I love Marshmallows, for some reason it smells like home.
Me between classes, yes, this is how I look most of the time now.
Don't they look cute. I had actually told them not to bounce the balls. Kids!
This is why I'm here. To teach Znglish.
People hang laundry in public places. This is us walking to the train station.
Our Taxi driver. I think that he looks like Jason Bourn, he kinda drives like him too.
Another week gone to the children has past, and the weekend has come. On this Saturday we journeyed to the Temple of Consumer Goods, aka, Costco. This by far is one of my favorite Temples that I have ventured to in my 3 weeks here( except for the LDS Temple). Many wonderful and strange thing I witnessed while I wondered within its walls.
My pilgrimage started by buying train tickets with nothing but a pice of paper with my destination written on it and pointing and a bit of grunting. Our humble group proceeded to the train that deposited us within a taxi ride of our destination. One of the locals, seeing us wondering aimlessly, helped us procure her husband's taxi. Though we were grateful for the assistance we wondered, while strapped in the back seat of a taxi, drove in and out a traffic by mad man, if it would have been safer to have journeyed by some other means. But we did arrive safely to The Temple and began our exploration.
Upon arrival the first strange thing we encountered were extremely large carts lined up outside. In contrast to the economy of space that takes president here in Taiwan, these carts seemed strangely out of place. I believe that these carts could have been a more spacious way of traveling for most families here, for here it is not a uncommon sight to see a family of four, their groceries, and a dog on a scooter. As we journeyed in through utilitarian doors what we saw was a foreshadowing of what was to come.
In the throng of black hair we saw the rest of our group that had traveled to this house of consumerism on scooters. Though there where numberless concourses of people, the white and red hair helped us pin point their location rather easily. Partaking of the traditional Costco delicacies reminded me that home is not such a long way off after all. After eating this manna we continued with our oversized cart, that could house a small Taiwanese family, up a magnetized ramped escalator. It was as if the magic that held our cart in place energized us to seek out our American bulk items though the Christmas Eve like ferocity that swept in this unholy bulk foods warehouse. But unfortunately the excitement of this venture was lost on one of our traveling companions. Our dear Steve had been afflicted with some wickedeist of all Taiwanese illnesses; the dreaded Taiwanese cough, and the heartache of someone that has been parted from a dear companion.
Steve, one of the two boys in our sorority, has been separated from the one and only other male. It seems that the estrogen, that had once been equally shared between him and the other, has taken a toll on him. But soon these two friends will be reunited again, and his soul will lift with the knowledge that he now no longer will feel obliged to participate in the girl talk that often happens in our place of lodging.
Continuing with our exploration of Costco we wondered toward the wondrous world of bread. I, with a heartsick Steve, decided to indulge ourselves and buy the chocolate Costco muffins that are ruffly the size of my head. We then bought a trove of lusted after items that included, tortilla chips, triple chocolate cake mix in a 6 pack, and my beloved cheese. Though in my hast to sample this wonderful mixture of aged milk and whey I might have offend the locals that were also in attendance this day.
In the tradition of Costco there are samples of the fair that they are peddling. I, have only been the Costcos of the West, failed notice the slight differences associated with the East. I pasted a display where they were offering a taste of my beloved Tilamook cheese. I, thinking myself fortunate, took the last pice of toast with the melted cheese on it. It was only after devouring it did a member of my group pointed out that behind the women preparing the cheese toast was a line of a dozen or more. I felt ignorant, and shamed by the brown faces that where obviously hating me inwardly. After this hideous display we left on our homeward journey.
Our journey home was uneventful, except when getting a taxi from Costco back to the train station. We hailed a cab easily enough but the communication was a bit more difficult. In our hast to leave I had forgotten to write down the word train station in Chinese, even with our sad attempts to imitate a train by pumping our arms and making choo-choo noises, the words were obviously foreign to him. But in a stoke of luck he called one of his friends that translated for us.
When we arrived home we all happily went about separating and freezing our large quantities of food. That will hopefully stay off the homesickness a bit longer.