Friday, July 1, 2011

Taiwan: 003

I love it here. Can I just say that? Actually, I really hated it for most of the first day. It was really fascinating until we got to the school and had to drag 50 pound pieces of luggage up three flights of stairs (my arms are still sore). I was so exhausted and it was only like....I don't know, 11:00 in the morning? So we couldn't go to sleep. They actually told us "No sleep until 9:00 tonight!" So, day one I pretty much wanted to curl up into a ball and cry. I was tired, there wasn't very familiar food, I was thirsty, and hot, and I felt so gross from the long flight and humidity. Being in a foreign place is a lot harder to deal with when you feel like your basic needs are not being met. I kept thinking "I have to be here for six months. I think I would rather die than do that." But after a solid 8 hours of sleep (I was out like a light as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I slept like a rock) I was feeling much more loving towards the world and I have loved Feng Yuan since I woke up yesterday morning.  And I am so grateful that they made us stay up. I didn't go to bed until 10 pm, but I woke up at 6 am and haven't experienced any jetlag. Hallelujah!  The people here are so nice, although some of the things they do can be a little disconcerting, i.e. leaning over the table next to my chair, inches away from my face and staring at me, but they are so willing to help and patient with my lack of ability to communicate with them. I know about 15 phrases in Chinese. Yep, gotta work on that.

Anyway! This morning before training we rode our bikes to morning market. I would have thought that riding a bike here would be...stressful. The streets are packed and nobody really follows traffic laws, but I absolutely love the chaos. There are so many colors and noises and sounds and people to watch and new things to figure out and learn. I am in heaven.

Here are some photos of morning market:

I was walking through the stalls with another teacher and this lady stopped us and handed me a lychee nut (second photo on the left in the front). I tried it and was thinking "okay, maybe I should buy some," so I nodded and said "yao" (want) and she started just loading a ton of them into a plastic bag. I was like "ah! Enough! That's enough!" and playing charades to try and help her understand what I was saying. So, I now have an enormous bag of lychee nuts that I don't have strong feelings of fondness toward. Oh well, it only cost about $1.75 US...I'll eat some of them.

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