Friday, July 11, 2008
Ah, the smells of Taiwan.
I have finally smelled what everyone has been calling "stinky tofu." It can't be that stinky, I naively thought. I mean, I'm used to smelling weird things and tasting weird things like ox tail soup and pig's feet soup (staples in any traditional Okinawan family cookbook). Also, I remember in Alaska, when dad would make us eat fish heads, including the eyes. I thought those experiences would have prepared me.
But no. Not by a long shot.
At the night market, while walking through clouds of various smells -- the cooking meats, the fresh fruits, the fish -- I walked into a new cloud of smell, the smell of stinky tofu. My sensory perceptions were overloaded; all I could think was, Bad! Something is wrong! Not good! Bad! My brain couldn't even form a complete sentence! It was strange. Normally I can pick out different smells, even bad smells, to find its base (such as "a fishy smell"). But for this, I couldn't.
Maybe it's just something like bittermelon, where you just have to try it, suffer through it, and eventually grow to love it. ^o^ lol. Sounds like me.
One week of teaching, done! Now it seems like the soundtrack in my head has become solely kindergarten songs. I like to sing the monkey songs with the kids, because they ARE monkeys. I thought being a CNA would prepare me for children, since they say the mind reverts back to a childlike state as you age, however, I had forgotten about the energy level of children being insanely compact inside each tiny body, which then explodes in my class.
Monsoon season is here, apparently. It's usually beautiful in the morning, but by 4pm, it's already pouring. I'm amazed that a place could actually hold so much water without drowning in it. I love the rain. I love rainy days here in Taiwan. Luckily, the rain had stopped in time for the night market. They have carnival rides in addition to all the vendors crammed into an empty parking lot. The mood is quite festive, really.
Every time I see a 7eleven glowing at night, while I'm lost riding my bike in the city with Megan, I feel a sense of comfort, even though I have no idea where I am, and despite the fact I know that on every other street corner there is another 7eleven. Maybe it's a false sense of normalcy, to what I'm accustomed to. Which makes no sense, but it still comforts me. ^_^