26. September 2009 20:43
Today, we wen't to a Taiwanese barbeque. Right now we're in the mid-autumn. So this day was actually called mid-autumn festival. However, and this is very important, this is not the real mid-autumn festival. The real mid-autumn festival is on the 3rd of October, but this is kind-of a barbeque before of that. I think this work in a way similar to the danish culture of holding christmas lunches, as I have been invited to more of these already.
This is the sight that greeted us after ~3 hours of travel, (of which the latter hours were in a karaoke bus again,) since appareantly, taiwanese don't mind using their whole day for driving around in a bus as I have already learned.
I can just tell you now already: This was of course the most freaky barbeque I've been to in my life. It sounded more like a danish football game, just the way people grilled was... funny.
28. August 2009 16:02
Today we left the car at home and took the bus and MRT to the mandarin learning center in Taipei.
There, we bought two books for mandarin exercise, so that I have something to do when I am going to waste 8 hours, 5 days a week by attending to classes in a language I don't understand yet on my Taiwanese high school. We were also there to get some information about the mandarin (chinese) classes that I am going to take there, (in the mandarin learning center,) sometime soon I hope.
This is the view from the MRT train station, which is build on top of a big bridge crossing over the streets below. These big MRT-bridges can be seen a lot around some parts of Taipei, but not everywhere because the rails go underground too, especially around central Taipei. (If you didn't know already, the MRT is a network of Japanese trains in Taipei.
In Taiwan, people drink tea, lots of tea, so in every store, you don't see rows upon rows of sweet soft drinks. No. You see tea of any and every kind, and it's all cold and rarely with sugar added to. And relatively cheap too. This was kindof weird to me in the beginning: Icetea with no sugar in, but I am getting used to it. It's actually a pretty good concept.
In the bookstore inside the learning center, we met a mandarin teacher who told us about another bookstore selling learning material they didn't have in the one we were in, so we bought two books for practice in the chinese signs pronunciation, meaning and strokes for writing them, then went to the other store to find out they had the same books with a 10% discount. So we bought another two books there, went on a long walk with all those heavy books, then got to David's house again and hung out with the family as usual. That chinese styled apartment is the place to be mayn.
26. August 2009 17:01
That's what it is today, so people burn false money again, this time for some sort of metaphysical girl who can only visit her boyfriend, who is residing on the moon, once a year, and that is today. But before going to David's house today, I went with Joni to a rotary meeting in her club. Here is the get:
And the instructions (which refers to the "Smoke Manual Station" with "Fire Hydrant":
Other than that, no much interesting stuff happened except for some rotarians singing and speaking in englese but mostly chinese, but when we went to David's place, suddently this happened:
They don't just burn paper this time, they also put out some makeup and flowers for the girl to take with her on her one day trip to the moon. Afterwards we ate the food.
This afternoon I shaved my beard off. The school I am going to go to requires that I do so, but I am not starting there before monday. I just shave today because tomorrow I will be going to another rotary meeting. This time with my host club, which consists of men, and is therefore a probably bit more conservative than the one I went to a meeting with today, which has only women.
23. August 2009 17:42
Today I went out in the city with Joni. As always we took the MRT and we went searching for a converter for my danish electronics and a sim card for my phone.
We didn't find any because it was sunday and some of the stores we could get them in were closed. (I think only half of the stores around here closes at sundays though.) So we will have to try tomorrow. Even a big museum we wanted to see was closed due to national holiday.
However, we went to a buddhist temple afterwards. This is a short entry so I can't write too much about it right now, but I can tell that Joni taught me how to do the praying rituals and also she told me a little about the gods there. The temple we visited is called Lungshan Temple and is a quite famous place in Taipei. It's quite old and a funny thing about it is that it holds (I think) not only buddhist relics but also some others so people practice different religions there side by side. People in Taiwan are not so strict about religion. They can mix together their preferred practices from the religions they want.
After that we went to Joni's brother, Davids house where a lot of the family gathered for sunday fun. I played some Wii with the kids (and lost to everyone). Later the older people, especially Aga (means grandpa in taiwanese) sung a lot of karaoke. Joni was pretty good too, and it was all really fun and interesting because it felt really like I was being very much a part, or at least be deep into taiwanese culture. I bet very few foreigners ever get so lucky as to use a sunday with an entire Taiwanese family.
Finally we ate a lot of food. Even more strange things I can say I have tried eating now. It was very very delicious by the way. Much better than the food we eat out in the town. I think I got another two siblings because two of the kids decided they'd like to go home with us. I will hurry to bed now because I have to get early up tomorrow.