Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tea Time Pt. 1

Many rainy afternoons spent drinking tea and studying Chinese.
Two hours after I could have left work and I'm finally gone.  I find myself at risk of repeating one of my most embarrassing moments since moving to Taiwan:

Three weeks after moving here and into my second apartment (the first with my own room), I quietly entered a tea shop just down the street, curious as I had heard many good things about Taiwanese tea.  Beyond numbers, some basic foods and the word for tea (c), I knew not a lick of Chinese, and it became very apparent as soon as the woman inside the shop began talking to me.  I use the term "talking" loosely as I feel it implies conversation and comprehension, neither of which was present.  I tried acting out that I was curious and just wanted to look, pointing to my eyes, saying "no buy," but she continued picking up different packages of tea and offering to put them in a bag for me to buy.  She called in a young girl off the street who spoke some broken English.  "Do you need my help?"  I tried to explain to her that I just wanted to see what she had, to no avail.  At this point I panicked and  felt my best option was to retreat.  I backpedaled slowly towards the door, bowed and said "Xièxiè" as I exited, leaving the scene quickly.  Not exactly graceful, but I wasn't sure what else to do and it seemed alright at the time.  I sure hope she was not offended.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 46: Hitting Reset

A brief break in the clouds on an overcast day.
Three flights of stairs with my stuff and I plop it down on the bed. It's been a long week, capped with a good road ride this morning and a mind-numbing four hours at work to make up for the cancelled day of school due to the typhoon that never happened. Nonetheless, my new (old) landlord is excited to tell me every detail about the place and make sure I feel comfortable and welcome.

It's not that I don't appreciate it, as I appreciate any gesture of goodwill at this point, but I'm tired and just want to finish moving what I can and go to bed. But we spend thirty minutes trying to figure out why the internet will not work, to no avail. He is concerned because he will be going to the south of Taiwan later this week and does not want to leave me without internet for that long. Personally, I am a little excited at the prospect of coming home from work and not being able to waste away my hours, only to check the time and realize it's time for bed and I've lost my entire evening.