Monkeys and Monkey Bars!

My past few weeks have mostly been spent making phone calls to set up interviews, dropping off my resume, and asking everyone an insane amount of questions! I’ve also explored Taichung more and met a lot of great new people, whom I will also ask a lot of questions. I’m now taking Chinese classes, which is both good for me and all of the poor souls who find themselves victim to my endless curiosity. I am really enjoying using the little Chinese I know, it’s amazing what good even 5 new words can do for you. Knowing how to say “and” has been particularly helpful! The tones can be a bit tough, but thanks to being raised in a very musical home, I feel that recognizing them may be slightly easier for me. The job hunt looks better than ever, with a few places more or less giving me a job offer, however I want to make sure it’s the right company before I sign a year of my life to them.

My last week was really fun, this past saturday I played bocce ball, ping pong, pool, badminton, and did an obstacle race with some friends for hours on end.  The obstacle race consisted of crossing monkey bars, running up a ramp, across a bridge, through a ball pit, up a slide, down a slide, and jumping off a ledge to the end. It felt like being a kid again and it was awesome.

The next day we went hiking in a mountain area here called Dakeng it was really beautiful, although ‘hiking’ here may not be the same thing you are thinking of. The ‘trails’ would be more aptly titled, ‘giant log ladders’, which is exactly what the trails are. Despite ascending more than 400 meters I don’t think I ever put my foot on soil that had even a slight incline to it. But any disappointment I had about it not being a true trail was soon dismissed. There is a sign posted at the bottom of the trail warning hikers of poisonous snakes that hide in the bushes. After reading the sign, I was happy to be elevated and somewhat guarded. In addition to venomous snakes, Dakeng is also home to monkeys!  Yes, there is an area where you can go to meet/feed(?) monkeys. We didn’t make it there because our hike was a little more taxing than I think any of us expected + plus repeatedly stepping on logs induces a strong desire for a chair. So we left to go eat delicious and fresh fried chicken, noodles, shrimp, and a few other dishes that were out of my palate’s bounds. Shellfish with frosting and sprinkles? Yeaaah. I’ll admit it though, I need to buck up and eat some octopus and other sea fare. The time will come soon enough, I know it. Aha! I almost forgot to mention, despite not visiting the monkey area, we did, in fact, see a monkey. He was a chipper fellow, content to watch us watch him for several minutes before bowing out to report us to his clan.

All in all, I’ve had a fantastic few weeks despite a minor scooter accident and a few communication hiccups, but those will be topics of other posts.

Until next time, Happy New Year!

Calvino

 


My last week was really fun, I played bocce ball, ping pong, pool, badminton, and did an obstacle race with some friends for hours on end. It felt like being a kid again and it was awesome.
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