Saturday, August 28, 2004


I am finally online at home! It was a huge production and after a phone call to the states and a helpful sister and brother-in-law it is finally working.

It has been an interesting week, as you heard there was a typhoon but I wasn't any where near the bad parts ( huge flooding in lots of areas of the city). The meter of rain we got did cause me and my apartment to get very wet. It is pouring with rain again as I type this.

School started on Thursday again, my classroom got wet, and of course it was the corner where my stereo and books are kept. The stereo has been replaced and I am drying out my books hoping that they survive. I think that I will have to replace most of them, very sad especially since they are mine and not the schools.

Aside from that all is well, my class seems to be good, even though there are 15 boys and 6 girls, this is not usually the case in our school all the other classes are balanced just not mine! I also have the biggest class. It's okay though, most of them are great kids and are really happy to be at school.

Anyway I should be off as I have a lot to do for next week. Enjoy the photos of the puppy, they are recent, I will put up some of her when she was small but they are on my computer at work at them moment... maybe on Monday.
she's gotten really big Posted by Hello
ain't she cute Posted by Hello

Monday, August 23, 2004

First day

I made it... through my first day with my first class, well sort of. We let the monkeys come in today with their parents and stay for awhile, then we kicked them all out and went for lunch. I made it through the parents and the kids and am excited for tomorrow when I can wear regualer clothes and just have to deal withthe kids and not their parents too! Although I must say that all the parents were very well behaved and no one asked me to turn their son or daughter into a rocket sciencist in a year.

Happy that it's almost time to go home, 4 mintues and counting. Here's hoping that tomorrow goes as well as today did!


Saturday, August 21, 2004

stupid, stupid, stupid

Hello World,

It has been a long and crazy week, I have been setting up my classroom and planning my year. Those of you who are teachers will relate well to my feeling of .... oh my god I am never going to be ready for the munchkins to arrive!...... My friends here where amazed at my level of exhaustion after two weeks of vacation and then a week at work with no kids, they have no idea how much work was actually accomplished! But it's done my classroom is ready and my first days planned and life is good, I think. I still have to organize what I want to say to those lovely parents when they arrive in my classroom tomorrow morning for their 30 minutes of listen to the teacher babble at you before you leave your children with her tomorrow and she warps their little minds to her western cultural practices, like chewing with their mouths closed and cutting their food instead of putting it all in their mouths at once. Just little things that they need to learn, reading and writing will come along as the year progress' I promise.

Aside from a long week at work I have done nothing else my friend Lynn arrived on my doorstep on Wed. night after a miserable job experience just outside of the city. She hummed and hawed about her choices and in the end decided to go back to South Africa. She left last night and it was lovely to have some company for a few days... someone to chat with and play with the puppy. Who by the way is getting big and last night slept through the night for the first time... what a good dog she is. I hope the sleeping pattern continues as I am tired(literally) of getting up to let her out in the night.

In regards to company my friend Lexi is also coming from Korea next month, very excited about that! It will be great to see her and I even have a day off while she is here, Moon festival. Should anyone else feel the desire to visit, please do! I'd love the company and have the space. Visitors are always welcome.

Not much else to let you know I am off to meet Su for some... can you guess... shopping, her shopping not mine, (yeah right!) and then dinner later. But I must go home first and get the puppy so she can come too, she has one of those nifty little puppy bags and she goes all over the place on the weekends, it works very well for both of us. So I will think of you while I am shopping and enjoying the heat, it is really hot.

Hope all is well in the rest of the world.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Things I will never get used to

Okay there are few things here that are driving me crazy and I feel the need to share them with the world because even though they are driving me crazy they are kinda funny.

Tiles, instead of paving sidewalks and other surfaces they put tiles on them, very annoying because tiles are slippery when wet and it rain a lot here. Someone was sleeping in the design department. The other thing is that as the tiles age they come lose and then you walking along on will move on you causing you to trip, slip, or slide and end up on the ground.

Nose picking, if you want to do please do it at home... not on the street corner while waiting for the light to change, that and spitting are driving me crazy.

Heat, it's hot, really hot and all the time, even at night.

Traffic, okay there are lots of things that drive me crazy about the traffic here but my favourite two things are that cars don't stop for red lights, they might stop after it has turned red or if the oncoming traffic is blocking the intersection. And yet pedestrians will stand at a deserted street corner waiting for the light to change so they can cross, there is not a car in sight but yet none of them will cross the street until the light changes. It's very strange.

Bugs, there are heaps of them, everywhere all them time. I found a large spider in my house last night, I have never seen anything so big, the broom and I convinced it to leave after I took a picture. There are cockroaches, mosquitoes and they huge flying red ant things, to many bugs for me.

Puppy obession, okay my dog is cute but they are all crazy about her, she is getting bigger and so the attention getting is not as great as before but they stop and pick her up while we are walking, ask to take her picture, whistle at her to get her attention and generally make the process of walking her very difficult. Last Sunday a mom stopped me so her 2 year old could pet Tai, okay who am I to say no to a cute little kid, then the kid grabbed the leash and tried to walk away with her... she didn't get far.

Space cadets, people are on there own planet when walking on the city streets I am not sure how they survive, people will wander along with scooters honking at them or bike bells ringing in their ears and they don't move, they are practically run over and they still just wandering along contemplating their belly buttons (poopitz gazing). The sidewalks here are huge and it's not like they couldn't move over, bikes and scooters are always on the sidewalks, it's nothing new and yet people seem shocked when the scooter gets frustrated and tries to move them by knocking them over.

Betel nuts, they are kinds they equivalent of chewing tobacco, people, men mostly chew on them and as a result always look like they have a huge wad of gum in there mouth, they die your mouth this horrible shade of red and cause you to spit, (see earlier complaint) except that it is the same red as blood is and so the sidewalks often look someone has just bled to death on them.

Escalator, in the subway there are big signs and announcements that say please leave the left side of the escalator open for people who are in a hurry. Stand on the right, walk on the left... not a hard concept to understand, right. Well why is it that people here don't understand, they stand on the left and then when someone like me tries to get past they get all angry and give me these dirty looks, I don't understand.

Just a few things to complain about, it could be a lot worse though. Other than the general daily annoyances all is well, I have enjoyed my time off and am sad but excited that works starts again on Monday. I am looking forward to it but wish I could still sleep in. Okay must be off, lots to do today.


Thursday, August 5, 2004

feels like home

Okay so I am vacation and generally just being a lazy bum as a result... and lovin it! So yesterday I went to work to photocopy some stuff and then went to my local Starbucks and when I walked in they were playing Dar Williams ( one of my favorite musicians). It was like walking into a Starbucks at home, Dar Williams, a caramel frappucino and a good book, what more could I need.

Taipei is a lot like home, a lot more so than Seoul was and I am amazed and the differences. I mean yes I am in Asia and there are lots of cultural differences but I can get everything I want here (almost... clothes is an issue, they are ugly or to small).

Hmmm not much to tell you all about, the puppy is good, annoying but good... she definitely makes me rethink motherhood! Maybe I don't want little people. Speaking of little people my niece is officially ours to keep, Riley's adoption went through on Monday so my sister is stuck with her now, she is crawling and pulling herself up on things and generally driving my sister (who has a broken foot at the moment) crazy, in a good way of course. Riley seems to think that her age and developmental stages (she's 8 months) are not at all linked and is trying really hard to walk long before she is supposed to. Anyway needless to say every one is quite happy that the adoption is now official and they are all heading to Victoria this weekend to visit the grandparents.

Alright back to me, so I am still trying to get internet access at home, it is proving to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated and I probably won't have it till next week. I have no big plans for the coming week, I am hoping to get into the school to start setting up my classroom and such and maybe take another trip to the beach. It's really hot here and as a result I am not to motivated to do much except read in my nice air conditioned bedroom. Nights are better but then I am tired and then there is the puppy that adds to the equation, I can't leave her for to long so I either have to take her or come home to let her out. We'll see what happens, I'm sure I'll tell you all about anything exciting that I do do.

Time in the cafe is up. Be well

Sunday, August 1, 2004


Did you know that the pacific ocean is more salty over here... Apparently the warmer the water the saltier (chemistry says more salt closer together in warm water than cold) I am not sure about the technical aspect of the whole thing but I can assure that it is saltier here than at home. The waves here are great too!

All that to say that I did make it to the beach yesterday and it was lovely, had lots of fun swimming and lying on the beach. I must admit that it was weird to play in water that wasn't frigid whe you first got in. We just sort of strolled in and it was like a warm shower. Those of you who have been to the southern part of the world know what I am talking about... I didn't really realize that it was possible for the water to be so warm. I mean it would be warmer but it was really warm, oddly as a result not really very refreshing, nice but it didn't cool you off as you would expect it to.

Okay so enough babbling about the water temp. After he beach we rode the bus back to the MRT station and stopped at the 7-11 for some Smirnoff Ices... you can drink in public here so we strolled through the night market and along the board walk drinking, it was really lovely. Being that we were on the coast it was much cooler and the air was a lot cleaner than here in the city. It's only abut 45 minutes away and then a bus ride to get tot he beach were you can swim, sadly I forgot my camera (I've been doing that a lot lately) so there are no photos but I will have to go back so there will be photos eventually.

Alright well enough typing I am off to enjoy the fact that I don't have to work today but am still getting paid... what a novel concept paid vacation is.