Saturday, August 20, 2011

Some beers, a tea, and a trip to Kaohsiung!

Week 1 of teaching in Taichung = complete. Have I eaten too many chips this week while staying up until midnight planning lessons? Yes. Have Boje and I found multiple nasty surprises where we opened our teachers guide to find that for the lesson we were planning we were supposed to "review everything the students have learned so far"? Yes. Have I come home from work with dry erase marker smudged all over my hands and face? Yes. Have I spent more money each day chugging caffeine-rich green teas than I have on my actual dinner? Yes. Am I ready for more? Absolutely! 

Last night Boje and I were invited out by one of my colleagues for some dinner and drinks with other Taichung-area teachers at a restaurant called Reichburg Beer Restaurant. We shared an elevator down to the lobby of our apartment building with a nice young Taiwanese man. When you live on the 18th floor, the ride down can really take a while! By the time we made it into the reception area, we’d already made tentative dinner plans and exchanged names and numbers with “Eddie”, our new neighbour! Taiwanese people are so sweet!

We then had quite a nice time at Reichburg! They had a large covered patio decorated with Christmas lights and small German flags and they served German-style beer in 2500cc towers. The menu was best described as international... There were some of the typical fried pub snacks available as well as Thai, Chinese, and Taiwanese main dishes. It ended up being quite a large group of us there, and B and I really enjoyed having some “grown up time” after our first week spent mainly in the company of 7-year-olds with runny noses.

Once we finish getting our act together this morning, we’ll be popping down to Kaohsiung for the day on the HSR. We’d had big aspirations about getting up at the crack of dawn and spending the morning at a scenic spot, but I’m now reluctant to leave the comfortable bubble of our first day off at too unreasonable an hour!

PS - One more nice local person story! The lady who runs the tea shop two doors down from my school has been so sweet to me. She’s actually from Hong Kong and speaks tons of languages (including English!) and has only recently opened the shop with her family. After multiple days of me ordering the same thing, she has decided to write an English menu for myself and one of the other girls at work to enjoy! We’re going to edit it for her too! This is the kind of stuff I hoped I’d have a chance to do in Taiwan! Also, on Friday night after I handed over $20NT for a tea in my usual sweaty rush to start on my 30-minute walk home at 9 pm, I left her shop without my frigging tea. So embarrassing. The next morning, however, one of the other ladies who works in the tea shop insisted I take a free tea and didn’t even smirk at me like I’m an idiot! That shop has earned my eternal custom and loyalty.

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