Saturday, October 23, 2004

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 Yuli, information about our schedule, living arrangement and contacts there. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks, but it sounds like the churches there are more than willing to help us get established, especially in showing us where we need to go, and helping us make contacts. I’m really excited that Libeck is going with us to Yuli! She is so wonderful. She was born in the area (in Hualien) and will be spending the first week with us! Hopefully by then, we will have gotten the hang of how things work/where things are! Last night we had bible study called Friday night live, which about 300 people go to, it is almost a production in some ways! Anyways, I got to talk to a lot of people there, and during the “class” time after music and a skit, we broke in to small groups, and I was able to discuss the lesson with 4 people. It was refreshing to be in a teaching position after a week of being the one not knowing anything! I had to get back into “English teacher” mode in my speech, speaking slowly, clearly, trying not to use idioms, and trying to find a way to act out as much as you can!
Today was a really nice relaxing day, I sort of slept in, meaning until 8:00 and took it easy, reorganized my bags, and cleaned up my room. Then went shopping with Hope, we got our hair washed, which was quite the experience! I’ve been told about it before. It consists of a head, shoulder and arm massage, hair wash, dry and style, all for less than $5.00 Canadian! The head massage was actually more rough/intense than I had expected, but in the end not too bad. The guy who styled my hair looked like a Chinese Elvis… I had to keep from laughing at that impression while he was doing my hair! Isn’t that terrible?This evening, we went to the night market, which is one of those things one must do in Taipei! It’s a lot like Rua Grande was in Brazil, basically a lot of narrow streets lined with shops and filled with throngs of people. It’s almost reminiscent of a mosh pit, an impression which is aided by the music coming out of the stores! It is really hard to get used to being that close to that many people, or even seeing that many people in one place at once! And this is not a yearly affair like Youthquake!

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