Monday, July 2, 2018

嘿! 去台中念大學的台北男生—要小心! 叔叔警告 (English)

Dear Howard:

Maybe you think it’s a little strange to get a letter from your Uncle Tony. But I’m writing to give you some important advice. You probably know that like you I finished high school here in Taipei, then went to university in Taichung. But you don’t know some of the things that happened to me there, and I don’t want the same to happen to you.

When I arrived in Taichung, 18 years old, everything was new. I was ready to explore, ready for adventure. You’ll feel the same way when you start school. But you need to remember that Taipei and Taichung are different.

First, do not swear or be impolite to the local citizens, especially the ones who look like gangsters. In fact don’t be impolite to ANYONE in Taichung, because many people who don’t look like gangsters sometimes have gangster relatives.

Second, do not go to the pub near the KFC near your university. The girls there are ugly and the drinks are too expensive. If you do go to pubs, do not end up in bed with every girl you meet. This is very serious. A lot of Taichung girls have gangster boyfriends, and the gangsters are always watching them. You know how I'm missing one finger on my left hand, and how everyone says it’s because of a motorcycle accident? Well, it is not because of a motorcycle accident. And even after I lost that finger, I still didn’t learn my lesson. I just went to another part of town and other pubs. In one of those pubs, a really adorable bar girl seduced me. Her name was Carrie.

“Tell me the truth—do you have a gangster boyfriend?” I asked her.

She promised and promised that she didn’t. So I went to her little apartment with her. It was a really nice apartment. And then I went again, many times. Well, she wasn’t lying that she didn’t have a gangster boyfriend. But what she didn't tell me was that she was an important gangster’s daughter.

What could I do? I thought that if I met the family and tried to convince them I was honest, things might go alright. Unfortunately, the next day after I left campus, two guys came up to me and smashed me up with a bat. You know how my right eye is a little funny, and that scar next to it, and how everyone says it’s because of "the motorcycle accident"? Well, it’s not.

But the truth is I STILL didn’t learn my lesson. I just decided to start chasing girls in other places, like at my school or at night markets. And I had many one-night stands. A lot. But let me tell you, there are disadvantages to having too many one-night stands. One is that if you don’t prudently use some security, I mean a condom, you might end up getting girls pregnant. Did you ever wonder why you have five cousins, Howard? Your aunt is a very understanding woman. I am lucky I met her.

So these are some things I hope you remember. But maybe I'm writing too much. You probably won’t get in as much trouble as I did, because you are short. Taichung girls don’t like short guys so much.

But also, when you go out in Taichung, always remember to lock your door. Check twice. And make sure your roommate follows the same rule. I lost a computer and my Japanese DVD collection because I didn’t lock my door.

I will say one more thing before ending this letter. One of my classmates, also from Taipei, decided that the best way to avoid trouble with gangsters in Taichung but also be able to chase hot girls in pubs was to just join the gangsters. He thought it was fun. He even got to do shooting practice with them. But where is that friend now, Howard? Can you guess? You know those cement tetrapods they use on the shoreline to keep the waves from eroding the coast? My friend is in one of those, somewhere south of Ilan. So unless you want to end up being a tetrapod, never join with the gangsters there.

Keep your clothes clean, brush your teeth every day, and study well, even for classes you hate. When I had a class I didn’t like, I didn’t study for it, and it took me five years to graduate. Don’t make the same mistake. Call your parents at least twice a week or they’ll worry about you. Also: Don’t tell them I sent you this letter about Taichung, or they’ll worry about you even more, and they will yell at me too.

In fact, don’t tell anyone about this letter, okay? It’s just between us.

Best Wishes, 

Uncle Tony

[Compiled from compositions written by Howard’s classmates in my Friday class.]

Tetrapods: Don't end up in one



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