Went exercising today at the spa, ran about 2.5 kilometers, not a bad start. I spent the afternoon with Yvonne, the expat coordinator for AMD, and George, our driver, and pretended not to know Chinese when we were filling out our visa extension applications. A bit frustrating when they are talking about you and they think you don’t understand but you really do and they are saying mildly preturbing things about you. Then I spent the bulk of the afternoon making scallion pancakes from scratch! I even got the two kinds of flour they recommended, cake and all purpose. They came out with just the right texture, but needed a bit more salt. They were perfect with the stir fried beef that we made, the juice from the beef and the crunchiness of the scallion pancakes were good together. I prepped all the ingredients and Jeremy came home and did all the actually stove work.

So today all the wives went to Taipei to get a physical so we can get our resident alien cards. Woo hoo! We got a chest X-ray (ugh!), blood tests, stool samples and urine samples. They had all the bodily fluids covered. The bummer thing that I found out is that I need eyeglasses! That’ll be a change for me. I guess I’ll get them sometime this week. I’ve known for some time that my perfect vision was starting to fail me, but this confirms it. We all then went out for lunch at TGI Fridays and then the two Taipei wives (Lora and Christine) went to pick up their kids from school and the two Hsinchu wives (Fran and me) went shopping! We went to caves book store, I bought Jeremy a chinese cookbook with his favorite shrimp wrapped in rice noodles recipe. Also splurged on an English book for him. At Costo, I’m not finding too many things I need there, I’m getting a big kick from shopping at the local traditional market everyday. The fruit guy and the chicken ladies are starting to know me. The vegetable ladies don’t know me yet, but they will. It’s pretty hard to miss Vince and me, I’m carrying him in our backpack. In the picture is Fran, Christine and her son Dakota and me.

Got up early this morning, Jeremy’s daily taxi driver gave him about 20 buns this morning, still piping hot from the steamer. Man Fai also got 20 buns, hee hee! So much to eat, I ate one and dispersed the rest. One to our security guard, Mr. Hong and the rest to the Elephant Daycare, where I hope all the little kids will eat them. Jeremy took Helen’s cakes that she got from Tai-chung and shared them with his coworkers. Apparently they are very famous. I had one and it was really, really good. We hung out at the Daycare for about 30 minutes. It’s funny to see how some kids react to being dropped off, some are wailing and crying, others are all calm and collected. They are getting used to me hanging out there, I’m helping out in the tiniest ways, making a bottle, conforting some tykes. It’s nice. Then I dropped Vince off at the nannys and I went and joined the Carlton Spa. I am a Spa lady 🙂 Woo hoo. I’m going to start running this week, thank goodness. It’ll be good for my mental health. Then I spent some time studying Chinese in the front lobby of our building with Mr. Hong. Then I picked up Vince. We spent the day crawling all over each other, took a late nap. We were going to go to the pediatrician tonight (they are open until 9 pm! No appointment necessary.), but Jeremy had a tough day today and I am planning on going to Taipei tomorrow, so perhaps it was OK not to get vaccinations today. I had my dictionaries all ready in case of translation issues.

So today was the first day that Vince went to the nanny. For two hours in the morning, he was away from me. I used the time to exercise and study Chinese. OK I thought about exercising, I didn’t really exercise. Then we took a nice nap and spent the afternoon waiting for the water bottles to come and talking to Ms. Liu and Droopy. She was burning paper money like she does every first day of the lunar month (although this time she was a few days late.) I’m contemplating hosting and English speaking potluck for Holland Village.

Got up *late* today. Got the car jumped by the realtors and had to turn down an offer to go playing with them because they were going to get back after dinner and we had plans with Helen for dinner. We went driving and bought some gas. Also went and parked near the university and had lunch and bought some coffee for Jeremy. Then we bought some dessert for Jeremy’s birthday and headed home. Spent some stressful hours working on our expense report and then Helen called and said she had just come home from Tai-Chung and wanted to rest before coming over, so we went shopping just the three of us. We headed back home without finding black bean paste, but our security guard, Mr. Hong found other tenents in the building who had some for us! Then Helen came over and we played for hours. It was fun. She seemed surprised that Jeremy was 34. She thought he was 40 at least. Hee hee, she didn’t realize that Jeremy was only 2 years older than her. Vince *loves* Helen. Stayed up late and smiled and smiled at her. She’s teaching Jeremy how to cook lots and lots of dishes.

Today we waited and waited for typhoon Sinlaku to come. She never made it here, actually, it barely rained. We spent most of the morning indoors. In the afternoon, we went to the RT mart to buy some food and supplies. We also hung out in the realtors office and saw their hamsters. Jeremy tried out his new Chinese vocabulary. “Too fat!” They are moving into the office for 3 nights because Droopy’s owner is going on a business trip and won’t be back until Wed. They are so sweet :). They also helped us order Chinese food for dinner. Man Fai came over and we watched “You’ve Got Mail” on HBO. Vince is very loud these days. We are both tired and it’s only 8:30.

Today I went to the fish market with Kay Dee. Also went to RT mart, Home Box and Orange. I had a nice time, although Vincie was tired. Also had a ride home with Fran and we talked a bit, which was also nice. Trying to learn Taiwanese from George, the driver. Vince and I took a long nap. Jeremy had dinner out tonight.

Today I spent the morning going to the post office, bookstore and the Orange Mart. The post office is weird, they have 6 counters and you are suppose to take a number, but then when you get to the front of the line and say you want to mail packages, they point you to another counter which doesn’t require any numbers. Also, they seemed shocked that I wanted to mail 5 letters to the US. Go figure. Spent the afternoon with Ms. Liu and Ms. Ong. Also met Olivia’s mom, who had funny stories about Olivia waking up in the middle of the night, not for milk, but to sing songs