Friday, October 3, 2008

Last time, I showed you my room. This time, I'm going to show you my favorite part of my "dormitory:" the downstairs lounge. Honestly, if we didn't have that downstairs entertainment center, I'd probably go crazy:

Let's see. This first area is fully furnished with a foosball table, PS3, XBOX 360, and three arcade basketball machines! Now if the machines dispensed tickets that I could redeem for giant stuffed animals, then I'd be in heaven.

And here is an adjacent room with 2 billiard tables.

For all these pictures I snuck in late at night when the areas were closed. That explains the terrible lighting in some of these pictures. Hmm, maybe I should buy another external flash unit...

Of course there is a ping pong table. Heck, it's Asia after all.

Oh and here's my favorite part!: the gym. ~sigh~

It's complete with treadmills, bicycles, stair climbers, and ellipticals. The best part is each machine has its own television with digital cable. I swear it's almost like heaven on earth.

Finally, here's the weight room. I wouldn't call it a real "weight room," but it does the job. Plus it's like a million times better that doing bodyweight exercises in my room. Haha.

This makes living at a factory cool!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Tuesday night and I've already been in Taiwan for four days. I've watched one three-day weekend vanish like that. It was pretty uneventful weekend. I spent most of the weekend sitting around watching Chinese movies and Taiwanese dramas because of the typhoon. (It wasn't a total loss through; I discovered this one awesome drama called Miss No Good. Agh, why can't next week's episode come quicker?)

The most exciting this I did this weekend was visit Taipei 101. According to the "Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat," Taipei 101 is currently the tallest building in the world. And I wasn't kidding about that first part; there really is council that designates the "official" height of buildings. Even though it was foggy, it was still pretty cool. I'd totally be down to go back on a clearer day. Makes for better pictures :)

Anyway, onto the pictures!

This is a picture from the interior of the state of the art elevator. This elevator can whisk you to the 89th floor in just 37 seconds. It also holds the world record for fastest ascending elevator speed at 37.7 mph. (I was just worried about my head exploding.)

With such a crappy view, I had to find other things to photograph. I decided to go with a good ol' stocker shot of someone looking out the window. (I'm still not exactly sure what there was to see outside.)

Taipei 101 also holds the record for the largest tuned mass damper. It's basically a huge 660 ton pendulum that keeps the building from falling over due to earthquakes or strong winds.

And I swear I've seen a picture just like this from some lower division physics book. Maybe from Giancoli, Physics 7A, the oscillations chapter. (Freakin' NERD. Haha.)

This damper is name the "Damper Baby." They even had a profile for the thing. Blood type? Favorite extracurricular? Classic.

This is a picture taken from one floor lower. The damper is partially held up by those high strength steel cables. Each cable is 9cm in diameter and contains more than 2,000 wire strands. Neato huh?

Being a major tourist attraction, you could buy a souvenir photo. Except these ones were Photoshop-ed pictures of in front of a backdrop. Hands down, this was the winner.

Lastly, this is a self portrait I took of my reflection in a window. I like the blurry city night scape in the background.

Monday, September 29, 2008

As promised, here are some pictures of my dorm room:

Here's a picture of my actual room. It's a little small, but it's pretty sweet. Everything looks really new and there's lots of furniture. Oh, plus it comes with a 32" hdtv, digital cable, and a fridge! The bed's a little short; why do I have to be so tall? :(

Here's a picture of the mosaic tile bathroom. Like at my apartment in Shenzhen, the shower still doesn't have a door. I'm not exactly sure the point of just putting in short wall of glass without a door. Water still gets all over the place.

Here's a picture of the lounge area outside the laundry room. Some of the lights are off because I took this picture at like 1 A.M. It's kind of embarrassing to walk around and take pictures with my huge camera.

Finally, here's a picture of my dormitory's swimming pool at night. I converted the picture to blank and white because the colors were all funky. (That's the problem with white balancing multiple colors.) If you look closely, you can tell that it was raining when I took the picture.

I'll try to sneak around later and get some pictures of the gym and play areas. :)

Having been born and raised in the City of Angeles and I can tell that Tony! Toni! Toné! was right: It Never Rains in Southern California.

But here in China and Taiwan it's a different story. Not only does it rain way more often, but when it rains it pours. Since I've arrived in Asia, I've been greeted by nothing but this kind of typhoon weather. Before coming here, I don’t even think I knew what a typhoon was. And I'm still not exactly sure on the difference between a hurricane, typhoon, and monsoon. But, I can tell you all about earthquakes. Haha.

Right now, Super Typhoon Jangmi is making it’s way right through Taiwan. (Jangmi is Korean for "rose.") This typhoon is supposedly the most powerful one to hit Taiwan during this typhoon season so far. The weather has been pretty crappy since I arrived. I've never seen wind and rain like this before. The typhoon straight-up destroyed my cheap-ass $2 umbrella that I bought in China.

I guess the one good thing to come out of it all is that I don't have work tomorrow. But, it's not like I can do anything because the weather is so bad outside. Even if I braved it, all the tourist/sight-seeing places that I'd visit would probably be closed. So until this storm passes, I'm kind of trapped at my dorm.

Today had to be the worst though. At about noon, all my electrical outlets decided to stop working. It wasn't related to the hurricane, but I was stuck in my room without a working television or laptop because it was ugly outside. I spent the rest of the day just sitting in the lounge watching Chinese/Hong Kong flicks. They were good movies, but I just felt so trapped in my dorm. Hopefully tomorrow will clear up so I can go outside and explore some more!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's crazy to think that less than 24 hours ago I was in a completely different country. I've said my goodbye to Foshan, China and now I'm in Tucheng City, Taiwan. I arrived here late this afternoon so I haven't had a chance to explore anywhere except my dorm. (Although tomorrow I'm headed to Taipei to get a haircut, check out Taipei 101, and eat a delicious US steak dinner! Geez, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.)

So what's the verdict this place? Well, I have some serious mixed feelings about this site.

The Good:

  • They have this crazy entertainment area with a PS3, XBOX, pool tables, and those arcade style basketball machines. (Sadly you can't win a humongous, oversized, stuffed teddy bear there though.)

  • There's a swimming pool and gym here. Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and weights. (I've been here less and six hours and I've already hit the gym. This is like heaven.)

  • There's a "7-11" style convenience store downstairs on the first floor inside the dorm. What ever you need, they've got it.

  • And possibly the best part: I live right next to the factory. (I'm loving the idea of waking up 5 minutes before work starts and still making it to the office early.)

The Bad:

  • Unlike Foshan, I don't have daily laundry service :(. I don't mind doing it myself, but I seriously need to go out and buy more clothes. I only brought like 3 or 4 sets of clothes with me to Taiwan. (Although I guess I could just do two loads a week. It's free and they give you detergent!

  • And this one's the killer: my internet connection is connected to the factory's internet line. Thus I have internet restrictions worse than China's Great Firewall. I can't use skype, chat on AOL instant messenger, send/receive emai1s, upload pictures to Picasa, or write entries in my blog. (Although I've figured out a way to access AOL instant messenger using AIM Express to check my gmai1 account using g-lite. But I can only receive mail; I still can't compose or send any messages.)

So, for the next moth Facebook will be my only means of communication. (God, I've become a Facebook whore! ~Gasp~) If you send me an email, don't expect me to respond until the end of next month. Furthermore, my blog entries for the next month are all going to be posted as notes on Facebook, not on my regular blog. (For those of you who don't have Facebook, maybe I can find some kind soul to post them there for me.) I'm actually surprised that Facebook even still works (~knock on wood~).

I'll probably post some pictures of "quasi-paradise" tomorrow. (Oh and let me know if I should tag you so you'll know when I write new entries!)