Sunday, May 30, 2010

Can you SCUBA dive in the rain?

Today we went to Fulong to do our first dives of the dive course. 

Initially we intended to do the two pool dives and then one (mayyyybe two) dive in the ocean. 

Things didn't go quite as planned. I had some trouble with one of the exercises which put us behind schedule. But honestly that wouldn't have made a difference because by the time we were even considering going in the ocean we realized that the rain made the conditions far to crappy for us to deal with. 

So it was a pool day, and that's fine by me.

Things of note: 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When are you busy?

So I definitely dropped a big bomb on you guys and then haven't been back since. I apologize, but in my defense, I've been working a lot.

I picked up a lot of extra hours and privates, so I've been working something like 40 hours a week — nearly double my usual schedule.
It'll be like this until I leave. Especially once the summer camps kick in. Those alone will add another 15 hours to my week.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Do you have any secrets?

OK, I have to admit, I've been keeping a secret from you.

Don't hate me. It was honestly for the protection of my job, but now the cat is out of the bag, so I can tell you.

I'm moving. To Prague. In September.

Monday, May 17, 2010

When does the sun come up?

For the record, the sun comes up ridiculously early.

That's a good thing though. I can't really sleep when it's bright out, so I've been waking up a bit earlier lately. Granted I'll stay in my bed and read or play on the Internet until my stomach starts yelling at me furiously about food, but waking up earlier is better.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Who knows what is going on in this head of mine?

Let's play catch-up first. My birthday was super fun.

I went to Debbie's for breakfast with a few of the girls. Then I went home and researched vacations for about four hours. Then I went to the book store at Taipei 101, Page One, for three hours.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why are these people paying so much attention to me just because it's my birthday?

This week has been one heck of a roller coaster ride.

I've been happy and the sad and angry and depressed and excited. I've experienced a plethora of emotions and I'm not even sure where all of them came from.

Though I think I have decided that I would suck at living alone. It's nice to have a little alone time, but I don't like having too much alone time. Honestly, that's kind of what I thought would happen.

This week had some rough patches, partly due to being alone all week and partly due to the fact that my birthday is tomorrow.

Believe me, I know that doesn't make any sense.

I never really thought I was that much of a birthday person. I mean, I enjoy birthdays, but I didn't think it meant all that much to me. (Granted there was that time I didn't talk to my best friend/prom date from my birthday until prom day because he forgot my birthday...) I like getting presents and it's fun having people say happy birthday and all, but honestly, most of the time when people wish me a happy birthday, I feel ridiculous.

"Why are these people paying so much attention to me just because it's my birthday?" is all that I can think.

Honestly, at first I wasn't even telling people it was my birthday because I felt like an attention whore. That lasted until I realized that if I didn't tell at least someone that I would be spending my birthday alone or doing something I had no interest doing. Let's face it, I haven't known these people very long so I can't just expect them to know when my birthday is.

Truth is, it's just nice to have a day where people really pay attention to you. Even if it is just because it's your birthday.

Anyhow, I was sad about my birthday coming up because it's the only birthday that I can ever remember not spending with my family. And I miss my friends so much. All I could think about it how I would have gone to dinner with my family. My mom and my sister would probably have made me cupcakes or something or we would have all baked something together since it's also Mother's Day.

Then I would have met up with my friends at one of my favorite watering holes where we would dominate the jukebox chit-chatting and singing along all night. 

I don't even know of a place in Taiwan that has a jukebox (even one of those digital ones would suffice).

But despite all the homesick blues I've been having this week things are looking up.

My kids all sang "Happy Birthday" to me today and my last class even got together and ordered a bunch of pizzas to celebrate. That was seriously the nicest thing (and totally solved the dilemma in my mind about what I should eat for dinner tonight).

Some friends and I are going to go to brunch and then JiuFen during the day tomorrow. Then we're going to try to have dinner at Chili's so I can have American-Mexican food (specifically fajitas and queso) and so I can get my margarita on. I definitely haven't had a margarita since I was home in December. I plan on teaching the bartender how to make a Mexican Martini (also known as a Texas Martini at some establishments). 

Then, I found out that I got approved to take a Monday off in June so that I can have another Taiwan adventure with Leila. 

In case you need a reminder, Leila is basically my Taiwan travel buddy. She's Brazilian-Canadian, loves scuba diving and has lived in Taiwan twice as long as me (maybe more?). Her Chinese rocks and she's super laid back which makes her super fun to travel with. You may remember her from trips such as Chinese New Year in Hualien, Taroko Gorge and Kenting, or from Tomb Sweeping Weekend at Sun Moon Lake.

Well, ladies and gents, it is officially time for me to ditch the elevator and start taking the stairs up to my fifteenth floor apartment because Leila and I are climbing Jade Mountain in about a month.

Jade Mountain (玉山, YuShan) is pretty much in the middle of Taiwan in the southern portion of Nantou county. It is the tallest mountain in Taiwan (and East Asia) and the fourth tallest mountain on an island. It rises to 3952 meters (or 12,996 feet).  (Ahem, thank you Wikipedia.)

We will begin the hike on a Sunday morning and stop for lodging a little more than half-way up. Then at 3 a.m. Monday morning we'll be waking up, chowing down some grub, and grabbing our flashlights to guide us to the peak to witness what will ultimately be the most gorgeous sunrise I've ever seen. (Not that I've seen many sunrises. I'm the kind of girl that cooperates more with sunsets, honestly). 

Believe me — I know I'm asking to get my butt kicked with this one, but I couldn't turn down the opportunity.

So that leads to the next new thing in my life. Starting this week, I plan to hike Tiger Head or run twice a week, as well as hike Yangmingshan once a week and then yoga twice a week. This will be a pretty good prep for Jade Mountain as well as make me feel less guilty and self conscious when I finally step into a swim suit this season. 

I'm also going to get a little more serious about cutting down the meat in my diet. I just don't feel like meats here are as high quality as they are at home and often I feel gross after eating meat these days. I'll hike up the fruits and veggies count.

I have two months until Thailand when I seriously need to be camera ready.

Now I'm going to go to TaiMall to watch Iron Man 2 with some of the ladies. That'll be a nice way to cruise into my birthday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do you take your camera everywhere with you?

I do take my camera with me everywhere. At least most of the time. 

Unfortunately, that two months that I went without a battery charger for my camera really killed my habit to automatically shove my camera into whatever bag I'm taking with me when I leave. Now, even when I do have it with me, I often forget. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What do you use chopsticks for?

So I'm at the end of my super busy week and my first week alone in the apartment.

The timing actually couldn't have been more perfect. I worked 40 hours this week and when you add in travel time I basically did nothing at home but sleep, eat and shower. I didn't really have time for anyone (or anything) else.