Showing posts from September, 2005

Human Virus Scanner

Spent most of the day working on powerpoints and lesson plans, but here's a fun little distraction:

Human Virus Scanner

Viruses you suffer from:

Pokemon what can i say... i'm in Taiwan, my students last semester were alway giving me little Pokemon things or little notes on Pikachu stationary...




Viruses you might suffer from:

Junkfood (80%)

Japan (90%)see Pokemon. Also see the Kitty-Mobile below.

Sci-fi (90%)

Conspiracy Theory (95%)

Hippyism (93%)

I love the ocean!

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the beach with Michelle, Ming Shang, and some other people. It took about a half an hour to drive there I'd say. A beautiful place. If I had a scooter, I'd probably go there all the time.


New umbrella.

Yesterday dawned bright and sunny.
The morning was warm, and the afternoon was positively hot, with the sun beating down from a clear blue sky. I even put on sunscreen. After Thursday's typhoon-ish weather, this was unexpected, but welcome. My friend came to visit me and we wandered around Yilan for awhile before taking the train to the next town to go to some hot springs. Though I had carried my umbrella around all day in my purse, just in case, I decided to leave it at home, since it had been taking up unnecessary room...
The weather continued to hold until we had finished eating dinner, when the following general law of existence came into effect: If you leave your umbrella at home, you will get stuck in a torrential downpour.
Fortunatelythere was a little store across the street, so we ran across and purchased new umbrellas, getting rather wet in the process.
So now I am the proud owner of a new blue umbrella.... By the way, the rain stopped again about 30 minutes later. Coincide…

all a conspiracy...

The above statement is something you can commonly hear me muttering under my breath, but today, I have a measure of proof...

Now, as a disclaimer, this isn't a political blog, mostly because I am too out of touch with politics in Canada, and too ignorant of politics in Taiwan...

Someone can probably inform me that what I'm about to rant about is actually common practice, and not a conspiracy at all, but the fact is, i have been receiving political party news letters that i neither requested NOR supplied an address for based on my confidential vote in the last Canadian election. Indeed, they must track who's voted for the purposes of preventing certain types of election fraud. But isn't it just me, or shouldn't the fact that I voted and that fact alone be the only thing that is recorded (particulary for any other public use)? NOT who I voted for? I personally find this extremely disturbing.

And another thing.. just because I happened to vote for your party doesn't …

Mellow and Tangy at the same time...


has this ever happened to you?

Just a minute ago, as I was trying to decide what kind of tea to make for myself, my door began to swing open (oops forgot to lock it, not in that habit, yet). A lady saw me and closed the door but then opened it again and came in, asking if she could rest in here. I tried to explain that this was actually my room, and I live here. Putting on my room slippers, she said ok, well I'm going to class this afternoon, so I just want to rest here for about an hour ok? And she made like she was going to lay down on my bed. I wasn't really sure what to say, or how to explain that this wasn't actually a guest room, but my living space. Anyways, I led her out into the common area and told her she could rest on a couch there.
"Zhen qi guai" which means, verystrange!

here i am

i suppose i was being a bit of a tease to post pictures of my bike, and then refrain from writing about my first days here.
Where to start.... my return to Yuli was a bit of a whirlwhind, filled with packing, cleaning, and goodbyes.
The trip to Yilan was rather eventful, and left me with the resolve to never again, if at all possible, travel that road by car! The first part passed rather quickly, and we stopped for breakfast in Hualian. We then proceeded to Taroko, but didn't get very far because they were doing some sort of road repair, and the length of the delay was too long, since we had to be in Yilan around noon. But I got a couple of nice pictures out of it, and some gorgeous ones up the eastern coast. The water was so blue and vibrant, I don't think my camera fully captured it! Unfortunately, things went downhill (and around every hill possible) from there, and I spent the rest of the trip feeling very carsick. I'll spare you the gory details.

It didn't take long …

The trip here

The Su's, I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful couple to take care of us this year. Peggy even called me today, just to make sure everything was ok! I'll miss them a lot.
Taroko scenery.

My Bike.

My new bike. A girl bike, so I won't have a potential disaster getting on and off in a skirt. I'm really suprised the church bought me a brand new bike, it was more than I expected for sure!
Hello Kitty is everywhere, little magnets you get at 7-11, on my bike, and in my hot pot. I'll be in style wherever I go.
Hello Kitty herself (it's the bell).

First Impressions

Well, here I am in Yilan.
I arrived Sunday night, and a couple from the church took me out to dinner. Then they drove me around a bit while I tried to memorize everything I saw that I might want to return to (which of course I didn't).
On Monday I started teaching, with one class in the boy's high school (which actually had some girls in it) and 4 classes in the girl's high school man it can get confusing when you teach the same class 5 times in a row, you keep thinking you've already done an activity with the class, but then realize that no, that was the previous class!

I was really impressed with the level of my students, which I suppose is pretty normal for a typical Taiwanese high school student, but it was just so much higher than the students I've been teaching this past year. I would pause to see if they understood certain words I thought were more difficult, and they'd all nod. Unlike some of the classes I taught at the end of the summer (especially if…
My large bed that's NOT on the floor! Well, it's on the floor in that it's not floating in the air, but I appreciate that it's higher than my other bed. Now I need to make sure I don't continue my habit of rolling out of bed onto the floor in the morning (if i'm trying to force myself to get up)!
in addition to this little room, i have my own bathroom. I share a kitchen and living area with the other people who live on this floor (who I really haven't seen much of yet). This is also the floor where guests stay if they are visiting the church, so I'm not sure how many people actually live here.
My room from the doorway. Look at all that shelving!

A walk through the night market.

In commemoration of our last visit to Yuli's night market, here is just a sample of the many interesting things we see there in a typical evening:
In addition to little containers of goldfish children spend the evening fishing in, tonight there were turtles too. Poor things!
QQ in the making. They're actually quite good. Made from sweet potato or taro, they puff up when deep fried to become little hollow balls.
Candied strawberries on a stick.
Squid on a stick.
In Taiwan I've learned that you can buy almost anything on a stick.... duck heads, chicken necks and feet, and some kind of insect pictured here among other things.
What we refer to as a "peanut ice cream burrito," one of our favorite night market snacks.

This little tour brought to you by procrastination and the letters A and C.


I visited Ilan yesterday and saw the place I will be living and the schools I'll be teaching at. It seems like a nice enough place. It's quite a bit larger than my little niche of Yuli. Currently I'm experiencing some pre-first day jitters and some resistance to change. I feel like I'm not ready for this change, but I know that in the end it will be ok. This is a normal feeling for me... I tend to feel nervous before something happens, but once it starts I become calm.

Here is an idea of what the next four months will look like: teaching only at high school level and aboveteaching from ORTV's magazines, Studio Classroom and Let's Talk in English"no tests, no homework" conversation classes teaching very large classes (average 30-40 students)seeing individual classes on a rotating basis (every second week at two of the schools, and on an irregular rotation at a third school)teaching conversation classes at the church two nights a weekteaching at 3 school…
Your Fortune IsTo make a long story short, don't tell it.The Wacky Fortune Cookie Generator

a little excursion on the back of a scooter up a mountain to see some flowers...

As promised (to the two people who read my blog yesterday), here are the pictures of yesterday afternoon's events. My friend A-Hsiang came from Hualian to visit us , and we decided to go see the day lilies, one of Yuli's "famous attractions." Many people had told us about them before and mentioned that we needed to go see them, but we had yet to, and since our Yuli days are numbered, we figured, hey, why not! The plan was for Hope and I to rent some scooters and the three of us drive up (supposedly only a 25 minute drive...) but the scooter place didn't have any left! Ariel agreed to lend us hers, but we were unable to find a third one... we almost cancelled the trip, but then decided that I would go on the back of A-Hsiang's scooter while Hope drove Ariel's (which is a little older, so couldn't handle 2 people going up such a steep mountain). It took about 25 minutes to reach the road where we turned to ascend the mountain, and then at leat another 4…
Sun rays through the clouds.
The scenery was breathtaking, and so were the roads... in a different way.
who's that nerd?