I have gotten behind on blogging so I am doing some major updating. Me and some friends decided to do some hot pot. This would be my second time doing hot pot. The first time did not go so well. Mainly because I was lost. They bring out a plate of things for you to add into this pot and I didn't know what to add first. Do you add the vegetables or do you just go in straight for the meat? I was very worn out by the end of this and I leaned over to the secretary that rarely speaks English and say. This is a lot of work! At least I am getting a lemon grass facial. The steam is rising up in my face and it happens to be a lemon grass hot pot that I ordered which was very refreshing especially for my face. This time I was with Derek, Molly, Rebeckah, Adam, Sarah and Leslie. These are the people that I do not get nervous around so I felt like I could let my hair down. I just added all the stuff in. After the whole meal was complete I ate as much as I could. They bring out this coconut ice with tapioca balls and crispy cereal on top. It is quite delicious. After we had hot pot we decided to head over to the night market. Going to the night market is always entertaining. Mainly because we get a lot of stares and pointing. If you want really cheap food you go to the night market. They have a variety of food. Some I don't prefer to try. Like barbecued squid on a stick. I mean who doesn't like a good bbq squid? They also have good fruit drinks and cheap clothes. My roommate made the comment to me that I always get free stuff and deals on everything. I thought about it and then said well maybe they think oh this girl needs some free stuff and then they look at you and say oh this girl is loaded. She said I don't think so. I said maybe it is because of the way I say ni hao meaning like I am the ditsiest girl and then I smile. This has definitely worked to my advantage. The other day I bought some shoes. They were priced at 400 Taiwanese dollars. I made eye contact and smiled and said how about 300? She looked at me and said you nice American girl I give it to you for 300. Which is about nine American dollars. I am all about getting a good deal apparently I know how to work the system.
On Saturday I woke up super early to take a bus to Ding Phan Po. It is a smaller town in the country near lukang. Where I was meeting my friend Derek to go bike riding and to breakfast. Taking a bus for me was quite the challenge. I have a hard time pronouncing words. I kept getting the run around and the Taiwanese are very eager to help. There was a little old lady that just kept following me until I got on the right bus. Good thing I recently purchased a cell phone. Now I really am not worried about getting lost. It is quite convenient. I feel like I have recently rejoined the real
world. I made it to Ding Phan Po and my friend Derek picked me up at the bus stop. We rode bikes through the rice fields to Lugang and had breakfast. I was suppose to have made it by 7:30 but it ended up being more like 8:30. It quite the experience riding on what I like to refer to as an Asian grandma bike. It was very challenging ridding in a straight line. It was great to go on a bike ride in the country. I was also able to get some rays and have some less polluted air. After that I met Derek's family and they are loud and quite funny. I of coarse got them practicing their English and they taught me some Chinese. Of coarse we started out with some swear words. The mother insisted on then teaching me some useful phrases. They also asked me about my opinion on how much do you think they weight? Who do I think looks older? I felt a little on the awkward side because I do not know what is polite to say. But I just started guessing. Derek's cousin was also there and he was trying on a suit because he is going into the army. So I guess you have to get all dressed up. I told him he looked handsome in Chinese. Derek was egging me on to be flirty. I replied that is all I know in Chinese. They then pointed to me and had me put on his tie. It was quite funny because he was a tall Asian and I said do you have a booster around here? After that a
man came in(who was not related and was delivering some things) and did a double take. I guess he wasn't expecting a white girl to be in the household. He said something like "Welcome" Everyone started to laugh and Derek informed me that he was trying to say "Welcome" and he totally said the word Viagra in Chinese. They thought I was very funny and want me to come back every weekend. Later that night Me and Derek and some friends went dancing at the burly que(not really but I cannot remember the name of the place) in Taichung. It was a lot of fun and I had a new Asian outfit to wear. Which of coarse included some leggings. Which I have not worn since the early 90's and I am becoming quite the fan.
Well I had quite the busy weekend. On Saturday I went hiking in Da Keng and Sunday I went to Zhang hua where I went on something I might call a nature walk. At the beginning there was a stage set up for entertainment with vendors. We walked the trails and went to different places to get stamps on our map to enter the drawing. The prizes varied. From bikes to clocks to calculators to soap etc... But I spent most of the day under a tent. People watching. The thing I love to do most. Not in a creepy way. I love watching children running and as soon as I catch their eyes they come to a halt and stare. Never breaking eye contact. In Taiwan people here are very friendly and very accommodating. I was walking down the trail and two women said Hello. Where you come from? I replied America. Their faces immediately changed. They then started talking to my friend Molly. I knew exactly what was going on. They were thinking she definitely has swine flu. I just kept smiling and said don't worry I have been here for a while. They smiled and went on their way. While I was sitting under the tent I just kept thinking I have got to try harder with Chinese. I am getting pretty good at zoning out. The funny thing is I only spoke to Molly and the occasional small child consisting of hello, nice to meet you. The thing is about Taiwanese is they love to feed you. I just sat there didn't move a whole lot. Some people would just kept give me food and they would say "eat" "good". I ate rice dumplings, about five hard boiled eggs, some other type of dumplings and I'm sure there was more food in there somewhere. While I am totally spacing out Molly yells to me get up we need to answer the question. I am about to fall a sleep and she said raise your hand. I was then chosen to go up on stage and answer the question. Of coarse my Asian posy knew I would be chosen. He then spoke English and said well she answer in Chinese? My natural instinct would have been to say ting boo dong (meaning I can hear you but I don't understand). So it was a good thing that Molly told me what to say in English. I grabbed the mic and said "the tree is shaped like the letter n". All the Asians were just eating this up. I was kind of shaky because It was a pretty big crowd. I was then handed a Styrofoam box. The small little Asian man handed it to me with both hands. So I did the same nodding while saying shae shae and he said "Photo". The professional photographer came up and took as Asians refer to as "I take your photo". As soon as I got back to my seat I thought to myself what am I going to do with a whole just slaughtered chicken? So I gave it to Molly's family and she said my mom will cook and you can eat. I said oh no thank you. I will pass. Molly also made the comment that next years advertisement will have me right in the middle. The thing that I regret the most is that I didn't even get a picture of this happening. I mean I could of at least taken the dead chicken out of the box and held it up for a picture. Apparently I wasn't thinking of the perfect blogging picture. Oh and did I also mention that I won a bike! My friend Colin said "Oh you got bike and chicken you so lucky" I said yes or it is god saying you need to eat some chicken and exercise more.
My name is Hanna and I recently noticed I was experiencing extremely high blood pressure. My doctor recommended doing yoga. So I decided to take up a completely healthy lifestyle. I am currently living in an Ashram in Virginia. Learning yoga and meditation as a way of life to create a healthier me. So I hope you enjoy my adventures of living as a yogi.