Showing posts from 2018

Playing around Beitou

Howdy y'all! Today I got up late- ugh can't seem to get my body clock back to normal, but I went to Beitou! It's famous for being a hot spring area, and is influenced from Japanese culture from back when they colonized the island. Although it's way too hot for me to want to go to a hot spring I did some sightseeing and soaked my feet in a public spa. First of all here is the super stylish MRT station:

Right across from the station is the old train station. It's been restored obviously but it has the same Japanese architecture from before. I like all the wood!

I trekked over to a nearby park to try the foot soaking hotspring. I was excited because I remembered how good they were when Albert and I went to Guan zi ling (spelling?) and they had different essential oils/ Chinese medicine inside the water. Well... this time wasn't as good but it was interesting! I was probably the only one there under 50 and definitely the only non-Taiwanese. Most people just sat th…

Breaking the Silence

Well!...I'm done with training! That's basically what's kept me from this blog for the past few weeks. It's been pretty rigorous and I pretty much had only enough energy to eat and sleep between working. Now that that's done I can fill you in on some shenanigans that went on and on one of my day trips outside of the city on a day off.
First- I discovered a pack of semi-wild dogs living inside a park at the MRT station next to mine. They basically sit under this large tree in between the roots and I think of them as guardians of the park, watching over the children and people playing there. Some are friendly but most want to be left alone. I've been really careful around them because of my experiences with Ronan, but I made a soft whistle at them when they walked by and one or two came over and asked to be petted. A large typhoon just came through northern Taiwan and I was worried about them. I don't think anyone takes care of them, but they must get enough…

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…