If you have questions about the Fulbright program in Taiwan I'm happy to talk about my experience. But please do not communicate with me via commenting on this blog - I don't check this too often. Send me an e-mail:
Boston is currently freezing. Single-digit weather is the new norm, a fact I acknowledge every morning waiting for the train.
Consulting is exciting. It really is all about the people; an incredibly smart and successful pool of associates offers inspiring conversations, and access to minds and opinions that are helping shape my own views. I've had exposure to several areas within life sciences and private equity, and am beginning to delve into retail and consumer products on my current case.
Outside of the office I've tried to maintain exposure to Asia. I'm taking Chinese classes at the Chinese Institute of Language and Arts and I'm involved in the Boston chapter of Wokai, a Chinese microfinance organization I suggest everyone check out!
Most weekends are spent with co-workers, a group that works hard and goes out even harder. It's certainly not Taiwan, but the Boston nightlife is enjoyable.
Next on the radar is vacation-- where to travel. Fly solo to Paris? Peru with Stacy? Central America with Joe? Or do I just go back to Taiwan for two weeks?
Was he balding, or wasn't he? One thing was for sure, he had the awkward upper physique of a munchkin but he was taller, much taller, and he was yelling at me with perhaps the thickest Boston accent I'd encountered yet. Between and among the shouts and drink refrigerators in the back, it quickly became apparent to me that I was no longer in Philly.
"National League!? Who gives a flying (airplane) about the NL? The Sox and the Yanks are the only two teams that matter, kid"
Hoping to build rapport with my new neighbor, my response was delicate, "No pickles on the hoagie, please."
He looked awkward; awkwardly tall. And he was pointing down at me, but strangely enough not in a threatening way.
Then he came from behind the counter and...it all made sense. He was about 5 feet tall! Boston's Napoleon had been standing on a stool behind the counter the whole time. What a relief, I thought. This guy was, after all, making my lunch.
With an air of bewilderment yet comfort knowing I was now lost in conversation in America, we proceeded in dialogue. Our topics ranged from the classics of literature, to geography and modern diplomacy. A few memorable expressions from this guy, now tagged "The Mayor's," bully pulpit that come to mind are:
Broadly covering sociology and geography, with a subtle hint of flavor: "You were where!? Taiwan? Why the (airplane, yet again) would you go up there? All those Japanese are taking our jobs! And you over there helping em! You want vinegar on ya sub, kid?"
On US-ASEAN relations: "How many sodas ya want? Three? Holy Christmas. What are you sending some back to ya friends in Thailand? They would like that, wouldn't they?"
Head now swollen with comedic ignorance, I made my way out of the dangerous, stoic audible-grasps of the sub-making guy and walked home.
I'm now on the bus, blogging from my phone via the Blogger-Droid app, and headed towards New Hampshire to visit my roommate from Taiwan who goes to med school in Hanover.
A weekend of recounting indistinct Taiwanese nights is upon us. Happy Labor Day!