Monthly Archives: September 2009

In Taiwan Now

Alas, I never did get to post more about orientation in Singapore and now, a flight and a typhoon later, I’ve been in Taiwan for a month.

Things were crazy in the weeks after Typhoon Morakot hit, so I don’t have any photos from that time.  But aside from this major omission, here are a few snapshots that tell the month’s news:

ArrivalArrival at Taiwan Taoyuan Int’l Airport on Aug 1st!

OMF found us an apartment and our teammates very kindly cleaned it for us before we arrived.  We had no phones, internet, or any of our boxes at first, but my roommate, Angie, and I plunged straight into set-up mode.

MealPrepOur first meals were very simple.  We only had random borrowed kitchenware and were still learning where the markets were, how to get there, what stuff is called in Chinese, etc.  We’re still learning, and some stuff is hard to come by.  I still haven’t been able to get a decent set of flatware.

ClearDay.smallWe’re on the 9th floor! Angie caught this from our window on an unusually clear morning.  Most days, the sky is only blue for a little while in the morning, and we can’t see the far mountain range seen here.

MyTeachersThen language classes started.  Here are Ju Laoshi and Tong Laoshi, who teach me for most of my class hours.

GhostMonthOffering.CoupleAugust 20th was the start of Ghost Month.  The Taiwanese believe that the gates of the underworld open and the spirits, euphemistically called the “Good Brothers,” wander freely throughout the month.  People are careful to offer these hungry ghosts gifts of food, spirit money and incense, particularly on the 15th day (Sept 3).  That day, the streets were especially thick with smoke and lined with offering tables like this one, near our apartment.