Tag Archives: Taiwan

My Finest Hour

Some friends of mine have an incredibly cute 2 year old son.  In fact, he’s got a talent agent, and marketing people want to use him in super duper cute kiddy commercials.  Being good, conscienteous parents, my friends are a little worried about scarring or frightening their boy.  These are undoubtedly legitimate feelings, but I want to reassure them: a tear or two is well worth being able to do what I am now doing right now!

Jer in Taiwanese Huggies Commercial, 1987

Jer in Taiwanese Huggies commercial, 1987

I was an objectively cute kid.  I’m sure you readers out there think that you were cute, I am sure your mothers agreed, but were you Mr. Huggies Taiwan, 1987?  I didn’t think so.  That is because they only take the best of the best…which is me, in case that was not clear.

Also please note:

  • The finger in the belly button.  
  • The red dotted box drawing your attention to the extra-fluffy crotch portion.
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Comfortable Estrangement on my Birthday

I have not lived in a very foreign country since I left Taiwan nine years ago (England doesn’t count as “very foreign”).  But walking down the street yesterday in Dehiwala, Sri Lanka I felt that I was home.  I did not fit in, I was white, I was wearing weird clothes, and I walked down the street completely chillax as people stared at me a little more than normal.  Here I ask stupid questions.  I constantly try new things.  I do not know what I am doing.  This was my life for years, and, after 9 years, the rediscovered feeling of estrangement was comforting.

In America, nobody stares at me, at least not usually.  I usually know what is going on, but not as much as people think.  I don’t like asking dumb questions.  I don’t stick out, even though I sometimes feel like I do.  Here, even though Sri Lanka is very different than Taiwan, I feel the way that I look: I am a foreigner.  There is no pretending.

So I felt very much at peace yesterday, even though it was my birthday, and nobody knew it within about 1,000 miles, my wife was in Houston, Texas, scared she might not make it to Sri Lanka this summer, and we are both worried about how to pay for grad school, finding jobs, getting my book published, and I am sad that Elinor Ostrom died that morning.  (My online community was very lavish in birthday affection though.  Thanks!)

In my newfound comfort, I enjoyed going to Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park).  It is a public park next to the National Museum in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and largest park in Colombo and situated in front of the colonial-style Town Hall building.  A caretaker gave me an impromptu tour.  He then asked for money, and I gave him less than a dollar.  He was not pleased with me : )

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I also had some videos, but apparently I have to upgrade my wordpress account to post those :  (


Personal Update

(This is what I was talking about but it is too soon in the election cycle.  But yeah, when I saw it I laughed out loud.  1 point for the Democrats.)

Due to the hectic nature of my life at the moment.  I will be hardly posting at all until the end of June when my temp job at Habitat for Humanity Intl. ends.  I’m doing that for 32+ hours a week while keeping my 3 main part-time jobs: personal training four days a week, teaching some guitar lessons, and my church job.  Its been strange being this busy and yet not that stressed.  All of my jobs I can pretty much leave at work.  But, it also means I have no time for blogging.  Rest assured, I am still listening to audiobooks.  Since we talked last I have finished a book on Ayn Rand, I listend to Huckleberry Finn (or the beginning of it), a lecture series on something that I forget at the moment, a book on corporate leadership that someone gave me at Habitat, and I am currently listening to The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman.  So thoughts are coming, but there is no outlet.  So I’ll be back up and running come July, that is if I don’t explode before then.

Also, I need to address something I said in one of the subway interviews that seemed very sexist, but I guess I’ll have to do that later.

Also, Alicia is going to Rwanda in 2 weeks.  She’ll be gone 10 weeks!  On monday though a friend is coming to live with me for the summer.  For those who don’t know, he’s a buddy from Taiwan.

Also, the presentation at the National Trust Conference in October is for sure happening.  So I’ll see some of you in Buffalo then I hope.  We will be presenting on a theory of urban development and decline at the block level.