Saturday, January 29, 2005

Lots to talk about today

On today's agenda for discussion,
1. Annoying cultural issues
2. A cool tradition
3. My Secret Pal
4. Have I told anyone that I am going to the Philippines in 5 DAYS!!!!!

1. On Friday night we went to a very posh Thai restaurant for a staff party to celebrate Chinese New Year, all employers do it for there staff at this time of year and it was quite the event. It's called a Wei-ah and to make a long story short it is a chance for the employer to thank their employees for all the hard work they have done over the past year with a great meal and some sort of a new years bonus. Sounds great so far right, well it would of been until they began the games. Instead of just giving everybody who works equally hard the same cash bonus they play a lottery game. So in the end some people home with about $20 (Canadian) and others go home with closer to $500. The difference is what bothered me, we all do the same job, we all work the same long exhausting hours and some people get so much while others get so little. I came out in the middle with about $80, great as far as I am concerned.
Apparently this is normal, the boss walks around with wads of cash (almost 4 grand in our case) and gives it away. She actually had all that cash with her and flashed it around all night. Every business does it differently and sometimes some people go home with nothing while another person goes home with a car. Maybe it's the teacher in me that finds this all so unfair, I think that we would all be better served if you just divided it equally among your employees. The Taiwanese teachers had no issues with it, just us foreigners who think that everyone should be treated the same.

2. On a brighter note I met with 2 of the other teachers yesterday for tea and knitting. ( I am working on a hat, and almost finished a scarf, but I am not happy with it and so I think I will frog it and start again... Long story) Anyway we went to this very cool Chinese Tea House. It was my first experience here, I had done the same thing in Korea but here it is really different. There is a tea ceremony like in Japan but it is not as rigid. We had so lovely fresh Oolong tea, picked from a local mountain. It was a great time and now I want to go back. The house itself has a lot of great history, many democratic "radicals" met there in the 60's and 70's when Taiwan was in the middle of it's political upheaval. Now it is a heritage house and really very cool. Come visit me and I will take you there!

3. As you know I signed up for secret pals 4 a little while ago and I heard from my secret pal today, I am so excited. I can't wait for some treats and I am really excited about ending some Asian treats to someone else. Anyway the person who has me wanted to know where I wanted to travel. The answer is simple, everywhere! I am heading the Philippines next week and have plans to see Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam this summer. I would like to go to Africa and see Europe at some point. While I am hear I have plans to spend a weekend in Hong Kong and hopefully another in Beijing. I want to see it all! As for things from home that I miss, some fresh air and open space would be great but I don't think you can mail those. I really miss chocolate with mint in it, not like peppermint paddies but actual chocolate that tastes like mint. I am not sure about mailing it though, Jackie said something about not being able to mail chocolate to some places, I think I have gotten it in the mail here but I can't remember. I also really miss decent gummy candies, like gummy bears and cola bottles and reeses pieces candies too. Yes, I just miss candy, actually that is not true but the other stuff I miss is hard to mail or difficult to explain and find. Since I have no idea where you are I'll just stick to things that are pretty universal.

4. I AM GOING TO SEE A BIT OF THIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD ON SATURDAY! Just in case you have missed it I am going to the Philippines on Saturday. I am going to spend a few days in Manila and then head to a nearby island to see the rainforest, tribal culture and of course the beach. I wanted to go diving but I think that I will have to settle for snorkeling instead.

This ends todays discussion, although I did also want to tell you about the cute things the pup has been up to, the kitchen set up on the sidewalk and a really crowded restaurant experience but I will save those for another day. Have a great Sunday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ha! ya' two bit tart!
see i really did read your blog this time, even though you already told me the story about the free but unfair thank-you money...
meself :):):):):):)
going to veg out in front of the tv and then go to sleep!