Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Merry!

First of all, Happy Festivus and Merry Christmas!

Yesterday morning was pretty amazing. Brett and I woke up at a halfway decent hour to Skype with our friends as they celebrated Festivus back home. I thought it would make me feel incredibly homesick, but I actually felt way better! Yesterday flew by and it was hard to feel sad about missing our friends and family when we had so many frantic errands and tasks to do to prepare for the weekend. I also spent the afternoon at the branch teaching kids in an English social club how to bake sugar cookies. The catch was that we were using a "Taiwanese" oven the size of my microwave. My co-teacher at the branch did an amazing job of pulling together all the baking ingredients I needed which is quite a feat on short notice in a country where home baking isn't a big thing. We were still missing a few key things (like one-cup measuring devices, for instance!) but we improvised with an elaborate system of tablespoons and plastic cups.

The kids were split into two groups and they all got to take turns measuring ingredients and mixing them together. They all did a pretty good job. I tried not to micromanage and I think as a result of the cold medicine I was on I kept my cool pretty well. There was considerable spillage. There were erroneous measurements. There was flour on a boy's face. The girls team eventually forgave me for convincing them to make "purple" dough which actually turned out pretty grey. They even baked me a Thank You cookie!

This evening, our friend, Denton, came into town from the county. We went out for an amazing Indian dinner at a restaurant called Bollywood near the Science Museum. Nothing says Christmas Eve like onion pakoras and a selection of rich curries! We then went for a stroll to SOGO nearby and had some lovely Christmassy encounters with Taiwanese people. As we walked through an underground tunnel to the department store, we came across a Taiwanese man playing the harmonica. He asked us where we were from and when we told him Canada, he busted out a beautiful rendition of Red River Valley. What a hustler - our wallets were out ASAP.

We had a lovely evening of Christmas movies and Star Trek episodes (though I must admit I snoozed through half of it) and we had a great Christmas morning of Skyping with our families and enjoying a leisurely breakfast. We're going out for Christmas dinner with some other foreigners in Taichung tonight, and I can't wait!

Cookies baked by Amanda's students
Care package from Annemarie & Kenny!
Xmas Feast, 7-11 style
Denton & Amanda at at Taichung's Sogo

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