Sunday, January 30, 2011


Waiting for teppanyaki goodness - the food is 
fast, delicious and cooked right in front of you

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chinese New Year

We celebrated Chinese New Year at school this week - parents brought lots of delicious food and explained some of the traditions.

Tangerines symbolize luck; oranges wealth - go here to read more about what foods symbolize

Red envelopes traditionally filled with money, these had chocolate coins

We learned some calligraphy

And now we're on vacation for a little over a week to celebrate New Years.  Xīn nián kuài lè!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who wants a burger?

If you find yourself in Taipei looking for a good veggie burger (or real burger if you are into that sort of thing) look up KGB Kiwi Gourmet Burgers.  Veggies can choose from 9 burger varieties with a lentil/walnut patty while the meat eaters among us can peruse the 10 beef, 10 chicken and 1 lamb options.  A sampling of their menu from their website:
CC Heaven – smooth creamy camembert cheese covered with cranberry sauce. It’s thanksgiving on a burger. Great with beef or chicken or the walnut lentil patty.
Satay – Indonesian style peanut satay sauce is perfect on chicken but really it goes with anything.
Lamb Burger – a NZ lamb patty with honey lemon feta, tsaziki and a sliced cucumber.
Bacon Avocado – crispy bacon on top of fresh avocado.
KGB Aioli – Aioli is a delicious Spanish ginger and lime mayonnaise.
The Tower – a stack of freshly grilled vegetables including egg plant, red pepper, yellow pepper, mushroom, lettuce & a ginger lime aioli.
The Classic – mustard, ketchup, pickles and melted Gouda cheese.
Little Piggy – bacon and Gouda cheese – the classic cheeseburger.

These were so good Jeremiah wished later that he had eaten 2 while he had the chance.  We recommend you check them out!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Does this mask match my shoes?

One of the first things I noticed about all the scooter drivers in Taiwan was all the masks they wear.  This is to help prevent breathing in the fumes and pollution in the air.  Now, who knows if that actually works at all, but there are a few other benefits to wearing a mask.  #1 - they keep your face warm when you drive in the cold and  #2 - yet another chance to accessorize your outfit. 

Add sunglasses and my face disappears!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1, 2, and 3

After a lot of discussion, Allison and I have decided that we're going to stay in Taiwan for a third year.  Even though we haven't even been here for a year a half, as international teachers, you have to plan ahead so the schools have time to hire other teachers at the job fairs.  We love it here and we're looking forward to exploring more of the island, hanging out with our friends, and working at our school.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stepping back in time

Across from the Taipei Train Station is an odd looking entrance to a place called Taiwan Storyland (more information here).  We had walked by it a few times, and then had a recommendation to check it out, so we did.  Taiwan Storyland is a replication of what Taiwan looked like in the 1950's-70's.

There were streets with storefronts (think dentist, barbershop, school, clothing stores, tea houses, etc.) and some shops where you could go in and buy things.  My favorite was looking at the posters they had hung all over the brick buildings.

We enjoyed looking around and would recommend it to people interested in Taiwan's past.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

East meets geek

Santa brought these awesome lightsaber chopsticks to our stocking this year.  We may need to have a follow-up purchase to get the other colors...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wedding gifts

Today we received this box of goodness.  Food gifts are given often for all sorts of occasions, complete with cute boxes and always given to the recipient in the bag.  The occasion this time?  A coworker is getting married and these are her wedding cookies.  Brides give out elaborate boxes of cookies to all her friends after getting engaged.  These look particularly delicious - can't wait to dig in!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Toto we're not in Taiwan anymore

Before heading back to Taiwan in a couple days we are savoring all things "home".

Frost on the windshield after a night in the cold central oregon air

Sunday, January 2, 2011

From us to you

We're so tricky

So we lied.  We told everyone we were staying in Taiwan for Christmas then going to Bangkok for New Years.  We had lots of very good reasons why we needed to stay and couldn't come home this year.  And for awhile, those were true.  Then suddenly things changed and we bought plane tickets, rented a car, found a $200NT ($6US) santa suit and didn't tell anyone we were coming.  That last part was the hardest, but the pay off was awesome.

Jeremiah's mom and dad were first up on Christmas Eve, and dressed up in the santa suit Jeremiah was hard to recognize.  Even his mom had a hard time; as he stood there she stalled with the dragged out "oh you" desperately trying to figure out why a santa was standing in her walk-in closet with her.  It took a few seconds but she was soon asking "what are you doing here?!" and the tears were flowing.  His sister had a similar reaction with tears and hugs.

Jeremiah sneaking up to his parents house, and the reaction at his sister's house

Our next stop was Allison's family on Christmas day.  When Grandma opened the door to her house I announced "special delivery" and then had three sets of eyes - grandma, mom and aunt - staring at me in bewilderment.  What felt like a few minutes, but Jeremiah tells me was more like 20 seconds, nobody said anything.  I yanked off the beard and nobody missed a beat with the tears.  (Sadly there were no pictures of me in the santa suit, though a video of me running up the street with the santa pants [that I had pulled on over my jeans] falling off without me knowing would have been priceless.)

It will be hard to top this in years to come.