Thursday, July 10, 2008

Taiwan 101 (Kelly)

I arrived in Taipei at 5:30 a.m. this morning. After 3 flights and a total of 18 hours of either sitting straight up or in a partial reclining position, I finally made it. It has been a whirlwind of a month, with Nick leaving for Taiwan about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and me spending time in Kentucky visiting with my family. I was able to take my nurse practitioner certification exam on Monday, which was a huge blessing. We did not think that my application was going to be processed in time for this to happen before I left, but it went through just in time. Oh yeah, and I passed too :)

So back to my first day here. Well...let's just say that it is a very scary feeling when you're walking around and you suddenly realize that you cannot read anything. Seriously, did I really thing that there were going to be English subtitles everywhere? Nick has met some very generous and kind people from his labs here in Taipei, and his new found Taiwanese friend, Yan-Kei, actually drove him to the airport to pick me up this morning. This was completely out of his way, considering that my flight came in at a ridiculous hour, and the airport is approximately 35 minutes out of town. I was so happy to finally be reunited with my husband again! I know that 2 1/2 weeks is not that long, but when you're with a person everyday, it seems like months.

We are staying in a hotel on the campus of National Taiwan Normal University - basically it's similiar to a dormroom. Only slightly better because we have our own bathroom. I walked 40 minutes in the sweltering heat to go to lunch with Nick and others from his lab. Lunch was ok - basically I ate things that I deemed as "safe". Oh, and I did use chopsticks throughout the entire meal, as no forks were in sight. Nick and I went to dinner at a restaurant with English on the menu...yea!! The food was ok, but I would definitely not recommend the plum juice.

I will leave you with one funny story...I had seen an advertisement for Mister Donut - a bakery here in Taiwan. I have been very excited about these donuts, and of course when we spotted one tonight, I just had to have one. All of them looked delicious, and after only an ok meal, I was excited about the prospect of having something that I imagined would be similiar to a Donut Bank donut. Well, I was quite mistaken. I picked the prettiest chocolate donut in the case, and it turned out to be only minimally sweet and nothing like I had imagined. Nick ordered what he thought was a creme filled donut, and it turned out to be a pastry puff filled with some meat-like concoction. We split mine and threw his away. Needless to say, I will not be frequenting Mister Donut again. However, I did see a Dunkin Donuts down the road :)

Well, it's time for bed. I am looking forward to our many adventures that we will share together here in Taiwan over the next month.

- Kelly

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