Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the 2 week mark...

Today marks the end of our first two weeks in Taiwan. The verdict...we're loving it! There is so much to learn and so much to see. The people are so friendly and helpful. For the most part we stay in our little section of town. Everything we need is right outside our door. Here is a quick tour of our community.

This weekend we took the bus to downtown Hsinchu to check it out. The bus took about 20-30 minutes and was jam packed with people....might have something to do with our taking it on a Saturday! We spent the day exploring this part of the city. For lunch, we had planned to eat something once arriving downtown, however we spent a good hour searching for 1. a place that was open (times are weird here) and 2. a place that either had pictures or an English menu. Finally, we spotted a pizza shop...well kind of. It's called 50 pizza, but the pizza's are not your average pizza! We ended up ordering a beef pizza - thinking it would have ground beef on it. Much to our surprise, the pizza was like a Philly Cheese Steak on pizza crust. There was no sauce, just meat, onions, and cheese. It wasn't horrible! :-)

To end our evening, we grabbed some Subway for dinner, and headed to the bus stop. The bus stop happened to be right in front of Coldstone Creamery - so we of course treated ourselves after a long hot day! So yummy. During the ride back, I was a bit nervous about knowing where our stop was because it was our first time on the bus and it was dark. We figured out our stop just in time. As the bus was stopping, a man behind us asked (in English) if he could help us, he had noticed that we were looking around confused. We were so shocked to hear English, that we quickly responded, but had to get off the bus since it was our stop. After walking a few feet, we wished we would have gotten his contact information because it's rare that we hear English outside of our job. Maybe we'll run into him again one day. Here are a few sights from our day in the city.

That said, our biggest struggle currently is the lack of friends and people to spend time with outside of work. We are hoping to make some contacts with our Reach to Teach recruiter and find some other English speakers in the area to hook up with. We have also been invited to a Barbecue at one of our co-workers homes this weekend. Hopefully, we'll be able to get to know some of our co-workers and maybe new friends in a more casual setting.

We are beginning to feel as though we have a routine. We spend our mornings together, work in the afternoons and evenings, then head out for a nice walk each night. The night truly is the best time to be outside as the temperature is lower and there is more of a breeze. There are so many beautiful places to check out! We have a wonderful park nearby, that has a lake with an island in the middle with walking paths all around. Sometimes we just walk through the residential areas and marvel at the beautiful buildings - most have beautiful tiling or brick exteriors.

This weekend we hope to find a second-hand scooter so that we can explore even further!!
Until next time...

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