Days 15 & 16: Martial Arts + A Change of Plans

by Theresa

I’m baaack! Thanks for waiting for me. Here’s a review of my past 2 days:

Tuesday, July 9

 For some reason, it took my roommate and I 15 DAYS to figure out that you can order coffee beverages at the 7/11. You better bet that we couldn’t think about anything else until we got iced breakfast coffee.

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I ordered the “blended iced coffee” which I thought might be like a frappe. It was more like a sweet iced latte, but oh-so-delicious. It was exactly what I needed—and not just because I was groggy and slept in today!

Our Tuesday classes were language class in the morning and culture class on martial arts in the afternoon. I still really enjoy chinese class, but it is getting more complex–from my perspective at least. I’m probably speaking at a 3-year-old level to everyone else!

Greta and our learning partners kept reminding us to eat a light lunch because of martial arts, so I was expecting to get some serious sweats. They helped us order “chinese lunch boxes” to eat as a good option, and I asked for the fish version.

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I totally did not expect to get anything like this! I liked the vegetables, chopped tofu, eggs, and rice, but this was a challenging meal for me. No complaining  though! I’ve been beyond lucky with my dietary choices in Taiwan!

We ate a quick lunch and then changed for one of the funnest afternoons yet!

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Honestly, my expectations of this class were way off base. We had the sweetest, funniest, and most talented instructors, who not only taught us about the background and philosophy of martial arts, but also effective techniques for self-defense!

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The class began with a little introduction, some warm-ups, and a lot of stretching…

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and then we moved in to the fun stuff!

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One of the girls recorded how-to videos for each move so that we won’t completely forget!

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I’ll be sure to practice my new moves on all of you in 3+ weeks!

After 3 hours of martial arts, we were all pretty hungry, and it didn’t look as if the weather would let us head out for any food. Since there were so many of us, we were able to order Subway delivery!

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Delivering directly to our dorm on a scooter

I just find it really interesting that the Taiwanese will pay extra to deliver fast food. It takes a pretty long time to have it delivered, contradicting the American perception of “fast” food, though it really can be convenient every once in a while.

I got my usual: 6-inch veggie with mustard and cheese on honey oat.

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Some differences I noticed: the bread is not the same as honey oat bread in America, they only offer one type of cheese (which type? who knows), and what they call the “6-inch sub” is a little shy of 6 inches.  Who can blame them though?  They do use the metric system.

I worked on my paper and other homework for the rest of the night. Is it weird that my posts always end with “here’s a picture of dinner, and then I did homework“?  Who knew study abroad could reach this level of excitement!

Wednesday, July 10

I stayed up pretty late working on my research but got up early enough to work out and head to 7/11 for more coffee! Yesterday our trip took a little longer than expected, so we left earlier but got there during their stocking time. I grabbed the 7/11 brand latte (delish!) instead, looked for something like yogurt, and picked up the closest thing I could find: Almond Tofu. Sadly, I took one bite and decided a latte would be enough until lunchtime.

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I finally calculated the walking distance from our dorm to 7/11 and wasn’t surprised when it told me slightly over one half mile. Also, I’ll have to post a picture in the future of how HILLY everything is. Add in two long staircases to use the overpass, and that’s a nice 15-minute workout in 90 degree weather. Why, sometimes I’ve even believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. 

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Nice and sweaty, just in time for class. Unfortunately, we found out pretty early in the day that Typhoon Soulik would be greeting Taiwan this weekend. Originally, our group was supposed to spend Thursday night through Sunday afternoon touring the nation’s capital, Taipei. However, since the city will be hit the hardest by the typhoon, our trip has been rescheduled for next weekend. I’m just glad that we will be safe(r) and still get to see Taipei (cross your fingers for us!).

It’s hard to remember all of the fun things we did in class Wednesday, but I know that I still like it! And we got to try these green onion crackers. Very good!

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Hey, guess what. More dumplings for lunch.

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I’m going to have to (1) stop taking pictures of the dumplings because they look the same each time, and (2) stop ordering dumplings every day for lunch. I love them so much that I don’t want to stop loving them!

We only had morning class today, and so after lunch, I walked back to town with my roommate to buy some groceries for the weekend. Mostly dried goods and water to stock up on for during the typhoon, but also some little treats like cocoa roasted hazelnuts and two loaves of our beloved bakery bread.

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We got to the bakery right as the loaves were coming out of the oven so they had more options and everything was F-R-E-S-H! I kid you not, they were still warm when we bought them.

I decided to be adventurous and pick 2 completely new flavors.

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I thought I was getting something like one honey nut and one chocolate bread. WRONG.

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My “honey nut” was actually filled with some kind of cubed cheese! It was very savory, except for all of the powdered sugar on top.

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And my chocolate bread, although light and fluffy like cake bread, had more of a rye flavor, and it was filled with blueberry jam.

If you’re keeping score, pumpkin bread is still #1!

I spent the afternoon pretty much finishing homework and my paper, and then went out with some friends for dinner. We ran into some of the hong kong students at the bus stop and they invited us along to a surprise birthday party for one of their learning partners. I didn’t take many pictures, but this was very unexpected and fun. Some of them spoke wonderful english, while others had studied for years but never spoken with native speakers before. The language barrier(s) caused for a lot of jokes and happily awkward situations. I also had fun eating at the restaurant they’d picked out. It was technically a japanese house, but with american style food, and free board games to play all over the place. We mostly played uno and jenga, while sitting, shoeless, at tables built into the ground.

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It turned out to be a late night, but completely worth it! Check back for Day 17, and maybe 18, tomorrow!

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