Finally…What THINGS People Do Do Here

6 Jul

Here are some tidbits about what kinds of things people do here since my blog name promises such information:

The Chinese teachers deal with so much of what needs to be done at the school that it doesn’t even feel like I teach 3 year olds. And they are very sneaky about the duties they perform; you often don’t even see them do them. Speaking of duties, I literally have not smelled or seen one single bit of poo. Not one bit. How is that even possible? Most of my students are using the toilet now, but even then, don’t they sometimes have trouble wiping or have an accident or wouldn’t I at least see it in the toilet? The bathroom area is not private by the way. There is no door to the 6 toilet area, and adjacent is a waterfall wall that automatically turns on when a male enters, stands on a ledge and pees on the wall. I know my Chinese teacher changes the diapers, but I am never involved in the details. I even try to catch the kids with a poopy diaper. Sometimes they are saying something in Chinese and pointing downward at themselves, and I’m like, “Did you go poop?”, but it never turns out to be the case. Do they poop here? Look into that and get back to me.

EVERY SINGLE able-bodied Taiwanese male has to be in the army for a year! They either go right when they are 18 or, if they attend college after high school, they go when they exit college. If they choose to get a masters degree, they go after the masters. If the get a PhD, they go after they earn their doctorate. CRAZZZZYYYYY difference from the U.S.!! Don’t you think? I met this guy who has recently just gotten out of the army. He did get weekends off, but he has to sleep at the base every night! And, the schedule was regimented just as you’d expect for the army! It seems to make sense to me, but it is also just so different that my first reaction is, “That sucks!” I asked if he was glad when it was over, and he said, “Yeah! Really glad.”

The Chinese teacher Sara and my current Chinese teacher, Valerie (code name), want to take me to this place… I cannot hardly understand what they are saying much less repeat it to you, but it is north of Taipei and it involves mountains and sea. It is beautiful and away from the pollution, and there might be some something else cool about it, but I can’t remember. Point is, I love how they are so welcoming, and how they want to hang out with me!!! They are stylish and sweet. Both of them are a bit younger than me, but not much. They have already graduated from college. I’m so excited to hang out with them more.

I found a great store that has the type of jewelry I like. My friend Delia told me the items they sell there are Thai. I love many of the bracelets!! I will take some photos of the ones I purchased and post them on here. And don’t be surprised if something similar arrives in your mailbox one day. So, if you think they are ugly, speak now or forever wear the bracelet. I can see you; WordPress is very advanced.

I have been told by Tabitha and Delia that Taiwan does not have tampons. They all use pads. My friends eventually discovered the O.B. tampons, the non-applicator kind which I actually prefer and have stocked up on before I came here, but as far as the popular kind back home, nilch.

Carrie bought a bike! She needs to get the ratio of the two circle parts (where the chain goes) to be higher. In other words, she needs to make one of those circle parts smaller so she can ride faster, BUT her bike, because it is made here, does not have changeable parts, so she’d have to replace the whole wheel. The guy who sold it to her said it is not smart to put that amount of money into the bike, though. She is hoping some kind stranger, or her mom, will help her get her old bike shipped here. She likes this bike, but she has trouble keeping up with the scooters because it can’t go very fast unless she changes the circle part. (Could someone please tell me the actual name? I would google it and find out, but I don’t want to.) Keeping up with the big kids is not only just Carrie’s instinct and how she always rides, but it is also a safer way to ride here. The scooters are kind of in charge of the road in a sense. More on this later.

Oh, and concering people like me, here is the low down on what they do:

They do not have any more back muscle problems because they are no longer stressed out.

Their face is clear of big pimples as well due to the reduction in stress. Dela says “Just wait, the pollution will make you break out”. So, we’ll see.

Their skin and hair is very happy with the humid air. I don’t even have to use shaving cream when I shave my legs. It’s just simply not necessary.

They love their job so much that they walk around smiling, picking students up and throwing them into the air, rubbing their backs, and praising them and giving them stickers when they have done something well.

They walk around the city during their two hour break, discovering hidden coffee shops with free Wi-Fi and a cute/sweet wait staff, running really difficult errands like walking three blocks to the day market to find passion fruit and a walletish purse thing :), trying different ice creams, reading, writing, meeting friends for lunch.

They sweat and smell weird smells.

They go out to the Taiwan Beer Factory restaurant and have great conversations and eat good food with their good friends Kay and Hsiaochen. Carrie has started to give English lessons to Hsiaochen’s husband by the way. And they are giving us some rugs, and we are going to babysit Hsiaochen’s cute baby boy. Yippee!

They can’t wait to have their 5 friends over to their apartment and make drinks in their itty bitty blender.

They go to another one of those nightclubs where it’s all you can drink… okay, I’m going to have to elaborate on this one and stop referring to myself in the third person:

Tabitha got us into this one for free (saved me $800! /24 USD). The drink menu was fancier here, and the whole place was classier. The music was a little better, but it was definitely rap/popish. Anyway, I drank all I wanted of “Yellow Love” and tall glass of “Sex on the Beach”, etc. I always wondered if that was good; it is. The reason she got us in for free is because her friend, Greg, was the MC that night. He was very nice, and kept calling out to us on the microphone. Well, he was calling out to Tabitha, referring to her by her MC nickname (MC Tabinyacky…not the correct spelling but it is a style of food), but I always threw my hands up and yelled too. The excitement can really get to you. In case anyone is wondering, I have managed to drink only in moderation the whole time I’ve been here. Depending on how you define moderation. But I have been very composed and healthy.

Anyway, I had a really great time with Tabitha and her friend Daniel (or whatever “D” code name I gave him in my other post). Carrie had a great time, too. Even though towards the end these Taiwanese girls who may or may not have been lesbian, sort of kidnapped her and kept her hostage. She said she really couldn’t get away without it being awkward; they always were holding her arm or dancing in a circle around her. One of them texted her yesterday, saying, “It was really nice to meet you, do you want to go dating sometime like get coffee or go shopping?” We are unsure whether or not this girl understands the true meaning of “dating” versus “a date” (like platonically with a friend). Carrie didn’t text back. Yet…

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2 Responses to “Finally…What THINGS People Do Do Here”

  1. Jill July 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    I love reading about your adventures! Please keep writing! It’s so different over there, and it seems like such a great new cultural experience! I am saving my money to come visit you! How long do you think you’ll be there!? When do you think you’ll come back to visit!? My good friend moved to London and I planned to visit but never did, then she moved back and I always regretted it so I really am planning on visiting!! Glad you are doing well!

  2. Jacque Burgin July 9, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    Emily – yeah, I found you!! Love the blog. What an adventure you are having!! Love it!!! Stay safe and keep up the blog. It all sounds very interesting being immersed into the culture, the city vig, the children at school. Some of you topics are quite amusing – i.e. the potty thing!! Cracked me up!! I’m looking forward to more – love ya kiddo!! Jacque Burgin

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