Month: April 2013
To those of you that have been following along, let me first say that I am flattered that you have taken the time to read some of my adventures here in Taiwan.
Many of these blog updates have been stories of drunken debauchery that include pounding beers at 7-11 until the sun comes up. I have been kind of a drunk asshole since I have been here.
It is not my true nature. I actually am a caring and legitimate human being.
That is why this next story is going to really throw you for a loop.
I debated with myself for a few weeks now if I should write about this next topic in public. But, I thought it was relevant information worth sharing.
Around 10 p.m., on Easter Sunday, I decided to give my mom a call. I had no idea the dramatic news that I was soon about to receive. The phone went right to voice mail that night. I thought nothing of it . I just assumed she was at church.
But, the next day was when I got “the e-mail” You never want to receive an e-mail addressed from your mother with the subject line of “MOM” It was obvious somebody had written the message for her.
My heart just about dropped. I thought, Oh shit, what happened? It was from my younger half-brother. I don’t want to go into the specifics of the situation just to protect her privacy.
I will just say that the stress from her own personal life situation built up to a point that she could not handle it anymore. Luckily, nobody was hurt, and she is doing much better now.
It is so sad to me that stress and anxiety related disorders are such a huge part of our life. Much of it seems so unnecessary since it only comes from when our mind projects back into the past, or predicts a horrendous outcome of the future.
If we can all learn to stay in each moment, Zantex and Valeum would go out of business so fast. It is not an easy task for sure.
But, I decided right away for some reason to write a poem. I had never written a poem in my life. I was feeling uncontrollably inspired.
I will warn you that it is kind of a tear jerker from what I have been told so far.
As I began this world, I barely had a cry
From Filetown Road to Blue Ridge Drive,
I always had a hand, I always had a hug,
I always had a shoulder, I always had Tecmo Bowl,
baseball mits, and front row seats to Padres games
But, the rock behind all of this
was not, the goodies, or the games
It was not the love quarrels with the bro or the sis,
It was the lady named, Mrs. Dent ( like a Dent in the car)
As time moved on, sadly we grew apart in physical, and in spirit
But, I always knew that would change
That would twist, and that would turn
Not until the baby Rock learned to speak like a man,
Did we unite again fully in spirit,
The Baby Josh learned that the past is the past
And no need to look behind
We only have right now
My origins come from a tiny corn field
and one acre lot in Bushkill, PA
I have trotted the globe, and back,
And now, I trot again
As “I’m sitting here In Taiwan”
as my not so -famous song goes
If I could have one wish granted for the rest of my life
What would it be?
It is something I want EVEN more than the Redskins
to win a Super Bowl
Are you ready for this??
Mine would be for you to firmly know, accept, believe and see-
It goes no further than that
Nothing else matters
“YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD”
If you enjoyed this post, please take 5 seconds to click share below with your social network.
Taiwan Airport Pickup
I had arrive at the Taiwan airport after a 15 hour flight in still a bit of a daze. It was all fun and games before I left saying I would have no problem communicating without knowing the language.
That airplane was my last bit of comfort I had left before I got to Taiwan.
After climbing some insurmountable obstacles already, I still had one more to go. That was to find the one person in a Taiwan airport looking for Josh Dent.
In retrospect, it was all pretty minor stuff I went through so far. I was still on a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I always think of customs as the scariest place in the world for some unknown reason.
Operation Get Bags
I did actually bring two small bags with me that I had to check in. It was totally against my nature. But, I thought I would do it since I expected to get an apartment fairly quickly.
With roughly 600 people on the gigantic aircraft I flew in on, this actually made for my first bit of interesting culture shock. It was almost like a little game that you had to play to retrieve your bags.
It took me a few minutes to get the hang of it. But, the row of people was about 3 to 4 deep. That meant the person nearest the conveyor belt had to retrieve bags for the people behind them.
I was in the front. Many of the people used it as their attempt to practice English as I retrieved for them. I also heard some bizarre grunting noises.
I was just thinking to myself about what would happen if my bags didn’t make it. Luckily, my stuff wasn’t very valuable. I probably would have just let it go to be honest.
Josh Dent Sign
After I got my bags, I still had one more funny little trick to perform. I had to find the person from Shane English school holding a Josh Dent sign.
From an outside perspective, does that sound simple? I thought it would be pretty easy.
I am not sure why I thought so considering I didn’t have an age, description, sex, etc. of the driver.
That was when I grabbed my bag and headed to the ground transportation area. I had a pretty blank state of emotion at that point. I was pretty tired. But, I pretty much didn’t care anymore if I found the sign.
I was surprised how excited I got once I did walk into the Taiwanese sea of people waiting to pick up their loved ones at the airport.
It was hard not to get excited. The kids and the family members were practically jumping up and down as each person came through the line.
It kind of actually made me feel like I was living out the dream I had since I was 7 of winning the Super Bowl for the Redskins.
After 3 walks up and down the barricades, I finally found “The Josh Dent” sign.
We greeted each other with some very awkward Hello’s. From there, I knew had successfully mounted myself through a very bizarre set of circumstances to arrive in Taiwan for night one.
If you enjoyed this post, please take 5 seconds to click share below with your social network
By Joshua Dent
Greetings everyone from “The Taiwan” as I like to call it.
Did you ever wonder what Easter is like in Taiwan? If you are like me, you probably really never thought of that.
I had been through Thanksgiving and Christmas so far in The Taiwan.
Thanksgiving gets pretty much ignored here for obvious reasons. My only Thanksgiving day celebration came from going to a $500 NTD all you can drink night club in Taiwan called Club Wax. Let/s not forget also the Redskins whooped up on Dallas for a Thanksgiving day treat!
The Taiwan girls did give me a Thanksgiving surprisewhen they stripped off all my clothes except for my boxers on the dance floor.
Taiwan is so weird though. The circle of women around chuckled by covering their hand over their mouth after they admired the work, and then were too embarrassed at what they did to party anymore.
Or maybe, I am not as much of a catch as I think after 12 rum and cokes, and alcohol sweat pouring down every bone in my body.
Let’s get back to the original point of the story.
The week leading up to Easter just had this really bizarre feel to it. It just felt like something was missing from the whole experience. I had no shitty Easter candy to buy, crowded malls, or anything like that to bitch about.
So, about Friday of Easter week, I got myself mentally ready to try a new experience in Taiwan. I decided I was going to church for Easter.
I probably hadn’t been to church since my freshman year of college in 1997. That was only because I was still young enough for my dad to be able to make me go.
Obviously in a predominantly Budhist country, a catholic church might be a little hard to find. That is when the brilliant thought that had been at the back of my mind for a few months popped front and center.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to the Filipino church. I would rate my religious interests at about a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 for this adventure.
The Filipino Church entertained the notion of finding some gorgeous Filipino woman just waiting for a handsome American like myself to come strolling through there.
I even had a flashback to the 80’s when I was plotting this mission of heading to church. I can remember watching “Coming To America” with my brother. We were nestled on the couch with our favorite “A-treat Cream Soda” and Red Vines. I still remember one of the guys telling Eddie Murphy that he had to go to church to find a good woman.
It didn’t hurt that I had been absolutely fascinated with the Filipino women since I have been here. I only have made friends with a few of them.
A strong part of their allure is that I grew up next to a corn field on Filetown Road in the 80’s.
It took us 15 minutes by car to get to the nearest grocery store. There was ABSOLUTELY nothing exotic about Nazareth, PA.
My junior high classmates once chased a kid out of town because his name was Mohammed, Mohammed.
But, I had been in Taiwan for roughly 4 months. And, I am only a short flight away from one of the most exotic countries you can find on this planet. It still just all seems surreal to me.
The Filipino women are bronze, and beautiful. They walk with a certain sexiness that is unmistakable in my eyes.
Of course, for the insiders that have gone to Filipino night clubs on Sunday afternoons, we all talk about the certain distinct aroma of baby powder. It is quite funny because they all seem to use the same kind. I have even heard people say that they can smell a Filipino girl coming:)
I didn’t set my alarm that morning for the 10 a.m. church service. Maybe, it was on purpose so I wouldn’t have to actually go through with this plan of going solo to the Filipino church.
I ended up waking up about 10:15. I took my time taking a shower. I ran through 700 other things that I could do with my day in an effort to get out of going. But, I finally decided that I had to give it a try.
I got in front of the Filipino Bread of Life Church at roughly 10:45 a.m. even dressed in business casual attire. I suppose I wanted to look good for the girls.
I spent the next 15 minutes pacing back in forth of the church which was on the 3rd floor. I must have ran through one million reasons why it wasn’t a good idea to go in my head. ” Surely, I can’t go to church late, ” “They will laugh at you” They will stare”
Overall, I thought it was just going to be a painfully awkward experience. But, at 10:59, I mustered up the courage to walk the 3 flights of stairs to go to Filipino Church, one hour late on Easter Sunday, in Taiwan.
I got to the door, and noticed that the double doors were strongly shut. I took one more deep breath. I was just certain when I opened this door, the awkwardness was ready to start.
Sure enough, the doors made a noise which felt like louder than a shotgun in a Filipino library. I popped my head in past the doors. A young lady probably in her early 30’s came rushing over to the door to greet me.
I felt so weirded out by this entire experience that I am certain I probably hoped that she was going to tell me to come back later. But, no such luck. She guided me to a seat.
The church had a very interesting setup. It just had about 75 chairs lined up throughout the church. The pastor was speaking in English and reading from a power point presentation.
It took me about 10 minutes to settle in from that original anxious roller coaster ride I put myself through. I started paying attention to my surroundings a bit.
I originally wanted to be a good person and tell myself I wasn’t there just to see if I could meet some nice girls. So, I tried really hard to listen to the service, and what the pastor had to say.
I think that probably only lasted about 15 minutes. That is when I couldn’t help but notice that the church was probably populated with about 60-65 people. I would estimate 45 of them were stunningly gorgeous females.
I also remember thinking that if this was more like a yoga class I could get into it. I just can’t stand to sit still and listen to somebody talk for that long.
For the next 45 minutes, a 2 way tug of war was going on in my head. Option one was to legitimately get into the service and hope to smile at the right time when one of the girls was looking my way. Option 2 was to get up and run as fast as I can.
At the 15 minute mark of my stay, I was forced into my first interaction of the day. The priest did most of his sermon in English. But, he also did some parts in his native language, Tagalog.
He quickly apologized to me for this. That is when I told him with a perfectly smooth and eloquent Tagalog accent “Ayos Lang.” Ayos lang is the equivalent of no problem.
It was like the whole church just stopped for a moment. All eyes quickly became on me when they realized I could speak a little bit of Tagalog. This bizarre looking American guy stumbled into the church solo, and now he knows Tagalog.
I know it is Sunday, but I am sure they were probably thinking, WTF??
He then asked me in Tagalog if I spoke his native tongue. I responded with “Nagsasalita ng kaunting tagalog.”
That really threw the room off. But, unfortunately I was out of language ammo at that point. That was as far as I could take that conversation.
Returning back to the service, I would say that the tug of war ended up being a draw. I ended up staying very close to the end. After the 2 hour long service was over, the pastor gave a pep talk to everyone to get them to stay even longer.
I had only been there for an hour. But, it still felt like more than enough for me.
I did stay as he walked around and put his hand on the shoulders of everyone and said a prayer for almost all the people there.
That was when this bizarre morning came to a climax. He was probably only about 5’3. Me being 5’10, it was one of the few times that I felt like a giant in my lifetime.
He came up to me, and placed his hand on my right shoulder. He looked up at me, and started his series of confusing prayers.
“Dear Lord, You brought this guy to me today, I am not really sure what he is doing here. You brought him to a Filipino church. But, that is ok. This guy looks ok, and I want to love and help him. This guy is going to be ok.” I forget the rest. But, everything was “This Guy” in a heavy Filipino accent.
Although, they invited me to stay for lunch. That was obvious the perfect opportunity to mingle with the ladies. I just couldn’t take it anymore. We were 2.5 hours deep into the service and it had no signs of ending any time soon.
That is when I sadly left the service. They tried to get me to stay. But, I decided I was better off trying my luck at Paddy’s Point, the Filipino disco later on that afternoon.
Overall, it was probably one of the stranger moments I have had since I was in Taiwan. I am glad I can use my words to hopefully share and entertain with you.
Should I have stayed?
If you enjoyed this post, please take 5 seconds to click share below with your social network
By Joshua Dent
It was a fairly cold, and chilly Friday night into Saturday here in the Taiwan.
I would say temperatures were hovering around 14-15 degrees. Much of the last 24 hours was covered with extremely HEAVY intermittent rain showers.
Friday at 9 p.m. was no different than any of the last 9 Friday nights for me. I normally am so pissed off and wound up at my boss, and Chinese assistant teacher that I rarely even make it back to my house after work.
I headed directly to the 7-11 around the corner for a nice tall can of Heineken at 95NTD to get the night started.
For Americans, I am sure you are thinking what a strange drinking spot. But, it is actually quite common to start the night off sitting outside at a 7-11 here.
For the first 25 minutes, I sit and think about how much I can’t stand my school, and that I am going to be really hating life after I stay out until 5 in the morning tonight, and my alarm goes off at 10a.m. for my first class.
Friday night this week was absolutely no different. The usual course of destruction ensued until about 4 a.m. That was when I decided that wasn’t good enough. It was time to go to 3 different 7-11’s on my way home to drink another night cap.
It is certain that the overnight Taiwan 7-11 people were a bit intrigued by the solo Westerner staggering from 7-11 to 7-11 crushing cans of Heineken.
By this time, it is 5:30 a.m., and I finally stumble back to my apartment on Yanping Road, piss-faced drunk.
Of course, don’t forget the fact that my house is half a mile from the police station. So, I always get the pleasure of walking past the police on my way home.
I normally have taken my shoes off by that point, and rolled up my pants since it is almost always raining.
This night, the extra 3 beers on the way home really put a damper on things. I am not even sure I made it to my bed last night. I just remember opening up the door to my apartment, and falling right asleep.
I have always had a remarkable ability to function even after some of the more brutal nights like that. I think I even woke up about an hour before my alarm.
So, at 10:30 a.m., it was off to my first class of the day. I have been saying for months that I pity this poor kid, David. David is by far the smartest, most respectful, and motivated student I have.
But, I normally am still so wasted still by the time I teach his class. I have done some ridiculous lessons in that class. I always bring my guitar.
We have even sang Steve Miller Band “Dance, Dance, Dance!”
He also talked his parents into getting him his own guitar.
After at least 8 straight weeks of absolute Saturday morning debauchery, I noticed he had somebody with him today.
My first thought was “Oh Shit, he brought his mom with him!” I only saw the person from behind and it was the body of a female with really long hair.
So, I left my guitar in the office, and tried to prepare some sort of “serious lesson” within the next 5 minutes. I walked into the class and realized it was actually his sister. Apparently, he told her how much fun he was having and she wanted to come with him.
It is funny what kind of popularity you get from just being yourself in the classroom.
His class ended at 12p.m. That is when I headed back to the apartment to spend the first hour praying that my 3:30 private adult student cancels so I can sleep an extra hour.
I had no such luck today.
I was back to work at 3:30 for a private class. It was for a private lesson with a student named Austin. Austin is a 40 year old engineer with the heart of gold. English just doesn’t happen to be his forte. He has been studying English at the school for years. But, he can easily get stumped when I ask him questions such as “How are you?”
Those painful and hunger Saturday afternoon 90 minutes are followed by easily my worst class of the week..
I had a class on Saturday night from 5:00- 6:30 with 4 of the most miserable 16 year old kids Taiwan has to offer, I can’t even begin to list off the things I tried to do just to get a reaction out of them. I just wanted to see that they had some sign of life.
Tonight was a little bit different. I knew I was in for a storm even before the class started.
“School Manager” Chloe, with her shitty English, was going to be my assistant for this advanced class. I also noticed that she prepared the wrong lesson.
I really didn’t know what to do. She was busy, and I was busy before the class.
I also could barely stand the thought of talking to her any more than I had to. So, I took the chance and still prepared to teach the lesson from what I was supposed to do for that night.
I crossed my fingers for the first 25 minutes of class that this 5’5 hellion of a fire dragon lady would be too scared to pop her head in this advanced class for the night. I had no such luck.
She came right in the room, dressed in a short skirt and high heels, ranting and raving that I was teaching the wrong lesson. I calmly pointed out to her that I was just doing what I was supposed to.
She started to get even more livid. The look in the eyes of this woman when she is mad clearly depicts there is no winning a disagreement with her.
I will mention that these kids that I could not get any reaction out of for 5 months did suddenly become interested in what we were jabbering back and forth to each other. I could see Dennis, the class wise ass, perk up. I also noticed Megan the girl that never talks started to cover her mouth from laughing.
I taught the rest of the lesson with a volume level of about .05, and my head down. I wasn’t really quite sure how to handle this. Part of me wanted to reach out and strangle that bitch. Another part of me thought it was almost humorous. She had gone beyond ape shit. There was just no turning back at that point.
Another part of me started to become happy. I think I knew regardless of the outcome of our post class discussion I wasn’t coming back to that Hell Hole. It was almost like a feeling of liberation.
So, I gutted out the rest of that class. It was mainly because the kids I taught after them were the exact opposite. They were a group of 16 year old kids with some of the best attitudes I have ever seen. We were doing really challenging activities in that class. They always responded wanting more responsibility.
Chloe left me alone so I could teach the final class of the evening effectively. I went and saw those kids knowing that was probably the last time I would see them.
After class, the manager asked if I could stay. I said, “ABSOLUTELY!” She proceeded to tell me that she wasn’t going to pay me for tonight’s class since I taught the wrong class. After an 11 hour day on 4 hours of sleep, I wasn’t buying it. It was a pretty quick ending to the conversation.
I told her I quit if she doesn’t want to pay me. After we exchanged 3 rounds of me saying ” I quit ” and her saying “You can’t”. I finally said. ” I am not coming back, EVER!!”
Now, I sit in The Taiwan from the confines of my tiny one bedroom apartment. I am in a land where I can barely order a meal in the native tongue, and without a job.
I still feel one million times better than going to work and getting kicked around by that shit hole of an office that was trying to call itself a school. I know I will get a much better job soon!
If you enjoyed this post, please take 5 seconds to click share below with your social network.
By Joshua Dent
February 28,2013 started out to be what I thought was going to be a fairly typical Sunday afternoon here in “The Jongli”
I woke up at about 12:30 completely hungover and still feeling shitfaced from drinking at two of Jongli’s finest watering holes, “The River” and “C’est La Vie”
The River is a typical Westerner kind of bar here in Southeast Asia. American music is played the entire evening, and English is widely spoken throughout the pub.
After the River, we headed to our favorite after hours spot called “C’est La Vie.”
Now, there is ABSOULTUELY nothing French or magical about C’est La Vie.
It normally has about 5-7 at most completely slobbering, piss-faced drunk Taiwanese guys in there, and if we are lucky there might be one girl hanging around
The one unhidden gem about C’est La Vie is the head bartender there. We can never figure out how to explain this girl. I personally love the fact that she speaks 0 English.
But, if you look at her, she almost has yellow buck teeth at first glance and absolutely nothing beautiful about her.
She still has some sort of unexplainable really, really, really bizarre cuteness to her.
I just can’t figure it out for the life of me. She looks ugly as sin sometimes and cute as a button others.
As I was writing, it dawned on me that I never see her before 4am. So, I think we just solved that mystery.
But, back to the point of the story. After stumbling around my apartment from about 1:30 to 3:30, still drunk enough to taste the Jack Daniels on my breath from the night before, I decided it was time to make something out of this day.
That was when without thought I grabbed my passport, ARC, and motorcycle helmet. I was about ready to tackle round 2 of the absolute insanity that is also known as driving a scooter in Taiwan.
When I arrived at the bottom of the steps, that amazing array of confidence in my driving abilities that I had from the 11th floor of my apartment disappeared quickly.
I may not have yet realized how quickly the confidence was leaving my body until I actually put my helmet on.
With the size of my head, I am quite certain that any wind gust over 5 m.p.h. could have blown that helmet that was only half on my head right to the side of the road.
After the helmet was half-cocked and secured on my head, that is when I made my first glance out onto the chaotic and hectic road I would have to tackle first (Yanping Road)
The bike was on top of a 3 foot high landing with the roughly 18 other scooters parked out in front of my apartment building. I was mentally holding onto that parking area as my remaining blanket of security between me and the open road for as long as I could.
As a matter of fact, I stood completely paralyzed with FEAR behind my bike for at least 15 minutes as I just gazed out into oncoming traffic.
I said nothing. I didn’t even move. Taiwanese neighbors came and left. And, I still didn’t unlock one bone in my body from the complete feeling of fear I had.
The original plan back on Planet Josh was to quickly hop on the bike, and bang an immediate left turn.
If I could successfully execute this maneuver, I was free sailing. I could drive 300 yards maybe and make a quick right onto nothing but back roads free of traffic.
After I struggled and horsed this 800 pound piece of machinery through a row of 19 parked scooters
my plan took an immediate change for the worse. I started the bike, and it was like I completely forgot the whole plan of “Just GO left.”
I probably forgot my name at that exact moment. I knew within a split second that going left would constitute crossing over 3 busy ass lanes of traffic. And, it just wasn’t going to happen on this day.
So, a right turn out of the gate it was. That was only the beginning of one of the most ridiculous 3 hour consistent reel of bloopers imaginable.
However, after successfully executing right turn #2 on Jung Mei Road, I was suddenly starting to gain some confidence.
At one point, I even looked down at the speedometer, and I realized I was going over 20 kilomoters per hour. I thought maybe it would be years before I saw that, and I was doing it on my first day!!
I even got so confident that I was going to try and make a left hand turn on YuanHua Road. This was pretty risky since a left was going away from my house.
As I pulled into the left hand turning lane, with my turn signal on of course, that was the first time on this afternoon that my mind just took a complete shit on me.
The tricky part about operating a scooter for the very first time is accelerating and decelerating. The acting gas pedal is on the right hand side of the scooter. If you push away from you, it will speed up. And, if you pull towards your body, it will actually slowly down.
With the earlier notion that my mind took a shit on me, I am quite certain you know where I am going with this one.
As I pulled up to the stop light to make my very first left hand turn, I noticed that the light was turning yellow. Although, I was probably going less than 10 kilometers per hour, I made what felt like a desperate attempt to come to a stop before I got to the light.
That was also the same exact moment that my brain stopped working. I was trying to slow down, and I kept pushing the lever away from me which was actually speeding the bike up. I remember thinking ” Son of a Bitch, this thing is just going to keep right on going.”
It actually got SO bad that I contemplated jumping off the damn bike. My mind was saying make this thing slow down.
But, my body kept making it go forward. I was probably hunched over at the very back of the seat as well to keep trying to pull leverage backwards.
Man, after nearly jumping off a 125 scooter going 5kmh, I was scared absolutely shitless to be honest.
It is.very strange to most people when I talk about my fear of scooters. They normally ask if I can ride a bike.
They seem extremely surprised to know that I have actually ran an Iron Man race.
So, after that bit of a fun, I was driving through the streets of Taiwan absolutely fucking scared out of my mind. I can remember thinking “God, How the hell am I going to get this thing back home? ” I knew that would constitute changing lanes, making turns, and a plethora of other nonsense.
I also remember seeing what I thought was a police officer behind me. I thought for the love of God just pull me over and take me to jail.
Anything has to be better than what I am feeling right now. I would have no such luck on the police officer taking me to jail. What I thought was a police officer, was actually a parking ticket guy.
After the parking ticket guy went past me, I proceeded to just go straight for about another hour with the occasional right hand turn down a side street.
At this point, I had absolutely no idea where I was. I would estimate that I only made it about 20 km from my apartment on Yanping Road.
That was when I quickly realized that I was just about out of gas. So, I thought Oh Shit, what if I run out of gas in the middle of the road and have to push this thing a couple of miles to the next gas station.
And, it is not like I could check my phone for the nearest gas station. I have a blue and silver Sony Ericson from 2004.
My next maneuver was to pull into the 7-11 and get some sort of comfort food to help calm me down. I parked the bike, and grabbed a papaya milk. I probably sat inside the 7-11 for about 30 minutes figuring out how I was going to find a gas station.
That is when I saw a cop taking pictures of my bike. Once again, I just thought take the damn thing since I am too stubborn to quit most of the time. I still have no idea what the cop was doing but he didn’t offer me the favor to take the bike with him.
So, I decided after I drank my $35 NTD Papaya Milk to take a walk looing for the next closest gas station. Luckily, I found one about a half mile away. But, I was also going to have to make a left hand turn.
I scouted it out for about 15 minutes from the side of the highway and determined that it was ok to give it a go. After one pit stop at a Budhist Temple gathering to gather my confidence, I cleared the left and I was able to fill the bike up with gas.
I wish I would have had a camera to capture the look on the faces of these Taiwanese people as some hungover and scruffy looking white guy came staggering up the hill of their outdoor gathering.
I didn’t stay long. And, I didn’t say a word anybody.Once again, it was just an excuse for a quick spot and another chance to gather my confidence.
With a full tank of petro, and a cluttered mind, it was back to the streets to try and navigate my way back home. It went ok for about the first 10-15 minutes. I somehow found a nice straight, and uncongested road to get me going back in the direction I needed to get toward my house.
But, this uncluttered path of highway could only last for so long in Jongli. I quickly found myself by the Jongli Night Market.
To those of you that don’t know what a night market it is, it is probably the worst place imaginable for a new scooter driver to be driving. It is constant stop and go traffic among cars, scooters, children, and basically any kind of distraction all clobbered into one tiny little area for a chance to buy some really cheap food, clothes, and cheesy carnival games.
I thought Jesus Christ, could this really be happening at this point?? I was tired, and beat-down from an afternoon of terror. And , I was now going to have to really liven up and try to get through these confusing side streets just filled with people.
That is when I decided to throw in the towel for the evening. I really didn’t even care what was gong to happen this bike that I just paid roughly $500 American dollars for.
I knew I only had one mission left. That was to go ahead and park this thing. I could come back another day to get the bike if it was still there.
So, I quickly found a side street with an empty parking space and left it for another day.
I knew I was about 4 miles away from home. That is when I decided taking a long walk would be ok at this point.
It took me one hour to walk home that night. But, it was much better than driving another second on that scooter. I went back and got it the next day. It is now currently sitting in front of my apartment. I occasionally start it up with the brave notion that I will drive it again some day.
If you enjoyed this post, please take 5 seconds to click share below with your social network
As I sit here in the Tainan bus station at 3:45 on a Saturday afternoon, I am currently facing two of my biggest challenges this week.
#1- Keeping My Eyes Open
#2- Keeping My Head Up and avoiding the embarrassment of falling of the bus stop stool while passed out.
The one bit of solitude I do have is that the weather is absolutely perfect outside. There is not a cloud in the sky, and the temperature is hovering right around 75 degrees which is absolutely perfect for my own liking. I also have trusty two month old Madgun brown and yellow guitar in its ugly black ripped gig bag.
The bus stop is a hybrid between a station and just a very large stop. It probably has about 15-25 people waiting around for the next bus. I am on my way back to Jongli.
Not one of them is of Western descent of course besides me.
I am so tired that I can actually see stars coming out of the corner of my left eye. And, I know the other one is droopy.
If you are wondering why I am so tired, I will just simply state that this was the last day of Chinese New Year.
Do you need further clarification? 🙂 I didn’t think so.
I still feel a tremendous buzz which is amazing since it is almost 4 in the afternoon. But, I guess when you go to bed at 8am , that is still allowed.
I feel 100 percent at ease with the entire world right now. Nothing can further back up that statement more than by the fact that I completely just jammed out with my trusty Madgun guitar right in the middle of the Tainan bus station for the last 45 minutes.
The thoughts going through the heads of the Taiwanese people would have been priceless to capture. :et me also remind you that I can barely get through 3 cords on the guitar. But, I really just didn’t give it a shit about anything.
I sat on my blue and silver hard back chair, and played those same 3 chords OVER and OVER again for at least 45 minutes.
I also decided to carry on some lyrics with it. Now, I am an absolutely horrendous singer to begin with. To complicate matters worse, I was trying to make up my own lyrics as I went.
“I’m sitting here in Tainan, gonna sing a good song, just for you and me.”
The best part was I really didn’t care if anybody liked it at all.
My eyes were blood shot as can be and I hadn’t shave in at least 4 days. I have a head big enough that it used to force my parents to driver to a different state to buy me a football helmet.
And, I am singing away in a perfectly quiet and sane bus stop without even a glance my way.
But, after that bizarre display of my lack of musical talent, it was back to Jongli for now. My bus was here.
The 19 year old kid managed to spit out the words “You GuitARR Awesome.” I thought what a liar. But, of course I greeted him with a “Xie Xie” or thank you.
Tainan, and your bit of solitude in a tiny display of something besides concrete jungle with your beaches, and surrounding mountains, I shall return soon.
I invite you to take a brief moment and think of some of your favorite writers or musicians. Are any of them “normal” ?. Probably not, huh??
I would also imagine that drugs and alcohol had a huge part of their writing style.
This next work was no different for me. It was written around the time of my first Chinese New Year celebration in Taiwan.
I had spent the previous 4 nights getting absolutely annihilated on some of the cheapest booze Taiwan has too offer.
One of the nights even included a $500NT= 17.50 US dollars all you can drink party at a cheesy night club where I was the toughest guy there at 165lbs.
Let’s just say I got my money’s worth.
I am not always proud of how much I drink. And, I actually had to be woken up at The Armory (a local bar) , in Tainan at 7am as I was sleeping outside in the grass.
But, there really is something magical about how in touch you get with your soul after some HEAVY drinking.
You are ready to conquer the world until the booze wears off and the 3 day hangover sets in.
Then, you just normally decide to go back to work and deal with the same shit you have been dealing with for the last 10 years, just in a different country.
A Post Card from Me to The World- Come To Taiwan
Hello Mother, Hello Father, Hello World
Here I am in Camp Taiwan. And yes, I have realized by now my middle name is not WUH .. ha!(Joshua)
As I sit outside the 7-11, on the NE corner of Dongping Road, and Zhuanjing Road, (what, America, those streets are not familiar?? ha ha)
I am avidly chomping away on bag #2 of Bamboo crackers. If you are wondering what bamboo crackers are, they are like a mixture of Asian chips and graham crackers all in a delicious white and green $18NT bag that I can not get enough of.
It is roughly 3 in the afternoon and I have not been awake for more than 20 minutes to be honest. My eyes are redder than a lobster, And, I am absolutely HAMMERED still from last night.
I am wearing a pair of beat up khaki shorts, and my “Keep it Green” shirt that I wore to the 2008 Rocky Point Volleyball championships if that gives you an idea of the condition I am in right now.
I still have a mix of Chinese, and Spanish in my head from the Latino party I went to the night before. If Josh Dent, mixing it up at a Latino party in Taiwan doesn’t say unique to you, I am not sure what does
To go one deeper, this partying was going via a mutual friend from the Mansfield University. Considering this is coming from Taiwan, I would have use the cliche What a small world!
I just spent 4 REALLY fun days here in Tainan partying my ass off and just having a genuinely great time with life.
The heart of not only the Taiwan person, but the Asian people, will be proven to you day after day if you ever decide to come to Taiwan. Yesterday, we were on the beach drinking tequila with 9 of the most random Indonesian people you would ever see in your life.
But, the cultural gap, language gap, and any other differences all get brushed aside when people are out to have a really good time. We spent hours getting wasted while playing guitar, and singing away any Indonesian song you could think of.
Taiwan is absolutely fantastic, and I really hope that one day you decide to come. It will open your heart and soul to a new way of existence.