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A while back, my friend Susan asked if I was liking the desserts here.  I though she was referring to the wonderful desserts we had in Saudi and just kinda asking if I was still eating them.  Well, after the third or fifth bean dessert, I got what she was asking!  There was the wondeful little shaved ice place we went to in Taipei that put 4 varieties of sweet beans on ice for dessert.  This was followed by a gelatenous rice dough cookie that was filled with bean paste.  We’ve had moon cookies with beans (that are quite good!) and other such treats.  Desserts here are not as sweet as at home, they’re not eating as often and they are often bean filled. 

 I can’t believe it’s only Sunday because we’ve been so busy!  Friday evening, we heading out on foot to find dinner.  We walked a little further than usual and found some very interested Taiwanese restaurants that at least had pictures of food.  We passed the night market which is where you will find the most.  .  .   interesting  .  .  . delicacies.  There were fruit stands with fresh pomelo, bananas, dragon eyes, HUGE grapes and apples.  We decided to walk to the corner, see what else we could see, then turn around and find a place to eat.  The blocks here are long!  We saw that we were near Carrefour and went we looked up, saw we were near McDonalds!  We ended up in Carrafour ( a huge discount grocery/department store from Europe) and spent hours looking at electronics, housewares, music, school supplies and food!  We ended up walking about 3 hours that night. 

We returned home to find Mr Chay AND HIS ENTIRE FAMILY waiting for us!!  He had tried to call us on our cell phone, but couldn’t reach us.  He began to worry.  We feel so blessed to have a family here!  Mr Chay wanted to let us know that he had made our cab arrangements to get to and from the train station for our trip to Kaoishoung on Saturday.  Mrs. Chay had typed out a list of statements in English and Mandarin so that we could buy tickets, get to the station or catch a cap in Kaoishoung.  They also gave us a Moon Festival present to use when looking at the moon over the holiday weekend:  mooncakes and chocolates!  What a great evening!

Saturday, we took the train to Kaoishoung and met Rose, a teacher from Michigan. We spent the day at the Dream Mall.  This is a HUGE 9 story mall with something for everyone!  We closed the day by eating at TGIFridays and riding the train home. Rose is actually only two train stops away from us in a city I can’t name at this time and we were able to ride the same train home. 

Folks think living overseas takes a lot of bravery and indepence.  It is not for the faint of heart!  Life in other countries is so different from being at home, you really have to be able to adjust to things and realize they are different, not right or wrong.  The Taiwanese lifestyle isn’t backward, or in any way LESS than what ours is.  The first major lesson you learn is that you can’t do it by yourself.  I have found myself relying on other people, asking for help and reaching out more than I ever have before.  I rely on Kris for companionship, for assistance with so many details throughout the day and for insights into my classes that I miss.  We rely on my English speaking colleagues to let us know where to shop or to eat or how to buy a train ticket.  We couldn’t even survive in our own home without them!  They’ve had to tell us NOT to flush toilet paper; to meet the trash truck at 8 pm and the turn off the gas when it is not being used.  We won’t know if there is a typhoon or holiday unless they tell us!  It seems that I stay because I have so much to learn!

Kris is blogging as well.  Her blog is From Chicken Noodle to Rice and Egg Noodle. If you read hers, or read mine, take the time to make a comment!  It would be much easier than following up with an email and it might get a good discussion going!

In August, 2007 I will be leaving Indianapolis with my daughter, Kristen, to live and work in the Republic of China (Taiwan). This will be my fiftieth year on this planet and my first year living in another country. This blog will let you join us on the adventure!
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Taipei

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