What week is this again?

Still feeling equally busy with the training schedule but less pressure now that I passed the tests on what I've been doing. Now I get to learn more administrative stuff and practice everything else. I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable with everything and am getting excited to open our store. Working in the front I get stared at because I'm clearly not Asian but I'm used to it. I think i confuse a lot of people because some customers even asked me if I'm Taiwanese after hearing me speak Chinese. Pretty good compliment though!

Weeks 3 & 4: Hmmm okay

I haven't posted in a while because I've been so busy with training and studying for tests. I've moved up from the kitchen and learned how to make drinks for customers and also take orders and work the cash register. I even got to try helping customers in Chinese! It's successful but slow and awkward because the phrases I have to memorize and say are a mouthful. Working in the front is fun and a good brain workout because you have to memorize tiny detailed steps in a specific order, but it's also fast paced and high pressured because customers are waiting for you. Let's just say it's been a large learning curve for me but now I feel like I'm starting to catch up to how fast the actual employees are. Another challenge that adds to my experience and the ideas I have to process is that there actually is not much English support because the store is so busy, and Ive had to learn to read the labels on drinks in Chinese to make them. However, I can tell I'…

Week 2: Hanging in there **Updated with photos

Just finished my second week of training and it's gotten increasingly harder. I moved up from the kitchen to the front making drinks and it's a fast paced environment with even more information to memorize. Sometimes I feel like a bartender or a casino worker with the specific hand movements I have to make to pass the tests. It's also hard to memorize how to make drinks that customers don't order often.
On my day off the other day I went to Danshui, an old port in the north of Taipei where the Dutch used to have a fort and an ancient Canadian missionary named Mackay started a college, hospital, and the first school for girls in Taiwan.

 Here's a statue of Mackay:
I had fun walking around eating traditional snacks and I strayed away from the tourist area to visit a Catholic Church. On the way I saw an old lady sweeping leaves around a small temple and she told me who the gods were inside. I honestly had no idea who they were from their names but I felt such gratit…

Week 1: What did I get myself into?

So Albert and I are going to open a bubble tea franchise in Mid-Michigan and I just finished my first week of training. Surprise! Going into it I felt pretty confident because I got through graduate school with my highest gpa yet. So I felt like I could do anything. That being said, I was a little nervous because of how hard Albert said it would be. Turns out he was right! But before that let me share some photos:
My in-laws taught me how to peel and cut dragon fruit. This is what it looks like after you start peeling it. It reminded me of the eggs in Alien so I had to take a picture with it- face huggers creep me out.
Here's what it looks like after you peel and cut it- It's beet red and the color is really strong. I bet it would stain, but it's incredibly yummy. I always want to have one when I'm back in Taiwan.
Here's a couple of interesting signs. McDonald's here is promoting two new kinds of sandwiches with different colored buns. The black one is made fr…

I have returned!

I am back in Taiwan for two months to do some job training. This was my first time flying by myself on this route, and, surprisingly, it was overall very comfortable this time. (I bet it was because of my new pillow). I slept well for part of the first and longer flight, but going from Tokyo to Japan I felt like my body just crashed and I couldn't get comfortable sleeping no matter how much I tried. This seems to be at trend for me, though. 
Here are the movies I watched on the plane: Justice League: Eh... but it's what I expected Phantom Thread: An unbearable movie about unbearable people and disfunctional relationships. I kept waiting for it to get better but it didn't. Star Wars Last Jedi: Pretty good. I love the porgs! What I didn't get was how some characters could survive exposed to space without some kind of suit. Half Girlfriend: I always gotta watch a bollywood movie on my way to and from Taiwan. I picked this one because I wanted a fluff movie, but I am inter…

An Outsider's Look At America

Well, I'm finally back in America for good. (Although I'm coming back to visit Taiwan at least once a year!) The first few weeks have been a whirlwind of adjusting to the time, car-buying, apartment-finding, and all-around moving in. I don't think it's at all unusual that I feel like an outsider here, having lived abroad for over 5 years and assimilated into their culture and language. It's not a bad feeling, although I'm trying to be prepared for when reverse culture shock kicks in. I just think it's interesting some of the things I've been noticing and feeling, now that I'm back for a longer period of time.

The strangest thing I've felt so far is having to readjust to the language, specifically the pace of it. Of course I had to use English everyday in Taiwan when I was an ESL teacher, but I'm used to talking with non-native speakers, focusing on their accent and correcting mistakes. Over the course of time I've slowed down the pace of…

Guan Zi Ling 關子嶺- Mud Spring Resorts near Tainan

So the last part of our trip in January was to go to the Guan Zi Ling hot springs near Tainan. From Tainan we had to take a train and rent a car to get there. I've been wanting to visit this place for a while because they have mud springs here and it sounded like fun. On the train. We went to the King's Garden Villa Resort. Before entering the hot spring you could put a facial mask on and you could choose from either apple, mung bean, or mud. Of course I went with the mud! Then you could put your feet into a mini spring while your face dried. Also included in this resort are what I can only assume as fat-reducing machines. In the picture below you had to put your feet on the gray thing and it would shake your whole body from side to side. For this one you would wrap the belt behind you and it would shake your midriff. We didn't have enough time to try them out but I think it would've been funny if we had. I don't believe they would help you lose weight- or if they…