Days 19 & 20: The Unplanned Weekend

by Theresa

Good News! Soulik came to say hello, caused a little ruckus, and left with little harm done in the city of Taichung.

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Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for those in Taipei and China who suffered loss, injury, and some passings, and I pray for their families and communities.  Hopefully there is no more damage as a result of disasters that often happen after typhoons, like landslides and mudslides.

Saturday, July 12

I spent the night inside, hanging out with friends, finishing some assignments, and watching movies. I had “ramen” for dinner, and a bag of doritos shaped like lightening bolts for snack! Their chip bags were even more disappointing than the bags we have at home. I probably had one handful of chips in a bag that looked even bigger than a single serving bag we’re used to.

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I stayed up pretty late, assuming that the storm would freak me out (it started to rain around midnight) and I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I slept for 2 hours until I woke up around my usual time (5 am) to this:

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It’s probably the poorest quality picture I’ve ever taken, but it’s also the only picture I took.  Soulik was so alarming and captivating that I ended up recording the entire thing and not even trying to capture the wind and rain in a single shot.

Fortunately, like the weather reports predicted, the rain seemed to chill out significantly in the afternoon. Midday, I finally passed out, waking around 1:30 pm to this:

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sad trees and a mud river

Greta told us that it was safe to go out for dinner Saturday night (in fact, apparently she went on a power walk earlier in the day?!), and we relished the ability to leave the dorm and walk around!  Only two steps out of the doorway, we saw this:

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In the grand scheme of things, a couple fallen trees aren’t that bad–mostly because no one was hurt.

Once we got into town, we saw how serious the locals are about not letting typhoons disturb their daily routines

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My favorite bakery was cautious and prepared, but they were still open as long as you were willing to climb over the sandbags in front of the doors!

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Saturday Supper at Nu Pasta! I had a baked rice bowl, subbed with penne, with clams, shrimp, and veggies.

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And by evening fall, everything was pretty much back to normal.

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Sunday, July 13

Knowing that the weather was safe, and our original plans for the day weren’t happening, a group of us went to visit a nearby college campus and play some frisbee (wán fēipán).

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Two of the guys are serious Ultimate Frisbee players, so after an hour or so, the rest of us sat down and took pictures, while they practiced their skills.

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And then we went to a sushi bar for dinner!

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It was one of those places that had plates on a conveyor belt, and you paid for what you took. Most of this is crab…. I think.

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Right next door was a Starbucks–one of the first that I’ve seen in Taichung! Their menu is pretty much the same except for the “Dark Mocha White Chocolate Pudding Frappuccino” which is what I got. Sounds delicious right?! Well… Taiwanese pudding is not the same as American pudding. It actually tasted like I was sucking tofu through a straw. I tried to give it a chance and accept it as a cultural difference, but when my learnings partners tasted it and were taken aback, I was happy to not be the only shocked customer.

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I’m glad that this weekend turned out to be more adventurous than I originally expected. I can’t wait for this upcoming week–our fourth week! We’re officially more than halfway finished, with two enterprise visits this week, a presentation, and a trip to Taipei on the schedule. I’m blogging for the AU blog this week, so you can expect to get some links this week. Have a great night!