American Time

When we first arrived we heard the phrase, “I don’t have American time.”  It was confusing.  Aren’t Americans always rushing someplace?  Isn’t our life in Taiwan just a little bit slower?

But our Chinese teacher finally clued us in.  American time is leisure time.  American time is time to read and follow Facebook and hang out.

American time is time to not work.

The Taiwanese work. They work hard. They work long hours.  The students go to school, and then cram school, and then do their homework before getting not nearly enough sleep.  The small business owners are always in their shops or stalls.

We have American time.

Scooping up the field mice…

It’s a beautiful morning.  Still warm, but comfortable now.  The sun is shining through the banana tree leaves, and the clouds are fluffy and gorgeous.

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As we were driving home the other day through similar lovely weather, Dan mentioned that he had an idea for his Chinese name.  We have a friend who chose a name which translates to Handsome Dragon Dragon.  It raises some eyebrows, but he figures it’s his choice and that’s who he wants to be.

Dan wants his Chinese name to be Little Bunny Foo Foo.

(All together now…Little bunny foo foo, hopping through the forest…)

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Waiting for the Typhoon

Typhoon Matmo is headed straight for us.  While that sounds dire, Taichung is actually pretty well protected. Most typhoons sweep in from the Pacific Ocean and hit the east coast and mountains in the center of Taiwan before eventually dumping rain on Taichung.  Even so, we are looking forward to the Taichung equivalent of a snow day.  The big billboards around town are furled in readiness for the storm.

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It gives quite a different look to the place.

Beautiful Music

A few weeks ago the parent association at school treated the teachers to a traditional tea ceremony and accompanying traditional Chinese music.  It was beautiful and relaxing.

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Simo was so taken with the music that he hired the musician for his 60th birthday party.  We gathered at the traditional farmhouse restaurant near our apartment.  I’m told the name of the restaurant is actually something that translates roughly to “good old neighbor.”  That’s an appropriate name. This restaurant feels like a comforting friend.  We sat outside on a beautiful evening and listened to lovely music.  A fitting birthday for Simo.

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