Tuesday, June 29, 2004

lions and tiger and TYPHOONS

There is a typhoon on it's way. Is it wrong to pray that it hits so I get Friday off? You can see it's progress at http://www.cwb.gov.tw/V4e/weather/satellite/index_e.htm click on the taiwan option and the loop 12 hours too and you can see it moving, Taipei is at the north end of the island and at the moment it looks as though it will only hit the south.... I'll keep my fingers crossed that it blows north.

Japanese Gecko

Guess what was floor in the staff bathroom at my school today (on the 3rd floor of and office building) a newly hatched Japenese Gecko, the cutest little thing I have ever seen... he dropped his tail as he was terrified but other than that he's adorable and I am hoping that I can keep him alive long enough to get big and healthy. I can't believe that we found him inside...

I'll keep you posted, not to much else going on here... work, work, work and a trip to COSTCO, it was very exciting. Anyway I'll be back soon, it's late and I am tired.


Saturday, June 26, 2004


Okay so we all here about monsoon season or the rainy season in various parts of the world, well I have now experienced it first hand. There have been days where I have seen it just randomly start to rain/pour, but everyday since tuesday at about 2:30 it has started pouring with rain. Rain is not such a bad thing but our students are picked up at 3 and as a result I have spent pick up time in the pouring rain, and I mean pouring. Not fun... hopefully the timing will shift and it will rain a little earlier, it did yesterday and so by pick up time it was just sprinkling, much better.

It's saturday morning and I am off to explore the city on my new bike, yes i bought a bicycle. It's not the nicest one ever but it works and it has these great back brakes that actually stop the wheel by the spokes, thus no slipping breaks in the rain, very cool. Befroe you even ask yes I bought a helemet and yes I'm wearing it, no one here has them or wears them but I do. The traffic is scary and the pedestrains are worse! Anyway I am off, I'll write more later and tell you about my day.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

New Photos

Click on the New Photos title at the top and it will take you to my most recent photo album, the lantern festical in Korea and a few things I have seen since arriving in Taipei.

Not to much to report today, it's a holiday and I went to see the Dragon Boat races. It was amazingly quite there, we saw one race, wandered around a little and then left. It started to pour about 20 minutes after we got back to the subway so we were happy that we left when we did. It is a big event here a and there were lots of teams from all over the world just not to many onlookers today.

I am going to try to head home in between the rain clouds, it's pouring at the moment but it stops and starts so hopefully I'll make it in the next clearing. Enjoy the photos and I'll talk to you all again soon.


PS if you look at my weather pixie she now is wearign a bathing suit and holding an unbrella... quite funny.

Monday, June 21, 2004

So Proud of Myself

Guess what I did last night, I figured out how to add a weather pixie to my blog! So if you scroll down a little and look on the right hand side you will see a lady dressed in the appropriate attire for the weather here, yes that is bathing suit and most days I wish I could wear one! It's hot and humid all the time if and or when it finally cools down she'll change her clothes.

Tomorrow is the dragon boat festival - it's a holiday! I'll tell you all about it after I go. At the moment I off to dinner.


Sunday, June 20, 2004

Cute furry four legged friends

Okay someone needs to be with me at all times when I go shopping in this city otherwise I am going to come home with a four legged friend sometime very soon. On thursday night it was some very sad and hot lop earred bunnies at the night market. Yesterday it was basset hound puppies and today it was beagles... I don't know if I have enough self control not to bring one of these very cute little critters home with me! I have to go back to the night market soon to get something for work and I am dreading all the little friends that I will see desperate for new homes. Poor little puppies and bunnies and kittens and hamsters and even the ferrets I saw today even though they aren't cute and I don't want one.

The fish that I have in my classroom at school just aren't the same, they don't give kisses and aren't happy to see me... except when I feed them. Okay I'm off to the market, if you want to lay bets on when I will come home with a pet feel free, someone will win eventually I'm sure.

Friday, June 18, 2004

just takinga break to catch up

Good morning,

Things here in Taipei are good…It’s Saturday morning and I am spending a lazy few hours catching up on the all the things I haven’t had time to get to because this new job is keeping me on my toes! So I have been uploading photos to make a new photo album (look for it soon) and tidying up my apartment, what fun.

I’ve had a good week, it was long but good. I spent a long time yesterday setting up my classroom, yes I have my very own classroom for the next 6 weeks of summer camp (I’ll probably move into another one for the fall), I needed to make room for a tent as the theme for the next 2 weeks is “In the Woods”. Most of the children at our school come from the upper class of Taipei and none of them have ever been camping, one of them told me had slept in a tent at his Aunt’s house once but it was inside. Everyone here lives in apartments, I haven’t seen a house in the city and so none of the children even know about camping in their yards, bug hunts or bike riding in the driveway. It’s a different world (many of our kids have nannies, drivers and some have cooks). I think that we will have a fun few weeks, I’ll have fun anyway and I hope that they do too.

Last weekend I did some sight seeing and apartment hunting, I think I found one on my own that I can move into next month, it is one of the other teacher’s places. It’s a great space but hard to explain so you’ll have to wait until I move in and can take some photos.

After that I went with one of the other teachers from school to see the national theatre, it’s in a park and beautiful to see. There are lots of great concerts there and I took some great photos. I went to the world’s tallest building, It’s called Taipei 101 and is huge! It has a large mall and book store in it and just about every North American store you could ever want. The expensive but wonderful grocery store is in the basement there, I made another trip there too.

Taipei has these great night markets that I am in love with, there is one on the way home from work and it has amazing deals and all kinds of stores that only open at night, it’s cool to see and quite the shopping experience. You can by roasted chickens or geese, but here they roast the whole thing and they eat all of it, the kids tell me that they like the heads! YUCK! I have seen whole pigs and pigs ears and snouts are popular too, They eat everything here and I have seen enough animal liver to last me a life time.

On a brighter note there are lots of great restaurants and I went for Vietnamese last weekend that was great and for hot pot on Thursday night – asian fondue, a little different than Korea but good. I have encountered a great deal of MSG, they use it like salt here and since it makes feel rather ill I have been avoiding most restaurants unless I really know what I am going to eat.

Not much else to tell you about, it’s hot here and the mosquitoes are vicious and I’ve got a million bites. Not fun although they have these great electric mosquito zappers that run on batteries and look like a tennis racket, you touch the bug and zap it’s dead. There are also cockroaches here – they are huge and can fly… I’ve seen plenty of those too.

Well I think that’s about it for today, I still can’t access my email at home but can at school and do check it when I get a chance, now that I have keys I have a little more freedom to come and go there. Hope everyone is well, I get that photo album finished this week and send the link on Monday. Be well


Friday, June 11, 2004


Okay so I know I promised photos but much like my hotmail it won't work with this damn internet connection, SORRY.

I finished my first week of work and I must say that I am quite happy with things here. I just came home from dinner with the staff at a great Italian restaurant in town, (it is actually owned by a parent from the school, not why we went but a tid bit of information) Anyway ir was great and we all had a lot of fun. There is a lot of turn over at the school at the moment as teachers are heading home to do things like have babies and go to grad school. I cabbed home with 2 who are leaving and made some comment about my age and one of them just about died, she thought I was 19... ha ha ha I know that I look young, but that young, I hope not. I haven't been asked for ID for ages and finally thought that I looked old enough to be a grown up, I guess not.

I am so happy that the weekend has arrived and I can have a lazy morning. I am looking forward to a day of exploring my new neighbourhood and seeing what there is at the local night market. But now I am off to bed as it is late!

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

I can find everything here

Wow is all I have to say, I found gluten free cookies, rice cakes and real feta cheese here today! It was all an insane price but that is fine they are important to me and thus I will pay!

Taipei is great and everything is going well. The new job is wonderful, I have 4,5, and 6 year olds for the summer camp and then in mid August I will have a class, yes just one, (what a novel idea) I am hoping it will be kindergarten (depends on enrollment) and then I will have one after school language arts class every day. The school is in great spot and has great classrooms and resources. I am looking forward to all the things that go with having my own class even concerts and report cards…. ask me again around Christmas.

The apartment that I found is pretty good, not amazing but I do have lots of my own space and it will do for the summer, I will probably try to find my own place in the fall once I know the city better. There are 4 people who live downstairs but we seem to keep fairly opposite schedules so it works out ok.

Taipei is beautiful, there are trees everywhere and it is very tropical. The weather is around 30 everyday and humid. There are heaps of mosquitoes too, I could do without those. I spent this past weekend staying is a great little hotel not to far away and got some sight seeing done.

I went to a great little Buddhist temple, to an observation deck in the “old tallest” building and to some amazing markets. The streets here are filled with vendors and stalls like in Korea but the selection here is much different and I have seen more chicken/goose parts than I could ever want to. They eat everything, except the feathers. The fruit is divine, I could live just off pineapple, watermelon and mango’s. There is heaps of selection in the grocery stores and most people speak English, at least a little bit. On Saturday night I saw Harry Potter, definitely a high point for me. On Sunday I went to this great market that happens every weekend under a bridge it is divided up into a few sections flowers, jade and crafts, it was really neat.

Today I went to the world’s tallest building (at the moment) it is huge, it’s called the Taipei 101 building and has amazing stores including my dreamy grocery store and the hugest bookstore ( I stayed away from it). I want to go back and just wander around, it has amazing security and the whole thing is quite impressive, the bottom 5 levels are shopping and the rest is offices.

Hmmm what else can I tell you about, not much else has happened since I have only been here for 5 days! Getting out of Korea was a bit challenging but I did finally leave and arrived here in one piece with all of my stuff in tow.

Hope you are all well, I’ll write again soon.


Monday, June 7, 2004

GRRRR frustrated

Okay for those of you who are wondering why I have stopped answering emails... hotmail will not let me access my account, why i do not know. So no exciting news that way.

Taipei is great, the new job is good and I promise I will sit down tomorrow and tell you all about it. There are so many great things and I am really excited. At the moment I have to go and get some supper. Hope you are all well.


Thursday, June 3, 2004


Hello there,

I made it one piece. I have enjoyed a lovely bubble bath some real fresh coffee and am amazed at the difference two hours makes in temperature, culture and fruit! They have MANGOS and they are not 4 dollars like in Korea and you should see the size of the watermelons, they are huge. I am a happy camper.

I move into my new place on Sunday and so there will be more from me after that.

happy in taipei