Showing posts from October, 2004

the last of the Taipei days

Yesterday was a fun day, for "work" we got to go to a place called "The Living Mall" I'm not 100% sure why it has that particular name, but it was probably the cooolest mall I've ever seen, magnified in coolness by the fact that I am barely ever in a mall worth calling a "mall"
Anyways, the neatest thing about this mall was the archeitecture! The mall has 15 floors in all I think, and the entire thing is round. The stores are around the outside of the circle and the middle is open, so from the top you can look all the way down and vice versa. Looking down from the top and seeing all the escalators crisscrossing through the middle at different angles gave the whole place an "Escher-esque" feeling. It was huge, and you could buy pretty much anything you might want. One the ground floor was the food court to end all food courts, and I tried something new and exciting : a Mongolian hot pot. You get your food on a tray with a meatal grill …

Vocabulary Madness!

Today was intensive Chinese lesson day… largely due to the fact that we were supposed to be gone today, so there really wasn’t a ton for us to do! But anyways, we’re leaving on Friday morning now! I’m excited, though I am getting attached to the people here, everyone that I’ve met has been so great in trying to include me, which is great, since I came here with no contacts already, which apparently is rather rare for this organization. So today were “learned” greetings for all times of the day, food, clothes, key questions, colours, and self-introductions, the last of which we then got to go practice on the bottom floor with some of the staff! It was quite interesting. I'm not sure how much of it i'll reatain, but i guess we'll see! Anyways, here is “my” Romanized version of my self-introduction: any guesses as to what they mean??
1. Wo jyao Oh Tsai Lin
2. Wo tsong djawnada ly
3. Wo er shi er sway
4. Wo ju hso shung jing huhn ing ü jyao hsüeh

I'll even give you a free…

Typhoon Nock Ten
Typhoon Nock-ten is battering Taiwan Monday as the storm's eye whirls just off the island's eastern coast, drenching mountainous regions with rain that could trigger deadly mudslides.
Forecasters predicted the fast-moving storm would spend most of Monday working its way up Taiwan's eastern coast to the capital, Taipei, before spinning northeast towards Japan's southern islands.
Flights were canceled between Taipei and Hong Kong, one of the world's busiest routes.
Taiwan's two largest carriers, China Airlines and EVA Airways, said flights to Tokyo and Southeast Asia were also called off.
Officials shut down financial markets, schools and government offices in most major cities.
High winds tore away shop signs in some cities, where branches, twisted umbrellas and other debris littered the streets.
Sheets of rain fell at a 45-degree angle in Taipei, where normally congested streets were eerily e…

A lovely Sunday

This morning we went to the Taipei International Church, which is an English church that meets in the American school. It was kind of cool to be at a service that was in English, instead of not knowing what was going on, and needing someone to translate for me all the time… not for long I hope! I am starting to pick words out of conversation that I recognize! Anyways, the service was almost totally made up of foreigners, I’d say around 75-80%. It seems like it is easy to come here but still isolate yourself, and continue to live much the same life as you did before, speaking to other foreigners, going to English churches, restaurants etc, and while it is nice to have that familiarity sometimes, that prevents you from being the only white face in a room (much less the only red head! Although dying your hair red/blonde is pretty popular here, it’s just not the same…), for myself, I think I would prefer a more even mix of cultures. Afterward, we went for lunch at an English restaurant, a…

Friday Fun and Night Market

I can’t believe I have been here a week now! So much has happened, and I have seen and done so many new things! Friday was a really busy day, we finished Chinese lessons and had a test!! It actually wasn’t that bad, it was Ellen, and she just said some words and we had to write the phonetic characters. There are still a couple that I am having trouble distinguishing between (ahn and uhn, ch and chr) but I am definitely ready to start working on vocabulary! I bought a little pack of paper on a ring today that I can carry around with me and write new terms in, as well as look back on old ones. Yesterday, we also got our laptops! I’m quite excited to have a laptop, though it is a little odd that as a “missionary” I have better technology than I did back home! But I guess our support is coming from a technology company! Anyways, our meetings went for a really long time yesterday, and it seemed like we were getting interrupted every few minutes! But in the end, we did get a briefing on Y…
Today we had to "dress to impress" because we were meeting the manager and ceo of the company that is sponsoring us to go down to Yuli. We drove across town (and did see the world's tallest building). And went up to the 6th floor of a huge office building. Everything was very formal, especially meeting the people, it was kind of scary! I was worried that I would do something impolite! Anyways, after introductions we got down to our "fancy" lunch of KFC and Pizza Hut! It was not quite what I had been expecting!! Anyways, they do taste more or less the same, except that the one pizza was seafood pizza! I'm talking scallops and sole, chewy pieces of white fishy material on the pizza... haha it wasn't as bad as it sounds! Anyways, I'm pretty sure it went well, even though I really didn't understand the majority of it!
Tonight we went to Costco, which is almost exactly the same as a costco in canada, except bigger than the ones I've been to, it…

A bit about food

I really have always loved Chinese food. It is really cheaper to eat out than to cook here. I haven't really done any grocery shopping, b ut there are hundreds of little restaurants around. I was given $1000NT which I think is around $25.00 Canadian. Meals come between 150 and 250 NT for Chinese food, american food is more expensive. SO basically you pay under $5.00 for a good meal!
I had a "high" class meal at an italian (sort of) restaurant the other day, which costed me NT260. I had linguini and duck breast with pesto in a cream sauce. It was quite amazing! Also every meal comes with soup and a drink. The soup is mostly broth and a few vegetables. Today I had kind of a lettuce soup. There is one I have had twice that kind of tastes like corn chowder, it has ham and some thin noodles, but it is not a cream soup.
Otherwise, I have been eating lots of rice and noodles. Today I had a kind of "dumpling" with cabbage and chicken, which was sort of simi…

So it begins

How do I begin to describe all I have experienced already?
The twelve hour flight was not bad, though a little boring. I did make a new friend though, I ended up talking to a guy from Korea who was sitting beside me. He took some pictures of me and is going to email them to me! I arrived at the airport at around 3:30 local time, which was about 12:30 am back home! I was met by a taxi driver with a sign that had my name and we drove through the city. My first impressions were that there weren't as many palm trees as I thought, and that the traffic wasn't as bad as it was in Brazil! Not to say it isn't scary to cross the street! The walk lights have this little green running man who runs faster when the light is going to change. It's really cute actually. Anyways, last night I met some people and managed to stay awake until 9, which was not quite the 24 hour mark! Today, I met the others I will be working with and we went to church. On the way we passed through the…

Change of the day

Sometimes things change so fast they leave my head spinning, a few hours of quiet, then a flurry of phone calls and emails, and then nothing until the next day. This will mark my life for the next year, things will be pretty constantly in flux, which is something that is exciting and exhausting. But it is possible to prepare myself for it, to rely on the laidback side of my personality, and choose to not become too flustered by the perceived instability.
With that said, I'm not leaving until Wednesday, but of course, that could change. Some good news is that there is someone associated with ORTV who is going to help me out in Vancouver, take me to the Visa place and everything! So no lost in Vancouver adventures, which is just fine with me!
I also found out that I will be getting regular Chinese lessons, which I found out when I was told about a test I would have to take! I was a little concerned at first, until I found out that this test would be after a few months of instruct…

Slight Change in Itinerary

It turns out that all the flights from Vancouver to Taipei on October 14 were full... who knew?
So anyways, I am now leaving Castlegar around 5:00 on Monday, and flying to Taiwan at about 11:30am Wednesday. It will be a long flight, my longest yet 12 hours and 25 minutes, nonstop.
So, only 4 days left to go... so much to do, especially since 3 of those days are the weekend!

Just a week

I only have a week left until I leave for real this time! Now we just have to hope they will give me the visa, or I don't know what I'll do!
Next Tuesday, October 12, I'll be flying to Vancouver, the next day, I'll find my way to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre and apply for my visa.
On October 14, I'll be flying to Taipei!
So, I have lots to do before I go, and lots of arrangements to make!
I've had the words to this Switchfoot song in my head for the last few days:
Gone don't spend today away cuz today will soon be gone, like yesterday is gone, like history is gone, just trying to prove me wrong and pretend like your immortal she said he said live like no tomorrowevery day we borrow brings us one step closer to the edge (infinity) where your treasure, where's your hope forget the world and lose your soul she pretends like she pretends like she's immortal don't say so long your not that far gone this could be your big chance to makeup today will s…

God works in mysterious ways

So, I have been feeling quite a bit of stress lately, because I have been waiting and waiting to hear about my Visa... on top of it I was offered a 2 week substitute job in Kelowna at the end of the month. So here I was in the middle of two decisions, waiting and having to choose, should I commit to this knowing I may have to go at any time?
I emailed Taiwan and told them about the situation and they said they would get back to me by Monday. As of this morning (Thursday), I hadn't heard a thing. So when the people from Kelowna called today and wanted to do a phone interview, I decided to go ahead with it, thinking that if I hadn't heard anything by now, maybe I do have another month of waiting.
At 11:00 am I spoke with the people in Kelowna and they offered me the job, starting October 18 (but arriving there October 15). I went for a walk, and by the time I got home at 12:15 there was a message on the phone from Taiwan! They are going to book my flight on October 13/14.