TaiwanTara's Blog

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got my hair washed today…mmmm November 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taiwantara @ 12:21 am

I love getting my hair washed here!  Going to the salon is quite different here than in America.  First they sit you down and massage your neck, upper back, and shoulders.  That alone makes getting a haircut enjoyable.  But then, they not only wash your hair, but massage your scalp for about 10mins.  It’s fantastic…literally, gave me goosebumps.  Then they cut your hair, style it, and you’re all set.  And the best part?  It cost me 300 NT.  That’s under $10.  Incredible.

So I decided since I had just been sitting around all day on a Saturday that I needed to get out and do something.  I hadn’t had my hair trimmed since I first got here in August and remembered LOVING the experience as explained above, so decided I could go to the salon and then hit up the grocery store on the way home.  About 4 blocks into my journey though my scooter was driving kinda funny, like it was on ice or something and the steering kept sliding to the side.  I stopped to check things out even though  I had no clue what i was looking for and everything seemed okay so I thought I’d just try it again to see what happens.  Well, that time it was worse, the bike wouldn’t budge even when I gunned it.  I got off again, and then I saw the busted tire.  I had to call my director Doris, have her call the shop where I bought the scooter, and they came to pick up me and the scooter.  It took like 10 minutes at the most for them to give me a new tire.  While they were changing it I was thinking to myself, “good thing I just decided against the Hong Kong trip in two weeks because this is probably going to cost me some money.”  Well when he was finished I asked how much (in Chinese) and he answered (also in Chinese of course).  It still takes me several seconds to translate and process the numbers in my head and when I got it I thought “hmm, 500, that’s not too bad  I guess.”  I handed a $500 bill and waited to see if he was going to hand me a receipt, but he handed me change instead.  I said thank you and walked away (of course pretending like I wasn’t confused haha).  I realized he had given me 450 back.  It only cost me 50NT to be picked up and taken to the shop and a new tire put on.  That’s like a buck fifty!!  Holy cow!

SO, that turned out to be just a small hiccup in my evening, and after, I got to enjoy my scalp massage and get some groceries.  I decided to write a blog about it even though it’s not that big of a deal because I’ve been horrible about blog updates lately.  I think in the beginning everything was so exciting and new and there was so much to write about and now everything has become fairly normal and routine so I feel like I don’t have anything interesting to share.

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a random assortment of updates November 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taiwantara @ 10:28 pm

Whew I’m finding it hard to keep this updated.  Since my last update I’ve had three extremely busy, but fun weekends.  First we went to Kaohsiung to visit with Deb and her family.  We got to see some really cool sites around the city the night we got in thanks to our super groovy tour guide, Mike.  Saturday we met up with Deb and her family and headed to Fridays for some fantastic American food.  Then we got to go to the “Dream Mall” with its 7 floors, I believe it was, of food and shopping with a ginormous ferris wheel on top.  After the mall we went to get tattoos and piercings =D  Deb and Staycie got tattoos.  Cassandra, Jacqueline, and I weren’t real keen on permanently inking our bodies so Cassandra Jacqueline got their ears pierced and I re-pierced my nose!  Later Saturday night we got to have a girls night out and walk to a little bar near our hostel.  OH, speaking of our hostel, that was my first time staying in one and it was sooo nice.  I’m pretty certain that’s not normal for a hostel but ours was like renting out someone’s apt.  Our night out at the bar was full of fun and laughing, lots of laughing!

Halloween weekend, we went to Taipei.  Cassandra’s aunt had invited us to go to a parade with her on Saturday so we decided to go up for the weekend and visit with our Taipei friends also.  Saturday night we got to dress up and go out for Halloween!  Turns out Halloween is a huge celebration in the city.  I was a hippie because it was cheap and easy to put together with stuff I already had, haha.  We had a great time as always in Taipei.

This weekend there was a marathon in Hualien.  People came from all over the island and even from as far as Kenya to participate in the race.  Our Taipei friends Staycie, Karin, and Monica came as well as Eileen and Eric.  We had an early night Friday night because of the early race time.  Those participating had to leave at 4:30am!  The rest of us were supposed to be on a 7:20am train BUT, true to form,  I overslept =)  I missed the train because my alarm was set for “Mon-Fri” therefore did not go off even though I had set it the night before.  I decided instead of driving over to the train station to find out what time the next train would be, I might as well just make use of my own transportation and ride my scooter.  It was my first long ride on the scooter.  It took about 40 mins to get there and I got to test out driving with a little more speed… I got up to 65 (that’s only about 40 mph lol).  At the race it was really cool to see so many people from all over.  Also, after the race we took our visiting friends on a walk through the gorge to see some of the beauty of Hualien.  We mainly just rested and chatted all afternoon and then went out to entertain ourselves in the city for the evening.  We went to the golden bear (it was our first time even though we live here) which is this huge casino looking place with all kinds of video games.  We played a few games in Chinese and then went to get some dumplings for dinner.  Lastly, we went to crazy bar!  Let me explain that we (and by we I mean Karin, haha jk) have been talking about going to crazy bar ever since the first time the Taipei crew were down in Hualien.  Well I will not give the all the details of the evening but I will say that Crazy Bar definitely lived up to its name in many ways.  It was fun, exciting, embarrassing, mortifying, and hilarious all rolled up into one.  Today we got up and went to Country Mama’s (also a first for us even though we live here) to have some yummy western breakfast before taking the girls to the train station.

Wow, these last few weeks have been exhausting!  I think November is going to be the month to rest and regroup.