TaiwanTara's Blog

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scooter crash update… and a little irony October 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taiwantara @ 12:25 am

 Here are some pics of my bruises, lol, I know that’s exactly what you’ve been dying to see right?

 As well as some pictures of the scooter I just bought!!… see the irony now??  =D

It’s old, and hunter green, but it was cheap and it’ll get me from point A to point B…and it’s mine!!

 

Exploring Hualien October 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taiwantara @ 12:14 am

We’ve been here for about two and a half months now and are still finding new and beautiful places to explore!  Hualien really is incredible and I’m so glad I was placed here =)  Yesterday we took advantage of the movie theater’s October discount and saw Surrogates.  It was decent…I don’t really have much to say about that.  Then we met up with Jacque and Linda in the city.  We found some new stores that were really cool and a Mexican restaurant!  You have no idea how excited I was to have sour cream lol!  We also met some new people around the city.  We met a guy from Africa who has lived here off and on for 15 years and his 2 little boys.  They were half African half Taiwanese with long dreads and BEAUTIFUL faces!  Absolutely the most adorable children I’ve ever seen.  He had a friend with him who was Canadian and they said there is a big group of foreigners who all hang out together on Friday nights at this bar in town.  So we’re excited to check out this bar sometime and hang out with other foreigners living in Hualien!  We also met this really siiiick break dancer.  We saw this battle going on and he was by far the best one.  Then we ran into him later on and started talking to him.  I told him I video taped some of it and asked if he cared if I put it on youtube.  Not only did he not care, he said I could video tape some more sometime, put it on youtube, and let him know what people have to say.  ALSO, he dances at a studio and I’m going to go with him on Thursday to check out the studio and maybe start taking some hip hop classes!  I’m super excited about that =)

Today, we met Jacque and Linda in the city again and Linda had some work to do but said we could borrow her scooter.  So today was the first day, ever, that I got to drive a scooter…aaaaaannndd it was the first day I crashed a scooter =-o   oops!  It’s very difficult to explain how it happened but i ended up inside the cement hole still straddling the scooter with it on it’s side on top of me.  Some old guy walking by helped me get the scooter out along with some family walking by that gathered round.  I was mortified!  It did a fairly decent number on my legs and I have some swelling and bruising.  I’m fairly certain I’m going to be in a lot more pain in the morning.  As much as my super sweet boyfriend would like for that to be my last time driving a scooter, I’m still looking to buy a used one.  Especially after driving one today, aside from the wreck, I really loved the independence and being able to get around on my own.  Cassandra and I only get to go somewhere new if someone else finds it and takes us there.  I won’t be able to stand that for another 7 months.  BUT, I have learned that I cannot handle a 125cc, it is just too heavy for me.  I’ll have to get a 90cc and I will drive SUPER slow and stick to places I know for a long time.

So aside from the small incident, we had a fun day today too.  We found this adorable cottage/museum place that I loved!  I can’t wait to see what else they have there in the next few months.  We also went to a great beach location and I got to hear what has become my all time favorite sound in the world, the rocks clinking over each other after the tide comes in and then goes back out.  It is the best sound I’ve ever heard.  I want a CD of that sound.  Now it’s way past my bedtime because it’s back to school tomorrow to teach all about Halloween!!

 

AND….it’s still raining! October 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taiwantara @ 8:59 pm

This rain, geesh!  It did not end up stopping in time for me to go shopping for our guests friday night (Karin, Staycie, and Avrum came to visit from Taipei) so I rode my bike in the rain to the grocery store, not fun.  However, we did have a fun weekend despite the rain.  As I’ve said many times before to people, the teachers at Nanhua are incredible and one of them let me borrow her car this weekend.  I got her car Friday night to pick our friends up from the train station.  They didn’t get in until 9:30 that night so it gave Cassandra and I plenty of time to prepare and insane amount of food ( I really really love having a kitchen). 

We ate and just visited Friday night, then got up Saturday morning to go into the mountains and to Liyu Lake.  Unfortunately it was raining, so they didn’t get to see the full beauty of the mountains.  We were going to go to the Cultural Center for more festival activities for stone sculpture month, BUT, the rain prevented us from doing that.  Instead we went into the city for dinner at this great Japanese restaurant, some people got massages and some of us shopped around, then we went to a couple bars.  We tried to go to Crazy Bar, which we saw across the street from our restaurant, and we were starting to think there weren’t any bars in Hualien.  However, it wasn’t open yet so we went next door to another “bar” to have some Taiwan beer and wait.  We were the only people in there but naturally, they had karaoke so we had a blast singing American music from the 80’s and 90’s.  After A LOT of singing, we walked over to crazy bar and low and behold, Hualien City actually has a dance club!  Who knew?!?  (Well, apparently Karin knew the whole time haha)  Shortly after walking in we found out it cost 180NT each to stay there, i guess kinda like a cover charge, so we didn’t end up staying.  But you better believe we’ll be heading back there sometime =)

Sunday we ate a big homemade breakfast (pancakes, eggs, toast, and sausage)  mmmmm!  Then we went to the movies since they’re so cheap for the month of October.  We saw the Ugly Truth and I can’t decide how I feel about Katherine Heigel but it was a funny movie.  After the movie we had to return our pals to the train station and then I spent the rest of the afternoon planning for this week.  I get to start my Halloween unit now, yay!  I’ve found a lot of great stuff and I’m excited to introduce them to a major American holiday =)

 

Earthquake number….I don’t even know October 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taiwantara @ 8:15 pm

I’ve lost track of earthquakes because there were some small ones I felt and then some that my roommate asked if I felt but I didn’t and I’m sure others that we didn’t feel at all.  However, yesterday there was a big’n!  I was actually talking to Chris on Skype about 1:30am when it hit.  I was like “Oh my gosh it’s an earthquake…oh my gosh…oh my gosh….” you get the idea.  My picture frames started falling over and I sat up real fast and just closed my eyes.  I think at one point I was even telling him “make it stop, make it stop….” lol!  I checked online after I woke up and it was a 6.3, yikes!  Even the Taiwanese are starting to get a little concerned about all the big earthquakes going on in Southeast Asia right now.

We’re also having a typhoon right now.  It’s pretty mild as far as wind goes but the rain has been crazy!  It will just not stop.  It really needs to stop in the next day or two because we have some shopping to do for our guests coming to visit this weekend =)

Ok so last weekend was the weekend of 2 major events.  First, Saturday was Moon Festival which is a Holiday in Taiwan on the full moon sometime during the lunar calendar i believe but ended up in October for us.  People just have BBQ’s and give moon cake gifts to each other and eat Pomelos.  Pomelos are a fruit they have here that kind of belongs to the orange/tangerine/grapefruit family but with less color to it.  They peel the pomelo, eat the inside, and then kids wear the pomelo peel as a hat haha.  The other major event is Stone Sculpture month in Hualien County.  Hualien hosts sculptors from various countries for one month.  They give them a tent outside the cultural center with a block of stone.  They have one month to make their sculpture and then Hualien keeps their sculptures to be placed around the outside of the cultural center.

Saturday we went to the movies (yes we saw a movie in English haha) because the theater is only $100 a ticket for the month of October in honor of the stone sculpture month.  Then later that evening there was a huge parade through the city with music, dancing, fireworks and so on so Jacque and I rode her scooter alongside the parade and joined in the fun lol  Then we met up with Cassandra and teachers from her school who were participating in a drum festival.  Apparently they have something going on every night all month for the stone sculptors!  Which means we’ll have some fun stuff to do with out guests next weekend =)