seventh floor balcony to its death. This was followed by another cat's attempted suicide, and then a third took the plunge. The second cat was, surprisingly, unhurt. The third cat broke both of its back legs, and now resides in a cage in our living room.

Such have been the highlights - or maybe I should say lowlights - of my time in Taiwan. I guess have a learned something from each of them, even if it wasn't always something I wanted to learn!

10. Yilan County 宜蘭縣 (Taiwan Style, June 六月 2011)

Yilan was the first place I visited on the east coast. I had a somewhat miserable time, but I remember thinking that Tai Ping Mountain 太平山 was one of the most beautiful places I had ever been to. Back then I didn't even know where Yilan was, beyond the vague assumption that it was "somewhere on the other side of Taipei."

For those who don't know, Yilan County is between Taipei County 台北縣 and Hualien County 花蓮縣, on the northeast coast of Taiwan's main island. It rains a lot there, and for me this is the greatest drawback to living in that part of Taiwan. I moved away from Seattle to escape that kind of rain.

Yilan is very pretty when the sun is out, but this doesn't seem to happen very often. Every single time I go through there it is raining cats and dogs, with only the occasional burst of sunshine in the summer. Parts of Yilan are glorious when the weather is right, but the weather usually isn't right.

I'm not sure what the most famous place in Yilan is. I know that the Dong Shan River Park 冬山河親水公園, not far from Yilan City, is very famous. There are also the hot springs around Jiao Shi 礁溪, and the above-mentioned Tai Ping Mountain. I like the area between Su-Ao and Dong-Ao 東澳 very much, though there's not really that much to do in those places - at least that I know of.

I think the cold springs in Su-Ao would be a great place to visit in the summer. I have only been through there in the winter, when it was freezing, so I didn't go in the water. There is a big naval base there, and the fishing port in Nan Fang Ao 南方澳 is an interesting place to walk around.

I'm very fuzzy on the areas north of Yilan City. I'm sure there are things to do there, but I rarely drive through that area. If I'm driving, I always take the tunnel from Yilan City to Mucha 木柵 in Taipei, or if not driving, then I am viewing north Yilan from the windows of a train. I've noticed a lot of cool lakes and rivers in that part of Taiwan, and it looks like a good place for swimming.

Yilan City is fairly big, and you will find no shortage of restaurants or tourist attractions in that place. I haven't been to their night market in years, but I remember it being very fun. Yilan City is also famous for its "cow tongue" cookies, which are abundant everywhere in Yilan.

11. Landfills and Incinerators (Taiwan Style, June 六月 2011)

I believe that decisions regarding waste disposal in Taiwan are left to city and county governments. I do not know if there is a national policy with regard to waste disposal, but even if there is it is largely irrelevant. It is the local governments that decide what to do with all the garbage, so whatever the central government says, waste disposal and related environmental issues begin and end on the local level.

When I lived in Hsinchu 新竹, all of our trash was sent to an incinerator in Nan Liao 南瞭, overlooking the Taiwan Strait. I accompanied a kindergarten class on a field trip to this incinerator, so I know more about it than about any other incinerator in Taiwan. This particular incinerator was massive, and consisted primarily of a huge shaft, several stories high, from which garbage was loaded into the incineration unit. It was in impressive piece of engineering, given both the size of the structure and the amount of garbage processed on that site.

But of course, even if you burn up the garbage, the fumes and ash have to go somewhere. Following the construction of the incinerator, property values in that part of Hsinchu plummeted. Residents were naturally concerned about drift from the incinerator, and the impact this drift would have on their lungs, their crops, and on local fisheries.

Taichung 台中 used a mixture of landfills and incinerators. When I lived there, there were plans to build a new incinerator north of the city, though I don't know if they followed these plans through. At the time, our garbage was taken to a landfill. Residents in that area were very concerned about the proposed incinerator, even though the need for it was obvious.

In Taitung 台東, where I now live, there is also an incinerator, but we never use it. Or so they say. The county government built it several years ago, but landfills are still the sole destination for local garbage. Local officials claim that Taitung's population is not sufficient to justify using this incinerator, and so the landfill is still used despite claims that it is nearing, or has already exceeded, its capacity.

I wonder, however, if this will always be the case. The Taitung County Government is trying very hard to expand Taitung City, and to attract people from outlying areas. If these plans are realized, the population of Taitung City should jump from around 240,000 people to over 300,000, and it is possible that at that point they will consider using the incinerator - if they aren't (quietly) doing so already.

Whether you favor incinerators or landfills is perhaps beside the point. The pressing issue is really how much garbage we are producing, and how to produce less of it. Recycling will alleviate this somewhat, but it is obvious that we need to curb our intake of disposable products. Setting aside the litter that makes its way into lakes, rivers, and oceans, this problem of waste disposal is very serious, and needs to be considered by everyone.

And in the end, it is in inevitable that this should be so. We might be comfortable leaving the issue of waste disposal to local or national governments, but ultimately we are making smaller decisions with regard to waste production on our own, every day. Just about everything we buy will end up in the trash at some point, and in this respect our individual decisions about waste and how to dispose of it are the most important of all.

12. Beautiful Women (Taiwan Style, June 六月 2011)

Taiwanese women are beautiful. Here are some pictures of beautiful Taiwanese women. To see a beautiful woman makes me happy, and I can't think of a more natural way to feel.

This is Jolin (蔡依林). She is a pop singer. I can't stand her music, but she is very beautiful.

This is "Little (小) S." She hosts a TV show, and does a lot of modeling. She is very beautiful, and she is also my favorite. The first picture above is also her.

This is Akemi. She is a model. I'm not sure if she's really Taiwanese, or if she immigrated from Japan. At any rate, her picture is all over the island.

This is Vivian Hsu (徐若瑄). She is an actress and model. She has been in a lot of Hong Kong movies, but she's from Taiwan.

This is Elva (蕭亞軒). She's primarily a singer. My only problem with her is that she's too short. She is, nevertheless, very beautiful.

This is Lin Chi Ling (林志玲). Many men in Taiwan think of her as the most beautiful. She's a little thin for my taste, but I cannot say she's hard on the eyes. She is a model, though she is trying to break into movies.

13. Taiwanese Men's Magazines 2 (Taiwan Style, June 六月 2011)

Models from the Taiwan GQ, FHM, and Usexy magazines.  

14. Heat "熱" (Taitung Style, June 六月 2011)

It's Monday, June 6. It's also Dragon Boat Festival. It's also damn hot. I don't know what the calendar says, but for me the first day of summer was yesterday, when the sun started to get HUGE.六月六日星期一端午節,真是熱翻天了,我不確定日曆上是怎麼說的,對我來說,昨天是正式邁入夏天的開始,從這一天起太陽變得很大.

I'm sweating through my clothes as I write this. I'm also sweating all over my keyboard. It's not easy to type when you're so sweaty. It's not easy to do anything when you're sweaty - except maybe take your hundredth shower, and change your clothes for the hundredth time.我汗流浹背地寫這篇文章,把我的鍵盤也弄濕了.滿頭大汗地打字是一件苦差事,應該說除了洗澡和換衣服之外,在這種熱天氣下做任何事都很辛苦.

When it gets hot like this, I am usually thinking of two things. The first thing is swimming, and the second one is cold drinks. If I am swimming, I am thinking about what cold drink I will have after I finish swimming. If I am drinking a cold drink, I am thinking about where I can go swimming afterward.炎熱的夏天我只想到兩件事:第一件昰游泳,再來則是冰涼的飲料.當我游泳時,我想著待會去哪裡喝飲料,如果我喝著冰冰涼涼的飲料,那我腦海中則是盤算著可以去哪裡游泳.

I can't say how long this heat will last, but I know the summer just started, and we have many days of sunshine ahead of us. This can be a good thing, if you are like me and enjoy being outside. It can also be a bad thing if - like me - you work in a place without air conditioning.不知道這樣的熱度要持續到什麼時候?但是我知道夏天才剛開始.如果你也像我一樣喜歡戶外活動,這樣的天氣就是一件好事,但如果你像我一樣在沒有冷氣的地方上班的話,它就可能是一件壞事.

I know it's not easy sometimes, but we all have to do what we can, and make the best of these hot, hot days. The heat might be a drag, but it's the heat that makes all of the barbeques, swimming expeditions, and camping trips possible. It is, in other words, a great time to be outside, and for that reason I am grateful for the heat.我們都必須盡我們所能地享受夏天,雖然有時候很不容易,但也因為它讓烤肉,游泳和露營等活動成為樂事,想到這些好玩的夏日活動就讓我很感謝夏天的到來.

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