Thursday, January 04, 2007


I need to catch up on posts- I will soon(ish) tell about my first Chinese wedding & my visit to the terracotta soldiers.

I'm going to be substitute teaching for a Hess kindergarten class the next few days. The kids are about 3-4? Super-cute. I observed the class today. Their English is... not good. Their Chinese is only a little ahead of mine, which is cool.

The "kindy", as it's known, is from 9 am to 11:30 am. But you have to be there are 8:40. Then a looooong break, followed by my night classes at 5 pm. Today I came home and took a nap in between but that's kind of a pain; tomorrow I will probably stay in Fong Yuan.

I've started taking the train. It is a little cheaper & much faster- only about a 10 minute ride to work. The train station is only a couple of blocks past where I catch the bus so that makes no difference. It also has the advantage of having a set schedule- the busses left Fong Yuan at the same time but you never knew when one would be leaving Taichung. The trains are kind of random, though- like there will be one every 10 minutes for a while, and not one for another hour. So for example to go to Kindy I have to catch a train at 7:49 (and be reeeaaaallly early) or at 8:25, and be slightly late. I think for my first day I will do the early thing, and after that the late thing. I'm worried about getting lost though because the Kindy is in a different place from my normal branch.

The train schedule is also bad for when I'm going home- class ends at 8:40, and there is a train at 8:43, and another at 9:40. The bus leaves at 9 but takes about 30 minutes, so it is six of one, half a dozen of the other. In general it will be OK to stick around the branch and grade homework, but it stinks now because I have to get up so early for Kindy.

Still, I like the train better. It is reliable, and you don't have to flag it down or engage in protracted conversations in broken Chinese to get off. Also, you know how in the US there is always some crazy person talking really loudly to the bus driver on busses? They have those in Taiwan too only they are speaking Taiyu (Taiwanese) which isn't much like Chinese except there are some words that are similar which makes it all the more annoying.

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