Taiwan Lottery

I just returned from dinner in T’aichung. It was a four-hour ordeal, which is about customary for Shu Mei and her friends. I have to admit that it was about a 40 minute drive there and back, but still that was one long dinner. What made it seem even longer was the fact that they chatted away, like normal women do, and I didn’t understand a word of it. I must make a note, “Learn Chinese…quickly!”

During the dinner, I let my mind wander, much like I did as a youth, daydreaming in school. Unlike my youth, when I daydreamed about cowboys and astronauts, I thought about what it would be like to have a lot of money.

When I lived in Arizona, I often played the lottery. Every time I drove past a lottery billboard, I would think about what I would do with the money if I won the jackpot. Usually, it involved a remote tropical island and many beautiful women. Also, I would be a world traveler, spending money recklessly. Tonight my dreams didn’t include the island or beautiful women. Being a bit more practical, and possibly a bit less imaginative, I thought about how nice it would be to buy a big house back in the US and live comfortably, having enough money to take care of my family.

I would like to have enough money to pay back my parents for all the material things they have given me throughout my life. Just that would take a lot of money! Also, I would like to have enough money to send my son, Cameron, through college. Beyond that, I would like to have enough money to do the same for my future children. Last, and least, I would like to have enough money for my wife and I to travel, something that was a high priority on my previous life’s jackpot illusion.

Speaking of jackpots, there is a new lottery here in Taiwan that everyone is going crazy over. The jackpots aren’t as big as the lotteries in Arizona were, but they are big for Taiwanese standards. Some people get so crazy over it that they call in sick to work, just to stand in line to buy lottery tickets. The lottery is held twice a week. I haven’t bought a ticket yet, as the price is about $3US. That’s a little too expensive for me. Besides, I don’t know if the money actually goes anywhere besides to the lottery. In Arizona, a hefty percentage of the money went to education. That is how I justified playing it. I just rationalized that I was contributing to education. What better investment to make than in our youth’s futures?

Anyhow, today was a fairly normal day, except for the rain. When I moved here, I thought there would be plenty of rain, the island being predominantly covered with green vegetation, where there isn’t cement, of course. However, there have been few days in which it has rained. As a result, the city of Taipei has begun a water conservation program. If we don’t get rain soon, a lot of rain, there will be water rationing all over the island. As is, one city’s water supply was cut off for the most of the weekend. That means that nobody in that city can get water through their pipes from 10 pm tonight, until 12 pm on Sunday. I don’t know the name of the city, but Shu Mei told me that they have had a very tough time, without any rain for quite awhile.

Star Wars II opened today. I wanted to go see it this evening, but Shu Mei isn’t into Star Wars. Honestly, I am not either, but I have seen the other four Star Wars movies and figure that I better try and keep going, just to say that I went. I’ll see how Shu Mei feels about going with me tomorrow. If she still doesn’t want to go, then I’ll drop the request. It really isn’t that important to me. I am content with just watching cable TV.

Speaking of cable, I really miss the offerings of US cable TV. There are about half a dozen English channels here, but they are all pretty dull. For instance, HBO plays those cheap “B” rated movies most of the time, movies like Universal Soldier and anything else with Jean Claude Van Damme and people like him in it.

In addition, they will keep violence in a movie, but they will edit out the nudity. I never agreed with that stand. If you are going to censor a movie, which I believe nobody should, then take out all of the violence as well as the nudity. Heck, why you’re at it, why not take out all of the swear words? Then, take out all of the scenes that talk about sex or violence. Then, take out all of the scenes that depict people in compromising positions. Then… well, that is my point. Where does it end? Censorship is wrong on all accounts.

In writing this, I realized that I didn’t speak a great deal about the activities of today. In a nutshell, Colin was a challenge, the children at the school were a bit too rambunctious, and the Ch’ing-shui children were well behaved. (That is because Shu Mei taught half of the hour-long class and they are more receptive to her instructions than mine.)

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