Monthly Archives: May 2014

LASIK in Taiwan

Recently, Nick and I decided that we have been plagued by glasses for long enough, so we decided it was time to get LASIK!!!  The problem is that LASIK is just so dang expensive!!!  I like my eyes, but I don’t want to pay $3,000-$4,000 to get new peepers (figuratively speaking of course).  So, what’s a poor couple to do?  Get LASIK in Taiwan of course!!!

Since we live  in Taiwan where the medical industry is much cheaper than in America (and just as reliable), we decided to do some research and see how much it would be to get LASIK done here, and boy oh boy were we surprised!!!  We talked to our friends and co-workers, and one of them recommend we go to Kaoshsuing, Taiwan to get LASIK done at Dr. Yang’s Eye Alliance.  So, that’s what we did!

The doctor and his associates were very nice and friendly, and we were given a personal associate who took care of all of our pre-op tests (he spoke English, of course).  The doctor was friendly, spoke perfect English, and walked us through exactly what would happen during the procedure.  It all went smoothly and we couldn’t beat the price!!!  Nick’s was 35,000 NT and mine was 38,000 NT which translates to about $1,100 and $1,200 USD!!!!!  What a savings!!!  In fact, we decided that if you really wanted LASIK, you could travel to Taiwan, get LASIK, have a nice vacation (glasses-free, I might add), and go back home for CHEAPER than getting LASIK done in the US!!!  So, if you’ve been thinking about getting LASIK done, and international travel is something you love (like us), then think about coming to Taiwan!!!

BONUS!!!  We even got the opportunity to write a review on Dr. Yang’s website!!!

Read them here –> Olivia,  Nick

NOTE:  I was not reimbursed for this testimony, it was just something I thought the world should know more about!

 

 

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Categories: FYI, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Penghu’s Night Market

Night markets are a big deal in Taiwan.  All the major cities have them every night and they are packed with people!  They’re filled with food and clothing, jewelry, electronics, pretty much anything you could want, you can get at a night market for pretty cheap.  If you ever go to Taiwan, night markets are a must do!

Penghu usually doesn’t have a night market, but for about one month each year, we get one!  It’s not huge like the ones in Taipei or Kaohsiung, but there is food and games, and it’s pretty fun.  We went on Saturday night and got some yummy food!  French Fries, curry wraps, and crickets!

Yep, you read that correctly, crickets.  There was one stand selling crickets and we decided that we had to try them!  They didn’t taste bad, but it was still kind of weird to be eating a bug (especially feeling their legs inside your mouth).  Anyways it was fun and a little crazy, just what you would expect from eating an exotic food, right?

 

Categories: Friendship, Fun Stuff, Taiwan | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Shenanigans

Hello folks!!

Summer is officially here (at least in my mind), and that means more beach time!!!  Yay!!!  This weekend we kicked off our summer with a trip to our favorite snorkeling spot, Shili Beach, and boy was it a sight for sore eyes.  Other than the water being ridiculously cold, we had a great time snorkeling with some teachers Nick met while teaching on the island of Cimei.  We saw some clown fish, zebra fish, and I saw two eels!  We even brought the pup along  He didn’t appreciate being left on the beach while we went for a swim, but he had fun digging in the sand and playing ball.  It was a great day, that’s soon to be repeated!

Categories: Friendship, Fun Stuff, Nature, Taiwan, The Beach | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

TBT: Tokyo Sumo

Joining the “Throwback Thursday” bandwagon, I decided it’s finally time for me to make good on my promised Sumo blog post.

This takes us back to our winter vacation in January 2013, when Olivia and I spent several days in Tokyo, Japan.  On our last day there, we got up early at 5 am (isn’t vacation for sleeping in?!) and waited in line in freezing weather (our Texas blood isn’t used to Japan’s winters) for 2 hours, and got tickets to see Sumo wrestling!
If you follow the professional Sumo circuit, you’ll know that these tournaments take place twice a year in seven different areas in Japan, each one lasting two weeks before moving to the next place.  It just so happened that the last day of our trip coincided with the last day of the tournament in Tokyo, and we were lucky enough to get tickets!  (Nosebleed seats only sell the day of the tournament, while the better seats sell our early and have high prices).
It was a day of fun and learning, experiencing the history and culture that has created modern-day Sumo.  The rules seem simple:  the object is to either knock your opponent down or push them out of the ring (only your feet can touch the floor or you are considered “down”).  However, there is much more to this sport.
The Opening
There’s more to the opening than just fat men parading around in cloth diapers (not every wrestler is fat!).  Each wrestler has a fancy half-dress thing that I’ll just call an “apron.”  These aprons have different colors and a “coat-of-arms,” which is different for each man.  Want one of your own?  Be ready to throw down at least $20,000 USD!  The men all enter the ring, circle it, and each throws salt into the ring.  This is to ward off bad spirits who might cause injuries.  (There’s a lot of salt throwing in Sumo.)  Some words are said, things happen, and then the dohyo (think: wrestling ring) is cleared.
Fun Fact: The wrestling ring is made of a certain kind of clay and weighs several tons!
Another Fun Fact: Olivia says I should let other people decide whether my facts are fun or not.
The Fight
In a single day of the tournament, each wrestler will face a total of one opponent in one match.  One might think that this would make the tournament go fairly quickly.  If you think that, you’re wrong.  First the opponents enter the ring and throw some salt.  This is not only to ward off bad spirits but is also a form of intimidation!  (“Eat my salt!”) It can be quite interesting to see the many and varied styles with which one can throw salt into the air and on the ground.  The salt throwing also includes the famous  stomping of the feet.  Then the opponents enter the ring and squat facing each other, staring into each other’s eyes.  The referee signals the start of the match, and the wrestlers…stay still.  You see, each wrestler waits until he is fully ready, mentally and physically one, before going at his opponent.  However, if one starts before the other, the match is restarted.  Apparently, these waiting periods and false starts could combine to make a single match last several hours.  Thankfully, they now have a time limit of three minutes before they must start the match.
Finally, the wrestlers clash together, and the tussle begins.  Some use strategies of pulling their opponents down to the ground or throwing them off balance, while others rely on their girth to push their opponents out of the ring.  Strategically, the wrestler with more girth has a forceful advantage, but what they gain in girth, they lose in stamina and agility!
The Closing Ceremony
Finally, after an afternoon of fun watching the best Sumo wrestlers in Japan, we see the closing ceremony.  Like the rest of the sport, this comes from a line of tradition and involves spinning and twirling a long rope in a specific series of moves.  This rope dance is performed by the tournament champion, and then the wrestlers file out of the stadium.
On our way out, Olivia wanted to see how she would look as a sumo wrestler.  A few hundred Big Mac’s later, here’s the result:
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Categories: Bucket List, Fun Stuff, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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