let's do the bad news first.
jerry and i went to the tax office this morning and we fill out this big complicated form while this woman with a lazy eye barks directions at us in limited english, and i made the mistake of saying one word in chinese and then she switched to chinese for most of the rest of it. anyway she comes back with one thing for me to sign and a whole bunch of stuff for jerry and she just says 'you, no refund,' to me and then gives jerry all this stuff.
let's backtrack. we're taxed 20% of our income all year and then we file taxes at the end of the year. if you're in the country for at least 183 days of the calendar year, you get it all refunded. if you're not, you don't get any of it back.
i calculated my vacation so i'd be in the country exactly 183 days. what they didn't tell me is that the day you arrive in the country doesn't count. so i was really 181 in the taiwanese government's eyes. so i lost all of that money :(
i think it only amounts to like.. let's see. $606 US. which is less than i would have paid at home, i suppose. but i was/am still a little bummed.
all of my good news is chinese related.
-this morning jerry and i went to chinese and i really retained what we had learned a week ago before vacation. i spoke chinese all day to everyone and it was great. and joyce has no school for 2 weeks while she's on new year's vacation, so she sat in my lap for half the class and just hung out.
-in my first class, i played colors of the wind from pocahontas for them and had them write down the words they recognized. jennifer won with 22.
i never realized how tacky and overdone disney songs could seem if you hadn't seen the movies. my kids cracked up through all of the dramatic parts.
they wanted one more try so i played michael buble's version of 'feelin good' which is easier because he sings the words really clearly and relatively slowly, and jennifer won again, this time with 37.
i couldn't find any working links to that song on youtube, but you should go search for it. that's the best song. they thought all of the really big jazzy band parts were pretty funny.
-in my little kid class, they were learning 'koala, bear, giraffe, tiger, lion and panda' and i said english and they had to say chinese. after that, carol said 'ok megan will say chinese and you say english' and she remembered that i don't speak chinese when she saw the look of horror on my face. so she decided to go with it anyway and whispered the chinese in my ear and then i repeated it.
the thing is that chinese is hard enough at full volume, but it's nearly impossible in a whisper. so at one point i was trying to say 'bear' and ended up with 'comb' [same words, different tones] which sent my class into 3 minutes of unstoppable giggling. it was sooo funny.
-i stopped by the japanese restaurant on the way home. they were closed basically, but they still made me tempura shrimp and mushrooms to go and it was soo good. the chef asked me a bazillion things in chinese but i only caught about half of them.
i asked sara how to say 'full' when i'm at the gas station, and she filled me in. i need to think of a thank you for them staying open late.
we got new people in the dorm tonight. kaylie/caylie? and stephano, who introduced himself as 'steph' the second time around. she has purple hair and he wears skinny jeans. i only talked to them for 2 seconds so we'll see how it goes later in the week.