Last night we attended a small get-together with Eric's co-workers. I had a good time getting to know some of the wives. One was just hired to work at the American School on Thursday so she is scrambling to get her classroom set up. I really liked her, and it will be nice to know someone "on the inside". She is teaching 3rd grade so neither of my kids will have her.
This was our first time venturing to a home in Taiwan, albeit one occupied by a fellow American. It is fun to go into a neighborhood. Everything is SO very different from America, which is cool. No suburban sprawl here. And I have to adjust to the way things are named. People live in "Alleys" which, to me, seems like a dark foreboding place where no sane person would travel. Not so here, that is just the way things are named. Within the city someones address is #____, Lane ____ Alley ____ - all for one house. Streets with the same name wind all over the place. Then, I think, Lanes feed off of the street, then Alleys off of the Lane, then you find the house number. I THINK! It seems extremely confusing at first but I think it will actually be quite easy once I get used to it. Of course you also have to know what SECTION a person lives in because you could have the correct Alley, Lane and house number but if you're in the wrong SECTION then, well, you're at the wrong house!
Yesterday we also had our first experience with handling our trash. If you live in an apartment catering to ex-pats (which everyone tells you you should do because it is "very convenient") then you just dump your trash someplace and forget about it. But if you choose to live in a single family house (which you should NOT do because it is "not convenient") then here's what you must do about trash: First you must buy government issued trash bags for your "family trash", i.e. food scraps and nasty things. You may use any sort of bag you like for recyclables. Once a day, 5 days a week (not Wednesday or Sunday) the trash trucks drive by. You know they are coming because they play "Fur Elise". You must carry your trash out to the curb and you may not set it there. First the truck for family trash comes by and you throw your bags into the back. (Don't throw your recyclables in or they do a lot of screaming at you. We know this first hand!) Next comes the recycling truck. At least last night, a man jumped out and took our recyclable bags from us. I assume they will always do that.
So now, we know how to do trash and we've navigated a neighborhood. We're learning!
On Friday we had lunch with Gloria and her husband, who we met for the first time. Today they will be coming to our house for dinner Yeah! Gloria leaves for the States on Wednesday. I am happy that we have been able to meet up a bit. Gloria really wanted to show me around her country, and I wanted that too, but the timing didn't work out. Nevertheless, it is wonderful to see her, her husband and son. I hope to get a few pictures today that I can share.