It's weird not talking, and honestly I feel like I could burst at any moment.
Most of my friends went to Wulai today. I wanted to go, but I had neither the desire to get up after being out until dawn nor the desire to possibly stay overnight somewhere other than my home. That and I still didn't have most of the Christmas presents that will most likely be expected of me come Christmas Day.
The first person I talked to today was the barista at Starbucks and my whole day's worth of conversations have continued as such. I think I'm actually having people withdrawal. Even days I've spent by myself I've at least called and talked on the phone to someone I actually know.
On the bright side, I spoke a lot of Chinese today and I feel like I'm getting a lot more confident.
One thing Meghan pointed out when she visited was that every time I went to speak Chinese I would get quieter. I think that's improving.
I still love the shocked look on people's faces when the wai guo ren — foreigner — starts speaking Chinese.
But after talking to tons of shop owners and food vendors and exchanging tons of cash, I have Christmas presents. I just need to make a quick trip to Yingge this weekend for gifts for my nieces and I'll be all set.
Next challenge: How do I get it all home?
I've actually decided I'm going to pack a gigantic suitcase. It'll make getting presents home a little easier and getting my ski clothes back to Seattle a breeze considering I'll have essentially emptied my suitcase post-Christmas.
Should I wrap my presents before I leave or wait until I get home? I'm afraid if I wait then the girls will see them all. Not to mention I bought some really Taiwan-fabulous wrapping paper. I couldn't pass up that opportunity.