October 22, 2006

An American in Taipei

Current Netflix rental:
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 3, Disc 1

I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks, and my html coding feels kinda rusty tonight. I've been keeping busy lately. I should be working on a midterm paper, but instead I'm calculating my net worth. So far, one financial site I used misspelled principal as principle, and another had judgement. No wonder America is in such financial straits! It's kind of a bummer to see how slowly that home mortgage loan principle principal decreases, isn't it?

I thought I would blog a bit about Katie in Taiwan. She's been over there for - wow! - almost a month now. She got to call me from the airport before she left the States, and I thought her Mandarin sounded great. Although, I thought she picked up a bit of a Utah accent from her time there. I've gotten a couple of e-mails from her since she arrived in Taiwan. I'll try to relate some of her news, and hopefully nothing will be lost in the translation. Here's what she wrote in her first e-mail:
So, let me tell you a little bit about Taiwan. Every night the garbage man comes through the streets to collect the garbage. The interesting thing is that like the ice cream man in America, he plays music. Last night they played Für Elise. Hilarious. The traffic is an experience never to be forgotten. Everyone just does what they need to. There are so many scooters and bikes...but no sidewalks...so everyone cars/people/dogs/bikes are all on the street. It is really refreshing, because although there isn't any organization, there isn't any road rage either. Everyone just goes on their way. I did get a new bike...and then I spray painted it, to make it look old, so no one will steal it. It's been an adventure trying to ride a bike in a skirt. The hardest part isn't riding, but staying modest, as the wind tends to blow up a skirt. I am improving. As far as food goes, there are a lot more noodles and less rice than I thought there would be. It is interesting. I haven't tried stinky tofu yet. The best thing has been breakfast. They have steamed rolls and inside they have eggs and stuff. That was really good. They also have really good drinks here...smoothies and such.
Right now she's in Zhongli or Chungli, depending on how you want to butcher it. Katie's missionary companion is from Koahsiung, in southern Taiwan, and so her English skill is probably comparable to Katie's Mandarin. I think Katie is happy to see or hear anything English right now. She met a couple of Filipinos that spoke English and was excited about that. She said she was embarrassed to admit it, but she went to a McDonald's and loved it. The food she describes sounds really yummy. She said:
In Taiwan they had a holiday for [the harvest moon]. I'm not sure what it is called but everyone has BBQ's and eats moon cakes. They're really interesting about the size of a ping pong ball and they're pretty dense... They're filled with some kind of fruit filling. The BBQ's were really good...lots of seafood, vegetables. The ward here had one and invited the missionaries. When we got there the members immediately started offering us food. I didn't (or didn't know how to) ask what everything was, but afterwards I did find out that one skewer was chicken hearts. It was surprisingly good. Speaking of food, I'll give you an update on the week's adventures. Earlier this week we went to this place and I ordered fried rice with chicken. I bit down on the chicken and there was a bone in it. I had forgotten that in Taiwan they don't debone their chicken they just chop it up. From now on, I'm ordering ham or something. I also ate a green bean bingse. They put green bean soup mixture in a bowl and then put shaved ice on top. On top of the ice they put sweet milk. It was really interesting. I never thought green beans could be so good, but they are! So my first holiday in Taiwan was really really good.

Peanut butter from Taipei and wheat bread from Mom!Katie sent me some peanut butter as a birthday gift. For my birthday, I really just want the World Series to end. Maybe Katie can pray for that. Baseball commentary is really cutting into football coverage. Anyway, I couldn't wait and tasted the peanut butter already. It tastes pretty similar to American peanut butter, except the texture is a little thinner and oilier. I'm not completely sure, but from what I can guess from the nutrition info, there are a lot more calories and fat grams in the Chinese peanut butter than American Skippy.

I've wasted too much time blogging. Everyone in my office has an October birthday. I'm going to go make a Big Red Cake for a birthday party tomorrow at work. Last week I made a cheesecake, and it was quite good, if I say so myself. Thursday, I'm going to try my hand at an Italian Cream Cake.

In closing, please indulge me. Wendy sent me two snippets from this week's BYU Police Beat that made me laugh out loud:
Misplaced property
Oct. 13: Officers responded to the report of a suspicious briefcase in the Eyring Science Center. Upon investigation officers found someone had simply misplaced their briefcase.

Oct. 13: A student reported two male students throwing acorns off the bridge near the law building on East Campus Drive, hitting another student. When questioned, the male students said they were throwing acorns into the tops of trees to see the reactions of students who thought animals were making the noises in the trees. The students were asked to stop throwing acorns.


Auntie said...

How, exactly, does one get to be a BYU Campus Cop? That has got to be the world's easiest job.

Sounds like your job is a piece of cake.

Har, har.

wendy v. said...

Today in my physical science class we used a periodic table with some mandarin characters. It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my life. That peanut butter is sounding really good. I might just have to go have some good old Jiff...