Green tea with red bean shaved ice. Give it a try!
We’ve spent the past few days trying to get lost in Taichung. Pick a random street, go along a ways, and there we are smack up against a street we know. Turn the next corner and there’s another one. We’re slowly expanding our mental model of the city.
I’ve been able to introduce Dan to a few of my favorite places here. We found ourselves on Gongyi Street the other day and decided to visit the traditional Japanese teahouse. You may remember the aggressive carp.
We were seated upstairs across from a couple enjoying books and tea. Lovely.
Another day found us in Taichung Folklore Park. We’ve tried to find this in the past but it was closed or just eluded us. This time we forgot about it until we turned the corner and there it was.
It has a brand new parking garage but other spaces seem to still be in process.
Today we found ourselves at Taichung Metropolitan Park. This park always seemed a little overbuilt to us. It’s far away from the center of town and always seemed deserted. But today was a beautiful day and we finally saw the park as it was meant to be used.
The faculty and staff went on a field trip to Sun Link Sea (more on that in another post but the short story is… forest that felt like home). We ran across a coin-operated machine that Dan and I had seen once before. The faculty started asking about the “temple machine” (really more of a fortune-telling machine). Push in a coin and the figure turns, enters the temple, gets a scroll, and drops it in the slot. Here’s Dan getting an interpretation of his fortune that included some things Charlene was too embarrassed to translate for him.
Halloween is not celebrated much in Taiwan, despite the best efforts of the local chain stores. but Halloween is a big deal at our American school.
The students had some great costumes but I liked the teacher costumes the best. I kept it simple myself.
My two favorite costumes were Abi’s Grim Grader… (a last minute improvisation)
And Tim’s long lost twin brother. He set this up three weeks ago with a series of Facebook posts and then didn’t break character all day on Halloween. It was remarkably uncomfortable chatting with Tim’s stuffy brother. We were relieved to get Tim back.
In honor of the occasion 5th graders made dirt cups and the high school students made severed finger cookies.
Hope your Halloween went well!
Today was a big day. Art, writing, and cooking converged to honor 5th grade achievements. Rod had the kids creating portraits in art class. He thought they turned out so well that (inspired by his own life as a working artist) he wanted an art show of their work. Of course the art show needed an opening party. And of course the opening party needed refreshments. And of course (my favorite part) we needed artists’ statements about their work.
Here are the artists attempting to avoid being photographed with their own work.
And here are the goodies that 5th grade cooking has been working on over the past two weeks.
Excellent work, 5th graders!
Two classes and two clubs chew through large quantities of raw ingredients in a week. One of the biggest challenges I’ve had in cooking class is keeping the kitchen stocked. The high school seems to inhale bacon and the 5th grade just scarfed a large jar of peanut butter. To complicate matters, my recipes are almost all American ones, using butter, milk, and cheese on a scale unusual here. I’m trying very hard to keep my school shopping to once a week.
Imagine my delight at finding a restaurant supply store not too far from our apartment. Giant jars of peanut butter! Big slabs of chocolate! Italian and French and Mexican ingredients! Dill pickles!
It made me very happy. We might need to go back tonight.