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!

I can’t believe it is almost the end the October. I’ve been in a good mood because I just finished reading this peppy book “bel canto” and I’ve been in a sentimental mood for a few days while reading it. But now I’m done with the book, the glow has passed. Also, I’ve also been slacking on my workouts, I skipped the last two days, that could also be contributing to my sulleness. I also remembered how I loved to listen to Terry Gross in the US and her show is online, so I listened to a few episodes today and it made me all nostalgic for home. Vince had his first meat bits, the pork inside pork buns. Work for Jeremy is going well, he’s, as he says, on an upswing.

Tonight we had dinner with Roger, our neighbor, who I once helped out with jumping his car. We had a simple spaghetti dinner. He is a lot of fun, very nice guy from W. Virginia. We talked about the military, about cans (which he helps inspects) about driving and about medical care. A lot of fun for all of us!

Today we had a slow day, recovering after our active day yesterday. We slept in, and puttered around the house. Then in the late morning we went to Neihu, the nearby harbor. We ate some seafood for lunch and flew our kite for a bit. After that, we went out in search of a park we had seen from the highway that was near our house in the floodplain of the river between Shinchu and Jubei. We had quite a tricky time figuring out how to drive there, but finally figured it out after snaking through a lot of very small streets past farms and old traditional Chinese houses. There are still quite a few farms and old houses inside of Shinchu, which surprises me. We have not been off the main roads too much, and are still surprised by what we find there. After we returned we all took a nap and did some shopping. I (Jeremy) cooked a couple simple Chinese dishes (or as close as I can manage) for dinner and then we worked on helping Doris type in Chinese so she can send email to non-English speakers.

So today was a really nice day 🙂 We started out by heading east, not knowing exactly where we were going. We ended up driving up and up into the mountains to this place called Five Finger Mountain. At this mountain was a playground for kids which was pretty cool. They had a balancing obstacle where Jeremy walked “across a river” on these two long poles with footholds which were suspended from two logs by metal rods. It’s kind of hard to explain, but he had an audience of appreciative Taiwanese to applaude for him when he was done. There was also a pully cart where kids could sit on a cart on train tracks and pull on a rope and haul themselves across a distance. There was also a seat which was suspended about 20 feet in the air with pulleys so that you could slide across for about 40 feet. But you needed a friend to help pull you back. Also the weather was perfect, it really matched my mood today. It was overcast, so when you looked up at the peaks, they were shrouded in fog. We had a lunch of noodles, chicken and green veggies at a small eatery near the mountain. I gave some of the chicken to a mangey puppy and his mommy who were hanging out at the outdoor cafe. Then we went to the Ambassador hotel and saw all of Vince’s friends. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen them, you could tell that Vince couldn’t really remember it that well anymore. Anyways we ran into Linda, the housekeeper and next week we are going to her house to learn how to cook some food! That’ll be great! We went shopping for an outfit for Vince, more than 75% off, then we headed back home. Took a break and went out for buns… then played in the ball room a bit. Rented some movies which turned out not to have English subtitles (Shaolin Soccer…) Oh well. Had a great day!