Today we went and climbed the local mountain here in Hsinchu. The name starts off “18-something mountain”. I’m not sure what it means. We had a nice time walking up steps and seeing everybody out with their kids. We saw a bunch of people playing the chinese flute. Then we decided to wander down the mountain towards the Ambassador hotel. It was only 10:30, but I was dying of hunger, so we stopped at a 7-11 and I bought this seaweed-wrapped rice triangle that I’ve seen advertised on TV. The packaging is very clever, they wrap it in a way so that there is plastice between the rice and the seaweed, so the seaweed stays crispy.
So today was a sad day. We found out from Emy that Yeager passed away early this morning. Emy sent email a few days ago saying that Yeager was doing OK and was still purring. It’s nice to think that Yeager was feeling OK enough to keep purring. I hope he wasn’t in too much pain in the end, I’m super glad that he wasn’t traveling or in quarintine as his health declined. So on that sad note, we started the day.. Jeremy came home earlier than expected. He flew on EVA which is the airline that all the UMC guys take and it was fun for him to talk to all of his Chinese collegues. He bought all this cool stuff for everybody and for me he got pajama bottoms, a timer an a cool, cheap digital camera, which I used today. I have a picture of Mr. Hong, our building’s security guard, and of the noodle shop where we had lunch today. We went to town today and went into the movie theatre where we got the whole grand tour. Turns out it was built in 1933 by the Japanese and in 1945 after WW2, a bomb landed in the center of the theater and destroyed the roof and seating. Just 2 years ago, the theatre was refubished with nice modern seats. Luckily, none of the stage area was damaged by the bomb so all that is circa the Japanese era. (I had just wanted to ask how to buy the tickets and we get a whole tour!) The two gentlemen also recommended a noodle place a few blocks away and we had some yummy lunch. Then we bought some dried shrimp and dried mushrooms from an alley vendor. This afternoon, I went to the wet market for the first time and saw beautiful produce, I’m definately going to shop there for food over the RT mart. Everything is so much fresher. Then we came home and had a quiet dinner of buns. Jeremy was teaching the bun maker some English. Bun is not the same as bum. We also gave Leah an Abercrombie shirt, Droopy was so excited to see Jeremy and now V-man and J-man are out like a light.
I’m all excited, I’m about to go to bed and when I get up, Jeremy’ll be home! Woopee!!! Today was a quiet day. 2 trips to the RT mart, pretty much to entertain the V-man. I’ve watched 3 movies since Jeremy’s been gone, America’s Sweethearts, In and Out and Bounce. They were all inconsequential. Quiet dinner, Vince didn’t eat a whole jar of food tonight. All of a sudden, he seems huge to me, who knows why. Droopy is feeling much better today and I saw Leah again this afternoon…
I woke up this morning without a plan, I slept in until almost 9am, when I heard the phone ring. It was Kay Dee calling to say that they didn’t need George today and that if I didn’t they would send him home. So I said that I could use him and so I called him and said, “Pick me up in an hour!” So I rushed around, got showered and ate breakfast. Then I rushed downstairs to ask Mr. Lin and Ms. Liu about where to go with George. They recommended “Lion Head Mountain” about an hour away from Hsinchu. So we got into the car, pickup a bite to eat and drove to the mountainside, asking directions along the way. We finally found the place and George and I walked up and up into the mountains. The air was clean, the view spectacular and we traded carrying Vince in the REI backpack. George is a very good sport, he took off his shirt and wore his undershirt and was sweating up a storm. The first bit of the walk was a bit tourist-y and it was brutally hot, I was a bit nervous about where we were headed, but George encouraged me to go on. The mountain is made out of rock and is a Buhddist retreat so there are places to stay overnight. The trail is amazing, all made by digging rock from the mountainside to create steps. We climbed a lot. Well I haven’t been climbing a lot recently, so this was a lot of exercise for me. Then we went back into town to the department store where I bought a second set of sheets! Hooray. The saleslady was very, very nice. Jeremy called in the middle of my transaction and said that his day went very well and that he was eager to come home. Wished me happy anniversary as it was our anniversary in Taiwan, but not yet in California. Then I went home and went downstairs and saw Ms. Liu and Droopy. Droopy is a bit under the weather today, so he’s on medication. I know yesterday we missed some largest-pig contest, which I decided not to go to because I felt bad for the poor force fed pigs, but George said that something happens only every 15 years and that Chen-Shui-Bien was here in town yesterday. Go figure, I tried to ask Ms. Liu, but I didn’t get her explanation either. Tonight I had dumplings and Vince ate a whole jar of sweet potatoes. He is nursing up a storm these days, last night, I swear he was on my breast all night. I think he’s hitting a growth spurt, ugh, my poor boobs.
So today was amazing! I went over to the Browns at about 10 am, so I called George our driver and got him to come and pick me up. Then we headed to the Browns and I had a good time with Kay Dee. Turns out her ex-husband worked for Bechtel! Small world. Fran got her hair cut in town (very brave!) and then everybody (Fran, Kay Dee, Emily, Grace, me and Vince) had lunch at the Browns (dumplings, cheese, salami, bread, and goat cheese (yum!)). After lunch, Vince, Emily and I took naps and read People magazine. David came home early because last night he worked from 10-midnight on a teleconference and we went to the park a few blocks from their house. Then we went over to the Pellerins and had Pizza Hut pizza and really pink strawberry ice cream, it was a shocking shade of pink, but quite good. We talked about how to more effectively use George. I think we are all going to end up getting cars, using those on the weekends and George during the week
Pretty quiet day today. I thought I was going over to the Brown’s this afternoon, but David was still not feeling very well and we didn’t want Vince to catch his cooties. Watched In&Out, a movie about a gay man about to be married. Vince had a whole chunk of bread at daycare today. He and I are having a good time together. We had another messy dinner of sweet potatoes and fully covered his body and clothes with orange, sticky goop. I saw Ms. Liu and Droopy, she actually called and wondered why I hadn’t shown up during the afternoon. She also told the security guard that I’m home without Jeremy and he has taken it upon himself to provide a watchful eye over me. He is also going to start introducing me to other moms in the complex who can speak english 🙂 woo hoo!
Went to the post office today, it costs 28 NT dollars to mail a letter to the US. I mailed some thank you notes and some address changes, nothing interesting. Also bumped into Fran and Kay Dee at the RT mart, helped them find a lighter for their oven. I do all my errands with the V-man on my back, I feel like a mule at times. A lot of other people end up staring at me and my contraption, but I feel quite mobile and agile. My thumb is killing me these days, I twisted it when Vince was 2-3 months old and it hasn’t healed yet. It gets better, the more Jeremy is around, since he can carry Vince more, but when I’m by myself, I reinjure it all the time so today it was even painful opening up the mail. I hear from the Strickers that Emy is un-telephonable these days, I hope she is doing well.
Jeremy has left for the states. *sniff*. He’ll be back in one week!