August 2011


Yesterday was an interesting day. I will expand on this at a later point in time, but after a few ups and downs (mostly downs at first, then a lot of ups) we made our way out to the Yilan coastline for a day of surfing. It had been years since my last surfing experience in Costa Rica with my sister Joanna, and I was certainly anxious leading up to it. As soon as I first hopped on the board, paddled as hard as I could and caught that first wave, it all came rushing back to me as if I’d never stopped surfing. But that is not what I came here to tell you about. Instead I wanted to very quickly describe one of the greatest sites that I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

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Day 3.5 — Don’t Touch the Table

As I sat and watched a small brown cockroach run along the wall next to our table, I had a feeling that this night would be one worth writing about. I couldn’t have been more correct. After leaving the museum on Friday evening, we headed to the Shilin Night Market, which is the most famous in all of Taipei, and possibly even all of Taiwan.

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I hope you caught that, but just in case you missed the title above I’ll repeat it, adding emphasis. Six showers. Forty eight hours. I have taken exactly six showers in the past two days. I can’t even begin to describe how much I’ve been sweating during my time in Taiwan, so instead you’ll simply have to infer from those numbers how much my body has perspired. This is not a joke, nor is this a test. Actually, I lied — this is kind of a test. I’m trying out my first “abbreviated” post that is not necessarily a full write-up but will help to keep you up to date on my current travels. Let me know your thoughts, or if you prefer the truck loads of words that I usually dump on you in my write-ups, and ONLY the truck-loads of words.

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I like you. I mean, I REALLY like you.

This on-again, off-again relationship we’ve been having hurts me. I’m fairly certain that it hurts me a lot more than it hurts you. And I mean it when I say this, but it’s not you. It’s me.

The fact is that my time on this crazy island has been exactly that: crazy. I want to share my stories with all of you, but my time is simply consumed by all of the work and the adventures that I’ve been having. Regardless of this, I still plan on sharing my stories I just might start changing up the format a bit so that you, O’ reader, may share with me in this adventure that I am living out.

I will still plan on doing my long-winded write-ups, but I would like to try some abbreviated updates that just give you a sense of what’s coming. Let me know what you think and if this is a good idea or a dumb idea in the comments.

Day 3 – Learning the History

My TSTL Colleagues were working from their homes. It was Friday, and their manager had designated today as their once-quarterly team outing. Apparently the lunch that he had treated us to the day prior did not count as an outing (especially since it was only the TE group), so he would take his entire group of reports (consisting of both TE and ME) out for a very special lunch. The local team told me that since the restaurant was so far away from work for everyone, that they would all elect to work from home and take the afternoon off, as is common after any team outing like this.

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Day 2 – Sustenance

Like most other humans I enjoy being a creature of habit. This is precisely why I started my second day with the exact same sequence of events as the first. After waking up at 5, working out, hanging out with Allie and stuffing my face at the breakfast buffet, I finally made my first deviation from the previous day’s events. I had learned that when we arrived at work the day before it was unusually early for most of the other employees, who typically didn’t come in until around 10 a.m. This pleased me, as it gave me some extra breathing room for taking it easy in the morning and a chance to locate a nearby bank and acquire cash monies for my eventual taxi ride into work.

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Day 1: Feeling It Out

My first night of sleep in Taiwan felt long overdue.  From the time that I left Durham on Monday morning, until the time I checked into my hotel on Tuesday evening around 8:30 p.m. local time (that’s +12 hours into the future from Eastern Standard for all you math nerds), I did not sleep. This was only partly thanks to the rambunctious children next to me on the airplane, but more accurately due to my own personal remedy for jet-lag.

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