Monday, April 26, 2010

Are you a good driver?

OK, I've been trying to get around to writing for a few days now, but I've just been so busy.

The extra work was enough to keep me going all day, but add in having a bunch of extra foreigners around and you can understand why I haven't been able to find much of a free moment.

I'll just give you the basic highlights of the past few days plus a lengthy description of Sunday.

Tuesday: Tess' mom and sister got into town early in the morning. By the time I got home from my morning sub hours they had her completely packed minus a few extraneous things and the stuff she's taking with her traveling.

Wednesday: I had a ridiculous cold. Everyone else went out while I stayed home and had a pity party and went to sleep early.

Thursday: Turns out the extra sleep on Wednesday was a good thing. Thursday night I got home to find three boys in my apartment. Don't worry, we were expecting them. My roommate's boyfriend and two of his friends came to Taiwan for a few days. That night we took the boys to one of our favorite restaurants — Great White Shark aka Shark Tooth. We ordered up a ton of kung pao tofu and a couple 40 oz. bottles of beer to share between the five of us.

Then Justin made the mistake of saying gan bei (a form of cheers which indicates completely chugging your glass) to a group of guys at the table next to us. Next thing we know there are two drunk Taiwanese men sitting with us trying their best to speak all the English they know. Dr. D (one of the Taiwanese guys) ending up buying us another six bottles of Taiwan beer.

Here's the thing: Someone buys you beer in this country it is so disrespectful not to drink up. So the two Taiwanese guys and the five of us proceeded to spend the next 2.5 hours drinking up. It was actually a lot of fun. I got to speak a lot of Chinese and those guys spoke a lot of English, so everyone was a winner.

Friday: I managed to keep things chill on Friday night too, thank goodness.

Saturday: We had KTV night in Tess' honor Saturday night. I haven't quite gone through all the pictures yet but I'm excited to. Apparently KTV isn't everyone's cup of tea though (oh it's definitely mine though) so we only stayed there a couple of hours. I hope Tess had fun on her last night out with everyone.

Sunday: I was no where near the landslide that happened over Highway 3 so don't worry about that. But Katie, the boys and I took a long trip to Xiao Wulai. By long trip I mean that it's supposed to take 45 minutes to get there and it took us something like three hours including stops.

It was a very eventful day to say the least. Here's the highlights:

We went to Jhongli to rent scooters for the boys.

We drove for a really long time.

We stopped at 7-11 for snacks.

We stopped in FuXing for more snacks. This is when I made the mistake of finally trying stinky tofu. Katie says that my reaction made her never want to try it. In case you were wondering what that reaction was: I literally vomited in my mouth. I managed to keep the woman who gave it to us to try from noticing though. I would have felt so bad if she had seen me.

Then I proceeded to eat everything under the sun in order to get the terrible taste out of my mouth.

We continued up the mountain and I took a wrong turn. It looked like the right turn, but I didn't see the sign that said DongYang National Park. (It should have said Xiao Wulai.) So we drove up in that direction for a good 45 minutes. One of the boys crashed his scooter into a ditch which was super scary. I was right behind him and watched him do it. I'm so glad he didn't get too badly hurt. Finally we decided to stop at this little restaurant nestled into the mountain. (That place was gorgeous by the way.)

The guy who owned the place jumped on his four-wheeler and offered to show us the way. "How nice of him," we thought.

At least until the path he took us on was a really narrow and winding back road that was sometimes covered in leaves and mud. It was at a spot where the road literally made a U-turn that I laid down my scooter.

Yes, I'm OK.

There was a ton of mud and leaves on the road and I thought I was being careful enough, but I wasn't. My scooter landed on my feet and thank goodness I was wearing a helmet because my visor (what would have been my face) skidded across the pavement/mud.

I was dirty but once Katie got the scooter off my foot I was able to easily get up and continue on.

Of course once we got to the Xiao Wulai park, we found out I was covered in blood and the woman at the gate spent the next 30 minutes cleaning off my wounds and torturing me with iodine. She was great with a first aid kit.

Anyway, these wounds didn't deter us. We continued to hike down, climb over a fence and down the river and to the top of a water fall (not the big on unfortunately) where we had a snack before heading back.

It was at this point that I slipped on a rock and fell on my butt and got my bandages wet... Oh well.

Then we managed to get back to Jhongli without issues. Or so we thought.

At the scooter shop the guys were asked to drive there scooters up onto the sidewalk. It's basically a steep slope up. Well, one of their accelerators got stock and so the scooter crashed into the wall. Luckily, it was the same scooter that had already suffered some damage in the earlier crash and actually hit in the exact same places.

We ended the night with Teppanyaki and I treated myself to quite a meal since I tortured my body all day.

Today: Despite cleaning my wounds multiple times Sunday, they still did not look too good this morning, so I didn't go to my sub and instead went to the hospital where they proceeded to take X-rays of my knees and foot and then bandaged me up and gave me a bunch of drugs.

I am to go back in a couple of days to make sure I have effectively rid my body of any possibly infections.

It was probably a good call going to the doctor no matter how much I hate doing it.

Well, I start my diving course today. Hopefully I am OK to get in the water by Sunday because that's when I'll be doing my first shallow dives!

Also, I will be all alone in my apartment for the next two weeks. Hopefully that doesn't drive me crazy.


  1. Good Lord! Do you have pictures of your injuries, too? Maybe you'll get some cool scars and in 20 years you can tell people "that was the year I lived in Taiwan."

  2. Wow! Watch it! Enjoy the empty apartment. So overall, are you enjoying the Taiwan teaching experience?

  3. Meghan: Yes I have pictures. Who do you think I am? :)

    Lori: I'm very much enjoying teaching. It has its ups and downs, but I really like it. I plan to pursue it further than I am currently.

  4. Mistake of stinky tofu? I made that mistake recently here in Houston - you can find it in some places in the Chinatown/Bellaire area.

    I tried it to test it - since I'll be moving to Taiwan to teach in August. My girlfriend wanted me to try it... wow. Just. Wow.