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…
A few months ago in Chinese class we learned a little bit about 月下老人, or "the old man of the moonlight." He is worshipped in many temples in Taiwan and I first got to meet him in Tainan I believe.
His legend is as follows:
In the Tang Dynasty a man named Wei Gu found an old man sitting under a tree during a full moon. This man was holding a thick book and a bag full of red strings. Wei Gu asked this man who he was and why he had those objects. Yue Lao (月下老人) said that in his book is the list of all the marriages that have been/are/will be, and the red strings are used to bind soulmates together. Wei Gu didn't believe in Yue Lao's power so Yue Lao pointed out a nanny caring a baby. He said that the baby will be Wei Gu's future wife. Wei Gu didn't like that idea so he ordered his servant to stab the baby to death. Years later Wei Gu ends up marrying the baby, because she wasn't fatally wounded in the attack.
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…