Thursday, April 25, 2002

In Taiwan, toilet paper is not flushed down the toilet after the paper is, uh, used. Instead, one is expected to toss the toilet paper into a bin adjacent to the toilet. Another feature I appreciate while working at UMC is the design of our restrooms. Instead of an open wastebasket (which can be quite disgusting, both visually and olfactory), each stall has its own covered wastebasket with a convenient step-on pedal for hands-free access. The wastebasket is ergonomically located so that you do not have to twist your body in odd positions to open the lid. I have not seen a better system in Taiwan, even in Taipei's best hotels (some of them have covered wastebaskets, but the flip-top lid kind, which in its own way is even more gross than the uncovered ones). I applaud whoever thought up of this system. I really do appreciate the little details.

In unrelated and more appealing news, I went climbing again yesterday. This time, I only went up once, to 8 meters, before getting pooped. I spent the rest of the time learning how to belay from Flora, Benson, and James. I am establishing a trend; I go climbing every time I return from Hsinchu. Yesterday's meetings in Hsinchu were rather dull. In one, I felt like I was surrounded by my parents' friends: a gaggle of senior engineering types chortling at what I assume were engineering jokes.

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