This past Saturday, we traveled to Lukang for a very quick visit. We went into a lantern shop and we were able to meet the National Treasure of Taiwan, who has painted lanterns for the President (current) and also for us ^_^. He was very nice and very cute.
Outside the shop there were tons of lanterns hanging, displaying the artwork of the master. Lish, Erin and I got lanterns of landscapes and flowers, and we also ordered elongated circle lanterns with goldfish on them. I'm very excited to see how they'll turn out (they're sending them to us).
Lukang was a fishing town in Taiwan, and has been relatively left untouched by more of the modern advances because of it's hard-to-get-to location, so there were many of the older shops that are still there.
Being the fishing town, and having the availability of seafood, we again ate the barbecued squid on sticks, and we even tried the famous oyster pancakes that everyone from Taiwan said we had to try. They were interesting...lol. We thought they'd be more "pancake-y" than they were. But they were very good. They were very rice-noodle-y-pancake-y.
On Thursday, it was Dustin's b-day, so we celebrated by going out to eat at a very cheap sushi restaurant. It was only about $1 USD a plate (that you pulled off a conveyor belt), and was delicious! I tried to eat as much as I could...I felt like a weak version of Kobayashi, only faring poorly at 6 plates. :(
Their sashimi was excellent though, it's been a long time since I had good raw fish. ^_^
I wasn't supposed to take a picture inside the restaurant...but I snuck one in anyways. Ooops. It was just a fabulous place, I couldn't help myself. ^_^ Anyways, this will definitely make one of my favorite places to eat here in Taiwan. It's amazing how well you can eat on a very tight budget.
Oh, my dad reminded me of another thing in an email he sent me; the standard of living in Taiwan for teachers is much better than for others in different professions here. As teachers, we get paid a little more than the average Taiwanese, which is pretty hard to grasp. I feel much less educated than the average Taiwanese, yet I get paid more, just because I was born in an English speaking country. Besides the fact that in the states, teachers get paid very poorly, but here in this country, because education is valued so much, they pay them pretty well. It reminded me of how my grandma used to tell me how lucky I was to go to school every time I complained about having to go everyday. I'm definitely seeing my privileged upbringing living in the states.
I'm considering graduate school in London...but I'm sure quite yet. My undergraduate GPA is a barely respectable 3.5, and I wish I had done better so I could get into any graduate program I want. But I'm very excited about the prospects. I started a language exchange with a Chinese speaker here, but realizing my lack of speaking abilities, I'm considering taking an adult course at the university, just to get caught up in the language. Tai Chi has become a little more difficult because I am going to the more advanced classes now, so it's all in Chinese...I need to learn the language.
We are preparing for the Christmas Program. In my Afternoon Kindergarten, we are doing two song and dance numbers...trying to control fifteen 6-7 year-olds is a lot of fun...and a lot of chaos...we haven't been able to do the entire number yet without stopping. I hope by this Friday (the performance day) we'll get it done!!!
I've been teaching Morning Kindergarten Christmas songs too. Luckily, we don't have to do a performace with them, so I taught them to just find a partner and dance, dance around! ^o^