I think the saying is true, that traveling is the best way for people to broaden their knowledge about the world and destroy their misconceptions about other countries. For me living abroad is great because I like traveling, but I also like sitting around all day looking at clothes on Ebay.
People who have heard me complain about how it’s almost impossible to find work-appropriate clothes sized for 12-year-olds (not exaggerating) have told me it would probably be easier to find clothes in Asia. Which brings me to the first stereotype: Taiwanese People Are. Not. Short.
The average height for women here is only 2 inches shorter than in the US. Also, the average height for a country doesn’t necessarily tell you that much, as anyone who studied (and still remembers) statistics in college could tell you, if they think about it. (Really, just about anyone. I got a C in statistics.) Suffice it to say, the only people shorter than me are *still* kids under 11 and women over 80. So, it’s back to the internet I go for clothes, until I find someone who can give me sewing lessons in English.
I love living and working here, so much in fact that I can’t even decide which of the many great things to tell you about right now. Keep that in mind, because I have some more bad news: Chinese kids are NOT all well-behaved.
To be fair, the kids we see have already done a full day of school when they come to English class. They probably behave better for people who actually give them grades. But Taiwanese kids still talk while the teacher is talking (a lot), pass notes, play with toys in class, “forget” their homework, and try to get out of doing things they don’t want to do. I think as the kids get used to us, and as we become more experienced teachers, they will settle down.
P.S. If you go to church at ORUUC, I hope you are involved in the fossil-fuel divestment discussion. I am mindful as I teach these kids that I am preparing them for a more difficult world than the one I grew up in. I worry that their environment will be less safe and more unpredictable, that there will be more armed conflict and fewer jobs because of a scarcity of resources. The good choices we make about climate change now will help them.
Enough serious talk. Here’s a Weird Al video with lots of famous people dancing:
Bye for now.