Archive for July, 2008

typhoon day off

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Funny. Apparently our office is closed today due to Typhoon Fung-Wong. I found this out when I called my boss at 7:30 AM and woke him – apparently he called the other two expats in the group and forgot (?!?) about me, and HR didn’t call me either. I would bet they called and left a message for Ted, which isn’t helpful since his plane took off before the storm hit last night and he’s somewhere in the air over Eastern Europe at the moment, with his plane turned off.

Under the circumstances I don’t think I feel guilty about waking the boss. After all, if he’d called me with the others last night, *I* wouldn’t have set my alarm for 6 AM to work out.

No danger from the storm, I don’t think – but it’s quite windy here and Linkou, where our office is, is higher in the mountains and always much windier than Taipei.

home gym

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Because people sometimes ask where we work out, I just wanted to post a few pictures of our exercise gear (not including the boats!).

just a product of my environment

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Y’know, I really do try to be good about at least tasting whatever foods are put in front of me here … but I had to draw the line at the slices of pig ear in the cafeteria today.

a week (and a half) in the life

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

I’ve been wanting to do a week in pictures for a while, but to give a fuller picture of our lives, I waited for a week where I flew between cities. It actually ended up being about a week and a half, because there were a few pictures I really wanted to get, and some days were skipped because once you’ve photographed driving to the office, you don’t need to do it the next day.

To keep this page from being unbearably huge, I’ll just post thumbnails of the pictures. Click on a thumbnail to open a larger image in a new window.

Saturday, June 28: Eindhoven

The first two are of the Fiesta del Sol in the centrum of Eindhoven – and isn’t that wheelchair cool? The other three are of our other home – the hotel building, lobby, and my room.

Sunday, June 29: Dutch rowing

The ERV Beatrix boathouse, with its ergs and locker rooms (I just put those in to get the Tempe rowers excited!); an amazing cake someone made for the club’s 45th anniversary; some pictures of the canal; old and new rowing shoes; and the boathouse building.

Wednesday, July 2: at work in Veldhoven

The drive to work, and two views of a sculpture I like; the building I work in; the office; the view outside; and the cafeteria in Veldhoven.

Thursday, July 3: heading out

An odd new building going up in Amsterdam; the train to the airport; two of Schiphol, one of the busiest airports in the world; the plane.

Friday, July 4: coming home (also our 15th anniversary)

Three of the airport in Bangkok; inside the plane; two outside the plane; touching down in Taipei.

Saturday, July 5: new boat!!! and anniversary dinner

The view from our apartment window; welcome Moonrise! and me in it; several views out the window by our table in the restaurant in Taipei 101; the menu showing what was for dinner.

Monday, July 7: at work in Linkou:

I have no idea what these things were, but they were drying in rows in the parking lot; the walk from the parking lot to our building; the building we currently work in; the office in Linkou.

Tuesday, July 8: a few more things

Tomatoes – the little hydroponic garden my brother gave us (I’m sure this is how Jane Jetson gardened); the chicken and sticky rice a coworker brought in to celebrate his new son’s one-month birthday. It’s a traditional dish – there was also chicken soup made with ginger and rice wine.

Wednesday, July 9: on the way to work

Three views on the way to work, on an especially clear day.

Thursday, July 10: lunch in Linkou

Our new building, which has just had the scaffolding taken off; the buffet line; noodle soup; tasty squid snacks!

Moonrise has arrived!

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Phew. Nice thing about living in Taiwan: you can get things delivered on Saturdays. The boat was kept in storage at the customs warehouse while I was out of town. Last night I got home and this morning they delivered the boat. There was a last minute problem in that the delivery service didn’t want to meet us in the park where boats are kept after park officials said that no private boats could be stored (we had permission from the local rowing coach to store our boats in with his). But after they met us outside the park the truck driver (and a second driver in a smaller truck, don’t ask me why) took us right to the bridge under which boats are stored and cheerfully helped unpack everything. Lots of sign language was involved, since they spoke no English and the only Chinese words I knew that helped were ‘here’, ‘there’ and ‘good’. Fortunately they were willing to keep the large wooden crate. Actually I think they were happy to have it – it has a nice metal frame inside and we’d have loved to keep it for boat storage if we had anywhere to put it.

The boat has one dent on the decking, but we’re actually not even sure if it was there when we unpacked it or came later, so no complaints about that. Between the boat crate and the box you sent from the US, all parts seem to be here except the bolts to attach the long bars of the boat rack to each other and to the car. No big deal, there are hardware stores here and hopefully they carry bolts that long.

It was very hot and humid, but of course I had to take a small lap in the boat. (After christening it, naturally. We didn’t have champagne so I used river water, as our rowing club in the Netherlands does.) For some reason there was no dock at all there today, but with such a
stable boat there wasn’t too much trouble doing a wet launch despite some very slippery conditions. Fortunately when I fell down I managed not to fall on the boat. Of course I haven’t fine tuned the rigging, but it felt good; somehow it manages to feel sort of big and wallow-y
without feeling at all heavy or slow.

The boat looks great. The blue of the cockpit is very nice: dark enough to suggest the night sky without being dark enough to get unbearably hot. the printing is perfect. Installing the riggers wasn’t hard at all. Also, the boat cover has a very good design, and was easy to use. I’m so glad all that customs stuff is done! Now all I have to do is install the strokecoach wiring and compass, then brave rowing in the heat enough to get ready for a race here at the end of August. That’s actually a bit worrying since I’ve committed to swimming across Sun-Moon Lake (3km, but you use floats or a kickboard) the next day.