taiwan, day #1.

holy. cow.

it is 5:30pm my time, which means it is probably about 3:30am your time.
i have serious jet lag and want to crawl into bed for the next twelve hours.  but let’s just start at the beginning, shall we?

after a tearful goodbye with my eternal companion, i stumbled drunkedly onto an airplane.  i put on a brave face, but every time i thought about how stupid i was for leaving him for four weeks, the tears would begin to come, and i would have to force them down.  i kept thinking, “why am I doing this?  what could possess me to leave the most perfect man in the world for four weeks?”  let’s just say, i was an emotional wreck.  and everything seems a little bit worse when i am tired.  and i am really, really tired.

by the time we arrived in LAX, i was feeling much better.  i had my last meal of real american food at mcdonalds, because i knew i wouldn’t taste french fries for another seven weeks.  [it’s weird, the things that go through your head when you go away for awhile.  {brother sam, beware – there may not be saracha in peru…}] then we waited for our next plane at the terminal.  this is when i became a minority.  me and twelve other girls piling onto an airplane full of chinese and taiwanese people.  suddenly i didn’t understand anything the stewardesses{who were all gorgeous} were saying and i felt too shy to ask for a drink of water{when i finally did ask, i got a glass of hot water – as i was warned would happen.}  (don’t worry, i am now drinking an ice cold coke zero from the sev.  so i’m good.)  i then took two tylenol pm and said bye bye to the world for about eight hours.  lovely.

here comes the exciting part – we arrive!  we arrived in taiwan and rode a bus to the train station.  while there, i had my first encounter with real taiwanese food.  let me tell you – walking into that seven eleven was scary!  i didn't recognize one single thing!  john has told me about many “delicious” things to eat here, but i didn’t even know where to start.  i was completely overwhelmed.  so i settled on a steamed meat bun thingy that turned out pretty good:

sadly, i can’t understand when someone tells me how much something is.  despite all of john’s hard work drilling numbers into me, i still stare at the cashier with a blank face for several seconds before i finally figure out what the real price is.  does anyone know mandarin for “slower?”  because i think if they just spoke a little bit more slowly, i wouldn’t have to look so dumb!  haha.  goodness, i am going to have to start counting my steps….

then we chilled for awhile and admired asian babies from afar.  i love asian babies.  they are all adorable without exception until they are about six.  from there, i can’t guarantee that they are quite as cute.  we smiled and played with this baby on the high-speed rail:

we admired scenery throughout the train ride.  i quickly began to love the rice fields mixed with five-story buildings, millions of mopeds, colorful signs, and tropical plants.  i am in awe with how different it is here – how different the taiwanese people’s way of life is.  but this place is so much more incredible than just that.

we were picked up by jane, who is a beautiful nurse at the hospital where we will be working.  she arranged for our ride to the apartment, showed us around, and even bought us cookies.  she is the epitome of what people here are like – incredibly and genuinely nice.  way nicer than people are in the united states.  although i think ya’ll are quite nice, the taiwanese got ya spanked.  it kind of inspires me – i want to be willing to offer up whatever complete strangers need out of the kindness of my heart.  {within reason, of course – i have yet to see any beggars here, so perhaps that makes it easier to be giving, knowing that nobody is just seeking handouts?} 

i almost got run over by a scooter.  {mom – you would fit in perfectly here!  everyone drives a scoot.  you would dig it.}  i have seen a four-person family crammed all onto one scooter, a feat that i would have thought impossible.  and there are lots of “street dogs” running around.  and we saw a dead cat.  and there are all kinds of interesting smells…. and my clothes are literally stuck to my body with sweat.  but other than all of that, i love it here.  i am exhausted – slaphappy really, and keep going through ups and downs of – “i should never have come here….” to, “i freaking love this place!”

until tomorrow.....

{the hospital where we will be doing clinicals}

{our apartment building}


Mady said...

Wow! Can't believe it is really happening! Stay safe and keep posting!

elizabeth said...

I love you! I am so excited for you!