Well, it is September 11th, it is weird to be here where there is no recognition of that date. I figure if I were home that there would be some kind of reminder on the news all day.
I have been here for about 2 weeks. I am doing well. Everything is so new and exciting. My eyes are always full of all the things to see. I have been traveling around on the back of other people's scooters and traveled up to a town called Huwei where a couple new friends live. And then I went up to Doulio to see my agent and buy my own scooter. So, I got my scooter Monday night and immediately got my first crash out of the way. It wasn't bad. I got a bit bruised , my muscles are a bit sore, and I got some road rash, but other than that I am ok. I learned quickly how to go very SLOW!!! And after that I had to make my long trip home to Puzih, which is about an hour from Doulio by scooter. So I got right back up and took my time getting home. Not so bad.
This was the road rash. I had a few other places on my body that looked like this, but that is it!!
I got a cell phone and have yet to learn how to use it and its functions. And I am not so sure how to call from home but the international dialing code is 011 866 and my number is 0918092675. When calling from the US you drop the zero though. The best time to call me (American Time) is between 6pm and 9:30pm. That is equal to 9am-12:30pm here the next day. I am 15 hours ahead here.
I have completed my first week of teaching. There were many frustrations, as well as a lot of fun. It is pretty entertaining and humbling to not be able to speak the same language as your students. I know they talk about me and most of the girls seem very embarrassed when they are using their English with me. It is like a test to them to use their new language with someone who already speaks it. So, it is a bit of a task to get the girls to speak. The boys seem to have less of a problem with speaking to me. I think the difference has to do with the cultural difference of how men and women are treated. Women are very submissive here and it starts early in putting each gender in their place. The cultural differences are very interesting to observe amongst the kids.
I went to Chaiya and met a ton of new people. I had a really good time. There are so many foreigners all over the place and everyone knows each other somewhat. We are a pretty funny group when we go to parties because the people from Puzih all travel together and arrive everywhere and leave at the same time, so we are a funny little pod of 15 or so.
The Tropic of Cancer goes through Chaiya. There is a big monument to mark it.
I have been told that all the markers for the different Tropics look like this. So, that is kinda neat. Chaiya is about a 30 minutes scooter ride from Puzih and it is a much bigger city. It is where we can go to movie theaters and dance clubs and things.
We went to a movie last night. We went to a place called MTV. It is a private movie place where you get private rooms with big couches and huge projection TV's. You can control the lights and sound and then you watch whatever movie. All the movies are pirated so you can see EVERYTHING. It is about $3 a person. It is nice cause you can bring in food and drinks and get comfortable.
KTV is REALLY popular here. That is Karaoke which we all know I love so I have had a blast. There is a KTV place on nearly every block!!! It is pretty funny. My friends have one at their house so the parties tend to end up at their house in the wee hours of the morning. One of the Taiwanese men gave them all the equipment in exchange for a few English lessons for his kids. Pretty good deal.