What a busy weekend!

I spent a lot of time driving on Saturday.  But the good news about that is that I am very comfortable on my scooter now and I am learning to drive very defensively because of the crazy drivers in this country.  It is pretty amazing how much the lights are ignored and people just figure they ALWAYS have the right of way and that others will go around them or stop for them.  It is definitely an eye opener tot he good parts of American ways of driving.  We have it good!!  Even when someone cuts us of and we get a bit angry, there is nothing like the driving in Taiwan!!!

After work on Saturday Merina, the other foreign girl works at my school, and I drove up to Doulio to a surprise baby shower for Robert's (my agent) wife.  She is due in January.  Baby showers are not a custom here and the shower just turned out to be a surprise get together in Wei's honor.  There were about 30 foreigners there and we all just hung out and talked and laughed til about 11:30pm.  Then the Puzih and Huwei crew went to Chaiya for a birthday party for an American girl who also lives in Puzih.  It was pretty funny to walk into a nightclub and have such a large amount of foreigners and Taiwanese.  It seemed to be almost an even amount of both. Kinda reminded me of 815L in the last months I worked there.  Nightclubs and bars don't seem to close here, so we stayed and danced until 5am came back to Puzih and sat up and talked til the sun came up.  I have not gone to bed before the sun yet on a Saturday night.

After next week I will have a bunch of pictures because Dawn, Phil, and I are going to Taipei and Hualien.  The most famous National Park in Taiwan is in Hualien.

So....here are some pictures of me and my new friends.

This is Wei.  The baby is due in January.

This is Merina.  She is Canadian and she teaches at my school.

This is Hank.  He is South African and crazy funny.

This is Christen.  She and I arrived on the same flight from Japan to Taiwan.  We stayed at RObert's together for a couple days and this was the first time I had seen her since I moved to Puzih.  She lives in Chaiya.

This is Amber and Dawn.  Two Canadians.  I hang out with Dawn and Merina most of the time.

This is Willem.  He is South African.  He is sort of the quiet giant, but he is very intriguing.  He has a degree in Theology and has some pretty interesting things to say.


This is Mimi.  She teaches at my school, our desks are right next to each other so she translate a lot of things for me.  She actually spent most of her childhood in Fremont, CA for school.  But she has been back in Taiwan for about 3 years.

This is is Phil.  He is an American and really funny.  He likes to dance quite silly like I do so we had a great time joking around and dancing the other night.  We were at Merina's house after dancing and he is sitting on a lion that someone found on the side of the road.

This is a picture of a traditional Taiwanese person's vices.  Beer and Beetlenuts.  I haven't tried the beetlenuts, but there are beetlenut stands everywhere.  In the little booths are scantily clad Taiwanese girls who roll them and sell them by the bag.  The nut grows everywhere around here and they wrap them in a leaf and some kind of paste.  They turn the chewers mouth a blood red and they spit the juice kinda like chewing tobacco.  It is pretty nasty looking, but you can look at most older Taiwanese men and see blood red mouths all the time.