Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm feeling a little cranky after riding all around town in the pouring rain and teaching 6 hours of class (4 in the morning and 2 in the evening) in damp clothes. I just can't help but thinking that people weren't meant to live in such conditions, coming from the rather dry central-western Canada. How do people in England and other perpetually rainy places survive? I seriously need some tips!
I'm still working on it, but I must confess, as I pedal and feel rain dripping down my neck, into my shoes, and getting the bottoms of my pants wetter and wetter, i can't prevent a longing for the plains of Saskatchewan or Alberta, and a small desire rises in my heart to leave Taiwan for good. Perhaps this is my current manifestation of culture shock.
Before my well-deserved and long-dreamt of bubble bath, here's a bit about my apartment complex.

I live in a 7 floor building, with a lot of neighbours I don't often see. I haven't shared an elevator more than 5 times in the last 2 months. When you enter the building you see a square courtyard which houses the bikes of the various residents. Mine is by far the most colourful save for the small red one with training wheels. There is a "security" lady who basically just sits in the couryard all day, takes care of the mail and sweeps the hallways. My hallway often smells of corn soup, a staple food here in Taiwan. I've met a friendly lady on the first floor while taking out the garbage, and had conversations that felt strangely like the dialogues out of my Chinese text book. Amazingly enough, she hasn't asked me to tutor her kids yet, maybe in the next conversation. Well, so far I'm still enjoying my space here (that's an understatement!) and even enjoy cleaning more than I used to. I feel so "homemakerish" when I prepare meals for later in the week and freeze them, wash my floor, buy dishes, or do other household stuff (though it's not immaculate by any stretch of the imagination).

4 comments:

  1. I thought of your post about a new attitude to rain and first day of school mishaps the other day when I was riding (my moped) to my first day of school.

    I had just picked up the 100 copies of the textbook I wrote and was on my way back to campus when the sky just opened and it started to pour. :(

    First, I thought, hmmm, "pride does come before the fall. Please forgive me, Father for my pride." I had thought when I read your first day stories, "Uh, I haven't ever had a bad first day."

    Then, I thought, "well, at least I can choose to have good attitude about it all. And worrying about my books getting wet won't help anything; if they get wet then I guess they will dry."

    Another day, I actually choose to not pull over and put on my raincoat. I just got wet and actually enjoyed it. :) However, I was on my way home and got to change clothes in a matter of minutes.

    I don't envy you and all your bike riding in the rain. It's not easy. But, I do admire the way you are handling it--even if that means being honest and thinking through your frustration with it.

    Have a happy weekend!! :)

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  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Amanda. :) I don't mind so much if I'm on the way home either, especially thinking about the warm bath or shower and cup of tea waiting for me!

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  3. one, I want a chop, those are so cool!!
    two, does your avatar have a mullet??
    oh and three... I love you!

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  4. heeheee, yes, my avatar has a mullet, but i do not! it's the style in Taiwan right now though, a lot of my students have this hairstyle that i can't stand, so when i saw it along with a typical taiwanese girl's outfit (plus a lot more colors!) i figured it would be fun to put it on there. actually i didn't know if anyone noticed my avatar!
    p.s. love you too, when are you going to update your blog?????????

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