Sunday, June 29, 2008

Taiwanese hospitality

Why am I surprised that people in Taiwan are so nice and accommodating. They treat us like we are celebrities. Yesterday we explored the city that we live in, Tainan. It used to be the capital of Taiwan and has a lot of old temples and historical sites. We inevitably lost our way a few times but luckily we have a girl with us that speaks mandarin and very fluently. She went into a pharmacy to ask directions and got talking with the lady there. After a few minutes of talking with them about where we are from and what we are doing she offered to give us a ride to the night market. Her husband ran outside and pulled his car around to the front to pick us up. All five of us squeezed in and he drove us down. Just some random guy who knew us for 5 minutes! It was incredible. Then when we were finished with wandering around night market we tried to figure out how to get back to the train station when a taxi cab driver told us that public transportation didn’t run that late. He offered to give us a ride there even though he could be ticketed for cramming 5 people in his car. So we squished in his cab and jetted to the station only to find out that the bus we wanted to catch didn’t run that late on Sundays. Li, the girl who is fluent in mandarin talked to a different bus driver who told us that his route ran close to our destination and suggested that we take his bus. So we hopped aboard with faint hearts and tired feet, it was 10:30 by then and we had been walking all day. When we got about 2 kilometers from our home base he let us out but told us that he would finish his route and swing by again to pick us up. So we waited there on the street for about twenty minutes thinking he would just bring his bus back around. No, he came back with his car to pick us up. He was so nice! He finished his shift and then on his own time and own gas picked us up to take us safely home. Wow! People here are incredible.

So we had a pretty adventurous day finding our way around the city wandering on old temple grounds. We had the most delicious shaved ice with mangos, kiwi, guava, bananas….and also a yummy skewer lunch of pork, mushrooms and fishy things. It was super good and so cheap. Night market was the most exciting part of the day. It is like a massive swap meet with crowds and crowds of people pushing and shoving there way around booths that are selling anything from watches to food to t-shirts. I found a sushi booth and got 6 pieces of sushi for $1.80. I can’t even get 2 pieces of sushi for that much in the US!! Everything was so cheap at night markets, we will be going a there a lot. They have them every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. So fun!

We had a pretty adventurous day running around orienting ourselves with the city. So far I love Taiwan because it is so much like my second home of Japan only cheaper.


Anonymous said...


After all these years I thought shirley you'd be able to spell your own name! Looks like you're having a grand time over there in Taiwan. So do you not start teaching until this Thursday? Good luck and have fun!


Shellie said...

Sounds like you are having a fabulous time over there! Love the pics!

Seamons Family said...

Ammy, I miss ya little sis. I am glad you are having yet another brilliant adventure. I can't wait till you can come to England and we can venture together. Love the pictures and stories. Love ya tons sis.