Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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All Good Things

April 14, 2008

You have reached the end of the Taiwan blog.

I miss Taiwan. I’ve been back for a month now and have adjusted to cold weather, quiet nights, understanding what people say to me, and seeing real trees. I can drive a car and only occasionally wonder why I can’t make a left turn from the far right lane at a red light. But I do miss Taiwan.

I don’t think there will be another blog for a while. Clearly I’m not that talented at remembering to write in one anyway. For anyone interested in what life after Taiwan holds for me, I can tell you that I will be working at the Merry Go Round Playhouse in upstate New York for the summer. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

So that’s all, folks. Thanks for reading!

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I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

March 18, 2008

As of Thursday night, I’m back in Minnesota. Predictably, I am way behind with the blogging. So I will be putting an end to this Taiwan blog shortly, but I have two last things I want to write about as soon as I get my pictures uploaded: a short weekend trip to Kenting, and a longer trip to Cambodia with my dad.

It’s sort of nice to be back, but it’s so strange. So many tall white people who can understand everything I say. So few cars. It’s quiet here, and impossibly dark at night.

So stay tuned, I promise I’ll get around to those last few blog entries after I’m finished with my usual procrastination routine.

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The ups and downs of Yangmingshan

September 23, 2007

A few weeks ago I went on a hike in Yangmingshan National Park. It’s a beautiful place and at points we were literally walking in the clouds. Here’s a basic summary of the hike:

We went up…

And down…

And up…

And down….

Up!!!

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Happy Anniversary to Me

September 1, 2007

As of today I’ve been in Taiwan for one year. I’m not at all sure if the time has flown by or if I feel like I’ve been here forever and ever and ever.

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They’re Everywhere!

August 30, 2007

Yesterday one of my students told me that her mom sees me at the gym everyday. I’ve never met her mom, but it was a reminder of how often I’m being observed without my knowledge.

Over and over I discover that people I see all the time are my students’ parents. I’ve never had a parent tell me themselves. They don’t speak English or aren’t confident about English or just don’t want to talk to foreigners, or something. But gradually, from students or third parties, I learn: The beef noodle vendor is Lucy’s mom, the owners of the pasta place are Alice’s parents, one of my older students (still not sure which one) is my neighbor’s friend’s son. I must have around 200 students, all of whom live right in this area. That’s a lot of parents. They are everywhere, and they are watching. I’ve never met most of them but you can bet they know who I am. The really tall white girl, I doubt further description is needed. In general, people here are overly curious about everything I do, and to some extent I always feel like I’m under the microscope, but it’s just that much more disconcerting when I think they might be parents.

I had a discussion with a coworker about this yesterday and she pointed out how often parents see us at our worst and we don’t even know it. Make a stupid language mistake at the 7/11…a parent is watching, nearly crash the scooter… a parent is watching, walk home drunk at 4 AM… a parent is watching, get impatient and glare at the person who is giggling and pointing at the foreigner… well that person probably IS a parent. As if I wasn’t paranoid enough what with the staring and pointing and talking about me in Chinese while I’m standing right there, I also have to worry about parents! They are everywhere…. watching us…

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Not a Real Post

December 24, 2006

My dad and brother are here and I keep trying to find a moment to write an entry about everything we’ve been up to.  We’re off to Hualien tomorrow, though, and I still haven’t found that moment so I guess I’ll just have to do a massive post when we get back.  For now, you can always check out my pictures.

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Earthquake!

October 13, 2006

There was an earthquake in Taiwan last night.  Apparently it measured 5.9 on the Richter scale in parts of Taiwan, but was only about a 2 in Taipei.  Just a gentle swaying here in my 3rd floor apartment.  Still, it was definitely a new experience for me!