Tuesday, August 4, 2009


random thoughts and observations from the first few days

-when you wake up on an overnight flight to someone speaking to you in chinese, asking you what you want to drink, you feel like they’re messing with you… until you come to your senses and realize they’re not
-allison looks so cute standing in the middle of a hundred foreigners at sfo
-when it gets really humid, your sandals stick to your feet when you walk
-after walking out of customs at the airport in taipei, we (well, i) almost turned around and walked back on the plane when i didn’t see someone with our name on a poster. fortunately, allison slapped some sense into me and said we should just keep looking and not give up so soon. sunny showed up a minute later
-all the new teachers here have amazing stories about other countries they’ve taught at. we don’t, but we will
-i miss my mom and dad, but will see them in december!
-allison is doing amazing and seems to be adapting even better than i am
-chinese characters look nothing like english (duh), but it is fun pretending like some of them look similar at the grocery store, until you realize that you’re telling someone that the character for soy milk looks like the same character for motor oil. wrong.
-greeting someone with “ni hao” (hello) in chinese, isn’t always the best thing to do because they assume you know a little chinese, which we don’t. but that doesn’t stop me from doing it!
-having a $100 dollar taiwanese bill in your hands isn’t as fun when it only equals $3 in the US
-sweating non stop all day + not being able to read anything at the grocery store = weight loss
-one of the teachers here was an extra in chasing amy. oops, asked him about 75 too many questions about the movie once i found that out.
-we’re excited for our moms to send us comfort packages, but we’re not going to ask them to. (and yes, we know they read this blog)
-i could see allison’s “i’m a little overwhelmed” feeling go away after she bought some cheerios, cleaning supplies, and matching cute bowls, plates, and glass (it’ll go away even more once we get that fridge)
-we have two extra rooms and are hoping for visitors (anytime!)
-our school is actually in the jungle.
-taiwanese scooter drivers have balls of steel. no, titanium
-the fact they have a costco here wasn’t comforting. it was kind of sad.
-i need to learn to speak chinese, and how
-our doorbell sounds like a bird chirping
-i can’t wait to see peter again
-you can’t flush any paper down the toilet. see-ick.
-allison is quickly learning the importance of looking both ways
-allison just said “jermeiah is quickly learning that scooters go really fast and needs to tell her to run, not walk” when 20 of them are barreling down on us”
-starbucks and mcdonalds have internet, but it isn’t free. learned that the hard way after walking ten minutes to starbucks and another ten minutes to mcdonalds. was still fun though.
-it is fun having three people try to help you at mcdonalds just because you’re american
-not having a fridge isn’t half bad when you eat out a lot. and by eat out, i don’t mean fast food, i mean, rice, fresh veggies, and amazing tofu for every meal
-they have guinness and it is the dark export stuff
-charades is even more fun when it is cross cultural
-it was nice talking to my mom, dad, brother, and sister on the phone. actually, it was very nice
-is it college football season yet?
-we love it when people comment on our blog because it lets us know you’re out there
-i didn’t need to bring ten pairs of a pants
-i love having allison here with me, even if she is sitting next to me practicing her chinese lessons and confusing the hell out of me

bye. have a great day!


  1. Hey you two! How are things? I love your observations! Traveling really makes you remember the little things! I hope you get a cold box soon! Be sure to send us your address so we can send care packages too. I made vegan spinach dip today for my dad's birthday dinner and it made me miss you guys! Can't wait to hear more about your adventure!


  2. Xiexie for another cool post!

    Ask Peter if there is a good 早餐店 (zǎocāndiàn) (breakfast place) nearby. Taiwan has a domestic chain restaurant called Yǒng Hé Dòu Jiāng 永和豆漿 (that translates to something like "eternal peace soymilk :) They are pretty awesome for breakfast 'cause they make all their doujiang (soymilk) fresh each morning.

    Learn to recognize and say this word 素 (sù) . Look for it when you walk the streets. As a fellow vegan it will become your favorite word.

    This website is my current favorite for practicing and learning Chinese. http://us.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php
    Once you learn some pinyin you can use it to type too.

    After you guys have had a week or two to get used to things (or just whenever) we should skype about Taiwan and Mandarin. Maybe like your late evening and my early morning... or vise versa.

  3. glad you guys are adjusting well! Good luck!!

  4. I love your list!!! After being in Mexico for a couple of months and having to deal with the toilet paper deal, it was actually very difficult to remember that I could throw it in the toilet when we got home for a few months!

    Good luck you guys!

  5. Tom is coming home tomorrow. He will enjoy reading all about your adventures. I sure love that you write well and often.

  6. fun to read...hope you enjoyed your culturally vegan quarter pounder.


  7. I really love this list. a lot.

  8. heather - things are going well! i'll send you a message on facebook so you can send us a postcard if you get bored. glad the spinich dip turned out. we'll be looking forward to that in december.

    brett - will do. peter will probably help us out a lot. we'll be looking for the breakfast place. i'm pretty good at walking up to complete strangers and asking them if they speak english and trying to get info out of them. we'll plan on skyping in the next few weeks once we sign up for online classes.

    sarah - so are we :) allison is doing great!

    maddy - haha, yeah... i'm sure that will take some getting used to when we go back home.

    stephanie - take care of osu's future starting db for me.

    drew - i hate you

    show - good! :) tell the fam hi!

  9. good job guys!!!! with the transition, the heat, the blog and the sense of humor. :)

  10. marcia & richard say hi!! your experiences remind us of living on the economy in Panama City and Bogata, Colombia

  11. hey carly - thanks for the comment :) the heat isn't as bad now that the rain started!

    hi aunt marcia! hope things are going well in sunriver. hopefully we'll see you in december! love you!