Friday, the foreign teachers headed north for a meeting with the MOE (Ministry of Education). It was a much anticipated meeting because we didn’t know that we’d get a chance to see each other again before leaving! It didn’t seem right not having Eugene and Kristen here since they started this with us, but I’m sure they were with us in spirit!

Most of us took the opportunity to have one last fling in Taipei and for some of us, this meant an evening of jazz and delicious Italian food at Capones, a shopping trip to 101 and New York, night markets, movies, a visit to the National Taiwan Democracy Hall Memorial (AKA Chiang Kai Shek Memorial) and other enjoyable stops along the way, like Cold Stone Creamery, Macaroni Grill and Barista Coffee.

Sounds more and more like we’re ready to be at home, huh?

The weather up there is quite a bit different from here. The rains have almost always been up there. It is hot and very, very humid! It rains just about every evening in Taipei now. Pingtung had rain 3 or 4 evenings last week and it was always in the evening. Typically, it clouds up in the evening here and looks like it’s going to rain, but it doesn’t. The rain passes us over, making this a very hot part of the country. It’s interesting because the same weather patterns that keep the rain away from here also trap in the pollution from this region making us about the most heavily polluted part of the country.

While we were in Taipei walking the streets trying to find NY Bagel, Carolyn wanted to stop and take a photo of the Statue of Liberty look alike. A lady walked up to me and asked me where I was from. I am quite often asked that question when I go to visit other cities and given that I live here in Pingtung, I tell them that I’m from Pingtung. That’s my home for now and that’s where I live! Yea, if you know me you think I’m being my typical smart azz self, but I don’t think so. I’m not a tourist and I don’t want to give that impression! If they continue to ask what country I’m from, I will tell them I’m an American. Obviously they know I’m not Taiwanese, but there are folks here from all over the world! Someone who is a white westerner could be from North America, Europe, Australia. A black person could be from North or South America, Canada, Africa and Asians could be from Vietnam, America, Philippines, Thailand, China….anywhere! and if you don’t ask you won’t know!