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5 countries in two days.


Diverted plane.

A stay at the nicest hotel in Taiwan. Just as an example, they were kind enough to pack a breakfast for me because they knew I was heading to the airport early. How nice is that?!

People keep asking me about the flooding in Taiwan, but I was in transit when the flooding happened. I’ve spoken to my friends in Pingtung and they were not affected by it.

I suppose if I got into poetry I could arrange that into a clever little piece to close out my year, but I don’t! Besides, I’m finding that vestiges of Taiwan appear in my memory constantly. I drive through the streets and wonder where all the people are! I’m relieved to see that people do stop ar red lights and there are no left turns on red. The biggest adjustment? Fitting back into this time zone. I mean, waking up at 5 am to do a blog post is not my style. I’ve come back during the summer sale season and have found bargains instead of high prices. The price of gas has double since I left. WalMart has built a new store within walking distance of my home. My sister tells me of the numerous calls her agency receives from parents who want someone to take their children because they cannot afford to feed them. There is still no bus system in this city to speak of, yet We have a massive new airport about to open and commuter transport lines from Fishers to the city. I’ve heard Chinese in Meiers. Still didn’t understand a word of it, but it took me to a place I’m calling home.

I do plan to come back and post my Top Ten list. If you have any questions related to Taiwan, go ahead and post them and I’ll post your answer here.

WHEN does IPS begin?? LOL


I’m almost home!!!  I’ll leave on Friday and I’ll be home on Friday.  The International dateline thing is corny. but cool!

I am in Taiwan, though.

Michael Buble was in my ear today.

Another airplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home

China was great. No, it wasn’t a tourist destination. It was work; good work that I really enjoyed. Guess I’m just weird like that! When last I saw the students, they were on the way to Beijing in hope of getting their visas to the US, in hopes of convincing the right people that this is a one year, one shot deal and they’ll be returning to China. Some do still need placements in the US, so let me know if you’re interested!

So sorry to say I will leave China with the image of the air nestled strongly in my lungs. It began quite clear because it has been raining, but everyday I was there, the air got dustier and dirtier. I could see, smell and feel the particulates as they traveled my nasal passages. Not a good feeling at all. In China, I felt the newness of being in an unfamiliar place, but I actually found myself smiling about going back to dirty ol’ Taiwan. I don’t know the language, but I can maneuver and I can do a bit of communicating.

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home

Coming home…yeah, I think of Taiwan as home!!…was an interesting trip; an exercise in character development! Did you know there’s a typhoon sitting on the southern shores of Taiwan? Because of the typhoon, I couldn’t land in Kaoshiung (where I left a suitcase!!) and landed in Taoyoun instead. We sat in the plane for an hour because someone thought the typhoon would clear up and we would be able to land. I’m hoping it will clear away tomorrow morning when it’s time to head to the US!

It kinda flustered me that an airline company could do nothing to help me get my suitcase from Kaohsiung to Taipei overnight. But such is where I am. It amazed me that students in China were able to think critically and creatively much more so than those I worked with in Taiwan. Shouldn’t those in a democracy be better prepared to find, analyze, assess and evaluate information? Well, I’ve got great friends taking care of the suitcase for me, so life goes on. Thanks, Fulin and Riz!!!!

And thanks, Evan James for handling that post the other day!

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right

This map shows Taiwan taking its hit on Thursday. Could this be a Typhoon Day??  (NO SCHOOL!)

The weather here has cooled quite a bit, thanks to some unseasonable weather!

Typhoon season in these parts is supposed to be over at the end of September. So, to get something this late, and from the direction it’s coming is quite rare. I can’t speak to the local reaction because I don’t understand the weather forecast or people speaking around me. I do know that no one said anything to us to warn about about impeding danger, but they didn’t say anything when the massive storm came in early October, either. This time, we only got cooler temperatures, grayer skies and a drizzle that has lasted for 2 days. I think there’s another typhoon out there near us, but I’m not sure where.

I’m thinking about some of the little, daily stuff that makes life so different.

  • Students brush their teeth after lunch.
  • Some restaurants do not serve beverages. Those that do, usually bring drinks when the meal is done.
  • Fruit can only be purchased when it is in season. A wide variety of fruit grows on the island, so little is imported. Fruits are typically purchased from street vendors. Most of the grocery stores we’ve gone to sell few meats and vegetables.
  • Little beef is eaten here. I think they have ox that are work animals, few cows to provide meat. Pork and chicken are the meats of choice.
  • There are a lot of stray dogs here. A LOT.
  • There is a train system that can be used to travel most of the island. A high speed train system has recently been built and travel from north, almost to the southern time takes under 2 hours. There is no high speed on the east coast.
  • In Taiwan, the current year is 96. The calendar here begins when Taiwan received its controversial independence.
  • Taiwan recycles! Trash is always seperated. Food, plastics, paper, other. Food goes to the pigs!
  • The official language here is Traditional Mandarin, as opposed to simplified Mandarin spoken in Mainland China. There is also a Taiwanese language and it is found here in the southern part of the country.

The sky has been overcast for days and the heavy layer of clouds has really caused it to be quite humid.  This morning when I first woke, I was able once again to see the mountains, however, clouds (pollution?) quickly gathered and hid the view once again.  The humidity is milder, due to a thinner layering of clouds.  I suppose the clouds have lingered from a nearby tropical storm system. There is another storm system that looks like it will hit the northern part of the island.  During the last typhoon that hit the north, we were affected with heavy winds.  I don’t know what to expect this time.

This is a somewhat shortened day.  It’s Wednedsay.  Students are out of uniform and only here until noon.  Then, its staff meetings until 4:30 pm.  While I am excused from most of them due to a general inability to understand anything on my part, I am expected to stay and work on lesson plans.  Not too much to expect! 

Not sure what we’ll do for dinner this evening.  We still have a lot of cleaning to do to the kitchen before we’re comfortable using it.

Which reminds me… we were in a local store (NOT a 7-11) which is somewhat like a grocery store and we were looking for something to kill crawling pests.  We found this box. 


We didn’t know if we should buy it just in case, or if perhaps something was missing in our limited translaiton.

We have found one restaurant we particularly enjoy.  One of the people there speaks English and we’ve become familiar enough with the menu to be able to order.  They have delicious chicken rolls which are made of diced chicken, cilantro, mayannaise and lettuce rolled inside a fried wrapper.  There is also a delicious chicken dish which I cannot describe, a fried flat bread and hot pot.

Pingtung has steamed buns which can be filled with a variety of meats and or vegetables, but they’re very soggy-soft and a bit sweet.  Vendors on the street have been good for fried chicken wings, fried potatoes, grilled fish, grilled mushrooms and some other fatty type meat that is also grilled.  Kris had hoped she found a nice fried fish when I bought the wings.  She was curious about the shape, but the inside did kinda look like fish.  Well, we’re pretty sure it was octupus. She didn’t care for it because it is very chewy!

Do you notice I’m mentioning a lot of fried foods and few fruits and veggies?  I really hope Dr. Karimi isn’t reading this!!

I am going to a nearby fruit stand to get some pomelo and maybe bananas.  Pomelo is like a dry, less tart grapefruit.  We’re staying away from fruits like grapes and apples with thin skin.  Although we’d been told we can drink the water here, we cannot.  I don’t think locals who can afford not to will drink the water here. 

I got my ARC card this past week (like a yellow card) so, we’re getting Internet tonight.  This weekend, we’ll be traveling somewhere to celebrate the 5-0!!

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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July 2018
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