Day 3: Will This Always Feel Like a Vacation?

by Theresa

Nǐ hǎo! 

Day 3 was another whirlwind, and since classes haven’t started yet, the whole group feels like we’re just on a vacation! I’m not sure whether it will ever stop feeling like one because class is going to be awesome! I want to learn as much Chinese as possible so that I can actually communicate on my own. Whoever said everyone speaks English here was very wrong!

So what might a Taiwanese vacation be like, you ask? Good question!

Today started off with the same routine from yesterday: exercise and the juice bar! I ordered a drink that was awkwardly translated to “Black Stain.” I think it was half espresso and half cream on ice.

We checked out the Family Mart this morning as well and discovered a wonderful amount of goodies! Got some fresh mango (mangguo) to eat and admired the skippy, oatmeal beverage, and sushi. For a later day, indeed!

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Today’s breakfast

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Our first activity this morning was the National Taiwanese Museum of Fine Art.

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Pictures are not allowed in the majority of the museum, but we could take some non flash shots of the signs. Always gotta find that silver lining!

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“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”

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We tried to leave with enough time to catch a lunch reservation, but we ended up taking jumping pictures first:

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School children are the cutest things! They loved waving to us

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Yes, I found the sewer to be fascinating

Lunch was at the Modern Toilet. Just take a minute to let that soak in.

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We literally sat on toilets and bathtubs, drank out of bedpans, and ate out of mini toilets.  This restaurant is an attraction because American toilets are only for the handicap here—everyone else squats in porcelain holes.

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I had a Taiwanese traditional seafood hot pot. Of what I could recognize, it had shrimp, octopus, some kind of fish, rice noodles, cabbage, seaweed, and mushrooms.

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And poo for dessert.

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The rest of the day was spent shopping! Our tour guides/learning partners took us to the cheap shopping area, as well as a shopping mall. Everything in the cheap area is one size fits all, built for their average size. I don’t think they  make my shoe size at all, and their dresses would be like a shirt on me, if I could even get it on.  It’s too bad because everything is so cute and inexpensive.  My favorite part was finding clothing with bad English. It made me think of how they must feel when they see our products with random chinese characters.

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Knockoff Toms brand

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“Coordination sample book. Color X color coordination. makes and a direction teaches.”

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At the super mall, one of the students made friends with a group of women selling traditional tea. It was the cutest and funniest thing ever!

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We went back to the night market tonight, with the rest of the students.  There was so much food that we missed last night! Yummmmy! I snacked on the freshest pineapple I’ve ever seen and had some kind of omelette for dinner.

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Eggs filled with clams and vegetables, covered with a sweet and sour sauce.

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I liked my dinner, but I was really jealous of these Halal wraps. Those will be in my tummy eventually!

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Happy because of the delicious halal.

Three of the guys played more carnival games and won three times! 2 bottles of champagne and one of vodka. That would never fly in the U.S.!

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Taking a picture with the game supervisor

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Hard-earned prizes!

My new phrase of the night is “Wǒ yào” for “I want to buy. Our learning partners told us to say this and point! Easy enough. I found a dress at the night market that would fit, and it’s so cute! Only 290 NT$, which is less than $10 American.

Class begins early tomorrow and I’m really excited. I think we are also taking a cultural class in the afternoon, so come back tomorrow to read about everything I’ve learned!

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