Happy Chinese New Year!

Hello, everyone!

I was feeling bad that I had meant to write a New Year’s post, and missed the deadline…then I realized I could write a Chinese New Year’s post, which means…

I’m EARLY! HA!

Well, in any case, I hope all of you had a good holiday season. Our big holiday, Chinese New Year, starts in about two weeks (I think). We get a week off from work (I think). We’re either going to Hong Kong or staying here. I think.

Things are usually a least a little confusing here. Another case in point: Our landlord was supposed to come by a little over a week ago to do a repair, and I’m still not sure why he couldn’t come that day. We talk to him through one of the school staff, since that is the best way to deal with the language barrier.

We have gotten pretty settled into our routine here. We drive a scooter to work each morning–that is, Michael drives, and I ride on the back, staring at all the signs I can’t read and gazing longingly at the restaurants that will be closed by the time we get off for the evening. There is a guy who sells boiled corn on the cob at one of the stoplights for 15 NT an ear (about 50 cents). We got some once during a red light, and it was delicious.

We each have one class that meets 4 times a week from 2-4:30 pm. These are first and second graders who get out of school earlier than the older kids. We see these kids ten hours a week–that’s *a lot.* I’ve gotten pretty attached to them. They are mostly a lot of fun.

Most of the classes meet twice a week from 5-7 pm. One session per week is with a Taiwanese teacher, and one session is with the foreign teacher (me or Michael). This system was very confusing for me at first. Since each class meets without me in between each lesson I have with them, I never actually know how the previous lesson went, and it’s easy to mix up which page we’re on in the book. But over all it seems to work out well, as long as our communication with the other teacher is reasonably good. I also have two Jr. High classes that meet once a week, and Michael has one.

This past Friday we went to a birthday party for a Taiwanese friend of a friend. Actually, it was for two Taiwanese friends of friends (not one friend and her dog, which is what I thought it was until everyone was leaving to go home.) It was a little bit like being on a Chinese-language game show. (If you’ve ever watched How I Met Your Mother, think of the Japanese game that Barney plays at the casino.)

Sunday we played Life–the board game–at the local expat bar with two teacher friends. It struck me as silly that we were playing a game based on an American/Western version of “normal” adult life, while actually living in a way that many people would consider more interesting. But it was fun. Maybe because it is always good to escape from real life for an hour or two. Or maybe because it is fun to get large sums of fake money from a fake bank.

So this has been our “exciting” life for the past several months. Let us know how you’re doing, too!