At it again

It may be hard to start anew, but we often forget the lessons of the past and are thus allowed to move forward with more rewarding mistakes. I am "at it again" writing this blog, which begins in in December because I accidently erased it. I am "at it again" living abroad because I I erased from my memory the continous miscommunication and confusion of it. Luckly you can sit back in the comforts of your native language and culture and enjoy my adventures, hopefully with a laugh or snicker.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


So it seems like everyone came to Taiwan at the same time. Colin's folks, my dad, soon my mom, my friend Geoff and famous Reed prof, Doug. Colin and I did some sight seeing with Colin's parents before letting them trapes off around the island alone and Dad and I have been seeing quite a lot too.

We started out in Taipei on Sat. We went to the Jade market where we bargained for a lovly dark jade pendant and I of course took my dad to the Wisteria house for tea, which was well liked though Dad thought the tea ought to have had sugar. We also saw the Chang Kai Shek memorial which actually, I had never been up to while it was open.

I've done more doing of things I haven't done with my dad here. We tried a new restaurant (eh) the first night in Luodong and then we went down to Taroko. Only problem with new things is that there is a lot of room for problems. I had us go down to Taroko early so we could have a train right to the right stop, figuring we could rent a scooter there. Well, there was one guy with a sign that said he rented scooters but he couldn't seem to figure it out somehow. Maybe the person who really rents the scooters was at church or something early on a Sunday as it was. We asked a few other people and then it was back on a train to Hualian to rent a scooter to drive back to Taroko. It was raining the whole day but it was quite warm so it was still pleasant. We saw more of the gorge than I'd seen before and even climbed up to the top of a temple. The real good thing was is that we were leaving as all of the tour buses were coming. The climb did make us late for the shuttle to the hotel and the shuttle guy kept calling me while I was trying to find the train station to drop off the scooter and find him. I wasn't too great at telling him in Chinese to hold his horses and he just kept talking and saying things I didn't understand while I was pulled over on the side of the road. I finally just hung up and found the train station.

We made it to the Promisedland hotel okay and it was very cool. Dad told the only employee that spoke English that my mom had worked on the project, but he didn't seem impressed. We go a huge upgrade to a room that was more like a house- Prime Minister's Suite. Two rooms, two bathrooms, an entrance way. Funny though, as nice as everything was the buildings hadn't been washed and were covered with mold, the bath wouldn't fill (hot water too slow) and the elevator didn't work. Value engineering as my mom would say. We had a nice evening wandering the grounds and with heavy rains the next day we headed out to go rafting, something else I've wanted to do since I got to Taiwan.

Rafting was fun if not entirely disorganized. We were put in a boat with 5 other people and no guide and sent down the river with a pack of other boats. People in motor boats pushed us away from the rocks and pushed the boat if they thought we were to slow and sprayed water on everyone. Hum... Both dad and I wanted to yell paddling instructions to everyone, but our foreigner status and lingustic abilities prevented that. In the second half, Dad sat in the back and played rutter, which I think was satisfying and kept the boats straight. So straight in fact that we got way ahead of everyone else and the motorboat stopped us. I was ready to be done about halfway though as I was tired of being wet and a little cold, but overall, the overcast day made the hills filled with fog especially beautiful and I didn't get sunburned.

Today has been relaxed, just going up to the xinliao falls and now back up to Taipei to see Colin dragon boat race!