It's Sunday afternoon here and instead of reading a my chapters on Asian development, globalization, and international political economy- I decided to update my blog :p
A quick recap of the past week:
- I got a haircut
- I kind of became employed
- I made new friends
- I went shopping
- I have made a game out of eating local foods...I now play Yum v. Yuck
The Haircut Experience
I went with Janet (a classmate & my Taiwanese mother) to a Japanese place and they served us milk tea, washed our hair, taped a visor on my forehead (to keep the water out of my eyes), made sure we were generally comfortable, and then cut our hair. Janet told them how she wanted her hair cut, I however, sat there like a mute kid and watched as Celine (my Japanese hair stylist) pulled out her scissors and started to chop off my hair. Seriously, hair was flying everywhere and I think there were moments when she must have thought I was terrified because she would say something to Janet and Janet would make sure I was ok. Janet had told Celine to keep it easy to maintain and cut it short to make it cooler...other than that, Celine was given the freedom to do whatever! After what seemed like hours, Celine was finished and I was thankful to still have hair!
On Being Employed
I was offered a job as a 3rd grade conversational English & writing teacher for 3 little boys. I'm meeting them on Wednesday and will start teaching them next Wednesday. The curriculum the school uses has me teaching them Balto: The Dog Who Saved Nome. Lucky for me, I'm rather familiar with the story due to a certain 7 year old boy (Cole, I love you) I spent a lot of the summer with.
I'm also supposed to be the research assistant for 1 or 2 professors who work at the Institute of International Relations...so I'll be traipsing up another mountain to my office at the Institute and add to my personal studies a couple of research projects- one on human rights and another on some aspect of Asian development.
Making New Friends & Shopping
My family likes to eat at Hua Tai when in Corpus and the owners (who are friends of the family) had a friend (and former employee) who used to go to TAMUCC and now lives in Taipei. They passed along her phone number so I could call her and meet up with someone who used to live in Corpus and could show me around Taipei. I finally got around to calling her and we decided to meet up on Saturday and go shopping.
It was pretty awesome walking through the Ximen marketplace with a newly acquired friend who a. used to live in Corpus b. used to work at one of the places my family eats at regularly c. speaks English quite fluently!!!
Shopping was a little insane...the lady who ended up helping me kept telling Jen that I looked like I was 19 and just a kid. I ended up buying a pair of red shorts, a pair of blue/green (a teal-ish color) shorts, a striped shirt that was nothing short of mesmerizing (think Kaa's eyes in Jungle Book), and a cranberry colored plaid/flannely shirt that might have been a tablecloth in its past life. We had a lot of fun as Jen and the lady laughed while I tried on various items of clothing.
Yum v. Yuck
So after I was given some sort of food present on Friday by a classmate, I decided I would make a game out of trying local foods and call the game Yum v. Yuck...I don't purposely go out and find odd food to eat, I merely just try what's considered "normal" or try what is given as a gift to me.
Friday's installment was what can only be described as a greyish wad of sticky playdough like material that was dusted in flour and some how filled with red bean paste. I'm texturally challenged and some food I just don't like due to the way it feels (or wiggles)...this was a sticky, chewy, kind of odd tasting dessert that I kept spitting out. I voted yuck just because I couldn't seem to keep it in my mouth.
Saturday's installment was pig's blood cake and that can be described as a reddish/blackish wedge of sticky rice that has been cooked in pig's blood, then dusted with crushed peanut powder & cilantro, and then served on a stick. I had a bit of trouble psyching myself up to take the first bite, but after the first initial shock, I eventually ate most of my odd treat...I wouldn't say that this is something you would want to eat multiple times though! It actually didn't taste bad at all, you just had that lingering thought in the back of your mind "oh man, I'm eating something called pig's blood cake and they used pig's blood in this recipe!" While I wouldn't give it a full Yum ranking, it definitely isn't in the Yuck tasting range!