Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why I love Taiwan

My teaching schedule is in full swing again (full-time daily classes at Hong Wen and evening classes at Victor), and, sure enough, my throat is feeling the strain. Soon enough I'll get over my summer loquaciousness and start habitually speaking only when I really have to. Like an employee at, oh, say, a spice company, who gradually cringes at seeing more spices, spices, spices outside work, an English teacher eventually starts treating his voice like a work tool: important but not as novel and "innocent" as many people feel about speaking. When speaking a means of income its pleasure as a means of communication tends to dwindle, if not for psychological reasons, at the very least because your throat just needs time to recover.

Anyway, it's time for me to re-stock my throat care medicine cabinet, which means drinking lots of hot water and buying things like Strepsils, pipagao, luohanguo, and pengdahai, the last three which are all good (and cheap) Chinese medicines. Well, I went to one of Taiwan's countless pharmacies last night after dinner to get the pipagao (which is like a jar of throat lozenges in molasses form), but then was encouraged by the clerk to get something else, which I'd never tried, called runfei... [uh, well, let me check the bottle when I get home, heheh]. Pipagao was only $140NT, but this stuff was $200NT. I only had $197NT. I hemmed and hawed and was about to just buy the pipagao but then the clerk said, "Oh that's okay. You've got 200." I resisted politely but he insisted yet more politely. "We'll call it national foreign relations." I was extremely thankful as I walked out to my scooter and realized, "This is why I love Taiwan."

My throat is doing a little better since yesterday, thank you.

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