Monday, October 25, 2004

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, and had pancakes/eggs. Then we went shopping, mostly looking at books and clothes. I was able to pick up a few things, one being a book with 100 contemporary images of Taiwan! It would make a really good gift I think, although, I’m not sure I’ll want to part with it! Have you noticed that I’m very exclamatory with my writing lately?This evening we went to a performance put on by an aboriginal choir, it was a really great experience! Thanks to Doris and her “guan-xi” we got 2nd row seats. Sometimes it’s good to be associated with an important person! The concert lasted over two hours, and it included a variety of musical styles. First, the choir came out in their traditional aboriginal costumes, and each was unique. They were so colourful, some had headdresses and many had beads and mirrors. They used a lot of patterned materials and ribbons. One poor little boy came out in a vest and loincloth! It wouldn’t have been so bad except that he was the only one, and the air conditioning was on! Anyways, for each set of songs, the groups would come out in different costumes. There was more than one tribe that performed, and the MC’s gave some information on a few of the tribes. Fortunately, one of the MC’s was translating, although not everything. They sang everything from traditional aboriginal songs, to Disney, to gospel! It was quite a show! The kids were sooo adorable in their costumes, doing their little dances. I just wanted to take some of them home! They were so talented too: the music itself was beautiful! One of the best parts was that my roommate (and future tour guide once we get to Yuli!) Libeck sang a solo in the closing number. Her voice is amazing, I am in awe! She could hold her own with the Handel’s Messiah girls from Briercrest any day! At the end they brought out a guy in a wheelchair, who apparently used to be a member of the choir, but had been brain damaged, I think in an accident. They dedicated the song to him, and many of the choir members were crying as they sang it. It was so poignant. I am really glad I had the opportunity to experience a little of aboriginal culture before I go to Yuli, which, by the way, has been postponed due to a TYPHOON.
Today is my first typhoon day… meaning we have the day off work due to the weather. Our trip to the east coast has been postponed/cancelled. I’m not quite sure when we’ll be going now, but the news said the typhoon is supposed to last for 2 days! Anyways, there’s nothing to worry about, it just means I won’t really be leaving the apartment unless absolutely necessary… my first typhoon, I’m so excited…

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