Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Wrastlin On The Train

It's true. Asian people are gentle & polite, except when it comes to trains/subways. I take the train to work every day. At about 2:35p.m., Taipei Main Train Station, Platform 3 turns into the Chinese version of the "running of the bulls". A Taiwanese person would run over their own mother if they thought it would get them a good seat on a train. Generally, train etiquette says that you let the folks departing from the train get safely out of the train before stepping into the car...not gonna happen here. Once those train doors open, it's every man for himself! It's hysterical. Little old ladies knocking over anyone who dares to impede their progress. It doesn't matter that the particular car they are getting on is virtually empty, they are hell-bent on getting a seat. You'd think that godzilla was chasing them and safety lies somewhere on that bench seat!

I was in one of the local McDonald's the other day and saw something pretty cool. Let me preface this by saying that Taiwanese businesses stress customer service, it's impressive. This particular McD's is always busy. In order to alleviate the perpetual lines at the counter, employees venture into the crowd and take orders using Palm Pilots that have a wireless hookup to the monitors in the kitchen. What a great idea. By the time you get to the front of the line, your order is bagged up and waiting for you. After you place your order from the employee they give you a tag with a number, show it when you reach the counter, and you get your food. That's ingenuity!

Work is gliding along nicely. I'm getting more & more comfortable. There have been a few rough spots, but nothing I can't remedy with time. One of the primary areas I struggle with is adjusting my teaching style to the particular level I am teaching that day. You can't teach 8 year olds in the same way you teach a bunch of 14 years olds. It's not a huge problem, but something I need to work on.

I'm still in mourning over my beloved Indians. What a wild ride. They were great this season and I think they have a bright future...GO TRIBE!

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