Trails in the Sky

Thursday was an extremely clear day, and the clouds just seemed to hang in the beautiful blue sky, I was so impressed I snapped a few shots…

The more planes went by, the more lines were left. It created quite a pattern.

X marks the spot! (Sorry, I couldn’t help it!) Posted by Picasa

Drinkest Thou Coke! Or Else!

There is a huge World of Warcraft advertising campaign going here in Taiwan, which includes this giant poster (it’s about 7m tall) outside an internet cafe in downtown Taipei. I thought I’d snap it just for my WoW playing friends to see. Posted by Picasa

Rob’s Foray into Podcasting

I have started a Podcast called Kung Fu Action Theatre wherein I read WuXia action-adventure stories translated from Chinese for an English audience. I am doing it to try to promote the Chinese WuXia genre (their equilvalent of Westerns, really) which is largely unknown except by a few people outside of Chinese culture. If you’re interesting, drop by the above site and give them a listen!


More Trading on English

Elaine is an extremely sweet woman who never stops smiling and probably has one of the biggest hearts I’ve seen since I came to Taiwan. When I last saw her, she was off to pick up to birthday cake so she could show up at her boyfriend’s home at midnight and surprise him with it. She’s just that kind of person, and unless he’s stupid he’ll marry her first chance he gets!

Shih-Chiang is the class family man (even though he’s a year younger than me) and plans to retire in 10…..okay maybe 15……no….20 years (hopefully). He’s a really good and friendly guy whose plan is to become rich, then help his friends become rich from the command center of his high-tech dream home. Good luck Shih-Chiang!

Celia was my MRT riding buddy since she and I took the same route to get home, and we had some good chats about baseball and computer games, her two passions. She is so passionate about baseball that she got up at 1:30am last Sunday night just to watch a game live from the USA (and has the cold to prove it!) so she could see Taiwanese pitcher Wang Jian-Min play for the Yankees. Someday soon she plans to live and study in the USA, and I think the school that gets her will be a lucky one.

Vivi was probably the sharpest student in the class, whatever goes into that well-groomed fashionable head of hers stays in there permanently. If she learned something, she was using it almost immediately, and I think she can easily be fluent at English if she keeps practicing. When not increasing the size of her wardrobe, Vivi has taken up exercising and I hope she keeps that up too, it will help her stress levels a lot.

There were two more students who unfortunately couldn’t be in these pictures, Wesley (who actually is in the first group picture of the first post between me and Shih-Chiang) who had to leave for a dinner meeting and Charles, whose wife took ill during the afternoon and had to be taken to the hospital. Both of them were energetic and great guys, Wesley brought a lot of fun and a good attitude to the class (to say nothing of the best scary stories!) and Charles was always asking questions and bringing up interesting topics (as well as helping his poor teacher get though building security so he got home before dawn). Both of them were really missed at the final dinner, and I wish they’d be able to make it, especially Charles, who was my class leader and helped to organize this dinner in the first place.

Thanks to all of you for making the class a fun and memorable time! I hope all your dreams come true! Keep studying English! Jia Yo!

Rob Posted by Picasa

Trading on English

Tonight I had my final class (and dinner) with my students from the Yuan Ta stock trading company, almost all of my students were members of their risk assessment department, and let me tell you, they were one smart group of people!

We went to a great Italian restaurant called HAAS, which had really good pasta. I told them they had to speak English for the whole time we were there, and they did it! They even ordered in English from the poor waitress, who didn’t speak English, but understood enough to understand their orders. I felt sorry for her, but I guess it turned into an English class for the waitress too!

The class was organized by their boss, who wanted to improve their English, and we had a lot of fun practicing, chatting and telling personal stories (especially scary ones!) Unfortunately their work schedules and English class just weren’t working out, so we ended the class after just one session.

Here’s a picture with their Boss, Sybil, who dropped by during the latter half of the dinner. She’s a really talkative and energetic person, I can see she’s never lost her love of learning, and is trying to pass it on to them. Her English is actually extremely good, so she didn’t participate in the lessons except to help them practice from time to time.

The dynamic duo of Yi-Chen and Irene. We regularily had to stop the class while Yi-Chen recovered from a fit of laughter, usually because I’d drawn something on the board or someone else said something funny. Her dream is to travel to the US and watch the Taiwanese pitcher of the Yankees play in New York. Irene’s English is still developing, but I have no doubts she will develop it far, because she’s very outgoing and talkative. Irene is bright and friendly girl, and her homespun stories were half the fun of each class. Posted by Picasa

EUROpean Tour is Over!

Today I finished teaching the second of my two classes at EURO RSCG, the local advertising company I’ve been teaching at for about three months.

This was the lower level class, who are still working at getting the hang of English. They were a pretty rambunctious group, and pretty noisy sometimes, but a lot of fun to teach.

Back Row: Me, Ada, Mandy, Kelen, Emmy, Irene, Raisy, Ken and Snoopy
Front Row: Theresa, Daphne (and baby), Karen, Miriam and Kari

I’ll miss going to EURO each Tuesday and seeing their smiling faces, but I know they won’t miss the homework or having to wait til 2 to each lunch. ^_-

Thanks for a fun class, guys! Keep studying!

Rob Posted by Picasa


Connie’s brother’s girlfriend, Yu-Mei, decided she wanted to get a dog and so not long ago it came to visit the Kang household.

His name is Cutie, and as you can see, he fits the description. Dogs of this type (I refer to them as “toy dogs” or occasionally “rats”) are extremely common in Taipei because they can live in the space of local apartments.

Local women will often carry their dogs everywhere they go, almost like fashion accessories. You can see their heads sticking out of bags everywhere on the street.

He’s a cutie, all right, but I still prefer larger dogs.

Rob Posted by Picasa

EURO RSCG Advanced Class

So yesterday I finished my first teaching session with the advanced class at the EURO RSCG advertising agency, which I have to say has been a heck of a lot of fun.

Front Row: (l>r) Verona, Tina, June, Estella, Fiona, Keven
Back Row: Knight, Rob, Chris, Ruth

They were a great class, really creative and fun to teach. I will miss getting to see their smiling faces each Thursday at lunch, although I’m sure they will enjoy getting their lunch-hours back.

Thanks for a great time guys! Keep studying! Posted by Picasa