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Report from
Taiwan



Monday, December 24th 2001 

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas everybody!

Seems strange to be saying this because until the beginning of this week we had pretty good temperatures around here. Even though today started off gloomy, it's bloomed into a sunny day here in Taipei. (bit nippy- but nothing compared to the UK at the mo!)

Talking about things being unusual, I was walking through the Shi-da area of Taipei, last Thursday at about 2 in the morning after having just been to an internet cafe to find songs about 'watches' and 'X-rays' (doomed before I start) for my elementary school class the following morning (wellit just so happens that the letters to be taught were W & X.) It was raining lightly and I was using a life-size photo cut out of myself to keep the rain off. Somewhere on my route home I just stopped and thought to myself, "What's wrong with this picture?" (the scene I've just described, not the cut out - apart from the fact it was a few inches too short.)

Let me elaborate. Since I got back to Taiwan I've been hanging around trying to find something other than teaching English. Have had a bit of success with a TV program where I'm on a panel of Chinese speaking 'foreigners' (still a novelty in Taiwan) where we air our opinions on different topics - usually with a sexual slant (Hey, the first show I did was "Do you agree/disagree with being naked at home?") and these shows and others have led onto other shows and onto a couple of TV adverts.

It was last Thursday I'd done a TV shoot for a whacky company that's selling calcium tablets with the promise that these tablets will actually increase your height (Hence the foreshortened cut out of me - Aaargh! I've sold my soul to advertising demons). What a farce. We (about twenty Westerners) were told that this ad will only be played in mainland China (surely even they are not so gullible - well, okay, maybe.) Because of this we could actually say anything we wanted (Within reason) because it's only going to be dubbed over. Oh I hope I get a copy of the tape before it's dubbed.(I've asked for one.)

I'd been to a studio the week before to have my photo taken, and this was made into a cut out that I could stand next to, to show the height difference before and after. So, so corny! I couldn't beleive that this kind of commercial was still legal - even in Asia. It did pay well though, and I got to keep the cut out. What I'm going to do with it though is another matter. I think I'll have it stand on my balcony for a couple of weeks to freak out my neighbours. ("he's still staring at us? But why doesn't he move?") then I'm going to create big cut out clothes for myself and have a 'Rob cut out and dress doll'. You know the usual stuff, Armani suits, Astronaut, deep sea diver.

Aaah, if only I had the time. If you got my mail then you know that we've been performing Samuel Beckett's Endgame this week and will have another weekend of performances (Details here.

The first weekend was very low on audience, which was a good thing as I think some of the cast members really need more time to get ready (okay, to be honest the show has not been ready yet - but one more weekend to go.)

Don't mention any breaking of legs as I missed my cue to change my shoes for boots because of a blackout I didn't expect and ended up kicking stuff about the stage (in the character - not stage rage) with inadequate footwear. Now I have left big toe the same size and colour as a large purple plum - that's large and purple.) Luckily I have another week for the swelling to go down - but this happened on the first show so I still had to go through the next three shows being very careful not to damage myself any more.

Well that's pretty much all from me for the moment, Hope you have a great Christmas and I look forward to being in touch with you all in the new year.

Rob.


Home | Click here for previous Taiwan drivels.