Thank goodness for ponchos

We were supposed to go to the hot spring at 1pm but a typhoon was supposed to hit so Principal Lu and his family came to pick us up at 9:30am. Normally, I’d be one to hunker down if I thought a typhoon was coming but theyre used to it and said it was fine, so off we went!


Before they came, Lakyn and I went to get breakfast at this place near our house that is always really busy. The menu was all in Chinese, of course, so instead of translating the whole thing we asked what doesn’t have meat. They asked if we ate eggs and cheese. We said yes and the woman told us she would make us bread, egg and cheese…aka an egg sandwich. I was so excited because it is very American…and anything that’s not rice and seaweed is a good breakfast here in my book. So were sitting waiting and our sandwiches come out…with a little more than just egg and cheese. On top, there is lettuce and cucumber dressed in something that tastes reminiscent of ranch, then the egg, then ketchup, the cheese, and more ketchup. In case you missed it, I dislike ketchup very much. Not only do I not like ketchup but ketchup with ranch?! EW!!! So the language barrier hits again…I think I ordered egg and cheese and then I get some weird mixture of gross sauces on some white bread. We decided to give the place another try now that we know so we can say, “I would like an egg sandwich with cheese, but no ketchup, no lettuce, no cucumber, no ranch. Just egg and cheese.” Because if you’re not specific…you just never know.


Anyway, Principal Lu and his family came to get us but because of the typhoon coming in, the hot spring was closed because it was not safe. So instead, they took us to a lot of scenic spots in Yilan. Then, they took us to a bread and cookie factory. (These really are my kind of people!) We got to sample the cookies and see how they were made as well as the bread! It was awesome. Apparently this bread factory is famous because it is monster themed…see giant scary bread monster below.


They bought Lakyn and me a baguette, which we jokingly said we would split in half when we got home and eat it all for dinner. But, it ended up not being a joke because that’s exactly what we did and it was delicious.

Then, after all the cake and cookies and bread (and we made a stop for bubble tea), they decided it was time for lunch. I thought all this snacking was lunch! I was so full already but they took us to a hibachi place and it was delicious!! I ate like a pound of bean sprouts. Then, will extra full tummies, we made our way to the principal’s house. But, not without a few stops along the way.


As we were driving, the principal slows down and tells us were going to stop to drink tea with his friends. So he pulls over and we all pile out of the car and into this big apartment. We later learn that the man who owns the apartment is the richest man in all of SuAo. The principal knows him because he helps the school a lot. Lakyn and I googled him (of course) and found out that he owns a precious coral company and makes a ton of money from it. His son, who we spent most of our time talking to due to his flawless English, is a jewelry designer. His shop is in Luodong, so I asked if we could come see his work. He said they only accept appointments, no walk ins. He showed us an article written about his shop and we quickly realized we could afford absolutely nothing in here. You need an appointment, it’s secretive, and everything is in 18k gold with multiple carat diamonds. But, he clearly knew we couldn’t buy anything and still invited us to come, so we are very excited! We tried to see how much something cost and it isn’t listed anywhere. As we were leaving I told my principal I wanted to buy something and he laughed at me. I asked if I couldn’t afford it and he said definitely not. WAH! Anyway, they made us all sorts of tea and chatted with us about Ludong and SuAo and teaching and it was really fun!!! And, I know the richest man in SuAo…woah!


As were leaving we see that it’s starting to rain. The typhoon was supposed to come in at full force at 3pm and it was now 2pm. We ask the principal about it but he seems completely unfazed. So, we go to his house to hear Mimi play the piano! The principal keeps telling me how she won 1st place in the county for playing piano and she told me she wanted to play me Let it Go from Frozen. I’ve been telling her I want to hear her play, so I was excited! I was impressed with Let it Go, but then her parents asked her to play her concert song…I was blown away. I have never heard anything like it. Below is just a small clip. She is AMAZING! Then, she played us the violin! Great English, amazing piano skills and impressive violinist….Once again a Taiwanese child is more impressive than me. It was so much fun though and I could not be more happy to have this family as mine!

The principal drove us home as the rain really started to hit, and it hasn’t really stopped for days. I had to ride to school today in the pouring rain wearing a raincoat and then a poncho over my legs and backpack. I couldn’t really see and I’m not sure what to do about that all winter. I need some goggles or something. I wish I was talented enough to hold an umbrella while I rode my bike but Ive found that one handed biking is not my talent in life. I swerve…a lot. So, no umbrella for me. Biking in the rain is not as scary as I thought though so I can survive the winter…YAY!

©2019 by Sammie Herrick | sammie@sammieherrick.com