August: 84 degrees, 84% humidity. Island Living at it’s best.

…yet these weather conditions are preferred over snow.wind.and cold. I think I’m getting used it…I’m an island girl at heart, what can I say? I love sunshine, heat, clear skies, and sweat more than shivers, gray skies, and heavy coats.

AUGUST 1st! Lunchtime. I tried a new restaurant. A collaboration of Taiwanese, Thai, and Korean dishes. I thought I could order in Korean. Nope. I was wrong. So I had to point to the pictures. I order a Korean dish called 김치 전– pronounced “kimchi-jeon,” and a Thai dessert called “momo-jaja,” to drink I went to Coco and ordered the famous Taiwan bubble milk tea. Quite the combo if you ask me. But oh so delicious.

After Friday’s busy day of level 2s and level 3s and my 3 middle schoolers, I just wanted ice-cream and onion rings. Went to 7-11 for the ice-cream and Matcha-flavored Koala snacks. (haha) and then went to this street food stand…thought I was ordering fried onion rings…turns out I ordered fried squid rings…Oh goodness! I still ate them…they were seasoned with garlic, chives, and something else.

For my level 3s I did this “expansion” exercise where the students had to pick a subject i.e. You, I, They, We etc…a direction i.e. on, in under near next to…etc….and a subject…book, table, chair,…
Well…they thought they were sooo funny…here is some commentary:
“You- On- Megan”
“You- On- Monkey– teacher I will smash the monkey”
“I- On- Camel” sooo fun teacher!
“I- behind- Tiger” it will eat meeee!
“Super-cheetah- On- You”— wheee I can fly…

etc etc…maybe you just had to be there, but I was cracking up..
Then randomly this girl pulls out a (medium-sized) blanket from her bag and proceeds to neatly fold it as we are doing a recording exercise…seriously child?? what are you doing??

Helping Elva with her spelling…she was failing and now she’s getting 100%…just 10-15 extra minutes of studying! “”Teacher, if I drop the “e” on t-w-e-l-v-e and add an “a,” it spells my name- Elva!””

During my tutoring session with my middle schoolers we read an article about fishing bans and climate change and how it’s affecting various islands in the Pacific. I had them make up questions to discuss. One of the students asked “Do you like to eat fish?” and one responds, “No I don’t, but I still eat it.” I asked, “Why do you eat it if you don’t like it?” and the third students replies, “It’s like we have to go to school, but we don’t want to.” Brilliant.

Taiwan genius plastic covering…

You can tip the cup over and NOTHING spills
Obviously unless it’s through a straw…

But if you are riding a scooter you can easily put your drink in a bag, hook it to the “bag hook” and go on your merry way without spilling…until you jam the straw in once you’ve reached your destination…
It really stinks when the tip of your straw jams and you have to use a pen or something to poke an opening.

any guesses???
sweet potato and taro bubble milk tea

Saturday August 2nd. I love sleeping in freshly laundered sheets. So wonderful. Crashed out. Finally a good night’s sleep. Discovered this hidden breakfast spot this morning with my yoga-friend, Amy. Oh my! What a delightful quaint place! The lady grinds her own coffee beans, from Italy. Usually at small breakfast places, the coffees are not good…more along the lines of fake-instant stuff, so I was hesitant to order, but I really needed a coffee today! Best idea…it was so good! Had a rice roll- sticky rice stuffed with meat, eggs, and vegetables…a typical Taiwanese breakfast. Yummy!!! Great yoga class today as well.

Sunday August 3rd…Met up with Amy and Jessica for breakfast at “Buns and Coffee,” (包子+咖啡(複合式養生餐飲服務) Tried delicious North Vietnam coffee. Pilates and another relaxing afternoon. Lots of cleaning and am beginning to pack my things….clothes and such that I’m not using.

Saturday August 10th

This morning I did yoga. Then took a train to Taipei. Once Yvonne and I reached Taipei Main Station we took the MRT to Tamsui. Tamsui is the port area of Taipei. A guidebook’s recommendation to see the sunset. Gorgeous sunlight cascading down touching the cityscape and surrounding mountains before casting it’s rays on the shimmering water…what a sight! Truly a peaceful scene with the ocean stretching before my eyes and just behind me the bustling market area and street vendors. Live music played along the boardwalk and cafes hosted a number of local artists as well. Delicious street food and fresh fruit smoothies. After our late afternoon and sunset here we went to Whalen’s, a Western restaurant that offers mostly Canadian dishes like poutine (a whole menu just for this!). However, we opted for the quesadilla and white chocolate brownie for dessert. Absolutely scrumptious! What a fun day!

Ice-cream “cream” puff

Didn’t go…
BUT pretty fab Starbucks location…
overlooking the ocean…
live music…

Sunday August 11th

Met up with a couple ladies from yoga (who are my mom’s age) and their families for hiking around 18 peaks outside of Hsinchu city. Then we ate Beef Noodles (a Taiwan specialty) at this famous homemade beef noodle restaurant. Yummy!
Relaxed the rest of the day.

Monday August 12th

Thursday August 14th

Nikki brought Hello Kitty cupcakes today at work. And one of my students went to China for vacation and brought me back a pretty scarf and Hello Kitty fruit snacks. So sweet!

Friday August 15th

After today I only have ten more teaching days. TEN. I can count to ten. And after this week’s summer camp country activity I can count to ten in Portugese. Fun fact of the day. I desperately need my hair cut and a pedicure. The silly things I know…and on top of my thoughts I need to clean and pack and sleep and eat and prepare flight information. But all I really want to do is eat 7-11 ice cream and pineapple cake. It’s like my new thing now. Ironically I like to get it late at night after yoga class and I met one of the restaurant managers that I know on the street and she was like what are you doing? you are coming from yoga eating ice-cream. I didn’t really have the guts to say I also had pineapple cake and these grilled bacon-wrapped asparagus things (that are pretty much to die for) in my sack as well. #superhealthy. So people mark your calendars I will be stateside September 3rd until further notice of my next adventure…or perhaps I will stay a few extra months. Any opinions would be fab. Because I’ve become the most indecisive person ever. Or maybe it’s I just.can’’ I just want to eat ice-cream. and do yoga. in the air conditioning. I think I’ve mentioned ice-cream five times in the past paragraph. It’s just really.really.good. Even though it kinda makes me sick. Bleck.
My replacement came this week. He has taught at the school before so now my upper level 9 students want him back, cool kids I still have 4 more classes with you. Deal with it. Luckily my level 3s love me. Haha! I adore their craziness and I will miss them. Especially now that they are growing out of their temper tantrum…or maybe I’ve just become a stricter teacher and not put up with it. Like if they start to throw one I count to 5 and if they haven’t stopped they get a red point as a team so the whole team is like STOOPPPP. Amusing to say the least. Let them hash it out themselves.

Saturday August 16th

Hung out with Ringo today. Went to Hsinchu to get our favorite purple drinks…taro and sago tea! Then hung out and helped at her parent’s restaurant…I tried to help anyways! Just relaxed in the afternoon and at night went to a cafe overlooking Jhubei for dinner. Not as stunning as the cafe overlooking the Taipei lights, but we still had a good time laughing and talking.

Jhubei Lights

my dear friend sent this card
7 years ago on my birthday
we went to a Blues Traveler’s concert
What a great memory:
I treasure these friendships that last throughout life

my cafe BFF

Sunday August 17th

Went to Zhongli today with Zoe. We ate at this amazing Thai food restaurant called 泰美味. Iced Thai tea…Coconut rice…Green Chicken Curry…delicious! Afterwards we scurried from shop to shop to avoid the downpour!

My week in food…

I forgot Monday’s picture. I had vegetable dumplings. The usual.

Tuesday. MOS Burger.

What I ate: Hokkaido sweet potato croquette
Litchee (that’s how it was spelled on the menu) Soda with a lime
Specialty MOS Burger…burger with onion, tomato, and this salsa sauce stuff
Taiwan “Fast food”
Note: I prefer Market and Street food
Wednesday. Korean/Thai/Chinese Restaurant (not sure name)
Pad Thai.
Coconut Sago.
Note: I should not order coconut sago again.
Amazing Pad Thai.
Also. Side note about restaurants. I walked into my breakfast shop and they know me. My order and everything. So great. And the lady at the coffee shop knows my order too. So lovely having people know you. It makes me feel at home.
Thanks for taking my clothes and
for helping make my suitcase lighter!

Cambodia care packages mailed from
Sent to NY, USA.

Thursday. I had a hot caramel latte and raisin cranberry scone from Island Coffee (小島咖啡). It’s how I survive 25 kids, ok? Don’t judge. I DID go to the gym right after. Then I bought carrots and grapes. My sister is convincing me I should start my home detox early. Forget giving up dumplings and coffee during summer camp session. I WILL survive. 2 DAYS of Summer Camp to go…and the LAST country is The Land Down Under…Australia! Yay.

This afternoon before my night classes I was listening to this song… “Where It’s At,” by Dustin Lynch. It’s a catchy new country song…you know the typical cutesy video with the cute guy (I mean not my type, but still cute you know…) …the usual–driving around, on a patio, drinking a beer. It gets me thinking… I wish I had that…*sigh* someday!

For now, I’m traveling the world…(something I knew I would do since I was in high school…) I will admit the countries I have picked I actually had never considered before I started this crazy journey in Summer of 2011. I thought I would go to Europe…you know Ireland, France, Germany…instead I’ve been everywhere, but Europe…crazy how life works. I’ve traveled and taught in South Korea, Chile, and Taiwan… Speaking of which…I have news!!! My Taiwan contract is ending and I have about 9 months before grad school starts in June of 2015. I will be home for a couple months before heading off on my next adventure. Any guesses where this may be? 🙂 (Details to follow!)

Navigated this photo booth tonight…so excited about the picture project I’m working on!!!

Friday. Walked to the tax office. Breakfast with my friend Amy. Yoga. Class. Told my Level 3s I am leaving next week…their reaction?? Whyyy teachhherr? Why go back America? And this from Elva:
“Teacher, you go back and marry? *makes kissing motion with her fingers* You kiss back in America? Then she got excited and says, “Oh happy Teacher Megan go home and kiss!” *Claps* (Oh sweet silly silly girl!)

Saturday. Today marks 365 days in Taiwan. Cheers!!!

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