Monday, June 15, 2009

How do you say four?

So much has happened since I posted last!

Sunday was a pretty relaxed day. I slept extra late and then took my time getting anything done.

I went with Megan and Allen (her boyfriend, I suppose?) to Taipei. It was just a really quick trip. 

We scootered over to the downtown station and took a train into the city and then the subway to Ximending. It's this big center in the city with lots of shops and stuff. It was CRAZY busy. 

This is right when you come out of the MRT (subway) station at Ximending. The screen had just gone to black, but they just play a bunch of music videos all day. I thought that was pretty funny. It reminded me of being in Times Square in New York, except take Times Square and put it in the middle of Chinatown.

We walked around and tried to find a bag for me because I don't have a purse right now. I almost bought this tote bag that had a huge apple on it and said "I like apples!" It was hilarious. In the end, I didn't buy anything 'cause I'm cheap. 

But we went to this place that has these "sundae" things. It's like a mix between a sno-cone and a sundae. 

Underneath the pile of mangos, kiwis and strawberries was a ton of shaved ice and then under that there were these little jelly pearls. Apparently Taiwanese people really like jelly things and put it in all kinds of things. I'm not a fan of the texture. The little jelly pearls are really resistant to chewing.

Everything is totally Americanized here it's hilarious. I mean, a Coca-Cola themed restaurant??

And this corner is just nothing but American. I have quickly learned that 7Eleven is not to be used as a landmark. There are an impossible number of them and there is no way to tell the difference. 

After we got back from Taipei, 10 of us went to this place called Mama's Kitchen. It was SO good. A few of us shared food family-style, so I had a ton to eat. Unfortunately, I didn't eat in time to make my headache go away, so I went to bed extra early.

As they say, early to bed, early to rise. I made myself sleep as late as I could and then I hopped to it. 

I went to grab breakfast with Megan this morning. There is a place on the corner mere feet away from the dorm. I tried to go there the other day, but everything is in Chinese and I couldn't order by myself. 

Now I know that I can order Dan Bing, which is basically this thin pancake-like bread with egg in it. I got mine with cheese and ham in it too. Megan has since taught me how to say each of those, but I have no idea how to spell them.

Then I had a workshop. It was supposed to be about lesson planning, but I don't feel like I learned too much about actually planning lessons. He went over basic class time structure, but I'm not sure that helped much. I learned quite a few games though. 

After the workshop I folded all of my clothes. They ordered a new closet for me — how hilarious does that sound? — because mine is messed up. It has no shelves and the bar is kind of broken so I can't hang clothes on it. Turns out my new closet won't be here until tomorrow though, so I'm going to just have to put the piles of clothes on the floor. 

I had to go do a physical check-up at the hospital today too. It was really simple; They took my blood, a chest X-ray and checked my eyes. I think I switched my contacts because I can't see ANYTHING out of my left eye. It was ridiculous how terrible it was. 

Their eye check is a little harder too, I think. Instead of a chart with letters they have this board that little circles pop up on. Each circle is missing a piece that is either on the top, bottom, left or right. Well, if it's the least bit blurry you can't tell if a piece is missing or not. 

At least I can make out that something is a B even if it's blurry! But I guess that's the point?

I had two observations at a school that was REALLY far away. They were pretty interesting. The kids seemed to really like both of the guys that taught them. I think the key is to joke around with the kids now and then. Almost like you're making fun of them, but not quite. And making fun of yourself is a real winner.

During break in my second class I got the girl sitting next to me to pronounce numbers in Chinese for me. I'm learning to count in Chinese. It's pretty simple once you know one through 10, but the pronunciation is kind of wonky on some of them.

After my last class, this totally random kid walked up to me while I was waiting to get paid and started asking me for help on his work. It was a subject/verb agreement question. I was happy to help but it was kind of strange. Danielle and Megan said it is rare for a kid that isn't in one of your classes to come up to you because they tend to be really shy. Even in your own classes it's hard to get the kids to speak loudly. 

Quite a few of us went to Tepanyaki for dinner and it was so yummy. I had this crab stir-fry. I'm really proud of myself for being enthusiastic about trying the food. I'm happy to try new things. 

Of course, I feel like I'm snacking throughout the day and then only eating one meal at night. We'll see how that works out for me. Hopefully I will lose weight instead of gaining it!


  1. Taiwan has the most 7-Elevens per person than anywhere else in the world. They are so ubiquitous that you can pay your water and electricity there.

  2. Wow, anon 12:01, that's some crazy stuff about the 7-11s. Sucks about your closet Jimmie, but sounds like everything else is going great. That's pretty cool a kid came up and talked with you. Must mean you're going to do great over there!

  3. so were you right about the number system? is it like thirty is 10+10+10? (or whatever we were talking about at Hula Hut?


  4. Arent the little Jelly things Tapioca (sp) balls? That's what they put in their drinks anyway at the markets here.