On my way to my first day of school in Taiwan, I felt a little relieved, because Joni told me I didn't have to do the chinese speech in front of the whole school today.
Luckily, we did bring my speech anyway:
You can probably read on my face that I think this is rather ridiculous. I'm reading up from a paper, only knowing about half of it's meaning (like wo laizu danmai, ku-y-tse and stuff like that), but I got over it without going completely black, which is rather surprising with all those what... 2-5 thousand people standing around everywhere and looking at me. I have no idea how many people that were standing in the middle of the school, but damn, I don't think I've ever seen so many people in one place before.
So I got over the part I feared the most. (I think and hope a month will pass before I have to make another speech in chinese, when I am going to the next monthly rotary meeting in banchiao rotary club.) And afterwards, I went to school for 8 long hours with only a few mandarin learning books to entertain me, sitting at a tiny, taiwanese size desk where my legs couldn't even really fit in under. Haha. At least the air conditioning is ok, which is actually rather important. I wouln't know what to do if it weren't. The school is, super strict though. It's so strict it's actually kind of like a prison. A guard will keep you from getting out untill you're off from school, guards patrol the school to see if students are sleeping, eating or drinking while the class in on (in order to enforce teachers to be strict.) and while you have sleeping class between 12 am and 1 pm, you will be able to see a guard passing by the class, checking on the students through the window every 3 minutes to see if they are sleeping or trying to.
Oh, but there is one good thing about the school, though: The girls uniform. (Sorry girls, but I am but a man. xD)
Too bad for me that my class had physical education that day, which means everyone wears a sports uniform with big jogging trousers.
As always, people are very friendly, and even though no one can speak english very well, (not even the english teachers,) they all try their best to help me. I've even been invited to a tour around taipei or something alike sometime by the english teacher in my class.
But then after school:
Later that day, Joni took me to some peculiar massage clinic where they stretch people and give them a massage afterwards. For me, the methods seemed quite ruff. I got my spine stretched a little and then my back kneaded, and it wasn't really super relaxing, but it was my first time, so I don't know if it's I'm just sensitive or maybe not used to it, or if it's just supposed to not be relaxing, but at least I think it worked a little, even though I did the stretching part wrong. (And I bet my back is a mess from all those years of not holding a good posture too.)
Maybe I will get used to it over time if I come there again. Maybe not. But it seems like Joni is rather used to it. (I have to note down anything that could be a reason for the people over here to be so much more healthy than us westeners.)
Finally: I have a link for you to flickr. Forgot to post it yesterday, so here is a link to a collection of the pictures I took in Taiwan. So far there's just some pics from the trip with David and his family so far, but they're good quality: Taiwan (clicky).