Showing posts from January, 2007

A sneak peek!

My family arrived safe and sound, and just a little tired!

First stop: CKS Memorial and the National Theater.

Everyone likes to play with my crutches.

Mom with Taipei 101 in the background. We went there on Saturday.

First dinner in Taiwan... jet lag was setting in for Zak.

Here we go!

I'm heading to Taipei Thursday afternoon and will pick up my parents and brother on Friday morning! We've got some fun times ahead:
Fri-Sun in Taipei (CKS memorial, 101 all that fun stuff)
Sun-Tues around Yilan (meet my students and see my recently cleaned apartment)
Tues - Thurs in Hualian (Back to the scene of the accident!)
Fri - Wed Yuli (My "old home" (lao jia) in Taiwan) and Kenting/Pingdong, aquarium, beaches, and probably 25 degrees!
Wed - Back to Yilan for a day
Fri - Back to Taipei (National Palace Museum and Grand Hotel)
Sat - Back to Canada! (I'm going too!)

You might get an update with some pics when I'm in Yilan! Until then, enjoy your weekend!!!

Some interesting flavors

I've had a chance to try a few interesting foods and beverages recently, and here's my review of the top 3:

Gui yuan hong zhao cha - Tea flavored with dried Longgan fruit (dragon eyes), which are similar to lychees. I'm not a huge fan of eating longgan by itself, but I really like the flavor it adds to the tea!

Banana quesadilla: well maybe this should really be the bottom three, but last night someone took me out to a restaurant, and ordered an appetizer which was quite similar to a cheese quesadilla, but with a couple of surprises. There were no vegetables or salsa, but I periodically sunk my teeth into chunks of banana melted in with the cheese. Drizzled with mango sauce, its appearance is a little nicer than its taste. My host graciously offered me the last piece....

Sugar cane: you can buy right from sticks that look similar (in my opinion) to bamboo, and watch the vendor shave it right in front of you. Then you chew on a piece until you get the juices and spit out the p…

hao tong! (it hurts)

Well it kinda felt like one step forward two steps back today. I managed to take a few steps without crutches, and even hobbled to the bathroom just holding onto the walls for support.
I was feelin' great when I went to PT. Until I got to the massage part, which is usually moderately painful... but today she found a swollen spot on the inside of my ankle that REALLY hurt. What's worse is when I went to stand up and go ride the bike there was a sharp, stabbing pain there. I iced it for awhile then decided to forgo the rest of the session. Next stop: the doctor's office, where I had my stitches removed! Good news, yes, but now BOTH sides of my ankle hurt! blah.

Brilliant doctor's advice from today:
Don't fall (sure wasn't planning to)
No skiing when I go back to Canada (darn!)

back on the horse...

or more accurately, the bike...that's right, I rode a bike!
ok, so it was a stationary exercise bike at physio
but it was a bike nonetheless. the significance of this is that the range of motion in my ankle is improving. Actually riding a bike is much less painful than walking!
I'm moving a little faster these days, and have actually been going out quite a bit. I need to practice for next weekend when my family arrives in Taiwan! Let the good times roll! It's going to be a blast as long as it doesn't rain too much, and we can keep our stress levels down.

Any Taiwan friends out there have suggestions of a spectacular first day activity?
We're doing the Zoo and 101 on the second day, and the National Palace Museum close to the end.

So right now some of the options are - Danshui (the short tour - not too much walking for me), CKS Memorial, the Living Mall, Miramar (ferris wheel)
The biggest problem is that they're getting here freakin' 5:45 am...what…

Putting my worst foot forward.

Literally, the new walk is moving crutches forward, then stepping on my weak leg and relying on the crutches, then lifting my strong leg and bringing it forward. I'm starting to get the hang of this walking thing again. I'm pretty sure I look like an 80 year old at this point though. I haven't really left my house a whole lot since last Friday. I had one doctor's visit on Monday and he said no physio yet, but I can practice stepping at home. I'm getting better, and as long as I concentrate hard, and I don't automatically lift my foot anymore. I can walk across the room with crutches now, and I even put a sandal on! It was really really hard to get used to the feeling of a shoe on my left leg at first.
I've been making fast progress every day, and am not freaking out every time my foot hits the ground anymore. I went out for a bit with a friend last night and managed to look around two stores (with lots of rests in between). And today, I went ALL BY MYSEL…

Food for Thought

Check it out: Doctors without borders each years reports on the Top 10 Underreported events. Serious things happening in the world that we're not aware of in part because we're busy carrying on about things like paris hilton's new hairstyle or who got kicked off survivor... and in part because the media knows they'll make more money off of those two things than tuberculosis or malnutrition... sigh it hurts my heart to read these.... take a look, be prepared to be disturbed.
Top 10 Underreported Events of 2006

A few screws loose...

I'm back from the hospital! Actually I got home on Friday afternoon, but I spent most of the time sleeping, so you've had to wait for your update. Wednesday was a busy day, which was a good thing, as it didn't leave me much time to worry about my surgery! I went to physio in the morning, class in the afternoon, and then out for dinner in the evening. Our Wednesday night class was finishing with a celebration dinner. We decided to go to a new restaurant in town called 3 Cats which I think has really nice atmosphere and decor. It was raining, so that made my crutching progress a little slow, and when I arrived I discovered my student had forgotten to make sure our reserved table would be on the first floor.... so I ended up having to climb up the stairs to the amusement of everyone dining on the first floor. Anyways, here's a picture of my Wednesday night students, though a couple were missing. After a lovely dinner (and a contraband latte... I figured I could drink o…
Got some pics from New Years Day. It was really hot and sunny that day as you can see from the fact that I'm squinting in EVERY picture! The weather has taken a turn for the cool (11 degrees) and my hands felt like ice all day.

Had my last classes at one school today, and instated a new lateness policy which I think may just get results - 5 push-ups for every minute late. It works in my 2 hour, smaller classes where i can afford the short diversion, (I don't think I'd use it in my 50 minute classes, which end up being 45-40 minutes once everyone shows...another 5 minutes for punishment just isn't worth it).

They did some fun role plays today on the topic of holidays and inviting someone to spend a holiday with you. The highlights were a group talking about ghost festival where one of the people ended up being a ghost (the other boy screamed and ran out the door at the reveal), and one 10th grade boy turning down an invitation because he had a date with Charlotte. Should …

My foreign accent

Well after spending all #*&$@ day calling hotels in Taipei to book rooms for my family's upcoming visit I discovered that I do, indeed speak Chinese with a foreign accent...what kind? Well one person asked me for my Singapore number, and another started speaking what I can only guess was Japanese to me! Finally I said "English, English!" It feels good to be able to do things like reserve hotels in Chinese. Though it might have been A LOT easier to get someone (like a travel agent) to do it for me.

Other interesting updates include: I've started doing some proofreading in addition to my teaching duties, which is a nice change, and gives me a chance to do something productive on days like today when I have no classes. Sometimes really productive lol... they sent me 3 files today which fortunately I started working on even though the due date they gave me was Jan 10. At about 4:00 they called and asked if I could be done for tomorrow because of some kind of emergenc…

Semester Lessons

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2007! I didn't do anything too awfully exciting, but went out for a bit in the evening, and watched the Taipei 101 fireworks on tv. On Monday it was a lovely sunny day and I went to the Traditional Center for the Arts with A-hsiang. It's definitely on the agenda for my parents' upcoming visit! Only 25 days til they come!!!

Next week is my last week of classes for this semester! I did some student evaluations today, and will do more next week. ESL nerd stuff to follow, if you're not interested, stop reading now! I taught some fun lessons this semester and I always try to include some sort of communicative activity at the end. So here's an overview of some of the lessons I taught.

Sept: Chien-Ming Wang (Taiwanese baseball player) - Read and re-order his story in groups
Musical styles - playing a cd with 6 music styles, having students identify them and discuss the characteristics of each.

Oct (I actually did teach a lesson that month!): Kore…