Saturday, we drove to Taipei and camped out with the Smiths. Asuka and Carrie were pretty busy taking care of their ailing cat, feeding it and soothing it. Eppie is getting (or got) surgery on Sunday to have a feeding tube placed in his neck so that the food can be directly placed in his stomach. We went with the Smiths to their parent/teacher conference and played on the playground with Mattie and Dakota. Then we went to Subway for lunch. The remarkable thing this time with visiting Taipei was how remarkably like America it was. The TAS was completely English (of course) and the Subway, the Babalooo ice cream store was all English friendly. Even the want ads posted on the street had English. We hadn’t seen so many white people in ages! I said that we didn’t have to go to America anymore, we just had to hang out in Tien Mu in Taipei. We drove up to Yangming San and walked a while, climbed quite a bit and had a nice view of the mountains of Taipei. Then we went back to the Smiths and had a dinner of pizza and they went out and we put the kids to bed and watched the Father of the Bride. Sunday we shopped at Costo, and some American markets. We are planning on making lasagna for Ms. Liu and Helen this weekend.

We had a delicious hot pot with Ms. Liu and Helen. Turns out that Helen changed her Chinese name last November. I couldn’t believe that she changed her name. Apparently, an astrologer told her that the old name was no good and that the new name will insure prosperity in business and in love! Crazy. Also went to Zephyn’s 2nd birthday party in the lobby downstairs. Gave some M and Ms in a Japanese box.

So my Chinese lessons are taking a more serious twist. I’m tackling the grammer sections of my textbook, not only just reading the passages at the front of each chapter. Mr. Hung is a very good teacher, he makes me practice even when I don’t want to which is quite often these days. Jeremy went to Tainan today on a bus with a bunch of his coworkers to see the UMC fab down there. Also today, there was a kid who got hit by one of the nursery school buses in Holland Village. It was a bit scary hearing the ambulance and such. Inside the apartment complex, there aren’t too many cars compared with the regular street, so people just let their kids run around, but there are still some buses and cars. I think the kid was on his bike and both he and the driver weren’t looking out for each other. I hope he is OK.

OK, so things are weird here. AMD management is going wacky. I don’t want to put too much in my web log because Jeremy says it’s a BIG SECRET. Whatever. Let’s just say that our future plans are uncertain. I tried to buy pork from the wet market pork vendor but I wasn’t brave enough. They have slabs of pork on the table and I’m not sure which one I want and do I have to buy the whole slab? It’s all very strange.

Worked out for 15 minutes, cancelled my Chinese class, saw a dog be tormented by a guy on a scooter, had a woman talk about me in Chinese in front of me to her friend who was having a conversation with me in Chinese. But everything ended on a good note! Ms. Liu says that next week Droopy’s parents are going to America and we might get to take care of Droopy at night next week! And Vince went to sleep at 9 pm tonight!

I went to yoga class with some Japanese women I met a little while ago. The yoga class was *nothing* like the ones I’ve been to in the US. First of all, there is chatting throughout the class, who has the best hairdresser, how Japanese ladies have the palest skin and the nicest language. Also, the teacher has a militaristic, drill seargent-like voice, none of this “relax into the pose, breath deeply, slowly” etc. from the teacher. Also gone was my natural advantage of being more flexible than the average American. The class did pose after pose of very complicated spine twisting poses! There was a 70 year old lady doing all this stuff beautifully right next to me. There was foot massages by walking over them, etc. Yeow! Also, I’m learning English from my Chinese/English children’s program. Did you know that DDR is Dance Dance Revolution?

Spent the morning going to McDonalds to breakfast, on the way there, we saw a parade complete with drums, tall gods, and firecrackers. Couldn’t really figure out what they were celebrating, but we had a fun time watching. There was also a fire engine, rescue truck, safety thing going on in the RT Mart parking lot, we couldn’t figure out that one either. After breakfast, we spoke with our families, then went out to lunch near Sogo did some shopping. Then in the evening, we went out to dinner with some of Jeremy’s coworkers, Scott and Christine. They are Scottish and have been living in Paris for the past two years. They are really enjoying their adventure and are looking forward to spending time in Singapore.

We had a nice day today. Got up a little late and ate a leisurly breakfast. Then went to the flower shop and bought some flowers to take over to Linda’s house. We were quite impressed with the flower shop girl who spent so much time wrapping the flowers all up so beautifully. Then we drove into the “country” near the port of Hsin chu to find Linda. We saw her daughter again, and met her husband. They have a really nice house. It’s been occupied by her husband’s family for at least 4 generations. They have a nice, large kitchen and beautiful marble floors (not like in the US, all fancy and polished, more functional and old-hotel like). They cooked and cooked for us a wonderful, wonderful lunch. I can’t even explain all the dishes she made in about an hour. And they were so nice and fun. Jeremy took so many pictures. Jeremy is slowly learning how to cook and what to put in everything. Then we had a quiet evening, had some buns and also watched a pretty funny movie, “Kissing Jessica Stein”.

I drove the nanny to the hairdresser’s place after Vince’s time there, she says she only goes to the market every 10 days! Can you believe it? Today I went out to lunch with a bunch of English, Japanese and American ladies. It was stressful because Vince would not stay still. He is getting to be terribly, terribly active and hard to manage and eat at the same time. The meal was quite good and it was fun to meet and hear Chinese with a british accent, Japanese accent, etc. I bumped into Sherri at the spa during lunch, who is the mom of two boys, Lars and Marcel, who were the ones getting in the argument the other day. She is quite nice and has her hands full with two active boys. We had a simple dinner at home as I have had it with going out today.

Today was an emotional day for me…

The dry cleaning lady was in tears this morning. I have no idea why, but she was crying while she handed me my clothes. I bought her some flowers this afternoon, I got to go into the little flower shop on the corner next to the RT Mart. Next, in the afternoon…. There are two white kids playing in the ball room and a whole bunch of kids got into a fight and the white kid’s mom wasn’t around to mind her children. It ended up that the Chinese mom shoved the white kids out of the ball room. The white kids ended up crying to their mom and fighting among the moms insued and I ended up being the translator. It was pretty stressful. I didn’t want to get involved. Sigh. Then we had a wonderful dinner with Ms. Liu and her family. Jeremy learned how to cook all these different dishes and it was fun. We even got them ice cream, which was a treat, because they didn’t want to spend the money on it!