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 and a flame burning underneath, both the main dish and the soup. The fire is fueled by some kind of chemical (?) and eventually burns itself out, when it does, your food is done. It was really cool, but kind of scary, first of all think of me walking with an open flame on a tray... second of all, the meat in my one dish was actually uncooked when they gave it to me, which kinda grossed me out, but then i realized that it was cooking on the grill, lastly my soup had a number of strange things floating in it, including a piece of corn on the cob, a large prawn with head and little black eyes still intact, some kind of fish with a pink flower somehow stamped on it (somehow I don't think God made it that way...), soft tofu, and a mini hot dog... anyways, I wasn't too fond of the soup, but the rest of the meal was pretty good. For such a leisurely day, I felt really tired at the end of it!
Today was another strange day, although I guess we haven't really been here long enough to establish a "normal day" I went to a rally that studio classroom (one of the main divisions of ORTV) was putting on at a private school. It was a lot of fun, and really cool to see how they do the rallies. It was a pretty high-energy thing. Afterward, we got to hang out and talk with a bunch of the students (high school age) which was really amusing, because we were kind of like celebrities on one hand, but on the other hand, a large majority of the kids were too shy to talk to us! But we gave them all these little notebooks, and soon enough we were signing autographs... now that's something I never thought I'd find myself doing!
Anyways, we are leaving in the morning for Yuli; we're meeting at 7:30 am and taking the train down to Hualien which is the major city in the area, and then from there we'll have to bus to Yuli. It will be probably around a week until we're really settled, but it sounds like we will have ADSL in our house (woohoo!). My Taipei days are sadly drawing to a close for now, although it sounds like we may be coming back for Chinese New Year.
Two more notes before I sign off for the day:
1. if you want a postcard, email me your address! while you're at it, leave a comment on my blog so I know you're reading!
2. the Chinese phrases from the last post were my Chinese name, that I'm Canadian, my age, and my major, which I should add, was the most difficult one to say out of everyone's!