Days 5 & 6: The First Weekend
I’m gonna try to make this a short one because we did so much and I have so many pictures!
We went to Chung Tai Museum which is a huge buddhist temple, followed by a tour of Sun Moon Lake (“Rìyuètán”—I said that a lot and our learning partners thought it was hilarious). Sun Moon Lake is known for having a village of aboriginals (similar to our native americans). We hiked to the top of a mountain at the lake to see another temple, which was awesome and exhausting. On the way down, we saw a show of aboriginals dancing and singing, and they invited us to dance with them (Americans are pretty popular here–we just look really different and stand out).
After the hike, we took a cable car ride through the mountains. At this point, it seemed like we were all shutting down, so we got back on our bus, drove for over an hour to an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Ponderosa Steakhouse. A lot of the guys were excited for american food, but I’m itching for authentic taiwanese! Crossing my fingers that I get some soon!
Once we got back to campus, we immediately moved into our new dorms. Unfortunately, they aren’t as nice as we all expected—a little dirty and smaller than our other rooms. Not a big deal, though, since we spend most of our time outside anyway!
A good night sleep, a hard workout, and a cold shower are just what the doctor ordered for me this Sunday morning. I felt great come 10 am, got to catch up with some loved ones, bought some groceries, and relaxed until our plans for the day began around 2 pm.
The first stop was Jade Market. My best comparison for this would be like saturday morning at the strip district in Pittsburgh… just more like a flea market than a stretch along the road. Pretty much all the vendors sold beads and stones, especially jade, hence the name.
From the Jade Market, we walked to an American festival which was fun, funny, and slightly embarrassing all at the same time. Our group was excited because they sold familiar food and drinks, and the local news asked to film us talking about the U.S. There were also a LOT of dogs. I saw at least 3 bichon frises! One of them was wearing shoes. Makes me miss my baby Emma!