March 18, 2010


Okay, the last time I tried this, about two weeks ago, the cyber god or gods, was or were not happy.  I ended up losing part of the blog, and now, it’s gone totally.  Only the shadow knows…

Thought I’d get a head start on tomorrow’s blog, since I’m home anyway.

March 17 started off as any other.  Played on Facebook for a bit, took my pictures, finished up a couple lesson plans, made my coffee, fed the beasts, took my shower, DID NOT WEAR ANYTHING GREEN, then headed for school.

Something was amiss.  Call it the curse of the Leprechauns.  I intentionally did not wear anything green.  I did not have the traditional Irish coffee.  I did not quote anything from Irish literature.  I did not tell the students anything about St. Patrick’s Day, partly, because in both classes, there is a boy named Patrick, and he would have been ribbed all day.  Besides, apart from about 5 out of 40 students who understand English, the rest would have looked at me as they always do – with vacant eyes.  Kind of eerie at 8:20 in the morning.

Part way through the first class, I let the kids do what they wanted to do – talk to each other in Chinese.  My voice was getting sore (really SORE) from asking, then telling them not to talk in Chinese… in one ear, and lost in that vacuous space called a brain.  So, rather than make things worse, just let them go to it.  I had other work to do anyway, so it wasn’t a total loss on my part.

Second class, tried my best to have a quick conversation, but after a few minutes, I gave up again.  My throat was now PAINFUL at this point.  Got home, and went over to a pharmacy near my home where I know the pharmacist speaks English.  I told her that my throat was really sore, and what would she recommend.  She looked quickly at my throat and asked if I knew what Strep Throat was?  Yes.  She was going to give me the infamous Taiwanese medicine pouches.  These consist of about 5-25 (depending on the person administering the little devils), when I said, no.  Did they have any syrup, as pills would bother my throat more.  She understood, and offered two different brands.  Each bottle is 95nt (approx $3 Can) for 120ml.  Not a bad price, as long as it works.

One, I thought, was purple.  Reminded me of Dimetapp back in Canada.  The other I couldn’t see.  I asked which one tasted better.  I know, stupid question, but I’m the one who has to swallow the stuff.  She said they both taste the same.  Okay.  Take them both.  Less than 200nt, and if any left, I’ll give to someone else who has a sore throat.

Get home, look at the bottles.  The other is yellow.  Immediately, I think lemon.  Cool.  Smelled it – WOW.  Not lemon, but medicine – go figure.  The other one was definitely NOT purple.  It was a brownish colour.  Don’t ask, not even go to tell you what I thought.  Nonetheless, the smell was a lot better.  I took half a dose of each.  Why not.  The brown one, although repulsive to look at, tasted much better.  The yellow one, although very beautiful, was not as easy to stomach.  Nonetheless, once it’s past the tongue, who cares what it looks like, as long as it works.

Well, my god.  About 1/2 hour later, I was practically falling asleep at the computer.  Could NOT keep my eyes from falling.  I contemplated putting toothpicks in to hold them up, like in the cartoons, but as in the cartoons, they probably would have snapped.  I asked my roommate to call my school and cancel classes for the afternoon and evening.  My manager wanted to hear me talk.  Once I said hello, she burst out laughing.  Okay, funny funny ha ha.  Probably the first time she’s ever heard me NOT be able to talk!

Set my alarm for 3 hours rest.  As I’m falling asleep, which I’m sure was only moments, the only thing running through my head was the theme to Gilligan’s Island (… a three-hour tour, a three-hour tou… profes…………..)  The next thing I remember, is being woken up, not 3 hours later, but 1.5 hours later by my cats deciding I’d slept enough.  They wanted to play on the bed, and I had the nerve to want to sleep in it.  During the daytime, it is THEIR bed!

Okay.  Got up, went to get dinner, and tried to eat.  I have six cats… You know that.  If you don’t, go back to March 2 and 3 where I talk about them all.  Simba, Gabriel, and Ignatius, are truly Taiwanese cats.  They may not understand Taiwanese or Chinese, but they are definitely from this country.  They like deep fry as much as I do, and as much as the locals seem to.

From this one stand near my home, I get chicken chunks (cut up pieces of chicken, battered and deep-fried), four ‘hash browns’ (lightly toasted to a golden deep-fry), 9 dumplings (again, lightly toasted to a golden deep-fry), and green beans (yes, green beans!), again deep-fried, but very quickly just enough to make them wilt!  This is the way folks.

Now the girls (Eloise, Cornelia, and Arabela) must be on fat-free diets and haven’t told me.  They do not like deep-fry.  Hell, they don’t even like anything that DOESN’T come out of a small tin.  If it don’t smell like fish by-products, then it probably ain’t fish by-products.  That’s all they will eat.  All three of them.  Only fishy, smelly cat food.  I don’t care, as long as they eat it.  They’re all healthy, their noses are always cold and wet, they’re eyes are sparkly, their fur is smooth and silky, so the fish by-products are doing them wonders.

The boys on the other hand, are a little more adventurous.  They’re willing to try new and interesting cuisine.  They’re ready to face the world (although scared to death to go out the front door).  They will try anything.  Like little Mikey from the Life cereal commercials.  This is where I get the term, biological vacuum cleaners.  I like my deep-fry ‘da la’.  Basically, big spicy!  They can shake the hell out of the red pepper shaker, and I won’t stop them.  If my tongue goes numb after eating, then I go back for more!

Well, Gabriel was the first.  When he was little, to train him NOT to jump up when I was eating, I would dap the smallest amount of red pepper on his ‘lip’.  At first, he sputtered.  But then, I noticed something.  He started coming back.  The dabs got bigger.  Then, I figured, what they hay!  Gave him some of my food, and he ate it without so much as a tear in his eye!  The cat had gotten used to eating red pepper!

So, when Ignatius started doing the same thing, I started all over again with the dab of pepper.  Once that didn’t stop him, then it was a drop of vinegar.  Now, both he and Gabriel love the hash browns and chicken pieces with red pepper and a hint of vinegar.  People here think I’M strange eating vinegar with my deep-fry.  Wonder what they would think if they saw my two cats eating alongside me!

And one final word.  I decided to look out at the little kittens today.  Momma cat wasn’t quite as angry with me today.  I pet the little darlings, and made sure they were still okay.  They are so cute.  Here’s a couple of pictures.  In the second picture, the kitten at the top of the photo, is the one that I held 3 days ago when he was just a new-born.  For now, no offence, it’s easier to refer to him as, well, him.  They’re still too young to tell.  Nonetheless, I’ve already given him a nickname:  The Wanderer.  Maybe if I visit them every other day, and pat them, and talk to them, they won’t be so scared of me when they get bigger.  And yes, they’re all alive and doing well.

The Wanderer – Day 01

The Wanderer (top) and siblings – Day 04

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1 Comment

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One response to “March 18, 2010

  1. Bilbet

    Happy to hear felines are fine. How is your throat? You need a bottle of Buckley’s – tastes awful but works, so says the ad and your dad. I only have to look at it, smell it and miracles occur – never have ever tasted the stuff.

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