Saturday, July 19, 2008

We're not in Kansas anymore

Ok, so right now I feel about 100 different emotions. Well, I don't actually know if there are that many, but you get the point. We just arrived at our so-called "suite" here in Hualian. First things first, the train ride here was absolutely beautiful. Mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, definitely the best of both worlds. When we arrived here, we were greeted by Wen-Ping, the professor who is in charge of the lab where Nick will be working these next three weeks. He is actually the main reason w

hy Nick is in Taiwan. He did a post-doc in Nick's lab at Purdue, so there was already a well established connection between he and Dr. Cooks. All of the arrangements of the trip were done by him, and we have greatly appreciated his help! We went for dinner at a vegetarian buffet, and we finally were able to eat some vegetables. That is one (of many) thing that we have missed about American food. For some reason, Taiwanese people think that we eat alot of McDonald's and KFC. We have repeatedly tried to explain that no, we do not eat at McDonalds weekly, let alone everyday.

So back to our "suite". When we opened up the door, we were greeted by a room full of somebody else's things. Books, papers, cds, lotions, cigarettes, you name it and it was out on display. I was sure that they had given us the wrong room key. However, Wen-Ping assured us that we were in the right place. I kept hoping that he was wrong, but I am still in this room surrounded with clutter (and it's NOT mine)! Ok, so maybe I didn't accept it quite that easily. I cried and whined, and at one point I think I threatened to go home. Unlike a toddler, my tantrum was short (7 minutes at most), and I joined in on Nick's effort to tidy up the place. We have made much progress, but we are very careful not to mix our stuff with his. You could lose something forever in this place.

Tomorrow we are going in search of bikes, food, and something for me to do for the next 3 weeks. I saw a hospital in town, aren't they always in need of a nurse?!? Oh right, language may be a problem. Well, maybe I can volunteer to do something. Anyways, I am making a list of good things about our room in hopes of enlightening you to our situation. Well, this is mainly for my benefit...

1. There's a TV and we found some movie channels in English.

2 . This guy has left us a refrigerator. I may finally get to have some milk with my cereal.

3. High speed internet. I can call home with Skype and blog nightly. You may get sick of me.

4. We have our own bathroom. Although I'm going in search of some bleach tomorrow and plan to do some hardcore cleaning.

Four things, that's a pretty good start isn't it?!? Drop us a line and let us know how you're doing. We would love to hear from you!!

Oh, I forgot to tell you that we visited the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall this morning in Taipei. Please click the link to read about it and see some more pictures. The top pic is of us in front of one his cars that is on display at the museum.


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