Sunday, February 5, 2012

Good, Funny and Quirky Things

1/4/12 4:30 in the afternoon

Good things that happened:

*Jerry brought over 2 bikes for us to use.
When I discovered them in the patio, I immediately took mine out for a spin. Mine has a basket, so I can ride it to the store and shop for a few things when necessary. I thought I knew where a store was to buy paper towels. I rode about a mile, but I didn’t find the store I was looking for so I went home before I got lost. That was a good thing.

*We found coffee last night.
We were out of coffee at the house. It was necessary to get some before morning. After eating supper at McDonald’s, we went on the hunt. 7-11. None. Family Mart. None. Off to Putzu City it would have to be. We know there’s coffee at the super market in Putzu. But…we really don’t know where the market is in Putzu. We thought we did, but obviously not…or they’ve moved it. Don drove around the block, down a narrow alley, around the block again. No super market. Let’s try 85 Coffee CafĂ©. None to buy in a bag, just by the cup. Look down the street…hey, that looks like a shop that might have coffee. Mike and I are tired, so we stay in the car. Don and Donnie walk on down to the shop. None. But the shopkeeper manages to communicate, “Wait!” He runs out of his shop down to another shop and shouts something that means, “Down here!” Ah ha! Coffee…50 kinds of coffee! Hit the jackpot! Coffee for breakfast! That’s a good thing that happened.

*The internet is working!
I had almost resigned myself to the fact that we may not ever get wi-fi in the house. This meant not only no email and FB and Google but it meant no phone. It was really hard to think that we might not be able to communicate with the “outside world” or the “outside world” would not be able to communicate with us while we are here…especially Sarah and Laura’s families. But, yeah!!! When I woke up this morning (at 5:30), Don had gotten it up and running. The first thing we did was call the girls on Skype. It was perfect timing…5:30am here was 3:30/1:30pm yesterday there (SD/CA, respectively). That was a very good thing!

*Emailing family and friends.
I spent all day emailing everyone and sending pictures. That was a good thing.

Funny things that happened:

*I discover that what I thought was an ice cream truck going by the house was the garbage truck!
Each day I have heard a little tune being played as a vehicle of some kind drove by. I assumed it was something like an ice cream truck. I was sweeping the patio yesterday and realized, no, it’s the garbage truck. I guess if you have to do a dirty job, you might as well play pleasant music. That was funny to me.

*I don’t recognize the doorbell.
Yesterday when Jerry brought the bikes over, he told Don that I didn’t answer the door when he rang the doorbell. I told Don I didn’t know he had rung the doorbell. This morning Cherry called me to make an arrangement for tomorrow and said she had stopped by and rang the doorbell but I didn’t come to the gate. For some reason before Cherry called, the doorbell came to my mind and I decided to go ring it for myself. Maybe I couldn’t hear it inside. That was not the problem…it also plays a tune that sounds like an ice cream truck! I had heard it but didn’t know it was my doorbell! When Cherry called and asked why I didn’t answer the doorbell, I luckily could explain to her that I now know what it sounds like and will no longer not be answering the door. I thought that was funny.

*I saw an advertisement in Chia-yi City that appeared to be written in English by someone who didn’t actually know English.
It was a huge ad on a building…almost like a Time’s Square ad in NYC. It was a lovely girl lounging on a couch in a lovely gown. I assumed it was selling the gown. I don’t know. Scrawled across the enormous ad were these words, “You aso beautiful.” The Taiwanese love American music and all I could think of was that sign was quoting the line, “You are so me". Struck me funny.

A few quirky things:

*We have no hot water in the house.
Except in the shower in the balcony off our bedroom. Why is that? Kinda quirky.

*We have to turn on the LP gas outside in the alley to turn on the burners on the stove.
When we’re done, we have to go back outside and turn it off. It’s just quirky.

*It’s election time.
Several times a day an open truck drives through the streets with a bullhorn shouting campaign stands on issues. This happened in Japan, as well. That was 37 years ago! Some things don’t change. That’s quirky.

*The stoplights count down the time the pedestrian has to get across the street.
Not so quirky. But the counter has a picture of a person wearing a traditional Chinese “coolie” hat walking swinging its arms with a nice stride at first and as the time runs down, he walks faster and faster. By the time it is down to 5 seconds, that little guy is running to beat the band. Kinda cute but quirky.

So there you have it: Good, funny and quirky things in my life in Taiwan.

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