Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back in High School Again....

Halloo everybody! Sorry I'm behind with my blog. I just started a new intensive Chinese class after work so I'm completely booked 3 days a week. And I have a feeling, I'll be busy studying the rest of the days. This is the first week and already I can see how much work I'll be doing... AND HOW MUCH I'LL BE LEARNING!!! I'm excited!!!!

So here's the dealio: It's the second semester of a reading,writing, speaking, listening course. Which means I'm behind- can't read or write. So I needs to catch up reaaaal bad. Speaking-wise, it's the right fit for me at least. But here's the catch.... I'm taking class with high school students.... 16... 17 year olds. AAAAAAAGH!!!!

But it's all good. They're from all over the world- France (yuppee), Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia... another Latin American country, USA... So it's fun to hear all those languages. And they're young so they got energy and like entertaining everybody. The problem is that they aren't here because they want to be in school. They're not paying for it. So there's the usual problems like talking in class (not in Chinese even!), eating food, or cell phones ringing. I'm the only 2_ year old and working individual. And I can identify with the teacher because I taught older kids for a little while. Sometimes I feel like I'm actually back in high school again with the dynamic of the class. I just hope she doesn't treat me as if I am a teenager. Oh well!

I still miss my Mexican family - especially now that I got a classmate from there! Love you all!


Okay time to take a detour and talk about field trips. Most of you remember going on them when you were a kid, and some of you know what it's like to take classes on field trips. I just want to take the time to tell you what it's like to go on a field trip in Taiwan. First of all- hats off to all teachers, because getting 20 some kids to stay together and walk through a public place is pretty darn difficult AND NERVEWRACKING!!! So thank youuuuuuuu, former teachers, for not losing me or letting stranger grab me. The next thing I wanna say is that people here think it's OKAY to come up to a group of students they don't know and talk and touch them as if they're part of their family. It's downright weird and inappropriate. Other people like to take pictures of our kids- whyyyyy WHY would you want to do that? They're not your kids! And you can find pictures of cute kids online. It's not like it's a rare thing to see a little kid in public. I don't get it. Theeeen, you got the people who like to talk about me (OOOOOH Foreigner! Must be American!!) right in front of me. Yeah, I understand their Chinese- so I tend to freak them out a little bit when I look them in the eye and come into their conversation. There's also the occasional high school class that comes to the same place we're going and they take the opportunity to make fun and speak English to me. (Today I got: "Hey, Sexy") Yup....

But although it sounds like field trips are the worst days - it's actually fun to get the kids out of the school and show them things in real life... even if you have to fend off the rest of the public.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chinese New Year- Visiting the Family!


Chinese New Year's eve you eat a special dinner with your family. Here are some of the dishes A's mom made for us! :)
Unidentifiable meat platter. I know there's stomach in there...
Prawns- yummy but messy!
Vegetables with squid (I didn't eat the squid)
Some kind of ribs- they were the best!!!!
Chicken! (Do you see the head?) They cook the skin here too but somehow it always comes out super rubbery and hard to chew.
The bowl on the left had shark fin soup. Luckily it had no shark in it because I was tricked into eating it. (Killing sharks just for their fins is just as bad as whaling!!!!) And on the right is a special vegetable you only eat at the new year.
Whole fish! :) Yum!

More vegetables!
Yay! Year of the rabbit! (@ the nightmarket)

This is a special kind of dessert. It's like soup with random things inside (beans, tofu). It's actually pretty good!




Here's a temple!



More chicken!

This was a really cool building- ask me about it!





That was the first few days of our week off! It was nice to see A's family. All I kept hearing was "When are you going to get married and have a baby?" WHHHHAAAAT??? Obviously this is a different culture ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Green Oil

Here's a video about the cure-all ointment in Taiwan. To be fair, I've only talked to a couple TW people about it so if my facts are not straight, don't sue me!

........Sorry the video's having problems. Wait till tomorrow, okay?
PS- Found out I actually have 5 bites total ON MY FACE!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

Hey Everybody! Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the rabbit, which just so happens to be my zodiac sign. ;) I'm going to Zhongli for a few days to do some of the traditional family celebration. Then we're going to explore some of the area around Taipei. So glad to get a little break from work! :)

PS- I had some problems with my youtube account and had to take down all my videos. I'll try to get them back up again soon!