June 19, 2012

A Cramp Abroad, Part II: No Fuxing

McDonald's, floods and puns.

**A Cramp Abroad**

*Dispatches From An American in The Far East Trying Desperately Not to Spread His Americanism*

**Part II: No Fuxing**

Pun intended. “Fuxing” is the name of the subway station I get off on for work (other pun intended as well). It’s not the closest stop to the office, but there’s a McDonald’s there, and I needs my sausage. I’m amazed at how much Taipei McDonald’s’ taste like every other one I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to a lot of McDonald’s(es)—home, L.A., New York, Honolulu… all exactly the same. However, they have no sweet tea or biscuits in the Republic of China. Two months without those two key items will certainly induce unprecedented withdrawals.

The title (and pun) of this entry comes from this fact: I made the mistake of obtaining a squeeze before I came out here. We’re courting, she belongs to me, and I’m using offensive lingo from too many eras. Actually, this mistake turned out to be a happy one; now, I don’t have the added pressure of creepily hitting on Taiwanese ladies. I can just be a person instead of a guy. I’m not a sleaze here… not to the public, anyway. Just a dude, “here on business,” finding his way around.

But good goodness, there are some pretty girls here.

I spent most of my first week trying to find a beard trimmer and a decent bar. No luck on the former—apparently, Taiwanese men just use a collective scissor. I did find one good place to drink, however, if one doesn’t count my apartment. It’s called Hoky’s, and it reminded me of home. Just a bar. The owner was playing late 90s/early 2000s-era pop-punk over the radio—stuff like My Chemical Romance and Fallout Boy. When I asked another customer if this type of music was still popular here, he replied, “No. Just this guy.”

Thank Jewsus.

I’m still trying to find Hoky’s again. This city is huge, and the fact that most information is in Chinese doesn’t help one get around. I had a great conversation with a man at that Hoky’s bar, but I’ll save that for a later entry. It was too good to come right out of the gate with.

Anyhoot, I’ve done some tourist stuff and explored the nightlife of Taipei quite deeply. You’re going to have to wait briefly for details on those items, however. Tourist attractions are coming next.

My dad was right. It rains a lot here. This happened within the first 1.5 weeks of my trip: [A Taipei Flood (Washington Post)][1]

To finish, I’ll just say that torrential rain and bloody flooding are definitely things to write home about.

*I know I’m a little behind, but I’ll update quite soon to present my thoughts in a more current fashion.

**I’ve been here for almost 3 weeks, and I naturally have lots of comparisons and contrasts between Taiwan and the U.S. mingling in my brain. However, I will reserve these brain droppings for later entries; I don’t want to speak too soon.

***I really like puns, but I know most people hate them. Therefore, I will use them as much as possible.