Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend Picture

Jeremiah at the "dirt" market looking for movies

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

you see that mountain over there? yeah, one of these days, i'm going to climb that mountain

ok. so i didn't actually climb a mountain, but i did hike to the top of a little mountain near us to see a buddhist temple near our school. some crazy teacher took me to the top with our classes for a peace day hike. was pretty fun, but wish allison could have gone to the top. by the way, going on a hike here is a little different than at home. they don't know what switchbacks are. they just go straight ahead and you hike up or down a hill with stairs. ok, on with the pics (and lots of them):

our "gym"

the trail up

eek! wish allison would have been there for this one

our school from above

something to smile at on the way down

ps been listening to a lot of owen. check him out if you get a chance. bye.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Get stuck in traffic and you can always count on the good ol' 3 rights to make a left, correct? Not so in Taiwan, my friend, not so. Turning right has a whole new element here - it's called the scooter. There are lots of them. At home I actually got docked points on my drivers test because I didn't look in my blind spot for bikers when turning right. If you try to turn right here without looking you'll take out a scooter or 10. I've never appreciated a left turn before - now I look forward to them and dread the right turn!

Can't wait until Christmas to see how we adapt to driving in the states again!

people dream about us

hi marie! behind the scenes of a life in progress

ps will post a picture post of my hike up the mountain with my students for peace day in a little bit

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Before, after and another year wiser

Jeremiah's hair has been getting long, really long. When it dries the right way in the morning you can't really tell how long it is because of how curly it is, but when he gets home from school and messes it up, or wakes up on the weekend it looks like this:

Now granted, this is especially "froofed" for the camera and to demonstrate just how long it had gotten (and he would never go to work with it like this), but many times after school or on the weekends during the last few weeks he'd come out of another room looking like this. (These pictures scream "mug shot", don't they?)

Jeremiah goes back and forth with his hair often. He likes it long, then doesn't like it, likes it short, then he doesn't. I see why his dad was so quick to hand the job of Jeremiah's barber over to me. I don't mind cutting his hair though because we made a deal that I get a pair of shoes every time I cut his hair.

After some debate lately of whether to do it or not, he told me to cut it before he changed his mind again.
And now I get to go shopping for my next pair of shoes!

On another Jeremiah note: this week he turned 28! Luckily for me, Jeremiah is an easy going guy who appreciates thoughfulness and originality. I say luckily, because this birthday was a little different than our normal birthday festivities in the states. First, on my end shopping was much harder. We don't give each other big gifts for birthdays, but all my standbys were hard to get here (Wii games bought here don't work in our system, clothes fit differently so I can't pick them out for him, he doesn't really have a hobby here yet ). I also don't have a store I can go to and know I will find something. I ended up going to a pretty big mall and getting lost, which was embarrassing because when you are the only white person people notice when you go by the same store 5 times.

The cake was another obstacle. At home I would bake a vegan cake for him - but we don't have an oven or vegan baking supplies. Nor can you go out and buy vegan desserts (well, maybe you can but I don't know where to do that). So, I went on a mission to find whatever vegan treats I could find. I ended up building a "cake" out of cookies and some make-shift frosting to hold it together. In the end, with a big "Happy Birthday" sign, some Taiwan-fab gifts, a unique (to say the least) cake, and a surprise dinner with a bunch of our teacher friends, I think it was a successful birthday!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A little bit of home

-Jeremiah and I both love mexican food and everywhere we have traveled this is the food we miss the most. This week, in search of a good dinner, and in the need for a bit of a change we found ourselves in a restaurant/store that had the fixings for a basic meal. Nothing like mexi-cart food that we got at home, but it still hit the spot.

-We got a package from my mom and I'm now the proud owner of some anti-itch spray which is helping a lot. Among other things, there was also a picture of me and my grandpa when I was little - made me a little teary-eyed but was nice to get. Thanks mom!

-And finally, we are watching the beaver game online, projected onto the tv. Though our half-time food is far from the bean dips, tofu hot dogs, and chips we used to have at home - today we have rice, spicy green beans and tofu. Took some "polaroids" because they remind me of grandpa, who would be proud we are watching all the way on the other side of the world.

Go beavs!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

here and there

Things I like here:
  • paying for everything at 7/11. so easy. so nice. except it gets a little tricky when you can't speak chinese. i kind of just hand them a bunch of money and hope they're honest.
  • going out to eat and spending $3 to get 15 vegetable dumplings and a bowl of noodles. it did help that we had our friends girlfriend speaks chinese. or ordering 5 items at the thai place, plus rice, plus a tiny dessert and paying $15
  • not having people honk at other people all the time. most relaxed drivers ever over here. amazing how it looks "crazy" and "out of control" when you're not driving in it, but once you get out there, the cars/scooters are like ants... they just go with the flow
  • going and buying housing stuff to put in our place that makes allison happy. (we're still working on having her not automatically pick up the first split pea colored thing she sees!)
  • water bills that are $5. granted, you're not getting the cleanest/freshest water. but it is still nice.
  • catching and releasing cockroaches. long story short. allison "kill it!" me "no, just move the whole bed to the side and i'll throw a box over it." done.
  • getting multiple boxes of sandpaper-y kleenex when you fill up at the gas station that i never use
  • spending $60 per month on gas instead of $360 when we were at home. amazing
  • working at the same school as allison
  • staring at other westerners because it is so rare to see them
  • going out to eat. a lot. too cheap to pass up.
  • buying electronics for cheap. they're made here, they better be cheap. (except apple. damn you apple)
  • dear espn360, thank you for letting me watch the ucks lose to boise state. and then accepting their victory with pride and without any... oh wait. nevermind.
  • skyping with people back home. especially video skype.
  • hanging out with some of the other teachers here. they're pretty nice.
  • light switches on the outside of a room. i mean, whose idea was it to put a light switch inside of a dark room? makes much more sense. and all the light switches have little green dots on them if they're off... so if it is dark, you can actually see where you need to be going to turn it on. genius.
  • reading other people's blogs about living abroad: columbia, taiwan, used to live in taiwan, and kazakhstan are the ones i check out the most often... just because i know them. or have been looking at them the longest. if you're out there, leave us a comment so we can read about you too.
  • paying way too much for good beer. seriously. just import some micro brew in bulk and charge less

what i'm looking forward to in portland:
  • taco cart on se 84th and woodstock, vita, herbivore, sweet pea, food fight!, taco bell fire sauce, mexican food
  • sidewalks
  • humidity under 80%
  • hub, deschutes, rogue
  • watching football with my dad
  • talking about wedding details with my brother (joke)
  • playing wii with sister and her bf
  • making food with mom
  • being cold
  • kicking tk's ass in anything
  • buying allison a new computer
  • flying from portland to taiwan and knowing what to expect
i probably missed a lot, but realized it'd been a few days since we posted, so wanted to get this out. hope all is well.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Modern Toilet

A post about toilets in a foreign country could go a lot of different ways, but today we are talking about a restaurant. When we were in the states we came across a blog post about this restaurant called "The Modern Toilet". It looked interesting to say the least, and when we found out there was a location in Taichung we gathered a group of friends and went.

Everything is bathroom related. When you walk in you see this:
picture from here

Yes, those are toilets you see - they serve as your seats. The tables are made of bathtubs.

Before you eat, wash your hands here:

Quirky, but nothing too weird, right?

Luckily we knew better than to think this was where the bathroom theme ended. Our food was served in this:
That's hot pot served in a toilet shaped bowl (was great hot pot too).

Jeremiah's drink was served in this little portable device:

Dessert - shaved ice with all sorts of sweet things on top - came out in this:

But this is really takes the cake (mom - if you've made it this far in the post I'm impressed, but I can hear your sounds of disgust already at the next one, and I'm sorry):
picture from here

I would recommend checking one of these restaurants out if you have the opportunity, if only to say you've been.

On a side note, there is a cockroach in our bedroom right now. Jeremiah is trying to catch him for me. I freaked out this morning when I almost sat on it and while I'm getting a little more used to the idea of a humongous bug being in our house, I don't like that he's hiding under our bed and could creep out at any time to chill on me while I'm sleeping. I'll let you know if he gets it for me...

update: after some teamwork, 3 boxes, a broom and a headlamp we got him out. It's now midnight and I'm going to bed!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


just bought plane tickets home for winter break. get in the 23rd of december and fly out the 6th of january. see you soon(ish)!