Thursday, October 06, 2005

Odds and Ends

Last week I had dinner with 2 other expats and 2 Tiawanese, all faculty here. I'm afraid the Meigoaren (Americans) dominated the conversation since the Taigoaren tend to be much quieter. We went to a new Mongolian barbecue restaurant that was truly amazing. More food stations that a shindig catered by Jackson somebody, that guy from Austin who was everywhere catering for those who are anyone, and now I realize I haven't heard of him for years. They had "barbecue" which is really meat and vegetables cooked on a teppan (sp?) to your order. They had a seafood station with every variety of piscine pleasure raw to be cooked or made into sushi or sashimi. They had ice cream and pastries. They had salads. Vegetables, cooked and raw. Soups. Eggs. Lamb, chicken, pork, beef, ham. Asian fajitas, but what I thought might be guacamole turned out to be a huge bowl of wasabi (go figure). They even had good wine, which I discovered unfortunately on our way out, but I'm probably the only one who would have wanted any. I would go back there, as the lamb was particularly good. All you can eat and drink (except for the wine) for about $500 NT, which is $15.00 US. And this is a VER"Y expensive place. It's very cheap to eat out in Taiwan.

The food was good and the company was fun and I had a really good time. I was not expecting to have so much fun, and it was a pleasant surprise. We talked and laughed for about an hour and they told me stories about Providence misadventures. Just like back home, only different faces. My friend Frances, who invited me that night, is going to make an appointment for me to get a haircut. This humidity means I have to do something to my hair fairly often, like a couple of times a week. Since Rob the man is not here, I am going to lose some of this hair. Frances has a very good haircut, so I think it will be safe. Of course, Frances has a lot better hair than I do . . . But I can't stand this mess any more. I'll cut it and then it will get cold and I'll wish I had it back, no doubt.

Have you all been seeing all the stuff about avian flu on CNN? That's the only channel I tend to watch and it sucks, so I don't watch much tv here, either. But what I have seen is mass hysteria, interviewing over and over some American doctor who says we will have an epidemic like unto the black plague that devastated London until the great fire killed the rats. (There's a message here but I'm afraid to decipher it.)

On the subject of restaurants in Taiwan, I could speak at length. A few are really good. Well, one, so far. Several are okay. And all serve edible, healthy food but it tends to taste the same. For example, before Peter left we were taken by some faculty to a snazzy place for dinner called Rosy. The names alone are worth a research paper. They had several ethnic dishes on the menu and Peter ordered Hungarian goulash, which turned out to be Chinese fried rice. Then a few nights ago I went with Anna Chen, a faculty member, to an Italian place named Annie's Cafe where I had a seafood dish that was chinese food served over noodles instead of rice, with a heavy coating of tasteless but very stringy cheese. It was filled with whole shrimp, complete with heads, tails, arms and legs--you get the idea. It was interesting but not Italian and not really very good. I went to that place again and, forewarned, had roast chicken and that was pretty good. I think roast chicken is a dish one can order almost anywhere and be safe, actually.

Got to get to bed; I've been up til two the last two nights studying and preparing for class. Chinese is a very difficult language to write. Make that impossible.

By the way, I got my hair cut short and I love it. According to my students I look younger, and you know students won't exaggerate . . .


At 11:58 AM, Blogger K. A. Laity said...

MMmmmm -- Mongolian Barbeque! That's the one type of restaurant we haven't been able to find in Houston. There's the best Mongolian BBQ near Covent Garden, but that's a long commute for dinner.

Hello from Hogwarts (i.e. the HP conference in Salem). I have been sorted in Slytherin -- I am appealing the decision, of course. I'm bringing back official pencils and bookmarks for Batman's birthday.

And as for all the stairs -- we're going to expect you to run to campus daily along Allen Parkway when you return.

At 3:06 PM, Blogger Larry Rasczak said...

Friend of mine told me to check out your blog. He was right, it is most interesting.

It sounds like CNN is trying to do the "if they are scared they will watch more" trick that Fox now uses so much. (Fox News used to be good, but now they are the National Enquirer - only without the journalistic integrity.)There HAS been some chatter in the media about bird flu of late... bird flu seems to have been moved by migrating wildfowl into Romania. Still it still isn't easily transmissible from human to human... yet. None the less people I have seen in the media have been alarmists of the worst sort. I would not be worried if I were you.

Since I am sick of the yellow journalism on Cable News I now get my news from the financial news channels. Financial (and ironically enough sports) journalists tend to be the only REAL journalists left. I think this is because both groups write for readers that know the subject in question pretty well; thusly journalists in those areas need to know what they are talking about if they want to keep their jobs. Journalists in other areas just need to look pretty, read a teleprompter, and (if they work for Fox) be under 30 and willing to wear low cut blouses and get plastic surgery.

For example, MSNBC has had the best coverage of the German Elections I've seen on TV. I assume this is because MSNBC's audience has real money on the line; and if you are considering investing (or disinvesting) several million dollars in Germany you want to know more about what is going on than "Betti the Buxom Weather-Wench" is going to be able to pronounce.

See if you can find MSNCB Asia, or maybe BBC. BBC is still pretty good. I used to watch them when I lived in the mid-east.

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Patricia Golemon said...

Kate, someone told me that we have a Mongolian barbecue place in Houston, so you might check on line or in the yellow pages, which are also on line . . . I'm glad you are bringing Batman a birthday present. I won't have one there for him but he is coming here in November and I am a very happy camper indeed!


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