So I am about to triple (maybe quadruple post) because I am so behind…sorry!! But in exciting news, I moved!!!!!!! I moved into a super awesome apartment building about a 25 minute walk from my old apartment. For those of you that dont know…Fulbright does this every year. You move into a randomly assigned apartment for the first month, then once you choose your school, you move according to your school location. So, I moved into the tallest apartment building in Luodong. Not only that but it has a doorman (KEVIN!), an elevator, I have my own bathroom, and it is right next to the famous Luodong Sports Park (more on that later). So, I love it. I just got my room the way I want it and its starting to feel like home! I will post pictures of the house later this week!!
Charlene (My LET from Dong Guang) along with a colleague helped me get all my stuff out of my old apartment and into my new one. Yuan-Chi, the man that helped me move, is one of the nicest people I have met here in Taiwan. In fact, after he met me just one time (and all he knew about me is that I took WAY too much stuff to Taiwan and he had to carry it all…) he offered to give me his bike! So just days after moving Charlene took me on her scooter to buy a helmet and a lock. Then we went to Yuan-Chi’s house. I thought we were just going to pick up the bike, but he invited me to stay for dinner! He has three kids, who are so cute! They live in a really nice neighborhood and their house was gorgeous. His daughter read me Taiwanese books and we looked through family albums while dinner was cooking. They also have a 10 month old baby, who was the sweetest baby ever. I watched her crawl around and she even sat in my lap! She was very attached to her mommy and daddy though and didnt really want to be touched by any one else. I decided I should learn mandarin with her since were at the same level…absolutely none.
Dinner was so delicious! We had rice with grains and beans and purple yam. You put that in the bottom of your bowl, then take all the other bowls of food and put it on top. I ate chinese spinach and mushrooms and this steamed egg dish that was absolutely amazing. I need to learn to make it at home! Then, after dinner, I practiced riding the bike. I learned that you can in fact forget how to ride one. I was awful…but tried to pretend I had some grasp of bike riding as his 7 year old daughter rode circles around me. Yuan-Chi told me the bike was 10 years old. He got it the first year he started teaching Junior High School. He told me it held so many wonderful memories for him and that he hoped it would give me great memories and help me see Taiwan. He is so wonderful!
His daughter takes dance class, so we all went to watch her for a little while. I rode my bike all the way there! She was adorable and I was very proud that I could ride my bike on Taiwanese roads at night. Win win!! I really loved being able to spend time with a Taiwanese family. I love the friends I have made here in the other ETAs but being close with a family really gives me the true culture of this place. Yuan-Chi is one of the kindest people I have ever met and I am so lucky to have met him!