I am seriously far too attached to my computer. I almost went into shock without it for the past 10 days.
On that note, dumplings are never allowed near my computer again. I don't know if I could make it through that again.
Long story short: I was eating dumplings a couple of weeks ago. My computer was sitting off on the chair next to me playing music and I reading a book. As I bit into one of those juicy (though not even that tasty) dumplings, the juice and grease from inside shot out across the room and landed on my keyboard!
I was momentarily frozen and then I kicked into high gear grabbing a towel and trying to sop up what I could.
My computer continued working for the next 30 minutes or so, but then the keys slowly stopped working. It started with the 3edc-row. Then the 2wsx-row started acting up and next thing I knew the 4rfv-row, the space bar and the Apple button all stopped working.
Unfortunately, there are something like 18 Studio As (Apple reseller in Taiwan) and only one service center for them to all go to. It took them three days to decide what was wrong with the computer (though it was obvious) and then another week to fix it.
But I have it back now and that's all behind me.
Things of note for the time that has passed:
Taipei in the middle of the day in the middle of the week is actually a lot of fun. I'm thinking I might make myself go into the city during the week more often so I can spend my one day off going somewhere a little more adventurous.
The weather here reminds me of Texas mostly in that it's cold and rainy one day and then 70º F, sunny and gorgeous the next. It's a little frustrating because it's difficult to make plans or to simply get dressed in the morning. (Well, if we're being serious then the afternoon...)
My Chinese is coming along really nicely. I've been pretty good about stuyding about four days a week for a couple of hours (but at least one hour) at a time. I'm almost all caught up on the homework exercises in the book. It's nice being able to read things and understand stuff when people talk to me. Oh and starting next week, Linda and I will be meeting twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays after my classes instead of just the one Wednesday. We should finish my book in about three weeks and then I think I'm going to shift gears into using a book once a week and having homework and then doing conversational stuff on the second class of the week.
I'm starting to get a pretty good grasp of the grammar, I just need to beef up my vocab. A lot of my kids are thoroughly impressed with the fact that I'm even trying to learn, specifically my students who like to talk Chinese a lot in class. I've gotten to the point that I'll just translate something I heard them say and then tell them to say it in English. They just look at me in shock.
Of course, now one of my classes just keeps calling me waiguo laoshr (foreign teacher) because Sam was talking about me to my co-teacher and I cut him off saying, "Waiguo laoshr did what?"
That class just likes to give me a hard time.
I've decided I need a hobby. Writing doesn't take up enough of my time and honestly I haven't been feeling all that inspired to write lately. I think I might take up scrap-booking.
Oh! Best news of all:
I'm going to Taroko Gorge for four days and then Kenting for four days for Chinese New Year. Also, I'm spending the actual Chinese New Year celebration days with one of my co-teachers and her family.
She said they basically spend the day cooking and playing games. I like both food and games, so I think that ought to be really interesting and fun. I'll finally get a little bit of that Taiwan perspective.