Published: August 13th 2010August 13th 2010
So sorry it's been so long. I must admit that not much is new in Kaohsiung besides the fact that I quit my job and had my last day about a month ago. Now I am a full time sub for the school I was working for. The school had a 3 week vacation, however, there were 3 classes that stayed open because they started about 2 weeks before the break time and I think the school was afraid that the parents would just enroll their kids in another bushiban. Anyway, these kids were pretty dang cute, but with only 2 weeks of English under their belt, it was a little difficult to communicate with them. I think a lot of them didn't realize that I don't speak Chinese, so they'd come up to me and ramble on about something in Chinese and I'd just smile and nod. In my first class, the youngest student was 4 years old and didn't know the word for bathroom, so occasionally during class I'd get a tug on my leg and he'd point to the general direction of the bathroom outside the class. My next class was a little older, but their English level
was about the same. During the last week of subbing, one of my students came in with pink eye. It just so happened to be the same week where I taught "This is my nose. This is my eye." Needless to say I didn't actually touch my eye and I disinfected everything the kid touched several times. I swear children in Taiwan have to be on their death bed for their parents to let them stay home from school. My last class was a lot of fun because there were only 2 students and they were really eager to learn. One time I was teaching the sentence "This book is thick." I emphasized the th sound in thick and show them where there tongues should be as they said the word. The next time they said the sentence it came out as "This thook ith thick." Too cute.
Now it looks like this sub gig is taking me on the road. I'm going to Yilan on Sunday to work at a summer camp for a week. Yilan is in the northeast part of Taiwan and everyone tells me it's beautiful. Should be interesting. It's an outdoor program, so they
say there is no whiteboard and by the sounds of it, there might not be an official classroom either. I'm supposed to prepare vocabulary lists about nature before getting to Yilan. Sounds like we'll be going on a lot of nature hikes, but I honestly have no idea what it's going to be like. Yilan is known for its Children's Folk Festival, so on the last day of camp (next Saturday) I'll be taking my class there. I'll be sure to let ya'll know how it goes next week.
Other than that, not much else is new. I've been getting better at driving my scooter around and it's much better now that I have proper rain gear. The first time I drove in the rain I was wearing a helmet that was too small and offered no protection against the rain hitting my face. My pancho was just a cheap one that I bought from the 7-11 and of course it got a huge hole down the side so the second time I wore it, I got soaking wet. Also my shoes got so wet the first time I drove in the rain that the second time I decided
I was better off driving barefoot. Now it's all good though. I have a new helmet that has a plastic thing that comes down and protects my face. I also bought a thicker poncho and I have flip flops that I keep in my scooter. I hope the rain ends soon although I'm told that now that it's August, rainy season has ended and now it's typhoon season. I swear sometimes the rain is coming down so hard that it's like little bullets are pelting my arms and it feels like someone keeps pinching me repeatedly. At least I'm better prepared now. When it's not raining, it's over 90 degrees and I don't feel like doing much besides sitting in front of a fan in a room with the a/c blasting. But of course if I do this for too long, I start to feel guilty about wasting my time in Taiwan, so sometimes I take a walk along the Love river or around the Lotus pond or I'll go for an evening hike up Monkey Mt. I usually stop by this place that's famous for its Mango Ice. Mango ice is just as it sounds (mango on top of
crushed ice) with a scoop of ice cream on top. Mmmm... it seriously makes living in Taiwan on the hottest days totally worth it.
There are more photos below