Saturday, June 21, 2008

day 2

I will learn how to be independent and optimistic in the face of anything by the end of this year. I guess that's why I wanted to do this in the first place. I knew that eventually I would need to stop relying on my parents who have always lived 15 minutes away. Anyway it's not easy adjusting so far but I'm sure it will be fine. I'm just not sure why I picked somewhere sooo far and sooo different.

Today was interesting. I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't fall asleep again so I talked online a whole bunch and waited for people to wake up, but everyone sleeps pretty late it seems. Jerry came over around 10 and we hung out until 11 when we had teacher training with Bill. He's awesome. He's been here for like 15 years. He taught us about 15 games we can play and taught us grammar rules and told us about the path that students follow in their education here. It all started to make a lot more sense.

After that, I went with this guy Kobe who barely speaks any English to the hospital for a check-up. It's the first stage in applying for a work visa and getting an ARC card. It was normal except for the woman taking some of my blood and I had to get a chest x-ray.

Then Jerry and I went to Carrefour, (, and it was pretty funny. He bought some crab chips. I bought a towel which I needed badly. This morning I showered and dried off with half a sheet I found on some shelf in the common room. And we had lunch at Starbucks. We had delicious croissants with a slice of like roast beef and cheese melted on it. Yum.

Then tonight I observed 2 classes. It seems like the key to classes is keeping the kids busy at all times and not doing activities that only engage 1 kid at a time. They get really out of hand when you aren't paying attention to them. I had to teach at the end of it and I played Simon Says and it didn't go over well because I couldn't catch them, they were such good listeners.

After I was done observing classes, I hung out in the lounge upstairs and talked with the people who live in this dorm. They're all really nice. I hope I can start hanging out with them soon.

Overall, I did well today. I'm comfortable with my street and how to get to Carrefour. By the end of next week, I'll know how to get to the 2 schools I'm teaching at so far. So the outlook is good.
My mini-goal is to start eating things other than noodles and bread products. Up until tonight, all I had eaten was a lot of chicken noodle soup and random rice things. I took a multivitamin and felt instantly better. I think I'm just nutritionally out of whack right now.

The only thing I really can't get used to so far is this weird smell that you encounter on the street. I guess it must be the sewer system because sometimes I smell it in the bathroom. It's really strong and putrid and gross. I don't know how to explain it.


Faj said...

Strong and putrid and gross pretty well describes what you are smelling.

Glad you found roast beef!

Catch up on your sleep and continue your adventures!

Margy said...

You're up for the challenge and the excitement. You have a job, a place to live and people that you know.
Hang in there, you are creating memories that you will cherish forever.
Love you,
Aunt Margy

Aunt Margy said...

an interesting tidbit,
The Tropic of Cancer falls right over the island of Taiwan. On the summer solstice, the sun is directly overhead at noon. Check it out.
A. Margy

PG said...

I think once you get rid of jet lag and get used to the food, you'll be feeling a lot better. Now's the toughest part, so hang in there. I have a feeling you'll be running the country in a couple weeks.

aunt carol said...

I hope you are finding lots of good places to eat so you are ready to be tour guide for your visitors. Have you eaten in a real Taiwanese restaurant yet? Starbucks is just so lame ... Next thing you'll be telling us that you went to McDonald's ...

I'm sure there are lots of Taiwanee people who would be tickled to introduce you to their favorite places. I would try to meet a new Taiwanese person each day -- think of how many new friends you would have at the end of the year!

Steve is still good friends with the Brits he met while he did his Ph.D. -- and that was many moons ago!