At it again

It may be hard to start anew, but we often forget the lessons of the past and are thus allowed to move forward with more rewarding mistakes. I am "at it again" writing this blog, which begins in in December because I accidently erased it. I am "at it again" living abroad because I I erased from my memory the continous miscommunication and confusion of it. Luckly you can sit back in the comforts of your native language and culture and enjoy my adventures, hopefully with a laugh or snicker.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Voting is a big deal in Taiwan. They get a turnout of about 80% for even the minor votes for community members. What did Taiwan that we could emulate in the US, you say? Short of having a military dictatorship for several decades I don't think much. The Taiwanese haven't always been able to vote and they do so now with riotous vigor.

You may have heard a lot about recalling Chen Shuibian, but what is more present in my life are local elections. This past Saturday was elections for community representatives. Now we're not talking towns, this is smaller, neighborhoods we might say. Still, each area had at least 3 candidates, large herds of campagaigners wandered the streets giving out flyers, and small truck drove around broadcasting tinny, WWII era sounding broadcasts (as if noisy garbage wasn't enough).

Monday morning after the election I drove to school with the principal. She stopped at a house and she and another teacher got out to talk to the occupants. The remaining teacher asked me if I knew why we had stopped. She told me, but at first I understood that this was a person who had not voted. I thought "Jezz, this is worse than Reed." Turns out though that it was a actually a person who had run and lost. He had a simple house with a lovely garden, old tires hanging from windows, some with plants and some without, a tractor in view and flags still remaining from the campaign. I thought it represented a lot of community involvement and civic duty for our principal to pay this courtesy call.