Ended a lovely visit with my sister today. Woke up early to go to the airport for my 7:30 flight from STL to PHX- we didn’t have to change planes, but I was able to get off and walk around. Had a matcha green tea raspberry blended thing. So delicious. On the flight from PHX to San Jose I had a delightful conversation with a businessman from Sedona. I arrived in San Jose with just over an hour to spare. Once boarded the plane to Tokyo I was granted the ultimate 10-11 hour international flight wish- window seat with an empty seat next to me. What a great day of travel with only a few hours left and a 3ish hour flight from Tokyo to Taipei! 🙂 cheers!
Greetings from Taiwan…Here’s what I’ve been up to…
Arrived around 9pm local Taipei time and breezed through immigration…was welcomed by Erin and Zoe, two teachers at the school. I am replacing Erin and Zoe is my teaching assistant. What a difference having someone greet you at an international airport, taxi it to their apartment for a hot shower, and let you sleep in their queen size bed… makes in entering a new country!
Today Erin and I went into Hsinchu City via the “local express” fast train. They have 3 major “super stores. SOGO- major department store. Big City- great grocery and home decor stores and a DAISO. FE-21- Jason’s market, which has a lot of imported goods including natural peanut butter, almond milk, and coconut oil. Seeing the amenities offered was a huge comfort…looks like I may start to cook here! She also showed me her hair salon that uses Aveda products and has a gentleman working there from Canada. It poured today! So hot and humid…add in rain and I was feeling pretty gross…however the heat is most welcomed!!! I will be able to work on lost tan time. ha! P.S. Hsinchu City is brimming with scooters…and sidewalks are usually unavailable. So picture walking on a narrow street alongside trucks, cars, and a million scooters. Fun stuff.
Walked around Jhubei (my new home-town!). It is so pretty…lots of palm trees and green space. Just a few years ago the area was mostly farm land. The street signs are in English. (Yay!) Am about a 10 minutes from a beachy area…though was told it wasn’t the prettiest site. Once I get a bike I will be able to bike there just fine. Went to a local cafe (Cama Cafe) for coffee and Chubby’s restaurant for lunch. Saw my school and another supermarket. I met another teacher I will be working as well today. Erin and I have been watching the Big Bang Theory series in order the past couple nights so we continued with another episode before I crashed out. This jet lag stuff is taking a while to shake off.
Met my director, Edward today….he took me to the hospital for a health check. 40 minutes…in and out…Asian hospitals are so efficient. Afterwards we apartment hunted for a couple hours. I still need to make a decision as the ones I previewed in early August were already snatched up. Bummer. I may end up taking over Erin’s lease when she moves home. We went to Mike Star- a fresh juice place for lunch. (seriously…amazing!…lemon honey…mango…so many choices!) Later I observed one of Erin’s level classes and met some of my students. I found out I will be going to Taipei this weekend for teacher training. I work for William Language School and they have their own schedule, routine, and curriculum that I will be following so training is provided. Had dumplings (similar to Korea’s mandoo) and beef soup for dinner.
As of now I have Tuesdays free! It may change due to private classes, but as of now…nothing! Went back to Hsinchu City in the sunshine…picked up a few groceries. Much less crowded during the week. Thank goodness. It was slightly overwhelming and the lines were outrageous this past weekend. Will relax this afternoon and go out for Korean BBQ tonight as it will be Erin’s “goodbye dinner” with Zoe.
The rest of this week will be settling in more, observing more classes, and finally teaching on my own on Friday!
*Stay tuned for more stories and happenings…pictures will also come later due to no actual computer of my own at this time*