Thursday, October 30, 2008

be our guest, be our guest

this morning i mailed in my absentee ballot. it should be there by the 4th, or so they said. i rode this bike that's been in the dorm for a long time to the post office and it was pretty convenient. shortened my 15 minute walk to a 3 minute bike ride. i also pedaled down to the yoga studio while i was out. i'm going to go to a test class on thursday. the woman was concerned about the class being in chinese, but i told her i can just watch what they do and it should be ok.

amanda sent me pictures tonight so i get to show you my friends in da chu. when i got there tonight, they had a lemon green tea for me :)
mr kuo (on the left), mr. wang and i. mr. wang is allllways sauced up. but he's nice.
amanda and i in front of mr. kuo's at da chu yesterday. she translates a lot for me when i'm there. sometimes they go wake her up so she can figure something out for us.
mr. kuo, mrs. chan and i yesterday. i wish they were smiling! they both have such gratifying smiles. i'll bring my fancy camera on saturday and see what i can do.

it's halloween day 2 at school:
the other teachers are pretty creative
dena made a turtle costume out of a giant box. christine is beside her in the police outfit and i'm not sure who the other people are
meghan as a head on a platter. my kids asked me why she was dressed up like a table after we left her class.
this is my coteacher, carol. her mom made her costume

tonight while i was subbing, my baby class came in to trick or treat. so cute! the angel on the left is ally and she is so sweet and tiny, but she can't speak barely a word of english.
my red book class trick or treating in josh's class

tonight was interesting. my regular coteacher in the class pictured above, emily, wasn't there today so we had a sub. it was clear that emily is the disciplinarian in our class, as they were kind of crazy tonight. we had fun though.
i had to leave that class early to book it over to guei shan to sub a THREE HOUR class by myself. it was pretty long. they're the highest level there is though, so it was easy. we just played a whole lot of games. and there were some kids in there i've subbed for before, so that was nice. there was a girl named josephine and i felt like i was talking to jeffy :P that's my nickname for him.

my name is james

i think these pictures sum up my day:
bobo insisted that it would be fun if jerry and i wore our halloween costumes to class, so we did. it was a lot of fun. jerry made a sign that said 'mr. banana'

bobo wore a cowboy hat and was all texasy :)
princess jerry. check out those chairs. they're at bobo's apartment complexjerry and i went to the japanese place next to bobo's to get the 'lunch box' (bian dang in chinese).
it was kind of funny though, i said 'i like your watch' to this old woman who was standing at the counter, and she started speaking really fast and making hand motions and the people who worked there said 'she's japanese..' and it was like oh MANNN what are the odds.

halloween was fun tonight at school. i was a princess, my coteacher was a maid, and allll of my kids were witches. we just played games and went around and collected candy from the other classes. i got to see my kindy class all dressed up, they were so cute. they're all girls so they were really enjoying my princess outfit.
and i went over to see mr. kuo and them while i was dressed up and they thought it was way too funny. amanda took pictures and she's supposed to email them to me so i'll post them when/if i get them.

going to bed!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

you always had an eye for things that glitter

the most memorable moment today was at mr. kuo's in da chu. lately, he's been calling me 'honey' with this giant smile on his face. he, mr. wang, and mr. something always hang out at his restaurant and drink bai jiu, distilled alcohol of some sort, and eat. i had lunch with them on saturday and then i went for an early dinner tonight. mr. wang, who speaks the most english, told me that he cried and cried from sunday until today because 'i no see you' for 3 days.
they wanted to know what state i was from, where it was located, where LA, las vegas, washington and florida were. we also went over the words for north, south, east and west in chinese.
mrs. chan gave me some seaweed soup to try. i took a bite but i really don't care for seaweed soup so i said i was full from the fried rice.
mr. kuo tried to insist that i didn't need to pay because 'we are family' but i feel weird not paying, so i insisted that i pay. they give me free stuff all the time in addition to my meal, i don't want to get the meal for free too.

not too much else happened today. i bought a dress from a lady on the street and she told me my chinese was very good. and on the bus tonight i tried to ask these high school boys a question about a character in my book, but high school boys are notorious for being giggly around here, so they weren't much help. sissies!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

time is racing toward us

i wonder if i can find a feature that lets me plays songs on my blog. jerry and i were singing 'let's get down to business.. to escape.. the huns! why did you give me daughters.. when i asked.. for sonsss!' from mulan this morning after chinese. and i told patrick, in austin, about it just now and he said it was stuck in his head yesterday. concidence? trans-continental connection?!

bought my halloween costume today. preview here:
what else happened today..
went to latinis for lunch. justin said 'see you tomorrow' and this guy, dan's friend, said 'you can say that in chinese' so he rephrased it. they make me laugh. dan is learning italian so we try to communicate in spanish/italian. it doesn't work.
made rice crispie treats tonight! emil helped me mix in the rice crispies which is always the worst part of it. thank you soo much, lily. we were all really excited and a few people who had never made them before (i didn't know people like that existed) learned how.
i also baked these potato thingies i bought at IKEA and sprinkled them with dill dip. yumm.

in class tonight, eason was calling me a snowman because i was wearing a gray shirt..? and judy and jennifer are endlessly fascinated by the clasp on my bracelet and every class now they take it off my arm, put it on one of them, and put it back on me. that class was hard today. i had to teach when to use 'before, starts and ends' today. it's tricky figuring out what the usage rules for those words are. every time i thought i came up with an explanation, some kid thought of an exception.
time for bed. i'm beat.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

walk with me, walk with me

this morning seems like it was so long ago!
stayed up til 1:30 and decided to catch some sleep before the game came on at 2:30
woke up at 2:30, was completely out of it and tired, set my alarm for 4:30
woke up and listened to the second half. we won 28-24! still ranked first in the country
then i went back to bed and i dreamed that i was dating colt mccoy, the quarterback and we went to this big fancy banquet. it was a pretty football-tastic morning.

then steve, noe, mike and i went to IKEA this afternoon for lunch. i had salmon with radioactive green chive sauce. it was pretty good. i like how that IKEA smells just like the one at home. and i bought some of those raspberry cookies. i think i've eaten 6 so far :X

came back and went to chinese with linda. i have a hard time keeping six, liu, and nine, jiu, straight.. so she had danny, her 5 year old son, teach me how the taiwanese kids learn to count. liu rhymes with whistle in chinese and jiu rhymes with balloon. didn't reaaally help since i don't know the words for whistle and balloon, but it was still funny.
other chinese lessons:
-taoyuan (tao is peach, yuan is garden) is the name of a mythical chinese town where everything is ideal and peaceful
-tung an (the name of my street) means 'a safe place where happy people live'
-da yuan, a town close to where i teach, means 'big garden' because not many people live there so it's mostly open land

right after chinese, i went to bobo's and she, jack, the girls and i went swimming again. joyce was super cute in a ruffly bathing suit. my bottoms had ruffles last time and she was inspired. we had fun swimming and jaime and i tried out everything in the little spa section.
afterwards, they all came to the dorm and joyce and jaime got to meet everyone and see my room. they raided my sticker collection and everyone gave them some of their halloween candy when they visited their room. it was a tiny halloween around here.

the boys and i went to tapenyaki for dinner andd then i came home and watched harry potter 3 or 4 on tv. serena had a contest to see who could hold our arms up the longest and she won both times. i'm weak!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

from sea to shining sea

i am so tiredd and i have to get up so early. this will be quick.
-went to lunch at latini's (where else?) with alex and his mom. it was interesting to meet her since we've been reading each others blogs for a few months now but we had never met before. she's super nice and fun and i'm glad we got to meet. she brought me marshmallows, rice crispies, chocolate chips and canned pumpkin to make rice crispie treats and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! i'm thrilled.

-successfully herded my mostly-boys class to mc donalds and back without any casualties. gene was lovely and it was a fun trip. i was in the front of the line and he brought up the rear. i felt like a mother duck. i'm going to be so neurotic when i have kids. i can feel my blood pressure rising when we have to cross a street or when there's no sidewalk.
moms here take their babies on their scooters without any protection and i just don't understand it. little kids, like 3 and 4 year olds, stand on the scooter in front of their mom and just hold on to the front of it while she drives. if you crash, your kid just goes flying. i can't imagine.

-went to movie night at bobo's. the security guard, a bettel (pronounced beatle) nut enthusiast, asked me to marry him while he let me up on the elevator (they need to use their little key thing for the elevator to work). i said no, thank you. he said 'we're both very tall!' but he didn't persuade me.
bobo's mom is in town from somewhere in the south of taiwan. she's apparently pretty progressive as she's staying in a hotel instead of at their house. she seemed nice. bobo said her mom is only 50 but she told us that she's 36, so i'm not sure if it all adds up..

time for bed! kindys in the morning. saturday mornings are so rough.

Friday, October 24, 2008

twice as nice

3 minutes before my junior high class was to begin this afternoon, celia walks in to let me know she'll be observing my class for the first hour. the topic? love and dating. oh man! it was hilarious.
i had to teach: make out, fool around, and sexy, as well as lead a bunch of fairly uncomfortable conversations. fortunately, that class is super super cool (they're the ones pictured in my header). they speak really well, they're talkative, they like me, and we have fun the whole time.
today i assigned them questions that we had on the work sheet, and this table had the question: who is the sexiest person you know? and when i asked them, they all screamed 'MEGAN!' i must have been 4 shades of red.

random highlights from today-
- i stopped at mc donalds on the way home from class because it was on the way, and i ordered the 'spicy chicken burger' and it was all dark meat randomness. pretty disgusting. the mc donalds employee who took my order seemed all too excited to use her english though
- mrs. chan waved at me from across the street today as i walked into 7-11
- danielle and chris both had kindy classes for their first class today. i can't even imagine. i got mine 4 months into being here and i thought it was the hardest thing i had ever done. at least it's all down hill for them now
- steve took me to this place called Paspi for dinner tonight and it was delicious. they sell pizza and pasta and i ordered a hawaiian pizza and it was really tiny and tasty. i had kumkuat green tea too. i'm really going to miss the tea places. i love them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

life goes easy on me

when i got to the hospital today to teach the ladies, the lady who walks me down every day told me this would be the last class, so i'm all done with the hospital. i think they know a little more than they started with. i'm going to push to get the english fixed on the forms though.

i have a bunch of pictures for you!
i cleaned my room because i was beginning to feel a little cluttered:
(this is an 'after' photo)

remember the scooter burn?

it's pretty well healed. i just have a weird scar that hasn't changed in a few months. i'm assuming the dark part will eventually heal and be white like the rest of it.

remember the scooter gashes?

man, just looking at the pictures hurts :P
almost all gone. i think i have some permanent taiwanese street in my leg though. you can't see it here, but the one on the underside of my leg has a thin gray line.

time to read and get in bed. p.s. i applied for a job at home that i would looooove. so, visualize me working at the coolest company in austin.

fun facts from tonight's section of a short history of nearly everything by bill bryson:
- 'a fluffy summer cumulus (cloud) several hundred yards to a side may contain no more than twenty five or thirty gallons of water, about enough to fill up a bath tub.'
- it can take 1,500 years for water to travel from the north atlantic to the mid pacific ocean

you can see her comin' from a mile away

the highlights:
chris and danielle arrived today. they seem genuinely normal and nice. they'll be a good addition to the craziness in the dorm. they're from canada, they've traveled a lot but haven't taught. they made it to the grocery store today on their own. it was danielle's birthday today but we didn't find out until like 10pm. i tried to organize a card, but i'm not sure how it turned out because i had to leave for pub quiz night

pub quiz night was really fun. they randomly assign the teams, so even though i went with steve, justin and mike, i was on a team with 3 guys who teach at the other group of schools in the south. there's a zhong li group and a taoyuan group, and we're taoyuan. anyway they were nice. i didn't contribute anything to the pub quiz itself except one question about full house, a tv show from my childhood. but it was nice to chat with new people and i was the only girl there which is always an interesting experience.

it's really late so i'm headed to bed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


chinese, lunch with JG and class this afternoon. it was a pretty low key day. i played a really fun game with both classes where they had to spell words with pieces of dry spaghetti. it was good to get to do something with their hands, and it was challenging. we had a lot of fun.

tonight i made scones that gram sent. they turned out well.
i bought cherry pie filling at FE21, one of the big fancy department stores. i also bought a raspberry peach snapple for like $4. but it was worth it. i really miss snapple.
..we ran out of dishes so i resorted to tupperware.
scones with chopsticks. that's classic.

this is steve looking fancy because he had a demo in his class today. it was kind of unfortunate timing for him because we havent had class 2 of the last 4 weeks, once for a typhoon day and once for 10/10 holidays, so we were all kind of off our game. some co teachers will try to catch up by teaching a lesson you're supposed to teach, but some don't, so you never really know what's going to happen when you show up for class.
i'm going to read under the tuscan sun for a bit before bed. it's nothing like the movie, of course, but the book is really good. lots of details. it makes me want to refurbish an old house in italy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

breaking news

matt was an extra in a movie this weekend. they cut his hair and he wore a costume

Sunday, October 19, 2008

it's drivin' me out of my mind

another early morning, but it was worth it today. i woke up to listen to UT crush mizzou at 8 this morning and then i went to this swimming center with bobo, her husband jack and jaime and joyce. it was a lap pool on one side and then an asian-tastic water massage extravaganza on the other side. there were probably 10 different little centers where you could push a button and bubbles would come up from the bottom or the side of the pool and massage your feet or back. there was one that was shaped like a chair and you could lie back and bubbles came up under you. one was a big metal arch and water poured out in jets and massaged your shoulders and arms. it was pretty cool.
bobo is pretty big on exposing her foreigners to taiwanese cultural things. she took me in the steam room and we sweat together for a while :P i've never been in a steam room. it must have been a million % humidity in there. man.

after swimming, i went to a japanese restaurant with them, where i had really yummy pork and vegetable soup with noodles, and then we went to get green tea to cut the oil from lunch. the tea place was right down the street from the dorm, but i've never been because i don't know any tea vocabulary. but now i can say lemon green tea with honey, so i'm all set.

then i headed to latini for chinese but it was really busy. for a while i got to sit in the secret place under the stairs:

it's like a little corner behind the fridge and behind the shelf with the silverware on it, so people would go to get an extra napkin or something and see me in the secret hiding place. i really like sitting in there.

i brought over some toast to eat while i was in the secret corner.

linda and i went over numbers today. it makes a lot more sense the second time around. i was really confused earlier this week, but i think i'm good now.
the best part about chinese today was that linda brought her wedding album. people in taiwan take these really fantastic wedding photos with rented costumes and weird poses and things, and i've been bugging dan to bring it for a while. i didn't realize how big it would be though. the thing was easily a foot and a half by 2 feet. it came with it's own carrying case and looked like it weighed 20 lbs.
they both look so young!
this is on my way home tonight, through olympic park

so it was a busy but productive, fun day. i love playing with jaime and joyce. it's interesting to have such a big influence on them. jaime saw me swimming backwards in the pool today and she started trying it out too. then when i was drying my hair and scrunching it up, she tried that out.
and joyce is just so adorable in every way. she knows how to manipulate you like a pro, but she smiles so sweetly that you have no choice but to let her order you around :P

this is the front of the spa next to latinis.

when the lights go down in the city

i downloaded Journey's greatest hits. i've been a music downloading fool lately, actually. MJ, britney spears, michael buble, tim mcgraw, george strait, enchanted soundtrack, across the universe soundtrack, sleepless in seattle soundtrack, john legend, sarah mclaughlan, david gray, amos lee, a perfect circle.

this morning started bright and early. i woke up at 630 and went to jaime's school at 7 to hang out with her for an hour before i had to leave for school. i got to watch her and about 20 other kids practice their drumming circle routine before track day started. it was really cool. they had choreographed cool things to do with their sticks and they walked around the drum and said 'HO!' and things. it was really impressive.
i think she liked my sign. i think it was a little over the top for her, so i didn't push it. she and joyce and i are going to go swimming tomorrow morning. i haven't been in a pool since just before keith left, so i'm excited. i'm sure we'll have a lot of fun.

class was class. i'm happy that my second group of babies is so sweet because the time just flies after my first one is over. vivian was cheating up a storm again this morning. i need to find a new strategy to keep her from peeking.
my third class, the 7th graders who are all 'natural leaders' as jerry says, were funny today. we played a game that involves counting syllables in words and their love of adding extraneous syllables really showed. 'cho-co-lee', 'dog-a' and 'ca-lass-room' were some of my favorites.

steve was going to give me a ride but i had time to kill so i bought an ice cream and walked over to mr. kuo's, but he wasn't there, so it was just me and mrs. chan. it was interesting because he's so loud and friendly that mrs. chan and i have interacted a lot because she's the one who cooks, but we've never really talked. she doesn't speak any english at all either, so it's a little harder for us.
anyway today she fried me up some cabbage and somehow, i successfully told communicated that 'i really like the burnt rice in the bottom of the rice cooker'. she told me what it's called in chinese but i forgot. she also told me that she has 3 kids. 2 of them work at the 7-11 right next to school, so once i was done eating, i went over and found her daughter and told her i really like her mom a lot.

steve and i went to debbie's diner, owned by an american woman, for dinner tonight. i had chicken tacos that were pretty good. i've missed tortillas and refried beans.

met the new guy, mike. he's from ohio. sounds like he graduated from college, couldn't really find a job, did some odd-jobs and then decided to go abroad. it's interesting to hear from someone who was just in america. we were all asking about the general feeling there and random things. there was a pretty big sense that we've all been out of touch for a while.

time for bed. i'm waking up at 630 to listen to the UT game. i hope we beat missouri! we should. cross your fingers.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

better than ice cream

i only have a minute to update before i hit the pillow. i'm waking up super early tomorrow to go see bobo's daughter jaime at her school because it's track and field day. last year she got the gold medal. i have class at 9 so i think i'm going to miss her runnning, so i made a poster for bobo to hold:

it says 'jia yo, jia yo' which means 'go, go!' basically. jai yo on it's own means 'fill it up' as in a gas tank. but if you say it 2 or 3 times in a row, it's like a motivational thing.

there's not much else to say about today. my body has been waking up around 9 without an alarm which is much better than 11. it's nice to be on the internet when i have a lot of bandwidth all to myself, at the very least. when we're all on from 10pm to 1 or 2am, everything is soo sloow.

if you didn't see obama's speech/stand up routine at the Alfred E. Smith memorial dinner, you need to watch it. some of it's kind of forced, but on the whole, it's just really clever and funny.

ways that taiwan kicks america's butt:
-it's illegal not to recycle. you have to separate your trash into garbage, recyclables, and compost. 3 different trucks come along and collect them every day
-there are tons and tons of fresh juice and drink stores everywhere you go
-all kids in public schools wear uniforms to school and then they literally wear 2 or 3 other outfits the rest of the time. i have kids who have worn the exact same outfit to my class for the last 4 months and it's so much less wasteful than having a million outfits
-in the morning, the main street turns into a giant market. fish flapping around, fresh vegetables and fruit are everywhere and then it all shuts down around 11 and the street turns back into little shops until the next morning

Friday, October 17, 2008

i hear in my mind, all of this music
2 months! shady grove, here i come.
roasted vegetable chili. roasted chiles, sweet corn, fresh veggies and beans topped with cheese, onions and jalapenos. i get it without onions and jalapenos and it is soooo delicioussss. they serve it with a hot, slightly sweet flour tortilla underneath. i could die.

thomas asked me where he could find frito pie and it got me thinking about places to eat in austin. tonight, my class had a pizza party because 3 kids each got one of their friends to enroll, so we got a reward. the pizza was like chinese food on top of a pizza. it was bizarre. it was honest-to-goodness beef with broccoli on top of a cheese pizza.
i brought in one of the books spanky sent me and i had to explain what a radish was. i also demonstrated wheelbarrow racing. they thought that was kind of crazy.

the big news at the dorm is that we're getting 3 new people in the next week or two. mike, .. now i cant remember the other names.. chris and danielle. mike is supposed to be here tomorrow and the other 2 in the next 2 weeks. even though for practical reasons, more people in here isn't a good thing, i'm still excited. who cares if there's less fridge space and we need to buy toilet paper more often.

if you haven't watched the video i just posted, go watch it. the design of it alone is inspiring, but the message is even better. i donated $12 to help 2 girls in bangledash.

and! UT is ranked first in the nation in college football right now. last time i was out of the country for an extended period of time, we won the rose bowl.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

starts with a girl

found this on one of my favorite blogs tonight and thought i'd spread the word. watch the video, it's awesome.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

not to pull your halo down

oh man, a week away from chinese really throws a wrench in the learning process. jerry and i were pretty behind today. we're learning dollars and cents, how to ask for change, and how to write big numbers. it's too bad it's so useful in everyday life or i could just gloss over it.

the hospital was funny today. we got through all of the planned material and had some time left over so they asked if i wanted to know anything about taiwan or if i had any questions about chinese, so i got out my homework books and they helped me with some of my characters. it's funny when someone who isn't in elementary school is learning something new because it seems like they should be better since they're older, but in reality, i'm an elementary student when it comes to characters. they were all laughing at my practice so far, but it's only been 2 months, so i didn't feel bad.

i've been going to keith's juice lady who opened a new store on my way to the bus stop home. he always used to give her the wrapper from his straw as there's a lack of public trash cans throughout taiwan, and i've continued the tradition. yesterday i had a pine-orange-banana smoothie and today was strawberry banana. she speaks english and she's a friendly face after a long day.

mom surprised gram by flying to new hampshire for her birthday. we got her 80 bulbs for her birthday and mom's going to plant them and hang out with spanky so gram can run errands this week. i'm jealous that she gets to visit.

that's the news for today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

happy birthday gram!

gram is 80 today, holy moly. thank goodness she broke her hip when i was 10 so i would have a good reason to fly out and spend some quality time in new hampshire. i've visited nearly every summer since then, and now gram and spanky have become some of my best friends. gram and i are always getting into giggle fits on the phone over various things and i call for recipes and i get the sewing group gossip. it's fun. i love my grandparents.

today was a lot of fun. it was good to be back at school. my first class is opening up to me a little more now and we played some fun games.
my second class is loud and fun. i hid this kid, kevin 2's, flip flop in my back pocket for a while, and kevin 1 drew a lot of attention to it, and i turned bright red and everyone was commenting on my blushing. it was pretty embarrassing but that class and i are pretty close. they can be a little unruly, but it's because we're having fun which is ok with me.

here are some more pictures from matzu. i'm going to go watch grey's anatomy, do some chinese homework and go to bed.
me pointing to where we were located at the time
me, josh, leila, dawn and alex


bruce took some pictures of latini's (and the coffee shop next door.. only the dog, really)
if you want to check it out :)

i went there for lunch and dan made me some kind of noodle and salad dish. it was pretty tasty and not on the menu. i am so fancy.

'cause money can't buy me love

we made it back from matzu all in one piece.
this morning i tried to get on the earlier plane, but there was a 30-person long waiting list and i was #30, so i had to wait until 7. we tried the famous 'matzu bagel' today which is sort of like a bagel, with various fillings. this man made them for us with egg, onion and hot dogs scrambled together and served on a bagel thing. it wasn't very delicious.

then in the afternoon, leila, meghan, josh and i hiked to the top of the tallest mountain and took the road back down, which took the better part of the day to accomplish. i think i'm done hiking for the rest of my life. i just wasn't made for climbing up steep hills. but i'm glad we did it.

once we got into taipei, we ate dinner at the train station because it has a reallly good cafeteria upstairs. i had hummus, falafel and pita bread. sooo tasty. i was so happy to get out of matzu and back into civilization. and then we all went for coldstone before we caught the bus home. it was a good evening as far as food went. the specialties in matzu were the bagels, fish noodles, and this rice they make with the dregs of red wine, which is this red, pulpy stuff. it tastes kind of vinegary and weird. not my favorite.

here's the link on facebook if you'd like to see pictures with commentary. i'll add some in to my blogs from the last few days, too. glad to be back!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

matzu day 3

i guess since i bought an hour of internet time, i might as well write today's blog while i still remember what we did. it's always kind of lame to write it a few days later.

this morning, we woke up bright and early to catch the ferry to the biggest island, nangan. it was much bigger but everyone else says they like ours better. i liked nangan though. it would remind you of the san diego zoo or wild animal park. it was really green and lush, with random manicured flower beds along the roads. there's a vine or tree that has flowers that look like purple morning glories that's really pretty everywhere along the road.
we spent most of the morning bouncing around from place to place, looking for somewhere to eat breakfast. we finally settled at 7-11 after we weren't really able to find anything in town.

the funniest part of the day was finding a store that sold military uniforms and all of the accoutrements. these islands are dominated by the taiwanese military, and to walk in to a little store and buy their uniform was pretty funny. most of us bought a little hat that has the sun from the taiwanese flag on it, and the soldiers were saluting us and stuff. i asked one in chinese if he liked my hat and he said yes, it was very beautiful (in english). i'm not much of a hat girl, but it was fun to wear it for the day. josh bought a full uniform. hat, pants and jacket. he's going to wear it for halloween.

other than that, we checked out some of the tunnels along the sea where they used to keep ammunition and ships and keep watch. we watched an informational video at the tourism office.dawn in the temple to matzu. this guy was making funny hand gestures.

that's about it. lazy day! ..headed home tomorrow.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

matzu update

hey friends, fam and keith :)
i found the internet on matzu. i'm only checking email quickly and then getting back to the whole 'remote, semi-deserted island' thing, but i wanted to give you a heads up that i was wrong, and i really get back monday night. i'm going to try to switch my flight to monday morning to go back on dawn and alex's plane, but in any case, it'll be monday. just didn't want you to think i fell off a cliff or something.

the island is very quiet, to put it nicely. i think the total population is 9,000 people, but our island is one of 5, and it's the 2nd biggest, so we probably have 3 or 4k. anyway, it's very small. there's a main street and a side street. our hotel is literally across the street from the 'airport' and in our day and a half here, we've completely exhausted this island. we're taking a ferry tomorrow to the bigger island.
memorable moments so far..
-yesterday alex and josh were on a scooter, alex pointed to something off in the distance and josh, who was driving, quit paying attention and drove into some brush on the side of the road. they were fine, but it was pretty funny.
-we ate waffles on this beautiful terrace overlooking the ocean today and a bride and groom showed up for a photo shoot. her dress was so pretty, i wish i had the nerve to sneak a picture.
this is the little village thing where we had waffles
-we drove to the highest (or one of the) highest points on the island today and it was ridiculously windy. there was a military outpost up there and out of nowhere, we see 3 soldiers pulling this live goat on a rope. we tried to ask what they were doing with it, but we couldn't understand what they were saying to us.

i guess that's the beginning and end of the memorable moments so far.
i've taken 142 pictures so you can look forward to those.
talk to you monday unless i break down and get online again in the next 2 days, which will probably happen.