Week Two + Christmas Eve

A lot can happen in a week, especially when you are living in a foreign country with a lot of time on your hands. This past week I bought a scooter, moved into my own place, and took a day trip to Sun Moon Lake with a mini-celeb. Also in the past week I’ve posed in the photos of three strangers, but I’ll get to that later.

Towards the beginning of my second week here I’d heard from the hostel owner that another American had checked into the hostel. She told me it was a girl but didn’t know much else about her or her reason for visiting Taichung. I spent most of my day on the phone and computer and heard no English being spoken downstairs nor any foot shuffling coming from upstairs. It wasn’t until I ventured out of the hostel and came back at night that I saw her. We ended up hanging out late into the night and getting lost in Taichung together. Her name is Vickie and she was traveling throughout Taiwan until she heard back about some film/tv work in the mainland.  It was great to hang out with someone who could speak both Chinese and English very well. Amidst conversation I found out that she can also speak Korean well, so well in fact that she was a regular on korean tv. We got along well and I was very happy to have met her because the next day we took a day trip together to Sun Moon Lake, which is only a stone’s throw away from Taichung (about an hour and a half ride?). I definitely would not have been able to have gone there alone. It was so nice to have someone who could tell me the meanings behind everything and explain it well. Vickie found out I liked taro fairly early in the day, so it turned into a taro themed food day for me, which was definitely all right by me. I started the day off with this taro filled pancake sandwich thingy then I drank taro bubble tea, then I had a big mochi ball filled with taro. It was awesome.  Below are some poor quality photos of our trip:

After Vickie left I spent the next couple of days calling schools about jobs and trying to set up interviews. In the midst of all that  I also bought my own scooter and moved into my own place. The scooter runs very nice, but when I first got it I noticed that some of the paint was starting to come off. I knew that inevitably the paint was going to all come off, so I decided to take measures into my own hands and repaint the whole thing myself. I spent several hours online trying to find the perfect color scheme; I even made a facebook status to ask other people’s opinions on the matter. I found a website for Krylon and picked out several of their colors that most closely corresponded with the colors I’d found online. Unfortunately what I didn’t consider it that I was in Taiwan, which is much less likely to carry a brand like Krylon. When I walked into the paint store down the street from me and motioned a gesture like someone spray painting, they pointed at an aisle across the store. I walked down the aisle and found the spray paint section, which consisted of about 8-12 different colors. Needless to say, I had to abandon my original plans of a stylish scooter and instead I chose: green, blue, and a red-brown.  Below are a few pics of the scooter after its transformation. Unfortunately I took no ‘before’ pictures.

I finished the week spending Christmas Eve with my adoptive parents: Brittany and Jonas. They were nice enough to invite me over to their place for Swedish meatballs (cooked by a real swede) with mashed potatoes and a corn & cheese casserole. Everything was fantastic! It was the first home-cooked western food that I’d had since coming over and it was delightful. I wish I had pictures of us eating together. We spent Christmas Eve watching awesome tv shows (brule’s rules & tom goes to the mayor) and then I showed Brittany and Jonas the caribbean dancehall sensation known as, ‘daggering’. You’ll have to look that up yourself if you don’t know what it is. I offer no explanation. Anyhow, I’ll try to put a little more thought/time into my next post. Below are some more pictures of the past week:


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