ben griffiths
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Archive for the ‘Taiwan’ Category

2009 - a year gone by … part one

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Welcome back dear friends, it has been many a month since I wrote anything on here, infact almost a whole year has passed us by.

So what has prompted this return to all things blog? Well, a few reasons actually.

  1. Last year was mad, I actually did so many things and it would be silly to forget all about them. Admittedly, the memories have already started to fade a bit (getting older, lol) – but it would be nice to keep a run down.
  2. Increasingly I am finding myself sitting around bored, a writing hobby will be good for me – I intend to try and do one entry a week (or bi-weekly at the least)
  3. And possibly the most important reason of all – to try and reclaim my English ability. My language skills (of my own language…) have gone to crap. When the only people you really communicate with are using pigeon English, you start to use it too – and do this for 3 years and you’re in a whole world of trouble. So hopefully by starting to write again, I’ll become more articulate once more :)

Where to start then, well, seeing as the year just began, it might be good to start of with my resolutions – of course, there is no guarantee that I will achieve any of them, but it’s nice to make a list…

News Years Resolutions for 2010

  1. Fly on 50 planes this year. Actually, I might as well bump this up to 52, bringing me to an average of 1 a week. That sounds like a lot (well I guess it is) – but I did manage 38 last year, which is only 14 shy … just need to add in 1 extra a month.
  2. Take up one of either : Learning the guitar or Learning a Marshal Art.
  3. Properly study one of my languages. Easiest one to do would be Japanese, however Chinese is on my list of possibilities – possibly even Thai seeing as I will be living there.


All your illness are belong to us

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Since I’ve been back from Thailand (last Thursday), I’ve been holed up in bed with an evil EVIL sicknesss.

I put off going to the hospital as long as possible, but yesterday after almost colapsing after walking down the street - it seemed it could be put off no longer, so I headed to the Ren Ai branch of the Taipei Hospital system.

I was a bit apprehensive as I don’t have any medical insurance and was worried it was going to cost a bomb, however they assured me it wouldn’t and that I’d be able to see a doctor shortly.

True to their word, only a minute or so passed until I got ushered to a doctors lounge type thing where I was asked my symptoms:

  • Severe nausea
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Fast heart rate
  • Stuffy head
  • Fever
  • Sweating all the time
  • General crap feeling

He wrote these down and from this point, we shall pick up the conversation:

Dr: Do you use a computer a lot?
Me: Yes
Dr: How often?
Me: Every day.
Dr: How many years ago did you first start to use a computer?
Me: About 20
Dr: The computer has made you sick.

Yes, you read that correctly - infact, I’ll write it again in bold and big:


Yes - I have caught a computer virus and all my sickness are indeed belong to them! The Dr said it, so it must be true….

So what next? Well I’ve been given 4 bags of medicine which I’m very doubtful about whether they will work, but hey, we’ll give them a chance - after all, you only have to read online to know how dangerous these computer virus’ can be….

Proper Gangster

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Anyone who sees me about will most likely have noticed that one thing about me never changes - my shoes.

Indeed you would be forgiven in thinking I only had worn one pair for the last 6 years or so - however that’s not quite true.

Basically, many moons ago - Gowry’s family bought me a pair of Accupuncture Gingy Poc shoes for christmas, which I absolutely loved. So much in fact, that when they finally wore out - I just purchased another pair of the same.

This even continued on after I moved abroad - basically when I returned for my yearly pilgrimidge, I simply went online and bought the same ones again - and again - and again - until rather unfortunately, last year’s trip - when I was horrified to discover that they aren’t made anymore.

Instead of going for something different, I just decided to keep the current ones going as long as possible - and even after the bottom fell off (and was stuck back on with superglue) I continued to wear them.

Of course, then typhoon season hit - and the good old Gingy’s weren’t quite up for the challenge of torrential rain, letting in almost any liquid that hit it - plus they now looked awful with the insides actually having rotted away.

It was time for action.

I had planned to pick up some new sneakers in Japan, however, much to my dismay (and annoyance) - Japanese people don’t seem to go higher than a size 28 which mean, despite MUCH searching - it was impossible to find anything - thus Taiwan it would have to be.

So tonight was shoe shopping night and off to Shilin Market I headed. I had really just been looking for some basic converse stylee’s - however after wandering into one particular shoe emporium, these fancy pair of Puma’s caught my eye.

Definitely not the style I would normally go for - but at least I would be able to get into an stylish events now - haha.

Anyway, I couldn’t wait to be rid of the old ones, so got the store to throw them away (along with the new box) and wore the new ones from then on.

Story should end here right - and I wish it did - however sadly there’s a bit more.

Basically, after walking around the market for another 30 minutes - it was becoming increasingly noticeable that the left shoe was too small, as my foot was really starting to cramp up :( I’m going to give them a chance to break in, but being sneakers, it’s not like there’s much to flex up.

Thus it could be that I’ve just basically wasted £30 - booo .. and all for the want of needing a size 31 over a 30.


A day in the life of me

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Recently I’ve had a lot of people ask me what am I actually doing these days, so I figured today would be as good as day as any to fill you all in.

Since I finished my last big project and Ting-Ying started at her fulltime job, the daytimes became pretty boring so I’ve been looking for ways to try and fill the void as it were.

Luckily, quite a nice solution appeared - which not only gives me something to go out the house for, but also gives my brain a bit of a workout too - always useful!

Near my house is a restaurant slash cafe called The Diner, which is an american style spin-off of, well, a diner (obviously). It’s not like the ones you see in the movies (brash furniture, a long counter to sit at) - but more of a cosy cafe style place - with your usual tables and sofa chairs - but also some armchairs against little tables up by the window.

Indeed it’s the armchairs I am most interested in, as I can stroll in at about 2pm (after the lunch rush) - get a nice armchair by the window, order my “all day pancake breakfast” and then happily read a book for a few hours, whilst drinking endless cups of coffee - bliss.

“Pancake breakfast?” you say - yes indeedy, popular with the Yanks, though never really caught on in the UK (except for in McDonalds and on special occasions with Mum’s “Special Breakfast”). I could write a nice long passage on how delicious it is, however instead I think it’s much easier just to show you a photo ….. mmmmmmm :)

Just to fill in the details - what you see are: 2 pancakes, 2 sausages, hash brown, scrambled eggs, some banana, whipped butter and lashings of maple syrup. Washed down with an orange juice and infinite coffee, all for a rather reasonable 220NT$ (that’s what, £3.50 or so).

As for my choice of literature, it varies - but generally I’m reading through my old stock of Ben Elton books I have. There is a local library however just down the road, which Ting-Ying is going to join so I can get some new material out on her card. They have a large section of Tom Clancy for some reason, but I’ve heard so much about him that I feel I should give one a go.

So anyway, that’s lunchtime covered - how does the rest of my day you might wonder. Basically, I’ll head back home at around 5/6ish and either catch up on email, or any issues that have popped up with the servers or the forum until about 8 o’clock when my dearly beloved gets home and we can either go eat, go movies or just a walk in the park.

The night’s entertainment will run until maybe 1am or so when she’ll then fall asleep - leaving me up until 4 or 5 working on the forum or generally just arsing about online. It is my aim to try and fix my sleeping pattern to lock in with hers, except then I will just have longer in the daytime on my own with nothing to do ….

Saying that though, once I get back from Japan - there is a massive forum upgrade which needs to happen so will take up quite a lot of time. Even more so than a normal upgrade would, as once I’ve finished - I have no excuse no to add in all the other extras the forum needs (at the moment doing it isn’t feasible you see as I’d have to repeat them all again apres-upgrade!)

So there you have it - basically my life in a few paragraphs - certainly not the most exciting of lives, however for everyone who knows me, will probably agree it’s just how I’d like to be :)

‘Ere guv, you need some car insurance?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Well today officially marks my day of becoming a member of one of the dodgiest professions known to man - insurance sales!

Yes, as unbelievable as it might sound - I’ve started up my own car insurance company!

Not a full on company I might add, but rather working as a broker to Chris Knott under the branded name FIAT Forum Insurance - with this obviously being tied in directly to the FIAT Forum. I don’t have to deal with any claims or purchases etc - rather just get the clientel and push them over to CK.

By doing so, I’m now able to offer my members (or indeed anyone who wants to use us actually) savings on their car insurance (around 10%) as well as run competitions to win extra goodies - the first of which being £100 cash!

Spent the day preparing the news releases for this and set everything live by about 12′o’clock lunchtime. Initial response was good with quite a few interested people asking questions - so could be onto a good thing here!

So anyone reading this who wants to save a bit of money, give us a call on 0800 917 2274 and quote FIAT Forum to receive the best quote possible (and maybe bag yourself an extra £100 in the bargain!)

Oh check out the (mini) site -