Sunday, June 22, 2008

a reason to stay

So each day has been better than the last, even though I'm still not sure how I feel about this place. Yesterday I hung out around the dorm for the better part of the day until I went to Jerry and Alex's apartment at like dinnertime. Alex's ex-girlfriend Erin is staying there for two months so I met her. We hung out for a while and I tried to take a nap but was unsuccessful. I think I'm running on about 20 hours of sleep total since Tuesday. I'm going to nap when I'm done writing this.

Eventually we headed over to this guy's apartment for a housewarming party. I forget his name, I think it might be Brandon? but I'm not sure. Anyway he moved here 7 years ago and he was only planning to stay a year but he ended up marrying a Taiwanese girl and now he has 2 kids and is married and living here. I met a lot of teachers who said they started here thinking they'd only stay a year and now they've been here like 5 years.

I met a whole lot of people there. Some teachers at my school, some not. Everyone was really nice. One girl, Ashley, offered to help me get a cell phone which would be fabulous. I'm used to being very wired and I feel kind of lost without one. Even though I'm not sure who I'd be calling.

The housewarming party was a lot of fun. They were playing beer pong and I chatted with a lot of people. We got too many noise complaints though so we relocated to a foreigner bar, owned by one of the former teachers. The ride there was the best part. Some guy had called like 9 taxi's and we all went in this giant caravan because not all of the drivers knew where the bar was. About half way there, we pulled over to the side of the road beside this open field because so many people had to pee. The drivers were all laughing about us on their radios. Alex said they were talking about how fun it was to be able to drive in a big pack. Anyway the bar was fun. I had half of a rum and coke. I've felt like I'm continually floating since I got here, so I decided alcohol was not a good idea. But I did talk to a lot of teachers and other people and it made me feel good to talk to people who knew about Austin. I met a girl from South Africa, Simone, whose dad is living in Houston right now. She was cool.

Then today we went swimming at Alex's apartment pool. You have to wear a swim cap which is this spandex, brightly colored little cap. Mine was pink. It was hilarious, I wish we had a picture.
I tried one of the buns filled with meat. I have no idea what kind of meat it was, but it was not too bad. And Jerry and I went to this place called Debbie's Diner which is an American-style restaurant. I know that I've been lame going to Starbucks and American places, but when everything around you is so unfamiliar, it really feels comforting to eat something you recognize at least once a day. I'll be adventurous after I've been here a full week.

Tonight I organized a movie night at the dorm. We'll see who comes to that.
Overall though, I'm still wondering how long it will take me until I feel like I can live here for longer than a few months, but it's getting better every day. At least I know how to get to Alex's now and I met like 15 people who could potentially be friends.


Blogasaki: Memoirs of a Kramer said...

Every day will be easier than the last, but everyone adjusts to these kinds of moves at a different pace, so if in 2 weeks or a month you're still not 100% on Taiwan, don't get discouraged!! I remember waking up most mornings in the first 6 weeks I was in Japan and thinking "What the hell am I doing here??" I promise it gets SOOOO much easier, and by the end of your year you'll be sad to leave, or decide you even want to stay!

Also, you are SO very lucky to have both Starbucks AND McDonalds! We don't have ANY Western chains where I live, so please have a caramel frappuccino for me next time you're in Starbucks!

Go at your own pace and you'll be just fine!!

Aunt Carol said...

I'm hoping you will become a Taiwanese tour guide on this blog. How about once a week telling us something we will love about Taiwan? Steve seriously wants to visit in January during his semester break and I don't know dirt about Taiwan except from my friend Jo Jo's trip the year before you were born!

You know me, I'll want to know about the touristy highlights but also the secret little gems that most tourists never see. I hear there are some really beautiful places.

So, please get busy (and no, the field where you all peed on the way to a bar doesn't qualify as a tourist stop ...)

Have fun!