Sunday, February 7, 2010

The long, bumpy ride

Hellooo!!

I'm in Taiwan!!!!! Woke up today to a rooster crowing- one's crowing again now, hehe. :sigh of relief: That was a LONG journey. Flew about 10 hours to Tokyo, Japan. We went over Canada, Alaska and some of Russia I think to get there. I don't think I'll ever get used to sleeping in a chair. I am SO grateful I have a bed now. :)

We got to watch four movies: All About Steve, The Informant, The Secret Life of Bees, and one other but I forgot it. I REALLY loved The Secret Life of Bees! I won't tell you why 'cause it'll spoil the whole movie, but it's about African Americans during the civil rights movement and a girl who thinks she's unloved. It's so good I want to read the book.

So, long flight, the landing in Tokyo was horrible. We had turbulence on the way down and I felt so dizzy and uncomfortable. It was like my heart all of the sudden fell down to my stomach and then way up to my head. It would have been much more bearable if we weren't landing at the time. It was fun to be in Japan though! (even though I technically wasn't) I had to go shopping because they have so many cute things there. I really wanted something amigurumi (it's a style of crocheting animals) or a plushie (stuffed animal) but I gladly settled for a cute frog keychain, a wobbly cat figurine (it symbolizes good luck) and a magnet. The cool thing is I could use US dollars and I got change back in yen! :D The toilets were very interesting there- they had extra features- but this is probably not the place to talk about that. Let's just say you could basically take a shower in them. :P Everything was in Japanese and Chinese but there was plenty of English!

Then we took a plane to Taipei, which was another four hours or so. I was so glad when we got on solid ground, and then again when I got in bed. I got to meet Albert's parents, and they were very nice. They speak Taiwanese to Albert but we can speak some Mandarin to each other. It's very strange being around people who don't speak English but it's something I'm sure I'll get used to. The apartment in Jhongli is near a huge school, and there's a night market nearby. It's been raining since we got here so we haven't really gone out. I'm too tired anyway.

So yeah, we're here! There's a lot of Snoopy around the house, which is fun. :) I love the Peanuts! I can't say what I think of Taiwan yet- it's a lot different from what I expected. I thought there would be more green (and warmer), but from what I've seen so far (which isn't much) it seems more like NYC or Chicago. So I'm not making judgments yet. I really want to see some trees and mountains, but I'm sure I will soon enough.

We're going to Taipei tomorrow (which will be Monday in here), and I'll be meeting with schools I've been applying to. I reaaaalllyyy really hope I get a job soon. I have really high hopes about tomorrow but I don't have anything for sure yet. Chances are I will start work after Chinese New Year which is the week of the 13th I believe. Then you have to go through training, so probably the beginning of March is when I'll start, assuming things go well tomorrow.

Oh and the cool thing here is there's a family shrine in the study (where I am now). There's a big black and gold cabinet that opens up and there's a script inside. Then there's a wooden plaque(sp)- I guess that's how you could describe it- with the names of his ancestors inscribed on it. There's also a place to burn incense and a bowl you gong.

So today we're relaxing. Maybe we'll walk around the neighborhood and go see the night market if it's not raining tonight.

Love you all! I'm excited I'm finally abroad!!! :D
10:26am Feb 7

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rachel, We were so glad to hear that you have arrived safely. Grandma and Mimi are here and they say hello too. I can only imagine how exciting it is for you to be experiencing such a great and interesting culture. Good luck with the job. Thanks so much for writing ... we were all a little worried and so relieve to hear from you.

    Love you bunches, Aunt Val

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