Monday, September 28, 2009

Learn something new every day

I learned three very important things just now:
1. The little railway underpass that leads to the back of my apartment building gets flooded during heavy rain.
2. A scooter does not drive through knee-high water.
3. Scooters don't like to start after that important stuff underneath gets filled with water.

I wasn't sure if I was going to make it home! I kept trying to start my scooter again, while wondering if I should just push it through the underpass to home. Otherwise I'd have to go back and drive around the long way over the train tracks, which is what I ended up doing. A lady came by on her scooter at that time and I told her it was impassable. She waited with me until I got my scooter started again, and drove part of the way home with me until she could tell my scooter was running ok. I was so thankful! I really didn't know what to do!
When I got home I noticed that there was a car stuck in that same underpass (which cars are not actually supposed to drive through!) Hopefully they'll get out!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Highlight!

Yesterday was a very fun-filled day of meeting people by chance or by appointment. One of the great things about this little town is that you're bound to meet people you know no matter where you are! Since we left here 4 years ago, a lot of our friends have had children. On the left are our old landlords' three boys. They look like they're all different ages, but the two on the right are twins! The face little Daniel is making is because he's trying Coke for the first time! He would jump around a bit after having a sip making this hilarious face, then come back for more. On the right is Ai-Jia, Robert and Pheobe's one year old (they're owners of the cram school here). She's quite the charmer!

Friday, September 25, 2009

another week

the numbers game:
55 students in my newcomers class tonight
4 years and 11 months since I came to Taiwan
12 more test questions to write before the end of this month
150 the cost of a taxi from Taipei to Yilan (about $4 Canadian)
9 hours until we're on our way to Yuli!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Social Networking is really the buzzword these days. A lot of my blog readers are also my friends on facebook, but not necessarily vice versa. I've been to Twitter twice, and both times, my impression was....lots of I doubt I'll be on there anytime soon.
But I do often find myself not writing in this blog because I want to wait until I can give a more detailed description of things.
So I'm going to experiment a little and try to update shorter things, more often, and see how it goes. Like when I have something on my mind that's too long for a Facebook status....

I find blogging to be a little more "permanent" too, though without the instant gratification of people "liking" my statuses right away.... I guess that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make :P

So hello, my name is Charlotte. It makes me angry when I run downstairs with all my garbage only to miss the garbage truck, and then drop half of my fresh made avocado dip on the floor when I get back.

But I'm excited that my warmup activity involving teenage girls making animal sounds in front of their peers went really well this afternoon.

And I'm definitely looking forward to week 2 of my English Bible study, which starts in less than an hour. We had 50 people last week! Tonight's topic: Esau. It's fun to teach about some of the OT Bible characters, and the book I've been reading, The Book of God (The Bible as a novel) by Walter Wangerin Jr. has been really enriching my meditations on the stories, if not my lesson prep! I might type out his portrayal of the battle of Jericho on here at some point, hopefully that doesn't infringe any copyright laws... but it was just THAT good.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

all growed up

Well today I was waiting for the bus back to Yilan when someone came up to me, and asked, "Are you Charlotte"? It was one of my students from a couple of years ago at the high school! I was glad that I could still remember her name, and we chatted while waiting for the bus. She was also on her way home to Yilan for the weekend. She's going to university in Taipei now, and studying Elementary English Education! Also, we carried on the whole conversation in English. Good job, Renee!
Now that I've been in Taiwan for a few years, this kind of thing happens fairly frequently! It's really cool to meet my former students and hear about what their doing, but it kind of makes me feel old too! I know there are only a couple of years between when I have them and when they get to university, but just seeing them make the transition from shy high school to fashionable college lady is so neat.
Once I even ran into a girl who I taught back in Hualian who was working part time at a 7-11 while going to college in Taipei!
Next weekend, Hope and I are going to go back to Yuli for a visit, and I'm sure she'll be shocked at how much the kids there have grown and changed since she was last there four years ago!
Kids that were in elementary school then are in Jr. High or even High School now. Our landlords have three little boys, our friend Vivian who had breast cancer when we lived there is now married and 3 months pregnant (and completely cancer free)!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Some surprises are good, like finding out a friend is pregnant, or that you got a raise, or, going into the local 7-11 and finding milk on for buy-1-get-one-half-off.

Some surprises are bad. Like taking a drink of said milk AFTER you've poured half of it into your coffee and finding that it's artificially sweetened with a vaguely fruity flavor. Bad suprise. Note to self: you probably will not "love" the I heart milk brand....

This blog post was going to be short and sweet, but I realized it's my first update since I got back to Taiwan! What have I been doing?

Well classes have started, I have a Mexican and a Brazilian exchange student this semester.
I asked my students who spent the summer in Amanda's class in Canada to reenact their experiences, and discovered they all fell in love with the French boys.
Speaking of French boys, met some Deaflympians from France last night. Taiwan is hosting the Deaflympics right now, and it's really neat to see people from different countries all over the city who are communicating with sign language.
Spent lots of time with Hope mostly around Taipei, but she did come to Yilan for a weekend too!
My English Bible study starts next Monday, and so far there are more than 50 people signed up! It's unbelievable! This is our 7th semester, and the Chinese word for seven and semester sound very similar. Someone told me that when the church was talking about starting the bible study, one of the elders was like "it'll never make it to the qi qi (seventh semester)" which basically means "it's not going to last" but here we are in the 七期!