Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tank Bunkers

 Surrounding Taichung is a U-shaped mountain range. The Taiwan military built tank bunkers up on these hills overlooking the city. If China decided to attack Taiwan they would most likely come through Taichung. The tanks would then sit up on the hill able to blast away at the city which I currently live in. But with the advancing military technology, these bunkers have rendered useless against the Chinese.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hu Tou Mountain 虎口山 (12-12-12 Challenge)

The first section for my 12-12-12 challenge was in Hu Tou Mountain (虎口山). Hu Tou means Tiger Mouth. It is one of our easiest hikes. It was only about 97 meters most of which we drove up in a car, then the rest was just a few stair cases up.
In the distance you can see the ocean that separates us from China. According to the plaque  below, Japan sank a Russian ship off the coast.

On the top of the plaque is a Chinese song. We asked some of the other hikers to sing it for us. In the end we ended up reading the chinese to them out of their fear of foreigners.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

12 Mountains in 12 Months (12-12-12 Challenge)

For 2012, I will be hiking the 12 different mountain ranges in 12 months. I will do 1 a month, along with Marc and Jacob. Some days will be only hiking 1 mountain other days we will be hiking multiple ones in a single day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chinese New Year Part 3 (Dora's House)

 Jake and I spent two days with two of our past students. They took us to their home and ate lots of food, spending the day with their families.

Friday, January 27, 2012

6:30 am... Skateboarding

6:30 am woke up and skated this rail. Not even a warm up ollie, my first actions on the board were pushing and jumping onto the rail. The security guard gave me until 8:30 to skate it. In the process I tore a hole in my shoe exposing my toes. Picture on the left shows how the grip tape on my skateboard wore away at my big toe nail.

Chinese New Year Part 2 (Fu Dog Dancing)

I managed to show up at the Fu Dog festivities a little late, just in time to catch the end of the show. They are doing construction on the major part of the temple so the show wasn't as extravagant as it was years before, I heard.

After the show they had this little arts and craft thing to do. You basically, get the paper wet, pound it with a brush on top of the imprint, then dab it with a sand bag dipped in ink.

Below the temple was a museum. It shared about the aboriginals, old chinese toys and more.

In the toy store you could buy from a big selection of gods.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Skateboard Gathering

Every weekend on Saturday and Sunday a group of skateboarders show up at this park. They will bring rails or other things sometimes and there is normally always a couple of benches to grind. I try to make and effort to show up at least once a week, to stay connected with other skateboarders in Taichung.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese New Year Part 1

Chinese New Year has just begun. It is one of the most important holidays for the Taiwanese. They celebrate the western new year, but traditionally their new year starts at a different date. They get about 1 week off of work, while students will get the month off of school. The day before New Years Eve they will clean their houses, throwing away old furnature, etc.

This week I am busy almost everyday going to different people's houses or places. The first day Jake and I went to a married students house. She brought us to her husband's parent's house. We enjoyed an intersting meal with the family.
We ate many strange foods. We had shark and also ate black chicken. After eating we played some games with the younger kids. Traditionally the uncle will give a red envolope to the nephews which contains a little bit of money. Jake and I recieved such an evnolope from the father-in-law.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Enjoy Skate

I was unexpectedly invited to a private group on facebook of some 21 skateboarders in Taichung. So I started chatting with them, I believe I have only previously met two of the skaters. So I met up with them for some fun street skating.

bs 180
fs 180

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SYME Wednesday Activity

 Every Wednesday we play fun games at SYME. All the new students had a lot of fun playing a type of human foosball. Basically all the rules were broken multiple times, and a few things almost got broken as the volleyball hit the ceiling lights and people's faces.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Day of SYME 2012

SYME Winter 2012 term has just begun. We have 25 students attending. I ran the game time and shared with them some of the rules about speaking English only and the struggles of foreign students studying in America.

Friday, January 13, 2012

New House

Once again I have moved to a new building. The first night there I ran into a little lizard scourging around. We have 4 bedrooms, a kitchen and a big living room. Our apartment is right across the street from Mcdonald's, on a pretty main road in Taichung. We will be having 10 male students living in the dorm with us. The past few weeks we have been working on getting SYME ready for the next term which starts Monday morning.

Andrew Chang - Ollie

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BARS - Michigan Skate Video

I managed to get a copy of the BARS video all the way to Taiwan. A skate video made by Logan Rice of a bunch of locals from the Michigan's Kalamazoo and Lansing area mostly. Lots of the skaters I have skated with a few times. I mostly bought the video just so I could see Martian Fobes part along with Deezle's (which is worth it alone). If your into skating and live in Michigan, you should definitely pick up a copy of Bars. You can buy it from Phono & Company.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Skyrim Pack Rat

When I began playing Skyrim I realized it was like no other game. I could touch almost any item in the game and take it home with me. As I began wondering through caves unable to leave any items behind constantly being over weight. Traveling long distances through caves walking slower then a snail. I would return home drop the useless items on the ground, sell the ones worth money, and keep 1 of every different kind of item I can find organized in different selves and chest.

 Not before long my home was a disaster, and I thought I like it this way. So after I got over the I can take every single item in the game, I still took as much as I could just so I could trash my home.

(There are ways you can cheat and carry infinite amounts of weight, I did not do that, I carried all these items the way the game was met to be played.)