Friday, November 28, 2008

Another day more adventures

We had a pretty easy day starting with a short reading from The Common Book of Prayer. Bless the Lord! Then we walked about 4 blocks to a breakfast shop called LaGuardia, there are several in Kaohsiung. It was there I realized my belt fastened one notch tighter this morning! In Saskatoon we would have driven and had 4 times as much to eat. Mind you we were meeting our friend Marco for lunch 2 hours later.

Lunch was at a Korean BBQ sorry no English on the site. It was great! we ate for 2 hours for about $15 CDN ! And then got treated by Marco. Free is fantastic.

We rode the MRT back to Melissa's and helped move some more stuff in prep for the revitalizing paint she and Elaine will apply tomorrow. Now I've hauled beds up, down across and out! The reworked 2nd and third floor will be great!!!! I can hardly wait to see the results!

We borrowed a small Christmas tree from Melissa which now has about 45 lights on it with the remainder of the 100 light string laying around the base. Our 8 decorations may get added to but there isn't much room on the tree. I will probably have to get a few specialty Christmas lights that just don't make it to Saskatoon. The cows and a few others won't make it though.....

Now we are simply kicking back and relaxing for the evening.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ready for a laugh

Yesterday we went to the Hansin Department Store near Melissa's for lunch. After lunch I went to the bathroom there and as I was sitting there it did a partial flush! HEY WAIT I'M NOT DONE!!!!! Now everything was wet! So ok, finished, dried and then washed my hands!

When I mentioned this to Melissa and Colleen they just smiled! Melissa said yep it does that. Colleen said it did it on her 4 times! I don't think it was an integrated bidet.............

today at lest didn't have those kinds of surprises.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

God has delivered another good day to us.

I was just sitting here thinking how good God has been to us today.

We feel good, except for wear and tear on our feet but no blisters. We have had good food with only a couple surprises. We broke down and had McD at Dream Mall, we needed a familiar look and taste. Once we got inside the package familiarity appeared! We made sure we got to the rooftop to check out the Ferris wheel and games arcade. It is a VERY SLOW wheel so we will go back on a clear day to scan the city. The night view will also be held for another time.

We are getting quite comfortable with the MRT and deliberately got off at Melissa's stop R15, Ecological District, so we could walk to our place and stop at a grocery store we are getting familiar with. Each MRT station has 2-4 exits depending on size and we used the station map to avoid crossing Boai Rd on the surface. The same amount of steps or more but fewer cars and scooters to avoid! So, at least on one path were are getting more familiar and broadening our range of travel.

Now to get beyond hello and thank you in our Chinese! Oh, I can order an egg sandwich [dahn bough] across the street from our apartment but that may be more due to the owner getting familiar with what I want than my language skill.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I was going for a walk?????

We are getting new sidewalks and some Utilty services. The front end bucket sounds like a pack of yipping and squealing dogs as it rolls down the street at 8 am!

A regular day

No not that kind of regular, I mean ordinary. No teaching and got up when we felt like it.

Colleen made french toast and I made coffee for breakfast then we video chatted with Doug and Judy for a while. They will be here in a couple months! Melissa checked on our Christmas flights to Malaysia then we met her for lunch at the dumpling restaurant near her place.

A pretty usual day until we walked back to her place and moved beds and furnishings for an hour and a half! Her place, IFH, will soon be revitalized and so will she. Melissa carries many responsibilities and the volume spreads her abilities a bit too thin at times. (so a father thinks)

Tomorrow looks to be a similar day less the furniture moving. We need to go to the Post Office to send some cards and hopefully the leisurely strolling and exploring today was going to hold.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

4th Thanksgiving dinner!

We had 2 American Thanksgiving dinners today! The one last Sunday adds to our Canadian dinner we hosted before leaving Saskatoon to make 4. Each had its unique character. Loving family relationships, caring church family relationships and my new work family. The 3 Taiwan meals were good and had a few unfamiliar dishes. Sorry, I don't know the English name for those I was brave enough to try!

We are just marvelling that we have been in our apartment only one week! We're getting used to cable TV, we have CNN and a few English language movie channels all we have to do is filter the Chinese subtitles and commercials. I bet most of you filter the commercials at home! I believe we are the last generation that will be able to function without speaking capability in 2 and probably 3 or 4 languages. English may well become the most common crossover language but North American supremacy and dominance will fade.

There is so much to tell but it quickly becomes the everyday! Today Melissa drove us 2 or 3 places knowing exactly where to go in a city where most people describe a store or location as such and such a place next to such and such a place. Streets are organized, well most major ones are but many minor ones have developed from being small streets or lanes to business streets that now need explanations. On the way home tonight we used the freeway which Melissa is fairly familiar with but when she said "NOW I DON'T KNOW WHERE THIS IS " after she took the exit and turned right. Within 5 minutes we were back to somewhere Melissa knew. She now knows how to get to the backside of the MRT station! My girl the explorer!

There sure are a lot of stairs here! Sure there are lots of escalators and elevators but not everywhere. The school owner's house we were at tonight is in a beautiful development we could consider gated townhouses, well sort of. Quite similar to North America sizes but with 4 floors a LOT of stairs. Beautiful grounds just east of Chengching lake. Lovely walkways and winding stairs.

I'm off to Gangshan again tomorrow to sub for a friend of Melissa's so he can spend the day with his parents before they return to South Africa Monday night. Working alternate weeks could get habit forming. I start my 5 1/2 week stretch on Dec 4th. We will take a few days around Christmas and visit Lana Gummeson in Malaysia. I may be enjoying the teaching a bit too much, well at least enough that I feel confident making it through the December weeks is feasible and maybe comfortable. I have a new found appreciation for the HOURS teachers spend on their feet!

Well construction noise starts at 8 AM and tomorrow I teach from 2-9:15 so the yawns mean bedtime. The morning after we moved in the started replacing utility services and sidewalks on our street. They work fast here so they may well be done by week's end!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We've been here 2 weeks!

It seems so natural and yet so foreign!

I finished the week of subbing I was not expecting but enjoyed it and was not as tired as Melissa thought I would be and we are settled in our new apartment. Colleen made a supper of steak, baked potato and cooked carrots to celebrate both! She just needs to find the store with recognizable salt in a reasonable quantity. We had dinner at TGIFriday's to celebrate a friend of Melissa's birthday. Just one more thing we can't do in Saskatoon.

I taught classes of 11, 6, 7, 9, 5, 2 kids for a total of 28 hours this week from 2-9:15 most days; it sure was a mind and body shift to have free time at the beginning rather than the end of the day! We are about a 6 minute walk from the train and MRT, 20 minute ride to my school, and then a 20 minute walk to the school (or a 5 minute taxi ride (about $4 CDN)). The train is about 80 cents cdn each way! I walked a couple days and then the owner loaned me a scooter to go from the train to the school. 21 degrees feels nice in shorts but very chilly zipping along on a scooter. I won't be able to take the taxi because I forgot and left the handwritten card in my shirt pocket and the sweat made the ink absorb into the paper. At least it wasn't into my shirt!

We've made a few independent outings and at least 1/4 have resulted in EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY walking due to wrong turns and poor bearings. We will get better oriented in the next week, after all there are only a few places to get mixed up!

Tomorrow is Church again, Melissa is on for Worship team so we will be there in under 10 hours. Wow It's our third Sunday! Now we can start to listen for God's guidance for our involvement here. We have a Thanksgiving dinner at the school's owners tomorrow evening so this will be our second American Thanksgiving dinner here. We are truly thankful for all of God's blessings , here and in North America.

Please leave comments and ask any questions. And those occasional 'anonymous' commenters, please add your names to your comment so we can better appreciate your interest and caring for us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some First tasks done!

We cleaned the apartment today, well Melissa's cleaning lady, Colleen and Melissa. I did the patio doors and a window!

Melissa and I took the train to Gangshan to make sure, well mostly sure, that I could get there on my own next week. Oh I am subbing for one of Melissa's friends next week it will be a good gauge for my December stint.

We helped select our new mattress as well. The owner is sister-in-law to Melissa's 'mentor' so we are getting many bargains!

We registered 3 guests from France who have been travelling around Taiwan for a couple weeks and are headed to Kenting tomorrow. I was even able to assist with directions to the MRT and High Speed Rail station. Me who gets turned around like I have amnesia.

I guess we should go get some dinner. We will get to the routine soon after all we haven't been here a week yet!

Love to all.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

We are here, home is Kaohsiung until Easter

Tired but overjoyed!

Glad to be with Melissa but HOT!

Excited for church but missing Lakeview.

Wanting to post more but too soon for pics.

We walked around, familiarized ourselves a bit yesterday, felt the consequences of travelling for about 30 hours with only naps.

We got upgraded to Business Class by Dragonair, unfortunately it was just over an hour flight. They barely had time to serve the meal. We were served by name, a challenging one at the best of times but spoken better than many English speakers.

Well more in a few days.