Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Ice Cream Garbage Trucks!!
(*I'm just putting up random photos we took on our bike tour of the city today.)
While we were getting our orientation for the classes we will teach, we heard an oddly familiar sound coming from the street corner. It's the ice cream truck! We thought. We asked Gerald what the noise was, and if we could see an Asian ice cream truck, only to find out we were sadly mistaken. No, it was not an ice cream truck, it was a garbage truck. Apparently, when you hear the music, you run out and give them your garbage! ^o^ They take garbage, especially recycling very seriously here. We have to separate our plastics, metals, food, paper, from other trash. And the plastic has to be washed or the garbage men will hand back your trash to you and literally reject it. It's pretty awesome.
It probably would have to be one of the most interesting aspects here so far. Another one would have to be those squat toilets. Not too bad, just weird to throw toilet paper in a trash can, not down the drain... At the hospital, while we were getting our physicals, I noticed the nurses didn't change their gloves after taking our blood and moving on to the next person, they just used hand sanitizer over the glove. It was interesting. But they were very efficient and fast.
One thing I have found that is difficult to come to terms with is that everyone in my group is the traditional "American," meaning mostly white and non-asian. It sometimes feels like they think that I'd fit in here because of how I look, while often, I feel as awkward as they do in most situations. I may not stick out as much, but I don't speak the language, and it's pretty evident through the clothes I wear, the way I act that I'm not Taiwanese.
lol. It is weird, being fairly at home in a place like Hawaii, where there is a large population of Asians, so it's not that it's weird seeing so many asians, it's just weird to me seeing so many asians that don't speak english, or even pidgen. ^_^ Anyways, I'm just going to have to get used to it. Learning a few words, and phrases, like "I don't speak Chinese" (Wo bu hui shou guoyu...or something...)
It is funny because I do recognize a lot of the food here, but usually by a different name than the local name. I'll say something I think I learned from living in Hawaii (like manapua), and people have no idea what I'm talking about.
I do miss a lot of things that I had back in the states, but mostly intangibles, like time to be alone, time to waste, time to just be lazy. I know I shouldn't miss him, but at nights I do.