“We’re an underground movement, we’re all eyes when planted in front of the TV, vegetation is an important part of our existence, and we’re Tubers. Get it?” ~source: wikipedia

It’s 63º here and has been that chilly all week. Nights are in the low 50s. It’s colder and wetter in Taipei. Kristen told me they’ve had 21 straight days of rain! 63º is cold when there’s no heating unit to knock that chill off! I could have been better prepared clothing wise, but I was told the temps in Pingtung are only hot and hotter. Knowing that, I couldn’t justify bringing more than a few outfits for cool weather. Thank goodness for the ones I did pack! Clothing is an issue for me because Taiwanese women are o! so small and I’m o! so not! Stores here carry items for these small Taiwanese women, not for me!

I’ve been told it will warm on Saturday which will be good because I’ll be in Taipei and it will be cold there. I’m going to the Taipei International Book Exhibit (TIBE), so look for a book related posting soon!

So, since the weather is cold, I get the idea to stay inside and watch some TV. Maybe you’d be interested in know what TV is like here? Well, its more interesting to write about than to watch.

I have cable tv and I believe I have 60-some odd channels. I get a plethora of Taiwanese channels, CNN Asian Edition (English), Discovery(English and Chinese), Travel and Living (English), Disney (mostly Chinese), Animal Planet (English and Chinese), a Christian station, HBO (English), ESPN (English),National Geographic (Englisna and Chinese), AXN (English and Chinese movies and TV shows), and 2 Star Movie stations (English, French, German). The only TV shows I pick up here are CSI, Vegas, CSI, Desperate Housewives, CSI, Sex in the City and CSI. There’s a lot of CSI. The networks focus on all things Asian.  I’ve not seen any shows on NG or Discovery about Africa, South America or Europe but then, I’ve given up watching them for the most part, too. Travel and Living shows “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and not many know what ‘queer’ means. There are a few newer movies that will run for 2-3 weeks but for the most part the movies are action and adventure or horror movies. What is really amazing is that HBO will show a movie with Harrison Ford and I’ll change to a Star station and there’s Harrison again! The same happens with many major actors as if movies are bout in packages based on who is in them.

I’ve gone through the Taiwanese stations a few times. There are a couple of movie stations that have sub-titles in English and Mandarin. ALL STATIONS, no matter what language has sub-titles in Mandarin. I do believe there are a couple of Japanese stations here, a couple of which show anime. The Taiwanese stations have a lot of dramas. I don’t see many game shows, though because I haven’t seen them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. There are ‘qvc’ type networks. The Hakka, an aboriginal group, have a network to educate about their culture. There is even a channel with a camera directed at the gate to my apartment building to monitor comings and goings. There are music networks (there is an MTV) but I see more talking that singing. The last time I was channel surfing, I saw a commercial for McDonald’s delivery! Most McDonald’s are open 24 hrs.

CNN is the only televised news source I have. Their coverage is much different than in the US. First, they employ British correspondence. I do get Larry King and sometimes I get Anderson Cooper (I miss that cute little face with its etched look of concern!). I get A LOT of sports on CNN. Did you know that Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions just lost the African Cup to Egypt? Many CNN produced shows are broadcast and rebroadcast throughout the month. The US debates are shown here live and are rebroadcast once. Hilary and Barack do get a lot of coverage, and McCain to a lesser degree. Something that kinda bothers me is that CNN broadcasts “The Daily Show“. In the US, there is much concern that people get their news from this show, so CNN decides to show it outside the US on a legitimate (?) news network??

Second semester has begun! Students are back and classes are underway. I now have third graders and that’s. . . interesting. . . They are so excited about being in English class! My 5-1 class presented me with Valentine Cards and that was so touching! Valentines Day isn’t a big deal here as romance and passion aren’t a big part of the culture. So, it was really nice of them to do that for me!

My fingers have gotten warm, time to go cook dinner. YES!!! I’M COOKING!!!!!!!