Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hitting the Ground Running

Well, we got here on Sunday morning and teacher orientation started on Monday so we jumped right into our new lives here in Taipei. We got to meet a lot of the teachers and get a feel for what daily living is going to be like. Turns out, they are still in need of a fourth grade teacher... anyone interested?
Today we took a cultural excursion up to the mountains to a city called Wu-Lai. There we went to a fish and eel farm which also, for some reason, had two boars and some sort of raccoon / lemur thing in cages. Seeing as how I have never been to an eel farm before, I am assuming that boars and lemurs are standard procedure. Apparently, eel is quite a popular dish among the Taiwanese. However, when we asked another American what his thoughts were, he likened the "delicacy" to mud. Mmmmm.
The main attraction for the morning was when our pastor hand-picked a sturgeon from the water to have butchered for us for tomorrow's lunch. We got to watch them prepare the fish for us which was really interesting. They first pull the fish out and put it in a bucket where it is thrashing around like crazy and they weigh it to see how much it costs (ours was about 9lbs. we think). Then, they take it back to the kitchen and give it several good whacks with the back of a meat cleaver until it stops moving... mostly. Then, they cut off the fins and part of the back bone which is supposed to be good for frying. All that is left is cutting off the head and tail (which are used in soup) and then cutting the rest into nice steaks. It is supposedly the "fish of kings" so we are all looking forward to trying it tomorrow.
After the farm experience, our pastor took us out to lunch for traditional Chinese fare which was quite tasty. We had bamboo, tiger lilly soup and guava juice just to name some of the highlights. Then, we wandered around town and down to the river. Afterwards, we took a very "zoo-light safari" style train ride to see a waterfall which was very beautiful. That brings us to this afternoon where I am attempting to use the Chinese dryer and Chris is at the local park playing pick up basketball with some locals. I'm sure he'll fit right in...

1 comment:

Abbey said...

Very cool! And gross. Wow. Let me know how that tastes!
Oh, check out my new blog called "Tica's Tale". It's www.ticastale.blogspot.com or just go to my profile and click on her blog.
We miss you guys! TOnight's our sushi night, afer all (while the boys go to men's group)
Tonight I'm getting a haircut instead. Not near as much fun.