Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our New Home

We’re nearing the end of week one. Much has happened over the past 6 days. After a few long days of training, we were able to spend the weekend catching up on sleep. Unfortunately, Dan caught a cold (I’m beginning to myself now), so we spent the majority of Sunday in bed.
Saturday, one of our co-workers, Stephanie, offered to take us to Costco. We were able to find toilet paper and water in bulk and some much needed pillows. Because Costco is a bulk store, we went to another store, RT Mart, for the majority of things. RT Mart is similar to a K-Mart or Wal-Mart, however it’s set up kind of like a mall in that it has a food court and shops along the hallway leading to the store – think SUPER Super Wal-Mart.

After shopping, Stephanie took us into Hsinchu, to the night market. We live on the outskirts of the city, so it’s about a 20 min bus/drive to downtown. The night market is like a carnival/festival that happens every weekend. There are games for kids, vendors with carnival food, and stands selling name brand knock-offs. Because it had been such a long week, we didn’t spend much time at the market. Maybe we’ll go back this weekend to check it out.

Other than our weekend visit to Hsinchu, we haven’t ventured far from where we live. We are able to walk to a variety of restaurants and convenience stores to get everything we need. Most of the restaurants are “Mom & Pop Shops,” with very friendly service. We already have a few favorites; at one restaurant, when the woman working sees us walk in, she grabs the only English menu they have and meets us at our table (their English menu is a small piece of paper that someone has translated, kept in a ziplock baggie!). We’ve only “cheated” a few times and gone to McDonald’s. I know it’s hard to believe, but it tasted amazing!

I haven’t been very good at taking pictures. I don’t think about it when we go out for lunch or dinner, also, I don’t want to LOOK like a tourist. However, because we have decided to stay in the housing provided by the school, below is a slide show of our new home. *We decided to stay here when we saw another foreign teachers flat - about 8X8ft with a bathroom the size of a large shower – and learned that he pays the same amount monthly that the school charges for their housing. As you can see from the pictures, we have MUCH more space. It’s set up like a dormitory, however we are the only people living here, and there will not be anyone new for at least 6 months (unless a teacher breaks contract, then maybe sooner – but we are at full staff currently). It’s nothing fancy, but I’ve been cleaning it up and making it feel a little bit like home.

Check back later for some more photos! Next time, we'll take you on a tour of our wonderful community.

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